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  #1  
Old 01-01-2012, 08:44 AM
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Deep exposure Lovejoy - 1st Jan 2012

Happy New Year's!!

After my amazing Christmas Day experience, I'm starting to become addicted to super dark skies Hence, I'm spending this New Year's weekend in Roma, QLD (5-6 hr drive west of Brisbane), and driving even further out at night.


1. Here a deep exposure of the area near Comet Lovejoy taken from Muckadilla, QLD (35 mins west of Roma):

http://itee.uq.edu.au/~davel/_temp/C...1stJan2012.jpg

Single 300 sec exposure at f/2.8, ISO 1600 with my Canon 5DmkII and Canon 24 mm f/1.4L II mounted on an Astrotrac Travel System. Mount was drift aligned using Orion ST80 + Starshoot Autoguider + PHD, but the exposure was unguided.

The colours are real (i.e. as recorded in camera) - the only post processing was levels adjustment, resizing, and unsharp masking for web.


2. Here's a 100% crop of the above image - from Coalsack/Crux up to Eta Carina.

http://itee.uq.edu.au/~davel/_temp/C...-100pcCrop.jpg

Post processing was levels adjustment and cropping - no sharpening applied.

I can clearly see the comet tail (right of Coalsack) extend all the way up to Lambda Centauri Nebula. It looks like it might even have reached the Southern Pleaides and Eta Carina area, but there's not enough contrast for me to tell for sure.


3. If you're wondering why the green airglow gets picked up so strongly, or why there's no light pollution in the exposure at all, take a look at where my "dark site" is - I've marked it as a red X on the light pollution map. The big blob on the right is the greater Brisbane area.

http://itee.uq.edu.au/~davel/_temp/R...tPollution.jpg


For the record, the same aperture/ISO settings at my place in Brisbane would result in a washed out / overexposed frame in about 15 seconds

Hope everyone's post-NYE-recovery isn't too painful!


Cheers,

Dave
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:49 AM
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This is REALLY nice with a 5 min single exposure !

It should be very dark there !
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:07 AM
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Thanks - I think it should be between 21.5 and 22 Mag/sq arc sec according to Samir Kharusi's method of converting from DSLR exposure times.

There was a cold front in the early morning that brought a gentle chilly breeze - perfect for cooling my camera
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:39 AM
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Great capture Dave.

It's still a magnificent comet.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:13 AM
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Amazing image and that it can still be imaged...
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:05 AM
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Very nice view Dave.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:42 AM
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Stupendously beautiful. !!
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:54 AM
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Great widefield pic there. Shows how bright the carina area is in comparison to Lovejoy now.
Scott
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:56 AM
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Nice shots, Dave!!!
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for your comments everyone - much appreciated!

I shot 3x 300 sec and 6x 120 sec subs with manual dithering between frames, but I'll need to reproject them to remove the wide angle distortion before they can be stacked.

I've read that "SWarp" can do the job, though I haven't looked into it yet.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:38 PM
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cracker image Dave. Regards Ray
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:45 PM
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Wowee Dave! You definitely have some incredible skies there..

Terry
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:10 AM
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Wow. That's a stunning image. I can only dream of taking shots like that. Awesome stuff.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:21 AM
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Fabulous photos Dave!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:19 AM
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Thanks guys! Much as I'd love to claim all the credit, these shots were mostly due to the amazingly dark skies rather than any particular skill on my part.

Terry, whenever you're ready - bring on the next comet!
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:32 AM
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Really like these deep shots. Great colors.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:22 PM
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Thanks Marc! I find it ironic that I go to all the trouble of escaping light pollution, and now I have zodiacal light and airglow to deal with instead... good problem to have!
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