The North America & Pelican Nebulas

My final image from Oregon Star Party. I had quite a bit of difficulty just getting this image to upload to the blog, and tried many different strategies all of which broke WordPress. The difficulty arises because of the high resolution and large file size; the final image is 4713×3144 pixels and over 21MB, and…


The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

Number 2 in my set of images captured at this year’s Oregon Star Party. This is part of the emission nebula known as IC1396 in the constellation Cepheus, featuring a formation known as the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. This large cloud of mostly hydrogen is about 2,400 light years away from us, and although much too…


Inner Workings of the Milky Way

              Number 3 in my set of images from Oregon Star Party. This one includes emission nebula NGC6820 surrounding open cluster NGC6823 (see annotated low-res version), again in the direction of the core of the Milky Way from our viewpoint. Also visible are many dark clouds of dust, in addition…


Dust Clouds in the Milky Way

              Image number 4 captured under the incredibly dark skies at Oregon Star Party last week. This image features several clouds of interstellar dust that appear as reflection and absorption nebulae, centered on the reflection nebula van den Bergh 126, and surrounded by several absorption nebulae that appear in…


M31 from Oregon Star Party

I have a few images from the fantastic dark skies at Oregon Star Party which I will be posting over the next few days. I ranked the pictures in order of how much I like each of them, and will be writing them up in reverse order; this one is number 5. This is M31, also…


Presentation from Oregon Star Party

Last week at Oregon Star Party I presented some more details of my image processing workflow using PixInsight, particularly covering pre-processing and calibration. Here is a pdf version of my slides, and more importantly, a copy of the workflow document that I was discussing. As I mentioned during my presentation, I recommend writing your own workflow document,…


PixInsight Workflow, Revision 1.2

At the request of several people, here is the current revision of my PixInsight workflow document. I started compiling this soon after I felt I was beginning to get to grips with PixInsight, but finding that if I didn’t write down all of the steps I just couldn’t remember exactly how everything worked. This revision was…


M27 From Oregon Star Party 2016

The end result of all of that calibration workflow stuff I posted about a couple of days ago (plus many, many other processing steps). This is the planetary nebula M27, also known as the Dumbbell Nebula, in the constellation Vulpecula. It is the remains of a dying white dwarf star about 1,360 light years away…


PixInsight Calibration Workflow Part 1 : Process Overview

This is the start of a write-up of my current PixInsight calibration workflow. I’ve spent quite a bit of time getting to understand how PixInsight calibration works, and this is what I’ve come up with after much experimentation and helpful insights from several people on the PixInsight forums. This workflow now produces results that are…


Brief Gear Rundown

It will take a few posts to go through my entire astro-imaging rig, but for now here is a brief rundown of the outdoor setup. I will write some additional posts later that explain the control system that I use to run everything. My setup has gone through many iterations, but in it’s current form…