Sh2-273

The complex molecular nebulous Monoceros OB1, also known as Complex Cone Nebula or the initials of the catalog Sh2-273, is a large H II region connected to a giant molecular cloud, situated in the direction of the constellation; It includes several reflection nebulae and other dark regions, as well as the famous Cone Nebula, located in a central position with respect to the cloud. It is about 2480 ly from the solar system, on the outer edge of the Orion Arm. The region is ionized and excited by the massive stars Monoceros association OB OB 1, which coincides almost entirely with the open cluster known as NGC 2264. The complex is also associated with the famous Hubble’s Variable Nebula, visible on the left side of the image, a cloud of cometary appearance generated by the star R Monocerotis, located inside.(Text adapted from Wikipedia)

sh2-273

Sh2-160

Continuo finalmente a mettere mano a file grezzi che attendevano di essere elaborati. Questa, tanto per chiarirsi, è una mia ripresa del 2014. Rispetto a come elaboro di solito le regioni ad emissione e vista anche la debolezza di quest’ultima, ho deciso di mantenere l’apporto di H-alfa meno invadente: questo proprio anche per sottolineare quanto deboli siano queste strutture.

Come sempre cliccando sulla ripresa qui sotto verrete portati sul mio sito dove potrete vedere una versione a risoluzione più alta e qualche informazione sulla ripresa.

sh2-160

AstroScheduler: una tipica sessione di ripresa

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L’appetito vien mangiando ed avendo AstroScheduler in fase beta, posso cominciare a divertirmi. Ho iniziato quindi a riprendere, in notti diverse, la galassia IC342 nella Giraffa. Le riprese sono concluse, ma non sono state ancora elaborate. Ci tenevo però a farvi vedere il log di una notte di osservazioni automatiche di AstroScheduler.

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Being AstroScheduler now in Beta version, I may start to have fun with it. I began to image, in different nights, the galaxy IC342 in Camelopardis. The imaging session on this galaxy is completed, but the image is not processed yet. However I wanted to show you a log of a full automated night of imaging by  AstroScheduler.

[160926 22:25:28.825] Script D:\workspace\AstroScheduler_Standalone_0.32\IC342_RGBLH2 opened 
[160926 22:25:30.530] # Messa a fuoco su: 03 46 01 67 12 04 
[160926 22:25:30.532] # Target 1: 03 46 49 68 05 43 IC342 
[160926 22:25:30.534] @ 2016-09-26 22:25:30 
[160926 22:25:30.536] Time is now 
[160926 22:25:34.538] mount on 
[160926 22:25:34.543] Mount connected 
[160926 22:25:38.546] maximccd on 
[160926 22:25:40.766] Maxim Link Enabled 
[160926 22:25:44.769] maximccd temp -15 
[160926 22:25:44.789] Temp Setpoint configured 
[160926 22:25:48.791] maximccd cooleron 
[160926 22:25:48.795] CCD Cooler On 
[160926 22:25:52.798] maximccd mount on 
[160926 22:25:52.804] Mount linked to Maxim 
[160926 22:25:56.807] fmax on 
[160926 22:25:57.818] FocusMax Connected 
[160926 22:26:10.947] mount park off 
[160926 22:26:11.225] Mount Unparked 
[160926 22:26:15.232] mount track on 
[160926 22:26:20.760] Mount tracking 
[160926 22:26:24.769] waiting 5 
[160926 22:26:29.788] Time elapsed 
[160926 22:26:34.625] # Vai al target 03 46 49 68 05 43 
[160926 22:26:34.627] mount gotoeq 03 46 49 68 05 43 
[160926 22:26:42.874] Mount slew to AR:03:46:49 Dec:68:05:43 
[160926 22:26:46.887] maximccd image L 4 0 30 solve.fit 
[160926 22:27:33.075] Image captured and saved 
[160926 22:27:37.078] solver nearsync solve.fit 2000 21.6 
[160926 22:27:56.637] Center found at AR: 03:46:48 Dec: 68:05:35 
[160926 22:28:00.641] mount gotoeq 03 46 49 68 05 43 
[160926 22:28:03.997] Mount slew to AR:03:46:49 Dec:68:05:43 
[160926 22:28:07.999] maximccd image L 4 0 30 solve.fit 
[160926 22:28:54.188] Image captured and saved 
[160926 22:28:58.190] solver nearsync solve.fit 2000 21.6 
[160926 22:29:17.693] Center found at AR: 03:46:48 Dec: 68:05:39 
[160926 22:29:21.695] mount gotoeq 03 46 49 68 05 43 
[160926 22:29:25.116] Mount slew to AR:03:46:49 Dec:68:05:43 
[160926 22:29:35.529] # configura autoguida 
[160926 22:29:35.536] guider expose 2 
[160926 22:29:35.561] Guide exposure done 
[160926 22:29:39.564] waiting 5 
[160926 22:29:44.574] Time elapsed 
[160926 22:29:48.575] # guider calibrate 2 
[160926 22:29:48.578] guider track 2 
[160926 22:29:48.629] Guider Tracking 
[160926 22:29:52.631] stable 30 0.3 2 
[160926 22:30:26.863] Guiding stable 
[160926 22:30:30.865] lamp off 
[160926 22:30:30.894] IR Lamp OFF 
[160926 22:30:34.897] maximccd nimage 12 R 2 0 300 ic342_r_ 1 2 
[160926 23:41:18.365] All Images captured and saved 
[160926 23:41:22.369] maximccd nimage 12 G 2 0 300 ic342_g_ 1 2 
[160927 00:51:49.549] All Images captured and saved 
[160927 00:51:53.555] maximccd nimage 12 B 2 0 300 ic342_b_ 1 2 
[160927 02:02:29.467] All Images captured and saved 
[160927 02:02:33.469] maximccd nimage 9 L 1 0 690 ic342_l_ 1 2 
[160927 03:54:45.541] All Images captured and saved 
[160927 03:54:49.543] maximccd nimage 6 H 2 0 1200 ic342_h_ 1 2 
[160927 05:59:38.269] All Images captured and saved 
[160927 05:59:42.273] guider stop 
[160927 05:59:42.282] Guider Stopped 
[160927 05:59:46.283] lamp on 
[160927 05:59:46.302] IR Lamp ON 
[160927 05:59:50.303] # Ora si chiude 
[160927 05:59:50.304] @ 2016-09-27 05:59:50 
[160927 05:59:50.306] Time is now 
[160927 05:59:54.308] maximccd mount off 
[160927 05:59:54.311] Mount unlinked from Maxim 
[160927 05:59:58.313] mount park on 
[160927 06:00:41.618] Mount Parked 
[160927 06:00:45.631] mount track off 
[160927 06:00:45.651] Mount stop tracking 
[160927 06:00:49.654] mount off 
[160927 06:00:49.657] Mount disconnected 
[160927 06:00:53.658] fmax off 
[160927 06:00:53.772] FocusMax Disconnected 
[160927 07:10:53.449] warmup 5 300 
[160927 07:11:13.875] Warmup Done! 
[160927 07:11:17.878] maximccd cooleroff 
[160927 07:11:17.883] CCD Cooler off 
[160927 07:11:21.885] maximccd off 
[160927 07:11:22.060] Link Disabled 
[160927 07:11:30.074] shutdown now 
[160927 07:11:30.264] All disconnected  
[160927 07:11:38.451] killprocess AstroMaxGuide.exe 
[160927 07:11:38.573] AstroMaxGuide.exe killed 
[160927 07:11:42.574] killprocess MaxIm_DL.exe 
[160927 07:11:42.713] MaxIm_DL.exe killed 
[160927 07:11:46.716] killprocess FocusMax.exe 
[160927 07:11:46.853] FocusMax.exe killed 
[160927 07:11:50.854] killprocess temma.exe 
[160927 07:11:50.993] temma.exe killed 
[160927 07:11:54.995] killprocess POTH.exe 
[160927 07:11:55.115] POTH.exe killed 
[160927 07:11:59.117] Session Completed! Good Night!

M17 & IC4701

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After a long time not processing anything, mainly due to lack of new raw frames, I eventually processed this new image, of the wide field that comprises the emission nebulas M17 and IC4701. In this nice h-alpha emission rich area, I’d like to highlight the presence of the open cluster M18, of the small emission nebula Sh2-47 and of a little reflection nebula, VdB120; the last one barely visible as it is superimposed to IC4701.

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Dopo tanto tempo passato senza elaborare nessuna nuova ripresa, a causa principalmente della mancanza di nuovi frame, riesco finalmente ad elaborare questa nuova immagine, che ritrae una vasta area che comprende le nebulose di emissione M17 e IC4701. In questa bella zona ricca di emissioni H-alfa, vorrei sottolineare la presenza dell’ammasso aperto M18, della piccola nebulosa ad emissione Sh2-47 e di VdB120, una piccola nebulosa a riflessione, appena visibile dal momento che è prospetticamente sovrapposta ad IC4701.

m17_ic4701_hrgb_cn

AstroScheduler: a different approach to astroimaging

Let’s state it clear: the year 2016, at least in Italy, is one of the worse years weather-wise. It is already mid-September and the number of total integration I did this year is so scarse that I may barely process one or two images, not more.

But I didn’t sit down in front of the PC simply waiting for a better weather forecast: I exploited these later months in order to start mass coding a new exciting software, that I hope it will be helpful for all of you as much as it is useful and fun to develop to me.

I am talking about AstroScheduler. What is it? It is basically an application that falls in the cathegory of the so called “system integrators”. its role is to be able to execute an entire night of imaging from dusk to down autonomously.

Being a system integrator, AstroScheduler relies on other application in order to perform different tasks, in particular it exploits:

  • Maxim DL for imaging and autoguiding
  • Focusmax (the latest freeware version) for focusing
  • Any ASCOM mount for telescope positioning
  • The offline version of Astrometry.net, thanks to the ASPS tool, for plate solving

As a system integrator, AstroScheduler relies on the fact that all the above applications are already working fine to you when you do your typical (manual) imaging session.

In the future I plan to support PHD2 as guiding application. Other applications’ support may be suggested by the users or potential users alike.

One thing is sure: AstroScheduler was born as a personal need so it reflects my needs, but it will be up to you if and what AstroScheduler will support and implement in the future.

If there is anyone that would like to be in the beta-tester program please let me know. The ideal beta-tester should be able to use AstroScheduler and test all its features in almost any clear night, in order to speed up the testing phase.

The User Interface I decided to implement is very simple, no bells or twistles. The reason is that, in my experience giving the user many possibilities of customizations and display information leads to confuse rather then give more control of what we are using.

AstroScheduler’s main feature is that you don’t need to run AstroScheduler to be able to program your night session. You may just open the Notepad application and write the meta-commands supported by AstroScheduler anytime and anywere you want. You then only need to open the script file into AstroScheduler and let hit the “Play” button.

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And this is a sample of the script file. This is an actual script that I used during the last Star Party at Saint Barthelemy to image the emission nubula Sh2-155 in Cepheus.

@ 2016-00-02 21:45:00
# Messa a fuoco su: SAO20281 22 51 23 61 41 49
# Target: Sh2-155 22 56 48 62 37 00
mount on
maximccd on
maximccd mount on
fmax on
# Determina la posizione iniziale
maximccd image Luminanza 1 1600 60 solve.fit
solver blindsync solve.fit 450 5.2
# Vai alla stella di messa a fuoco 22 51 23 61 41 49
mount gotoeq 22 51 23 61 41 49
maximccd image Luminanza 1 1600 60 solve.fit
solver nearsync solve.fit 450 5.2
mount gotoeq 22 51 23 61 41 49
waiting 15
maximccd image Luminanza 1 1600 60 solve.fit
solver nearsync solve.fit 450 5.2
mount gotoeq 22 51 23 61 41 49
# Messa a fuoco
fmax focus
# Vai a Sh2-155 22 56 48 62 37 00
mount gotoeq 22 56 48 62 37 00
maximccd image Luminanza 1 1600 60 solve.fit
solver nearsync solve.fit 450 5.2
mount gotoeq 22 56 48 62 37 00
waiting 15
maximccd image Luminanza 1 1600 60 solve.fit
solver nearsync solve.fit 450 5.2
mount gotoeq 22 56 48 62 37 00
guider expose 3
waiting 5
guider calibrate 3
guider track 3
stable 60 0.2 3
maximccd nimage 24 Luminanza 1 800 600 sh2-155 2 3

I’ll explain the commands later on, but I think it is already quite readable.

Feedback is appreciated as usual!

LBN 552 – Nuova elaborazione

Per colpa del meteo, sto raschiando il fondo cassa astrofoto, non mi succedeva da anni di trovarmi in queste condizioni…

Ho deciso di rielaborare una ripresa di LBN552 del 2014 in quanto con la prima versione mi era stato fatto notare che c’erano alcuni punti di miglioramento.

Questa è la prima elaborazione:

LBN552

E questa invece la nuova elaborazione:

LBN552

Questo è il link ai dettagli tecnici della ripresa ed alla versione a risoluzione maggiore: http://skymonsters.net/immagine.php?img=LBN552.jpg

Nebulosa Oscura LDN1003

Dopo un pò di latitanza in ambito astrofotografico, ritorno ad elaborare una nuova ripresa. Come per l’ultima volta, anche questa è una nebulosa oscura, situata nella zona settentrionale della costellazione del Cigno. Si tratta della nebulosa LDN1003 di cui potete vedere un’anteprima qui sotto.

LDN1003_f

Come sempre, cliccando sull’immagine, verrete trasferiti al mio sito con tanto di informazioni sulla ripresa e la versione a risoluzione maggiore.

Spero vi piaccia, come sempre commenti o suggerimenti per migliorare l’elaborazione sono ben accetti.