View Full Version here: : The magnificent Abell 1060 galaxy cluster in Hydra

21-02-2012, 09:16 PM
Hi everyone, it has been a while since I posted an image here but the weather has been rather cloudy here in Auckland and only lately have we had some decent clear nights. I have also pretty much put the ToUCam on the shelf since I have now finally ordered my new 'real' CCD camera: A QSI 683wsg with 8-position filterwheel, Astrodon LRGB filters and a Lodestar guider. Now I'm just waiting for OPT to get the camera from QSI and it's all due to arrive here in late March or early April :D:D

In the meantime I'm still experimenting with the SBIG ST-7 that I borrowed from Grant Christie at the Auckland Stardome. It's very nice to play with a proper sensitive chip I must say! Allthough the FOV is still small I can see the massive difference in quality compared to my ToUCam images.
So I shot my favourite galaxy cluster the other night: Abell 1060 in Hydra - or rather just the centre of it. Yes the framing is not optimal, but I had to keep the two bright stars just outside the small frame since the ST-7 has no antiblooming. I then overlaid my old image form 2006 as a colour layer and the result is available here: http://www.pbase.com/rolfolsen/image/141648461/original

Image details:
Date: 18/02/2012
Telescope: 10" Serrurier truss Newtonian f/5
Camera: SBIG ST-7 / Philips ToUCam Pro SC1 webcam
Exposure: L: 4 x 1800s + 3 x 900s, RGB: Overlaid from my old 2006 image

Hope you enjoy. All comments and critique most welcome.


22-02-2012, 10:36 AM
That shot's got the wow factor. Very smooth with lovely colors and details. :thumbsup:

22-02-2012, 02:38 PM
Hey Rolf, great to hear you're getting a, well, 'Real' CCD.
Still you well and truly learnt your stuff on the little web cam doing some excellent stuff!
.... this is how I started out back in 1998... and it is a great way to go imo. You truly learn how to make something not so sensitive, produce good images through lots of time at the computer. Half the battle!

This image you've done with the ST7 is excellent and shows the skills you've acquired... nice and smooth and good colour!

Great choice all 'round with what you've ordered.
You'll be in another world when this gear gets to you... first night out you'll be ripping right into it I'd say.
I look forward to this...

All the best & congrats!

22-02-2012, 03:05 PM
Fantastic result Rolf!!! :thumbsup:
I like the detail you have captured here. And the colour is spot on.

Retiring the Toucam! :eyepop: Blasphemy!!

Enjoy the step up in quality of cameras :)

Ross G
22-02-2012, 09:53 PM
Great galaxy photo Rolf.


Paul Haese
23-02-2012, 10:08 AM
Nice Rolf. Love the smooth back ground and colours are very nice. Detail in the galaxy is fine and detailed.

I am awaiting the same camera with the 8 filter wheel. Made my order nearly 2 months ago and have not heard when it is being delivered. QSI must have had a lot of orders for the new system. You will not be disappointed. These cameras are elegant in their design and engineering. My current QSI has a been a great camera and produces lovely data on all but the hottest nights. Temperature is 100% stable too. With my SBIG the temperature is about the set marked and hovering around a couple of points but the QSI when set at say -20C will stay on -20C with sufficient head room.

23-02-2012, 12:03 PM
Very nice Rolf.


23-02-2012, 05:57 PM
Great cluster that Rolf, colours are spot on to me :thumbsup:

The whole surrounds (http://www.pbase.com/strongmanmike2002/image/131549566/original) are pretty amazing really :)..how about a mozaic? :D


John Hothersall
23-02-2012, 06:17 PM
Interesting as ever, mono filter imaging will bring you a sharpness with way better resolution, you should have done this years ago. The Toucam was a great toy and having a deserved rest after travelling the universe. You have jumped into a much wider field compared with the Toucam but small pixels with the new CCD will give you the detail.


23-02-2012, 07:41 PM
Thank you Marc, glad you liked it :)

Thanks very much Rich. Yes one thing my time with the ToUCam has definitely taught me is how to squeeze every bit of information from the data. I look forward to apply that knowledge to the QSI :D

Thank you Ken :) I will certainly enjoy, I have waited a long time for it!

Thanks Ross :)

Thank you Paul, glad you liked it. I was happy to see so much detail come out fairly easily with the old ST-7. And with 9um pixels it's even quite undersampled at my focal length. The KAF8300 of the QSI will be much better for my scope, around 0.8''/pixel, so that's very promising.
And with the -45C cooling capability of the new QSI 600 series I will most likely be able to reach -30C all year round here in Auckland, except for a couple of weeks in Jan perhaps.
Interesting that you haven't heard anything, hopefully your camera will arrive soon! I was quoted a lead time of 6-8 weeks about a week ago now.

Thank you Greg :)

Thanks very much Mike. The colours are just from an old image I took with the ToUCam in 2006. It's surprising how forgiving it is to use a pretty rough image as colour layer, as long as the Luminosity layer is good. But I guess that's why it's not uncommon to image the colour channels in binned mode.
I did actually look at your image just the other day, it's fabulous. How about a colour version with the AG12? That would be an amazing sight for sure.

Thank you John :) Yeah I have definitely wanted this for soo long, and now it's finally happening! On the other hand if I hadn't desparately kept fiddling with the ToUCam for so long then I wouldn't have taken that Beta Pictoris image for example... :)
And yes, the pixel size of the KAF8300 will fit my setup better. I also need to correct the coma, it is clearly evident in this image. But I have a Baader MPCC lying waiting for the QSI to arrive, I just didn't fit it to the ST-7 since its FOV is so small still.