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EAA Monthly Observing Challenge - June 2021

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#1 Alien Observatory

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 08:50 PM

June 2021 Observing Challenge…Have Fun… Pat Utah

 

Easy:  M5, M27,  M64

 

M5: Discovered by Gottfried Kirch and his wife Maria Margarethe in 1702.  Charles Messier found it independently in 1764.  William Herschel resolved individual stars in the cluster in 1791; he counted 200 of them with his “Forty-Foot" reflector.   The Great Forty-Foot telescope completed construction in1789.  It used a 48-inch diameter primary mirror with a 40-foot-long focal length (hence its name "Forty-Foot").  It was the largest telescope in the world for 50 years.

 

 

51176804356_b1c6cfda16_c.jpgM5 ZWO183c, C9.25

 

 

M27:  The Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula, at a distance of about 1360 light-years  It was the First such nebula to be discovered, by Charles Messier in 1764. It has a visual magnitude of 7.5 and a diameter of about 8 arcminutes.

 

 

51176783153_88b5bdf3a1_c.jpgM27, ZWOI 224, C9.25

 

 

M27 Redux: For the newer EAA Folks, a recorded Live View of M27 at 3 frames per second using a C11 with a Hyperstar and a 1/2 CCD (640 x 480) Mallin Cam at near Max gain.  This is an example of one of the stepping stones in the evolution of EAA as we know it today.  

 

 

51176564406_7ea2edba30.jpgM27 Video, C11@F2, MC Jr Pro, 3 fps, Max Gain

 

 

M64: The Black Eye Galaxy was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779.  A dark band of absorbing dust partially in front of its bright nucleus gave rise to its nickname of the "Black Eye” Galaxy. 

 

51176754801_918d858ac9_c.jpgM64, ZWO 183m, C9.25

 

 

Medium:  M16 Eagle, M17 Swan and a Close up Challenge: The Pillars of Creation

 

M16:  The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16)  was discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745–46. The nebula contains several active star-forming gas and dust regions, including the Pillars of Creation. The Eagle Nebula lies in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way.

 

 

35724246283_ab5c355d6b_c.jpgM16, ZWO 290, C9.25,1

 

 

Pillars of Creation:  The "Pillars of Creation", depicts a large region of star formation. Its small dark pockets are believed to be protostars (Bok globules). 

 

 

36595529716_765185cf47_z.jpgM16, ZWO290m, C9.25, Crop 3 by pfagen1, on Flickr

 

 

M17:  The Swan Nebula  was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745.  The Swan Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter.  It is considered one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions of our galaxy.

 

 

51183297837_b93aba8dd4_c.jpgM17 Nikon D3400, C9.25

 

 

 

Difficult:  IC 1470, NGC 6543, M1-92

 

IC 1470:  Pearl on Tongue Nebula, also designated as Sh2-156, is a small emission nebula in constellation Cepheus, at a distance of about 16,000 light-years.

 

51177633670_a88d4104d5_z.jpgIC1470, C11, MC Jr Pro

 

 

NGC 6543:  The Cats Eye Planetary Nebula found in Draco and discovered by William Herschel on February 15, 1786.  It has a bright, bluish disk and a faint central star.

 

51176763573_51169108dc_z.jpgNGC 6543, ZWO 224, C9.25

 

 

M1-92:  Minkowski 92, the Foot Print Nebula, is a 11th magnitude Bright Nebula appearing in the constellation Cygnus.  Two onion-shaped structures either side of an aging star, giving it a very distinctive shape. It will be very difficult to image at Mag 11.


Edited by Alien Observatory, 31 May 2021 - 09:13 PM.

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#2 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:04 AM

Great choices, Pat! I'm looking forward to  M16 and M17 in particular.


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#3 Cey42

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:22 PM

Here is the SkySafari observing list.

 

Attached File  June2021.skylist   1.68KB   15 downloads

 

Looks like a great list. Unfortunately, several of these are not in good observing location until 2am which is way past my bed time.


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#4 Alien Observatory

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 08:30 PM

Here is the SkySafari observing list.

 

attachicon.gifJune2021.skylist

 

Looks like a great list. Unfortunately, several of these are not in good observing location until 2am which is way past my bed time.

Most will get better viewing later in the month and the longest day of the year will be here in a couple of weeks.  As we have observers scattered around the planet, it is hard to get an optimal view for all latitudes.  

 

Pat Utah :)


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#5 GaryShaw

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 09:32 AM

It amazes me what we can see as EAA observers - even with streaks of high, thin clouds rolling by. These two early-setters on this months list were fun to observe and sketch last night in the final week before the mosquitos here decide it's time to torture late night astronomers. Then I'll be torn whether to move inside or put up with them to stay outside under the night sky.

 

As Pat says, the rest of our challenges will have to wait for later in the month. Don't know how the clouds will be then but we'll have the added delight of the Moon to deal with.

 

Cheers,

Gary

 

ps: Do you folks in the EU have to deal with the Moon.. or... is it just for us blighters over the Pond?

 

 

M5

13 frames / 4 secs/ 300 gain/ darks only / no filters/ Bortle 8+ and 178MM for both

 

M5_reduced_13frames_52s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg

 

 

M64 Blackeye Galaxy

 

119 frames/ 8 secs/ 300 gain/ darks only/ no filters ( I should have cropped this, the detail in near the core was pretty decent )

 

M64_reduced_119frames_952s_WithDisplayStretch.jpg


Edited by GaryShaw, 02 June 2021 - 06:03 PM.

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#6 Shaney

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 04:46 PM

Taken June 1st from my Bortle 5/6 backyard. C8, f/6.3 FR, AVX, ASI533MC Pro with UV/IR cut filter, gain 300, Orion ST80 guide scope, Orion SSAG guide camera.

 

M5: 4 x 60 seconds unguided

M64: 5 x 60 seconds unguided

M16: 5 x 120 seconds guided

M17: 3 x 120 seconds guided

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#7 Shaney

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 04:50 PM

Same info as above. I’ll have to get the others later in the month.

 

M16 Pillars of Creation: 5 x 120 seconds guided; cropped from M16 image

NGC 6543: 5 x 60 seconds unguided

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#8 GaryShaw

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 06:01 PM

Hi Shaney

Of course each to his own approach, but 120 second, guided single exposures doesn’t really square with what I’d think of as ‘live’ EAA observing which is, after all, the main theme in this Forum. As you’ll probably note over the course of the month, folks are having a more live observing experience with exposures ranging from 2-15 seconds. With live stacking in Sharpcap, guiding also becomes an unnecessary complexity. 
 

EAA offers a great way to simplify our process and enjoy a more immediate and ‘live’ observing experience. It seems really a bit more like the immediacy and direct connection we get with the sky when doing ‘visual’ observing. In our light polluted world, the camera gives us back what we’ve lost forever using just the eyepiece. Short exposures and fewer layers of technology help make it all feel a little more ‘real’, more about the sky and the great things there to learn about. Just my take on it. 
cheers

Gary


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#9 Alien Observatory

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 09:26 PM

I think the more the better in the EAA tent.  More different telescopes, more different cams, more different mounts, more different ways.  The EAA world is not just 10 sec subs stacked in SC.  Any view and any image is good to see.  Just NO Post Processing is the difference between EAA and everything else (AP, Solar, Lunar).   Pat Utah smile.gif


Edited by Alien Observatory, 02 June 2021 - 09:46 PM.

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#10 Shaney

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 05:42 AM

Gary,

 

 I understand what you are saying, but what is the difference between you spending 8 seconds x 119 exposures for a total of 952 seconds vs me at 5 x 60 seconds for a total of 300 seconds on M64? Why did you spend so much time on it? You have unnecessarily extended the time on that object when you probably had a decent image after 124 seconds. Not trying to stir up trouble, but coming at it from a different point of view. 

 

If you have seen any of my past monthly challenge entries, you would have noticed that most of my images are sub 30 second live stacks. When I do an outreach/ star party, I keep all of my exposures under 30 seconds to ensure I keep the attention of those who are involved.

 

I had the time over the last two monthly challenges to try some different techniques. It's still live stacking images. They are still unprocessed images. Anyone looking through these will have a visual understanding of the difference in images between yours and others shorter exposures and my 60+ second exposures. Why not show the difference if we can? It's all about bringing an image to the table for others to enjoy and learn from, correct? If everyone used the exact same exposure settings, it would be pretty boring in my opinion. Embrace the difference between our imaging techniques. My way isn't the correct way all the time, and neither is anyone else's, but I have learned a ton from you, Pat, and everyone else in this forum. Trying new approaches or different ideas isn't a bad thing.

 

Shane

Hi Shaney

Of course each to his own approach, but 120 second, guided single exposures doesn’t really square with what I’d think of as ‘live’ EAA observing which is, after all, the main theme in this Forum. As you’ll probably note over the course of the month, folks are having a more live observing experience with exposures ranging from 2-15 seconds. With live stacking in Sharpcap, guiding also becomes an unnecessary complexity. 
 

EAA offers a great way to simplify our process and enjoy a more immediate and ‘live’ observing experience. It seems really a bit more like the immediacy and direct connection we get with the sky when doing ‘visual’ observing. In our light polluted world, the camera gives us back what we’ve lost forever using just the eyepiece. Short exposures and fewer layers of technology help make it all feel a little more ‘real’, more about the sky and the great things there to learn about. Just my take on it. 
cheers

Gary


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#11 alphatripleplus

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:29 AM

Moderator note:

 

Everyone let's get back on topic to posting captures of the Monthly Challenge. If you want to discuss the pros/cons of long/short subs and what is appropriate for EAA, please start a new topic on that subject. Thanks.


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#12 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:47 AM

Hi Shane:

I agree with yours (and Pats) comments pointing out that ‘it’s all good’ in EAA and we all get to do what pleases us - except, as you said, no post process. I actually thought you were new to EAA (sorry for not recalling your past postings) and that you might not have tried shorter exposures for the more immediate, live viewing - hence my comments. 
 

BTW, your comment about total integration time is a good one. In my case, I often end up with lots of frames whether I’m doing short exposures or longer, 12-15 second ones, such as I need when using a filter for nebulae, etc. While the image is building, I’m often sketching so I do spend a lot of time with the object - stretching, zooming and fooling with it in SC to bring out detail to show in the sketch. For me the 10-15+ minutes I sometimes spend acquiring data, isn’t about trying to end up with a nice picture, it’s about studying the object and trying to learn and sketch what I can. I’ll often have a browser open on my second screen looking at more detailed images by others and reading about the object. While that’s my approach, for many others, EAA is a bit more like AP ‘lite’, where there’s more importance placed on the composition and quality of the final image. 

 

Anyway, every time I observe, I’m amazed at what we can all see up there with such modest gear. I’ll look forward to more of your images.

Take care,

Gary
 


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#13 GaryShaw

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:48 AM

Moderator note:

 

Everyone let's get back on topic to posting captures of the Monthly Challenge. If you want to discuss the pros/cons of long/short subs and what is appropriate for EAA, please start a new topic on that subject. Thanks.

Sorry Errol, I didn’t see your note until I just did my last post on the sidebar topic…back to images!

Gary 



#14 PeterAB

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 11:49 AM

Hello,
 
Thanks for the suggested objects.    I'm just starting with EAA with the objective of obtaining "snapshots" of objects that show more detail of objects my aperture and sky conditions allow.   This image meets my objective.    I'm working on being quicker.   I'd like to just swap my camera with the eyepiece, push a button and have an image a couple of minutes latter.    
 
This M5 was taken from my city backyard.    127mm Maksutov on a CG-4 mount with motors.    Svbony sv305 pro.   0.5 reducer.
 
24 28-Second frames stacked.   Gain 30 (maximum)  Live stack stretched hysterogram a little.   Colors not adjusted.   No postprocessing.   Uncropped.
 
Thanks for any suggestions.  Peter

 

M5-Stack 24frames 681s

Edited by PeterAB, 03 June 2021 - 01:43 PM.

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#15 Alien Observatory

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 12:27 PM

Well Peter, you almost fooled me  smile.gif

 

Astronomy.net confirmed your image is M5 not M4...and TY for your image.  I think you are doing very well with your set up...   Pat Utah smile.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.22.39 AM.jpg

Edited by Alien Observatory, 03 June 2021 - 12:28 PM.


#16 PeterAB

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the correction.    I did shoot m5, typo in my post.   I'll edit my post.

 

Peter


Edited by PeterAB, 03 June 2021 - 01:19 PM.

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#17 Cey42

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 08:20 PM

M5
This is so entrancing to look at and see some many stars
55x6s. Gain 300

M5-6_2_2021-55x6s.jpg

 

 

M64
I like the dark dust band
50x12s. Gain 300.

M64-6_2_2021-50x12s.jpg

 

 

 

Equipment

  • Celestron 8” SCT
  • Celestron Advanced VX mount
  • ZWO ASI294MM
  • Celestron F6.3 focal reducer
  • Optolong LPro filter
  • Darks/Flats applied
  • Offset 10, binning of 1 for all images
  • Bortle 7 (red zone).
  • Seeing Poor.
  • Live Stacked.  Screen Saved (Cropped and Resized)

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#18 PeterAB

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 09:06 AM

Hi,

 

I took a crack at M64 last night.    It was a difficult target for me.     There are a surprising lack of field stars around m64.     My setup has a very narrow field of view.     Hard to get alignment stars for stacking without going too long on exposures.    It was windy out, and I think my telescope was bouncing around a bit.     I could see the galaxy with the eye and the dust band on the screen.   That was cool.    Nothing worth saving.    Still way more detail than my eyepiece views which I describe as large, dim, and fuzzy.

 

Anyway, I stayed up too late.   M27 came up over the trees so I stayed up latter and got this.   

 

M27
 

22 30-second exposures.    No post processing.   Uncropped.  Hysterogram stretched.  Gain 30 (max).   127mm Maksutov on a CG-4 mount with a motor.   Svbony sv305 pro with 0.5 reducer.   City backyard 3.5 naked eye limiting magnitude.

 

Peter


Edited by PeterAB, 05 June 2021 - 09:10 AM.

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#19 drprs8181

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 04:30 PM

I'm just getting into EAA, but I've been bitten by the bug for sure. Last night was my third attempt at this and I just got an AT80ED to play with. 

 

Equipment:

  • Z130 and AT80ED
  • ZWO ASI224MC
  • AZ-GTe Mount in Alt-Az mode

Details:

  • Images live stacked in Sharpcap, darks and flats applied, histogram adjusted then "Save as seen"
  • Bortle 6

   

M5 -  6/3/21 @ 2140  -  31x10s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Average - AT80ED

M5 6.3.21
 
M27 - 6/4/21 @ 0050 - 51x10s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Average - Z130
Dumbbell Nebula 6.4.21
 
M16 - 6/4/21 @ 2330 - 42x15s | Gain 350 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED
Eagle Nebula 6.4.21
 
M17 - 6/4/21 @ 2250 - 42x15s | Gain 350 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED
Swan Nebula 6.4.21

Edited by drprs8181, 05 June 2021 - 04:30 PM.

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#20 Bob Campbell

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 06:24 PM

 

I'm just getting into EAA, but I've been bitten by the bug for sure. Last night was my third attempt at this and I just got an AT80ED to play with. 

 

Equipment:

  • Z130 and AT80ED
  • ZWO ASI224MC
  • AZ-GTe Mount in Alt-Az mode

Details:

  • Images live stacked in Sharpcap, darks and flats applied, histogram adjusted then "Save as seen"
  • Bortle 6

   

M5 -  6/3/21 @ 2140  -  31x10s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Average - AT80ED

 
 
M27 - 6/4/21 @ 0050 - 51x10s | Gain 300 - Transparency: Average - Z130
 
 
M16 - 6/4/21 @ 2330 - 42x15s | Gain 350 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED
 
 
M17 - 6/4/21 @ 2250 - 42x15s | Gain 350 - Transparency: Good - AT80ED

 

Impressive results for a az-gte/80mm/224. congrats!


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#21 drprs8181

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 07:26 PM

Impressive results for a az-gte/80mm/224. congrats!

Thank you sir!  Still feel like there's lots to learn, but it's been fun so far.


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#22 bmcclana

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 01:56 PM

M27

 

C5 with .63 reducer, playerone Mars-C 900x5s (~15min),  AZ-GTi, as captured, just cropped and jpeg’d.

 

taken just over the neighbors roof.  I’m not confident in my focus.

 

this is my favorite object in the sky, I foresee spending a lot of time on this one this summer.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#23 bthrel

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 03:22 PM

Only had a short window so far this month, perpetuarly  cloudy here in mid TN these days.

M27 - 11x8s frames, 285gain, Scope - William Optics 120MM F7.5 Megrez, Camera - ZWO ASI 294PRO

 

M27 - Stack 11frames 88s

 

 


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#24 Bob Campbell

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 03:45 PM

Hi All

 

Here is  M64 June 5, 2021. Scottsdale, AZ 93F at 10pm

 

Vixen VMC110L native fl of 1034mm

ASI294MC-Pro @ -5C

SW AZ-GTI mount

Bortle 8, streetlights everywhere :-)

Live Stack with Sharpcap Pro 105x10.3 sec

El Cheapo Gorsky LP filter, no flats, 1 darks

File cropped to current size, no other processing

 

Did you know the outer arms of M64 are rotating in the opposite direction of the inner arms? Weird! Must have had some calamity a billion or so years ago.

Comments Welcome!

Bob

Attached Thumbnails

  • M64_no_proc_cropped_105_1092sec.jpg

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#25 MartinMeredith

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 06:34 AM

Nice selection of objects. I'd not heard of the tongue/pearl but its a great description. Here's a shot from last night.

 

Sh 2-156 07Jun21_12_50_53.jpg

 

Martin


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