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NGC 4565, M82 and M51. Imaged from Bradworthy, Devon.
Intes MN61 - 15cm Maksutov-Newtonian.
StellaCam video camera. HEQ 5 mount.
This montage of galaxy images shows what can be achieved with a 15cm reflector, and dark skies. Each image was derived from several minutes of video using the StellaCams' inbuilt 'accumulate and stack' routine. The video signal was recorded on a panasonic DV camcorder and then Studio 8, Registax and Photoshop and were used to produce the final images; along with a large dose of experience and good technique!

Click for larger image

M31.Andromeda Galaxy. Pembrokshire, Wales. UK 1993
135mm f2.8 telephoto lens on a Cosina 35mm SLR
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This picture was taken on a camping holiday. The sky was very dark and the whole experience was magic. The camera was piggybacked on a 20cm SCT and the exposure was 12 minutes on Fufichrome 400. Dark dust lanes can be clearly seen. Again, the slide was scanned on an Imacon Flextight and finished in Photoshop. Returning to the area nearly 10 years later it was sad to see the decline in sky quality.
M31 Andromeda
Lagoon & Triffid nebulae. Pembrokshire,Wales. UK 1993
135mm f2.8 telephoto lens on a Cosina 35mm SLR.
The details for this picture are the same as for the preceeding picture. It shows the Sagittarius region of the milkyway and apart from the two bright nebulae in the centre the image contains many other objects such as open clusters and globular clusters.
Sagittarius
The North America Nebula. Crowborough, East Sussex. UK
80mm f5 refractor. Zenith 35mm body. Kodak Elite 400.
A 20 minute exposure has revealed this large scale nebula, NGC 7000 in all its splendor. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to its namesake, this nebula in Cygnus can be dificult to spot under urban and suburban skies. The film frame was given a pre-flash before begining the exposure. Pre-flash is a technique used to maximise the sensitivity of film. Although most interest now is in electronic imaging this type of wide angle image demonstrates that there is still useful life left in silver halides! The resulting transparency was scanned in on a Jessops prime 1800 scanner.
NGC 7000
M57. The ring nebula. Imaged from Nottingham. UK
20cm SCT. Home built CCD camera.
Taken with a home made ccd camera (pre cookbook) this image took much effort to achieve. The ccd chip (TC 211) is so tiny that simply placing the object on the chip took an hour. The exposure was about 3 minutes, unguided. The central star and structure in the lobes can be seen. The camera was later 'retired' as the whole process was too time consuming.
M57 Ring
M42. The Orion Nebula. Imaged from Nottingham. UK
500mm Mirror Lens on a 35mm Cosina SLR
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An early effort at astrophotography. This picture was taken with snow on the ground. The exposure was guided for 30minutes, after which time there was no feeling in toes or fingers. The film used was Konica 3200 negative film. The prints made at the time were very disappointing. It was only years later that scanning on an Imacon Flextight and finishing in Photoshop that the true picture was revealed.

M42 Orion

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