Monday, December 28, 2015

Shooting the stars

Sou | 1:30 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
While you're waiting for HotWhopper to crank up again, here is the link to Bert from Eltham's Large Magellanic Cloud photograph that he shared with HotWhopper for Christmas. Below is a shrunken version, which of course doesn't do the magical sky justice, you need to see the full sized image. It represents an awful lot of careful work (from Bert, not me.)

Below is a small section, full size:

Bert has the following equipment to take images like this one:
  • Astrograph is an Officina Stellare RH200 which has a focal length of 600mm and is F3. Clear aperture is 200mm. 
  • FLI Atlas Focuser. 
  • FLI ten position filter wheel CFW-3-10 with 50mm square filters. 
  • Astrodon E series LRGB and HA, NII, SII and OIII 3nm NB filters. Also a continuum filter 5nm. 
  • Camera is a FLI PL16803 which has a sensor size 36.8 X 36.8 mm. 
  • The FoV of this system is 3.5 X 3.5 degrees. 
  • Mount is a Software Bisque PMX. 

Bert's links to his photographs are here.


  1. Nice work Bert! The southern skies are awesome.

  2. This is a welcome? diversion by Sou to take our minds off the real world problems.

    I designed my system to have the absolute best of all components. There is even now nothing better at this focal length and FOV.

    The real strength is the narrow band ability at F3 and with 3nm narrow band filters. This allows me to image just the emission lines of nebulae without light pollution.

    Here is just 5x32min of the Horse Head Nebula in 3nm NII. 10MB


    The only analogy that we can draw to climate science is there is more under the bonnet ie the working engine visible and understandable to practioners, that we can even comprehend.


    1. Oh my! That photo is stunning, Bert. Dare I say heavenly?


    2. Thank you Sou. It is actually an image of monatomic nitrogen atoms emitting forbidden quanta dispersed in interstellar space. This forbidden wavelength is due to hot blue stars that supply the photons to stimulate this emission from thinly dispersed nitrogen atoms. On Earth all nitrogen atoms exist as nitrogen molecules and cannot emit this wavelength. Hence the 'forbidden' label. We scientists label this as N{II}.

      You are quite correct even a bit of understanding does not diminish the awe I have for reality. Bert

    3. "... a bit of understanding does not diminish the awe I have for reality." - no, it gets 'worse' all the time :)


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