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Einstein's Cross - got it !

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#1 nytecam

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 03:54 AM

Been planning this one for a while - the enigmatic Einstein's Cross in Pegasus.  Here's my shot from my London backyard from night before last via my Meade Classic 12" f/10 SCT+ SX Lodestar-Mx2 camera that clearly shows cross-like appearance unlike the field stars of similar magnitude. 

 

The magic bullet is the camera software's sharpening routine aided, of course, by good image scale and resolution from my scopes native 3050mm fl boosted [inset] to 11.4m efl  - imagine a scope 37ft long in a 2ft long SCT package !  Exposure was 105sec [=7x15s summed]. 

 

Visually, quotes CN DeepSky Forum, it needs a 20" - 28" scope under excellent seeing and very dark skies to glimpse the 'Cross' so I'm pleased with my result from suburbia.

 

Einstein's Cross is a gravitationally lensed quasar QSO2237+030 @ 8BLY immediately behind a faint foreground galaxy PGC 69457 [=ZW2237+ 030 - Huchra Lens] @ 400MLY - the quasar is split into four faint stellar images mag 17-18.  Hope it's of interest :grin:

Attached Thumbnails

  • einstein-x141027x105shmg.jpg
  • einstein-x141027x105s.jpg

Edited by nytecam, 29 October 2014 - 04:01 AM.


#2 dcornelis

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:06 AM

That is great! I like those challenges, Good work, very impressed, doing stellar imaging at planetary image scale!

 

Must try this myself once, but don't know if my mount will guide that well.

 

Dirk. 



#3 jgraham

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:25 AM

Wow, thats neat! I've been wondering about this one. Nicely done.



#4 Footbag

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:42 AM

Awesome catch!  I've read the 20" telescope thing and didn't even bother trying with my rig.  Maybe I will. 



#5 nytecam

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:46 PM

Thanks guys for your interest :waytogo:

Awesome catch!  I've read the 20" telescope thing and didn't even bother trying with my rig.  Maybe I will. 

Adam - give it a go - nothing to loose for trying. :waytogo:

 

Just found this AOP image/page by Adam Block @ http://www.noao.edu/...s/einstein.html of Einstein's Cross via 20" f/8 RC eg ~4000mm fl in 105m LRGB exposure.  Whilst better than my modest effort via 12" in 105s [x60 quicker!] the quasar itself is IMO not dramatically better  - so hope for all here on this forum on this target ;)  


Edited by nytecam, 29 October 2014 - 05:53 PM.


#6 Footbag

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 07:03 AM

Thanks guys for your interest :waytogo:

Awesome catch!  I've read the 20" telescope thing and didn't even bother trying with my rig.  Maybe I will. 

Adam - give it a go - nothing to loose for trying. :waytogo:

 

Just found this AOP image/page by Adam Block @ http://www.noao.edu/...s/einstein.html of Einstein's Cross via 20" f/8 RC eg ~4000mm fl in 105m LRGB exposure.  Whilst better than my modest effort via 12" in 105s [x60 quicker!] the quasar itself is IMO not dramatically better  - so hope for all here on this forum on this target ;)  

 

Don't forget Roland's image...  http://geogdata.csun...land/cross.html

 

Adam Block and Roland Christian have some nice images of it.  That just pushes up the intimidation factor. 

 

I have asked the guy in charge of our clubs 20" RC, but I haven't been up there to put in the time.  I wonder what my lowly 8" could do.  Your lodestar x2 has 8micron pixels, right?  I'm thinking my KAF-8300 with the 8" Edge would give me similar pixel scale to you.  .51 arcsec/px ~ish? 

 

I'm guessing the 20" thing is to have the ability to resolve a slightly separated clover leaf.  I'm thinking that must be, because it doesn't seem that it's magnitude would be the limiting factor.  Must be the size.  I don't need to do that to be happy.  Seeing just a cross would have me jumping up and down. 

 

You managed to do it in 105s!  Again, really nice work!



#7 Starman27

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:05 AM

Good work  Nytecam! You sure push that Meade to produce results.



#8 A. Viegas

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 07:55 PM

Maurice,

 

You imaged the Einstein cross gravitational lensed quasar at native F10?? I think thats what you indicated, but just wondering.  If you tried at much reduced 0.35x or your normal reduction factor it would not be visible?  I thougt the galaxy being lensed is like 1' x 0.5' in size, so probably too small to notice at higher reduction??

 

Reason I ask is that at F10 there is more grainyness in the image and so if you used more reduction maybe it would be a cleaner image that you could magnify ??

 

Al



#9 geminijk

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:04 PM

Way cool capture!!!

 

John



#10 nytecam

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 03:20 AM

Thanks Starman and John for your interest and support - much appreciated :bow:

Maurice, You imaged the Einstein cross gravitational lensed quasar at native F10?? I think thats what you indicated, but just wondering.  If you tried at much reduced 0.35x or your normal reduction factor it would not be visible?  I thougt the galaxy being lensed is like 1' x 0.5' in size, so probably too small to notice at higher reduction??

 

Reason I ask is that at F10 there is more grainyness in the image and so if you used more reduction maybe it would be a cleaner image that you could magnify ??

 

Al

Hi Al - the two excellent shots that resolve the E-cross by semi-pros Adam Block and Roland Christian are via top-brand 20" f/8 RC scope [=1600" fl] where image scale via a long focal length and superb Paramount tracking is the key.  My shots via stock Meade 12" LX200 f/10 SCT [1200" fl] so less resolution and detail. 

 

The E-cross is only 1.6"-arc across so much like imaging the disk of Neptune/ Uranus or the satellites of Jupiter - some challenge!  Longer gross exposure would have made a smoother image with less 'grain' but here in London with severe LP does limit things so I'm very happy with my result so far.  :waytogo:


Edited by nytecam, 31 October 2014 - 04:08 AM.


#11 mclewis1

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 06:00 AM

Roland's shot of the cross (the one where you can actually resolve the 4 optical components) was taken with "only" (can one ever really say "only" about one of Roland's scopes?) a 10" scope (not 20") but operating at f22 (so about 5500mm focal length) and using an older camera with similarly sized (just slightly smaller) pixels to the SX MX2. The MX2 likely has a substantial advantage in sensitivity allowing for the much shorter exposures used. His big Mak is beautifully executed with very smooth and well corrected optics, it also has a very small central obstruction so that again helps with the contrast and resolution.

 

The unsharp masking technique applied to the image also removed a lot of the noise in the area of the cross allowing the 4 optical elements to show up.

 

To get close to this type of shot with a color camera you'd need substantially longer focal length to compensate for the reduction in resolution at the sensor level. This type of shot (high resolution, and faint) is where a monochrome camera really shows it's benefits over a color model. Plus of course great optics and really good sky conditions (stability). I'll bet that a good quality big SCT with a good quality Barlow and one of the newer more sensitive planetary cameras should also be able to resolve the cross shape under good sky conditions.

 

If you can't start to resolve Neptune, or some of Jupiter's moons, or double stars with less than 3" separation then you probably won't have the resolution required to try for the cross shape of this object. 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot in all of this ... that's a really great shot Maurice.


Edited by mclewis1, 31 October 2014 - 06:03 AM.


#12 nytecam

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:14 AM

Roland's shot of the cross (the one where you can actually resolve the 4 optical components) was taken with "only" (can one ever really say "only" about one of Roland's scopes?) a 10" scope (not 20") but operating at f22 (so about 5500mm focal length) and using an older camera with similarly sized (just slightly smaller) pixels to the SX MX2. The MX2 likely has a substantial advantage in sensitivity allowing for the much shorter exposures used. His big Mak is beautifully executed with very smooth and well corrected optics, it also has a very small central obstruction so that again helps with the contrast and resolution.

 

The unsharp masking technique applied to the image also removed a lot of the noise in the area of the cross allowing the 4 optical elements to show up.

 

To get close to this type of shot with a color camera you'd need substantially longer focal length to compensate for the reduction in resolution at the sensor level. This type of shot (high resolution, and faint) is where a monochrome camera really shows it's benefits over a color model. Plus of course great optics and really good sky conditions (stability). I'll bet that a good quality big SCT with a good quality Barlow and one of the newer more sensitive planetary cameras should also be able to resolve the cross shape under good sky conditions.

 

If you can't start to resolve Neptune, or some of Jupiter's moons, or double stars with less than 3" separation then you probably won't have the resolution required to try for the cross shape of this object. 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot in all of this ... that's a really great shot Maurice.

Thanks Mike for the correction of scope used by Roland Christian [10" Mak @ f/22] to image and resolve Einstein's Cross - a remarkable achievement  :bow:   But a 10hrs accumultive exposure over two nights is way beyond my potential or patience. I'm thus more amazed at my brief 105sec result  :shocked: I do hope more EAA members will have a go ! 


Edited by nytecam, 01 November 2014 - 03:18 AM.


#13 highfnum

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 06:20 PM

Excellent



#14 jgraham

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 08:37 AM

This is certainly on my short-list, but we may not see the sky again until spring. :(




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