Photo Trip - Bonny Doon Airfield

Oct 29, 2005

After the first cold front of the season came through, skies were very clear and dark. Shahram and I converged on the SCAC starparty at Bonny Doon Airfield. I focused on getting images and learning more about how to use the SBIG ST2000XCM with the Megrez APO on the GM8 mount. Shahram learned more about use of the Meade DSI on the 10" LXD50 Schmidt-Newtonian. I took a brief nap before heading up and was good to go all night long. Got several very nice images, even though calibration of the autoguider was still problematic. As I slowly get them processed, they'll begin to populate this page...

Shahram controlling the Meade DSI from his command center

Chris Angelos and other SCAC members wandered by to see what we were up to

Set-up and post processing of SBIG ST2000XCM Images

Because of imperfect autoguiding calibration, and to reduce pixelation I took 5min shots to stack together. Image acquisition was done under CCDOPS ver. 5, temperature set to -30C below ambient. Each 5min shot was dark-subtracted before saving. Aligning and stacking was done in Registax 3. A 64-pixel alignment box seemed to work most of the time.

The Pelican Nebula - RGB color processed in CCDOPS, 9x5min stacked in Registax3, standard wavelet processing, then curved, sized, and cropped in PhotoShop 7

Andromeda Galaxy - sRGB + gamma, single-shot color processed in CCDOPS, 6x5min stacked in Registax3, then curved, color balanced, saturation adjusted, and unsharp masked in Photoshop 7. Focus could've been sharper.

Rosette Nebula - sRGB+gamma, single shot color processed in CCDOPS, 14x5min stacked in Registax3, then curved and unsharp masked in Photoshop 7. Some twilight in last 2 frames.

NGC 6820, in Vulpecula. sRGB+gamma, single shot color processed in CCDOPS, 7x5min stacked in Registax3, then curved and gaussian blurred in Photoshop 7 to reduce color pixel noise. This is a very faint nebula and noise is very high at this short exposure. It really needs more like 4 hours, like this one.


This is a stack of 2x30min images, sRGB single-shot color processed with both the red and blue channels heightened slightly. Jay helped with the stacking, using Photoshop 7 layers and manual aligning. I then cropped, rotated, and adjusted the levels.