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Old 02-01-2012, 07:16 AM
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South-eastern sky panorama and Lovejoy wide field mosaic - 2nd Jan 2012

It's been a fun weekend for me in dark skies, but unfortunately last night/this morning was my last night of dark skies in Roma, QLD - but again they didn't fail to impress.


1. South-eastern sky panorama - one of my favourite shots from the trip. This single-shot scene has a very wide (114 degree diagonal) field of view, extending from Arcturus in the bottom-left corner and Saturn/Spica in the top-left corner, all the way to NGC 2516 globular cluster and LMC in the top-right corner and the SMC in the bottom-right corner.

In the scene, you can see the zodiacal light (triangle shaped light on the left), Milky Way galaxy, Scorpius rising (Antares is the yellow star between the zodiacal light and Milky Way), Comet Lovejoy, Crux/Coalsack Nebula, Lamba Cent Nebula, Eta Carina Nebula, airglow (it's not light pollution), and just the first hint of twilight.

I think the official term is that it's chokers of heaps good stuff

A larger, higher quality version is available HERE.

Details: 1x 450 sec at 14 mm, f/4, ISO 1600 with a Canon 5DmkII and Canon 14 mm f/2.8L II mounted on an Astrotrac Travel System. Drift aligned using Orion Awesome Autoguider, but the exposure was unguided.


2. Comet Lovejoy and surrounding Milky Way mosaic. The comet's becoming quite dim now - visually, it was noticeably dimmer than the Milky Way and SMC/LMC, and even harder to spot than the Octans. As you may have noticed by my recent posts, I'm rapidly becoming a big fan of dark dust lanes

A larger, higher quality version is available HERE.

This particular crop of the mosaic is only 8414x5609 pixels - the mosaic is closer to a circular rather than rectangular shape (lack of planning on my part).

Details: Mosaic made using Photoshop's Photomerge function with 10x 300 sec panels at 50 mm, f/2.8, ISO 800 with a Canon 5DmkII and Canon 50 mm f/1.2L mounted on the Astrotrac (unguided).
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 07:54 AM
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Great images there Dave, both very good.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:19 AM
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Thanks Dave.
It would be interesting to blink that with yesterday's comet image.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:32 AM
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Great pics there. Beautiful setting showing how the comet looks.
Hope you dont mind but I tried out Iris gradient removal on 2nd pic.
First is with balance background color selected, 2nd pic is without it. Unfortunately it flattened out some of the milky way as well.
Scott
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:18 PM
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Thanks Liz, Glen and Scott.

Glen - interesting idea... I haven't shot them consistently enough for an animation to be worthwhile, but I did a quick-and-dirty alignment in Photoshop - have a look at this hack job

Scott - I don't mind at all, but it looks like you've removed real nebulosity and stars rather than the gradient! See the first pic - the gradient is in the bottom half of pic #2 as zodiacal light (bottom left) and airglow (bottom right).
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2012, 11:36 PM
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Thanks Dave, it is fading fast.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:01 AM
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a couple of really beautiful images Dave. Regards Ray
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:15 AM
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Outstanding views Dave, thanks. All the best.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:33 PM
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Thanks Ray and Lester! It's been such a great Christmas-NY for photography
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:56 PM
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Great shots for sure Dave.
I was just pondering if that first image is showing zodiacal light - and pretty sure you're right that that's what it is.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:39 AM
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tilbrook@rbe.ne (Justin Tilbrook)
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Hi, Dave.

Great mosiac!! looks like you've had a fair amount of clear skies too.

Thanks,

Justin.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:58 AM
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Thanks Rob & Justin.

Rob - I wasn't sure at first, but I searched for lots of zodiacal light photos on Google Images, read a few articles, etc and I'm convinced that's what I've captured. The yellowish "star" in the top-left corner is Saturn, so the light follows the ecliptic.

Justin - Brisbane weather has been horrible lately. I drove 6-7 hours west for those shots to escape the SE QLD weather system/area... dark skies were a bonus
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naskies View Post
Justin - Brisbane weather has been horrible lately. I drove 6-7 hours west for those shots to escape the SE QLD weather system/area... dark skies were a bonus
That's dedication!!

Cheers,

Justin.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:54 AM
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Very well worth the drive Dave , great results, Dig how Eta catches the eye too, Nice work !
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:07 PM
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Thanks Bob!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:46 PM
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Wow, that's a terrific composite. Very impressive.

Greg.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2012, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Greg! I enjoy making large prints hence the interest in mosaics. I'm struggling to find good software to help out though: Photoshop handles the huge file sizes from the 5DmkII but struggles with lens distortions and re-projections, but Registar is the opposite (good at projections, bad with large files).
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