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The Tarantula. {Now updated with The Horsehead}

RB astro

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Another one of my astro shots that I wanted to share with you.

The Tarantula Nebula.
This nebula is located inside the Large Magellanic Cloud and is one of the largest emission nebulas in our skies.

Officially known as: NGC 2070 - The Tarantula Nebula.
It derives it's name from the wispy spidery shape emanating from it's core.

DSLRs set on ISO 400, 2 hour total exposure time.

Hope you enjoy.

 
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OVNI

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Re: The Tarantula.

That looks awesome. Are the colors real? Do you have a tracking telescope?
 

Sigurthr

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Re: The Tarantula.

Awesome shot! I want lens info though XD. Yeah looks like true colors too.
 

BowtieGuy

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Re: The Tarantula.

Another stunning photo RB, thanks for sharing! :kewlpics:
 

RedCowboy

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Re: The Tarantula.

Wow, that's amazing.
You no doubt have a motorized camera mount to stay on target as the earth rotates, that's no easy task to get a clear 2 hour exposure now is it?
 

Teej

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Re: The Tarantula.

Beautiful Picture Andrew!

:gj:
 

RB astro

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Re: The Tarantula.

Thanks everyone glad you liked it, really appreciate your feedback, I'll answer everyone's questions in one post.

The colours are real but they are slightly different to normal DSLR colour response because I used a combination of two cameras.
One was a normal DSLR, to pick up detail, the other was a same model DSLR but it was modified to have a higher wavelength response, not normally visible to the normal camera, enabling it to capture Hydrogen Alpha emission from this nebula, hence the beautiful hues you see here.
Our eyes don't see colour when we look through the telescope because of the tiny light levels astronomical objects emit.
Our Rods and Cones aren't sensitive enough to detect colour.
That's why a lot of people are disappointed when they look through a telescope because the advertisements show wonderful colour images like this on the box but they don't tell you that it's not what you'll see.

So to capture colour we need a very long exposure to enable the image to 'build up' on the image sensor.

This creates two problems:

One - the earth's rotation will cause the stars to 'streak' across the sensor instead of being pinpoints, so we use a electronic tracking mount to counteract the earth's rotation effectively keeping the stars stationary on the sensor for two hours.
Difficult to do so we also use a smaller scope to guide the mount, which is trained to 'follow' one single star as it shifts.
The guide scope keeps this guide star in it's crosshairs feeding info back into the computer for the mount to make tiny adjustments constantly, yielding a perfectly 'stationary' image on the camera sensor.

Two - The camera's sensor heats up quickly when exposing, analogous to the duty cycle of a laser, creating ugly 'noise' in the image which must be minimised.
To combat 'heat noise' we instead limit the exposures to under 10 minutes at a time, allowing the camera to cool down in between exposures and then combine all the exposures to create the equivalent of a two hour exposure.
Also, we take what's called 'a dark frame' for each corresponding exposure, equal to the length of that exposure but with the lens cap on.
This records the 'noise' pattern generated by the sensor for that particular exposure and ambient temperature which we then 'subtract' from the original exposure leaving a beautiful clean image.

The telescope I used for this was a beautiful 130mm aperture f/5.8 pictured below, notice my lovely 20mW, 532nm greenie that I use for aligning the scopes sitting on top.

:)


 

Laser Chick

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Re: The Tarantula.

Stunning to say the least. You sure know your stuff about capturing heavenly bodies!! I keep my photography grounded with landscape and wildlife.
In about 10 days I am doing a shoot in PA and MD for Elk and Birds of Prey.
My longest shots will be about 950 yards, not trillions of miles!!

BTW ... what you talking about rotate and tracking?!? FE disagree ;) :D
 

olympus mons

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Re: The Tarantula.

Man RB, you have quite a talent for Astrophotogrophy! That shot looks as good as any Hubbel images I've seen. That's a hobby I really hope to engage in someday when I have the money. I've been researching telescopes for a couple years now. Someday that will be an exciting new hobby of mine I hope. Great work.
Have you ever considered making your own thread displaying some of your favorite pictures? I think it would be very appreciated.

This may be a stupid question but I've always wanted to know how much terrain can you capture on the moon with your set up. Which btw, your rig is amazingly impressive and I had no idea how much work goes into capturing the colors and details like you do. Anyways, back to the moon. Can you capture the rim of a crater or lunar mountains? Could the Hubbel get an image of the left behind vehicles from our moon landings? It seems to a laymen that it should considering the images the Hubble captures from the other side of the universe but since I've never seen something like that maybe it's not possible.
 
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OVNI

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Re: The Tarantula.

Very sophisticated! That hobby has some teeth. Did you shoot the Horsehead Nebula in your avatar?
 

RB astro

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Re: The Tarantula.

In about 10 days I am doing a shoot in PA and MD for Elk and Birds of Prey.

BTW ... what you talking about rotate and tracking?!? FE disagree ;) :D
Thank you L.Chick.
I look forward to your shots.
LOL, yes the Flat Earthers, I forgot about that.
How would they explain 'circular star trails', hah?
Good point.
Ah, but then anything's possible on The Truman Show I suppose. :pop:

Man RB, you have quite a talent for Astrophotogrophy! That shot looks as good as any Hubbel images I've seen. That's a hobby I really hope to engage in someday when I have the money. I've been researching telescopes for a couple years now. Someday that will be an exciting new hobby of mine I hope. Great work.
Have you ever considered making your own thread displaying some of your favorite pictures? I think it would be very appreciated.

This may be a stupid question but I've always wanted to know how much terrain can you capture on the moon with your set up. Which btw, your rig is amazingly impressive and I had no idea how much work goes into capturing the colors and details like you do. Anyways, back to the moon. Can you capture the rim of a crater or lunar mountains? Could the Hubbel get an image of the left behind vehicles from our moon landings? It seems to a laymen that it should considering the images the Hubble captures from the other side of the universe but since I've never seen something like that maybe it's not possible.
Thank you so much Olympus M.
Every amateur astrophotographer likes to be complemented by being compared to Hubble, so thank you. :yh:

I might make a thread with all my favourites one day.

Your question is not stupid at all, in fact it's very valid.
My setup is quite flexible but it depends on what I use to capture an image with that dictates the image scale of the photo.
I mainly do deep space images so I use a DSLR with a sensor that's approx. 35mm or a bit smaller.
This yields nice deep space image scale but if I was to use it on the moon or the sun, I could only achieve a full moon/sun disk, I couldn't zoom in much further because of the natural optics of the scope.

I can achieve lunar terrain type images but I'd need to use something smaller like a good old web cam believe it or not.
The tiny sensor of a web cam is much better suited for lunar 'close up' terrain type images, (also good for planets).
It's just that the sun, moon and planets are way too close to the earth for the type of setup I use with the DSLR to be suitable, same goes for Hubble, it's forte is Deep Space Imagery.
Also, even with super close up imagery by the world's best astronomers of those magnificent craters, which are anything from a few hundred meters to a few miles across, from earth it's optically not possible to capture at a resolution of a few meters, which is what's needed to see the Apollo landing sites.
(Boy the Flat Earthers will have a field day with that statement) :tinfoil:
Anyway hope that answerers your questions. :yh:

Very sophisticated! That hobby has some teeth. Did you shoot the Horsehead Nebula in your avatar?
Thanks Ovni, yes my avatar is of my favourite image that I've taken and correct it's the Horsehead and Flame Nebula.

 
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GSS

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Re: The Tarantula.

WoW WoW! Every possible loving comment has been given so thats all I have but I was thinking the being compared to the Hubble. Im so ignorant that I didnt think these images were possible without the huge constructed telescopes mounted on mountians. Living in a light pollution heavy city and money needed my best chance to explore the stars would be "Im guessing" is to start with the moon. RB astro what would be the cheapest equipment needed to see some of the terrain on the moon or even somewhat the craters? Mind you my best ever telescope was a $24.99 Walmart special:eek::whistle: Again these pics are just to awesome and such a treat Edit..Olympus I totally skipped over the part of your moon questions, your far far away from me as experience goes, actually I have none so mabey you can help with my question also.Ive wondered too if anything we left behind is still visible on the moon or is it buried in moon dust?
 
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RB astro

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Re: The Tarantula.

WoW WoW! Every possible loving comment has been given so thats all I have but I was thinking the being compared to the Hubble.
RB astro what would be the cheapest equipment needed to see some of the terrain on the moon or even somewhat the craters? Mind you my best ever telescope was a $24.99 Walmart special:eek::whistle: Again these pics are just to awesome and such a treat Edit.
Ive wondered too if anything we left behind is still visible on the moon or is it buried in moon dust?
You're too kind GSS (and everyone), glad you enjoyed.

The cheapest gear to start exploring the moon is a basic set of Binoculars but these get tiresome to hold steady while getting good magnification.

For just visual use, to see detail on the moon, you can pick up a decent scope for a few hundred dollars (USD) I presume.
The most important thing to look for is a SOLID mount to hold the scope, it's no use getting a bigger scope if the mount isn't capable of holding it steady, it'll drive you crazy with it's wobbles every time you adjust it.

Visually you can zoom in and see good detail on the moon, you just need higher power eyepieces.
Taking images, as I said, gets a little more complex.
It's shameful how we've polluted our world, and light pollution is atrocious in all our major cities around the world.
In places you are hard pressed to even see a few stars.... unbelievable !
I'm lucky where I am, I can see the Milky Way stretching across from horizon to horizon using just my naked eyes !!!

Also I should stress, NEVER point a scope towards the sun (you need special filtration), safety first, JUST like laser protection !

Now as to dust on the moon, yes some things (family photos left on the ground) may have been covered over with some cosmic dust falling but not to the extent of being completely covered since there's no wind (atmosphere) on the moon to create a big coverage, unlike on Mars where dust storms are a daily occurrence.

:yh:
 

GSS

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Re: The Tarantula.

RB, thanks for the advice I can imagine how many people come up to you while your setting up and ask "How can I get into That?" So I guess im no better:whistle: For around $200 maby its doable? I want it just for viewing no pics. You mentioned that the eye piece is the trick for the most part with a steady stand. I dont know whats around my area as far as stores with a qualified worker so im guessing on line these days is it. Im going to have to do some of my own homework but can you please point me where to start as far as stores. Im so sorry to thread jack but your pics do make your mind wonder. As what Olympus asked, you said there is no wind dust so is it possible to see remains on the moon? It is kinda surprising that we havent seen attempts or pics of this or is it "clouded"in secret. Lets hope this city pollution never ever reaches you RB. Thx again
 

RB astro

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Re: The Tarantula.

RB, thanks for the advice I can imagine how many people come up to you while your setting up and ask "How can I get into That?" So I guess im no better:whistle: For around $200 maby its doable? I want it just for viewing no pics. You mentioned that the eye piece is the trick for the most part with a steady stand. I dont know whats around my area as far as stores with a qualified worker so im guessing on line these days is it. Im going to have to do some of my own homework but can you please point me where to start as far as stores. Im so sorry to thread jack but your pics do make your mind wonder. As what Olympus asked, you said there is no wind dust so is it possible to see remains on the moon? It is kinda surprising that we havent seen attempts or pics of this or is it "clouded"in secret. Lets hope this city pollution never ever reaches you RB. Thx again
It's my pleasure to try and help answer your astro questions.
Problem is I'm not familiar with the prices or physical stores in the U.S.
Our AU dollar has taken a dive lately but I would suggest you get in contact with a local astro society or even join up to an astro forum.
Cloudy Nights is huge forum and a great place to ask for local advice.
I would assume a few hundred dollars would get you started in visual astronomy.
For online sales OPT Corp (Oceanside Photo and Telescope) is a great place to shop and ask for advice online.
As for eyepieces if you get a few different focal lengths it will give you a nice range (say 10mm, 16mm and a 25mm) or you can buy a zooming eyepiece that will do a range of focal lengths.
Scopes usually come with a couple of eyepieces, then see how you go and later you can upgrade.

As for the dust on the moon, have a quick re-read of my reply to Olympus M.
Even if the Apollo equipment left up there is not covered by dust, it's not physically possible to resolve visually with our optical earth based telescopes, physics doesn't allow the required resolution to see down to a few meters on the moon.
Best that we can achieve from earth based optical telescopes is a few hundreds of meters at best.
See this link below for a quick example.
Are there telescopes that can see the flag and lunar rover on the Moon?

:yh:
 




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