Comet Lovejoy & Carina Nebula

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by Iconindustries, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer


    I thought I'd contribute some of my recent images.

    The first is of Comet Q2 Lovejoy on the 30th of December.

    It consists of 8 exposures, each 140 seconds long. Captured with an EM5 and 75mm lens shooting at f3.2 and ISO 800.

    The exposures were tracked on my homemade wooden telescope mount.

    Please see the larger higher quality image Here.

    finished 2.

    The second image is from the same night, and is of the beautiful southern Carina nebula in the upper right and Running Chook nebula in the lower left.

    Also some nice star clusters and dust clouds visible.

    Captured again with the EM5 and 75mm lens, 5x 120 second exposures.

    Please see the larger higher quality image Here.

    done 5 (2).

    Thanks for looking!
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  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The one of Carina is spectacular. Would you be able to show us the mount?
  3. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    Dang. Nicely done. In addition to wjiang's question, how did you post process it?
  4. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thank you Wjiang and Maritan!

    Here is an old photo of the mount, I have made a few changes since then, most notably the addition of a tripod head on the left telescope support on which I mounted the camera for these shots.


    Processing workflow was first to stack the images, and then colour balance, remove vignetting, colour gradients, CA, and pretty much anything that shouldn't be there. Once that is done I have a nice clean image that is then stretched to bring out the faint details and make use of the whole histogram. Final tweaks in colour and saturation were done in Aperture.

    Astro image processing can be incredibly complex, especially deep sky shots where the faint signal is just above the noise floor and is very difficult to dig out of the data. Wider field images like these thankfully have much better signal to nose ratios which dramatically simplifies processing. The 75mm lens is stunningly sharp, photographing a star field is the ultimate test of a lenses quality. The 75mm faired very well and was tack sharp right to the edges wide open at f1.8, with only a small amount of coma in one corner. CA wasn't quite as good but totally gone by f4.

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  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That's an impressive looking contraption! From the looks of the surrounds you must get decent dark skies?
  6. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks for the details. You should post more as and when you get more pictures. :thumbup:
  7. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    I have a 1 hour tracking platform that needs a tripod attached to it soon! . Great images.