Milky Way - A longer exposure image

Date2019/02/01
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectMilky Way
CameraEOS6D + Samyang 2.8/14mm
Guidingno
Telescope-
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-
Luminance6x
Red-
Green-
Blue-
Dark3x
Flat-
Total exposure~15min.

Once more back on La Palma / Spain. I imaged the Milky Way a few times before from this beautiful location. However, up to now I was always bound to a maximum exposure time of about 20 seconds due to the earth rotation. This time I decided to put the camera - an EOS6D with a Samyang 2.8/14mm lens - on top of an EQ6 mount. This way much longer exposure times with a lower ISO value (i.e. less noise in the image) were possible without getting any star trails. I took 6 frames with ISO 1600 á 148 seconds each. The total exposure time is therefore about 15 minutes.

The frames were then post-processed with rawtherapee and averaged using the ImageMagick "convert" tool. In addition 4 frames of the foreground (the house) were taken and also averaged (of course with disabled EQ6 mount). Finally the two pictures were overlaid and merged with the help of a mask using gimp.

To me it is amazing to see the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the California Nebula (NGC1499), the Orion Nebula (M42), the Pleiades (M45) and the Horsehead Nebula (B33) clearly on this photo. This overview picture gives a good idea of the brightness, size and exact location of the objects compared to each other.

A full resolution image of the result can be found here. Another image without object descriptions can be found here. I am curious to repeat this procedure in summer when the bright part of the Milky Way will be visible again 🙂

Andromeda Galaxy (M31) - The first time from La Palma

Date2018/31/31
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectAndromeda Galaxy (M31)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance6x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red5x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green5x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue5x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~1h38m

Tonight I again decided to image the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) - the first time from La Palma. The seeing tonight was very good - around 1.5~2" which was extraordinary! Also the weather conditions as shown by La Palma HDMeteo were excellent.

Back in 2013 I already imaged the Andromeda Galaxy with the same equipment but from Boeblingen. It is interesting to see the difference here.

For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP.

The full resolution images is available here.

Clear skies!

Astrophotography from La Palma - The Coma Galaxy Cluster - Tacande Observatory


Date2017/04/13
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectComa galaxy cluster
CameraModified Canon EOS6D
Guidingyes
TelescopeR120S / 120mm
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-
Luminance6x RGB frame / 240s
Red-
Green-
Blue-
Dark5x
Flat-
Total exposure~24m
Tonight I again spent the night at the Tacande Observatory on La Palma. There we observed the Coma galaxy cluster. The result is this photo taken with a modified EOS6D camera.

For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP. The full resolution images is available here.

Clear skies!

Astrophotography from Los Llanos de Aridane - Pinwheel Galaxy M101

Date2017/03/31
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectPinwheel Galaxy M101
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance10x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h40m
End of February 2014 I already recorded M101 from Boeblingen near Stuttgart. The total exposure time was about 6 hours (!). This time I did a 2h40m exposure from Los Llanos de Aridane on La Plama with exactly the same equipment. This is the result. From my perspective the two pictures do not have a big difference despite the colour tone which of course depends on the post processing. However, it's interesting to compare the results with respect to their total exposure time: The image recorded from Boeblingen was exposed more than two times longer.
As a result of the long exposure time the stars are not as perfectly round as the ones with a shorter exposure time. Despite that I am happy to see what is still possible from a city like Boeblingen 🙂 Finally I combined both images to one final image by rotating one image until it matched exactly. Maybe I am wrong but I think in the end this combined image has a little more detail than each of the pictures alone. A full resolution image is available here.

3 Galaxies at once - Messier 65, Messier 66 & NGC3628

Date2017/03/29
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectMessier 65, Messier 66 & NGC3628
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance9x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue9x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h37m
I was able to record this image of three galaxies in a quite windy but clear night with my own equipment. This night I was based on a quiet place in Tacande on La Palma. I used my 8" GSO Newton telescope in combination with an Atik383L+ cooled camera. The optics were mounted on an EQ6 Syntrek mount. The total exposure time of the resulting image is about ~2h37m. It is a combination of 9 luminance frames a 600 seconds exposure time (binning 1x1) and 9 frames a 150 seconds exposure time (binning 2x2) for red, green and blue frames. A full resolution image is available here.
The three objects shown on the picture are M65, M66 and NGC3628 (also known as the Hamburger Galaxy). All are located in constellation Leo. M65 and M66 were discovered by Charles Messier in 1780. Both are intermediate spiral galaxies and between 35 million and 36 million light-years away. The Hamburger Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy also about 35 million light-years away which was discovered 4 years later by William Herschel.