K3's Astronomy - Sky - Constellations
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is Man that You are mindful of him?" -- Psalm 8:3,4

02.08.2002 Stars trails near Polaris and Cassiopea
31.07.2002 Constellations Cygnus, Lyra and Milky Way
31.07.2002 Lyra in raw frame
09.12.2001 Orion


Stars trails near Polaris and Cassiopea (2.8.2002)


Click the image to see high resolution photo (1024x768).
Polaris and Cassiopea 2.8.2002 00:03-00:22 (22:03 - 22:22UT 1.8.2002)
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 995 lying on table
Objective: f=8.2mm, F=2.6
Camera resolution: 2048x1536
Exposure: 17x30s (ISO 200), Camera's NR used
Camera control: The Force software
White balance: SUNNY
Seeing: windy, clouds, but dark
Processing: Stacked in K3CCDTools using "If Lighter" stack operation

The exposures were taken with period of 70s (30s exposure, 30s internal darkframe, 10s for internal processing and saving to Compact Flash card). That's why stars trails are dashed.
At first I made stacking process in Corel PhotoPaint with multi-objects with "If Lighter" merge method. As each uncompressed frame is almost 10MB, the work with 17 layers was very slow - it took me about 30 minutes to load the frames, align them and process them.
Then I modified my K3CCDTools to enable stacking by using "If Lighter" method. Then I processed the JPG sequence with K3CCDTools in 1 minute!

Although camera's NR (Noise Reduction) was used (which is very efficient - see Efficiency of Nikon Coolpix 995 Noise Reduction, some hotpixels were visible. As hotpixels were points and stars had trails - it was quite easy to remove hotpixels in Corel PhotoPaint. Result picture was resampled to XGA resolution with adjusted gamma.

Darker parts in stars trails of Cassiopea are caused by clouds :-(.

The stars colors are very nicely visible.

This is a cropped part (Cassiopea) of high resolution1024x768 photo.

Click the image to see high resolution photo (1024x768).
And this is a single exposure... for better imagination of stars

Constellations Cygnus, Lyra and Milky Way (31.7.2002)


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Click the image to see high resolution photo (1024x768).
Click
here to see high resolution photo with labels (1024x768).
Cygnus, Lyra and Milky Way, 31.7.2002 00:11-00:26 (22:11 - 22:26UT 30.7.2002)
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 995 on tripod
Objective: f=8.2mm, F=2.6
Camera resolution: 2048x1536
Exposure: 11x30s (ISO 400), Camera's NR used
Camera control: The Force software
White balance: SUNNY
Seeing: windy, clouds, but dark
Processing: Summed in MaximDL Demo 3.0 (with field rotation)

The summed image was further processed (gamma 1.25, histogram stretching).
The stars colors are very nicely visible (look at high resolution photo).

Note: Border of image are darker because of frame rotation during stack process.


Place mouse pointer above the photo to see the labels.
Click the image to see high resolution photo (640x480).
Click
here to see high resolution photo with labels (640x480).
The same source as above, but gamma=2.50 for emphasizing Milky Way.

2 arms of Milky Way in Cygnus are visible. A hint of NGC 7000 (North America Nebula) is visible (see high resolution photo).



Lyra in raw frame (31.7.2002)

Detail of Lyra constellation (in full resolution) cropped from one of frames from above source.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 995 on tripod
Objective: f=8.2mm, F=2.6
Camera resolution: 2048x1536
Exposure: 30s (ISO 400), Camera's NR used
Camera control: The Force software
White balance: SUNNY

The Lyra was in the upper left corner of frame, so some color aberration on bright Vega star is visible. Interesting thing is, that e1 and e2 elements of well-known Double-Double can be distinguish in the photo (separation 3.5 arcmin)

Here there is a 2X zoomed part of Double-Double.



Orion constellation (9.12.2001)


Click the image to see full resolution photo (625x469).
Orion constellation 9.12.2001 (02:40 2001 UT)

Camera: Philips Vesta SC with original lens on photo tripod
Objective: f=4.5mm, F=3.0
Exposure: 8x40s (gain 80%), 8xDF
Temperature: -6C
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools

The Orion constellation is visible on the left side while a head of Taurus on the right site. The bright "star" upper right from Aldebaran is Saturn.
Sky glow at the bottom of photo is caused by light pollution.

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Last Update: 10.08.2003