Bintel Astrophotographer of the year 2022
Gold Award winners
The SMC The Small Magellanic Cloud.
This is a 4 panel mosaic of the small Magellanic cloud in narrowband with RGB stars. It is a fairly high resolution image ( around 64mp).
I was intending on going for an 8 panel mosaic originally, but the weather has not been playing along and I got to be very strategic with how much time I spend on a target this season if I want to image a few.
It is a beautiful yet quite difficult target to process and it took me quite some time to get it right and balance the emissions in these little burst of nebulosity that looks like opals.
I’ve combined a couple different processing techniques in this image. The first one was suggested to me by fellow Australian Astrophotographer fJacob Heppell where I blended the SHO data by layering them in the order OHS in photoshop and colorising each layer to blue, green, and red respectively and blending using “screen” blend mode.
The second one is inspired Eric Coles balanced histogram technique but I’ve modified it, using non destructive workflow using layers, with curves targeting only the Ha layer in the brightest part of the nebula to balance its luminosity against the Oiii and Sii emissions. That is how I got these opal colours.
Finally I shifted the green to a red hue to get closer to visual colours for the hydrogen emission and combined with RGB stars.
About the target:
The Small Magellanic Cloud or SMC may look like a nebulae but it is actually a dwarf galaxy near our very own Milky Way At a distance of about 200,000 light years the SMC, whilst a lot further away than most nebulae I normally shoot (between 5 to 7000 light year on average) is among one of our nearest neighbours and is one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye. The SMC captured in this image has an average apparent diameter of about 8 moons and span over 4 degrees.
The Running Chicken Nebula IC2944
MOUNT:SKYWATCHER EQ6R PRO
IMAGING TELESCOPE: SKYWATCHER ESPRIT 100ED
IMAGING CAMERA: ZWO 1600GT
GUIDE TELESCOPE: SKYWATCHER EVOGUIDE 50ED
GUDE CAMERA:ZWO 120MM MINI
ZWO 7nm Ha 31 mm FILTER – 48 x 300s EXPOSURES
ANTLIA 3nm OllI 31 mm FILTER – 48 x 300s EXPOSURES
ANTLIA 3nm SI 31 mm FILTER- 48 × 300s EXPOSURES
TOTAL INTEGRATION TIME. 12 HOURS
ACQUISITION & EDITING SOFTWARE:
CAPTURE – ASTRO PHOTOGRAPHY TOOL
GUIDING – PHD2
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CC
ADOBE LIGHTROOM CC
Tarantula Nebula in SHO NGC2070
The Tarantula Nebula is an extremely dynamic target in the Large Magellanic Cloud with a huge variety of colours from all the gas around it. With a bright core, and faint surroundings, this is a really difficult to do well done. Using the SHO palette, the depth of the image can be brought out to create a 3D like image. I used a Skywatcher AZEQ5 mount, Sharpstar AL-90R triplet refractor, ZWO 1600MM camera, ZWO 1.25”x8pos filter wheel, ZWO HaRGB filters and a ZWO OAG with a ZWO 120MM Mini as a guiding setup. The image is made using 3 different filters (Sulphur, Hydrogen and Oxygen). The Sulphur channel has 190mins (16x300s and 11x600s), Hydrogen channel has 145mins (21x300s and 4x600s) and the Oxygen has 170mins (18x300s and 8x600s). This totals up to 8 hours and 25mins of data. While it seems a lot of data, this is a miniscule amount of data for what could be collected which would drastically improve the image however bad weather was the biggest factor in this endeavour.
Man in the Moon
Shot from the Grampians, I scouted a location at a lookout, setup, and waited for something to happen. Boy did it happen, when some salmon coloured clouds crossed the moon, for a split second, I saw the face of the moon, and I was there to capture it.
Tech Details: Single Shot, Canon 60D, 70-250 lens, 1/50 at f5.6, Velbon Tripod, 99.6% Full Moon, 16.04.2022
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron Edge HD 9.25
Mount: Modified Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro
Imaging cameras:ZWO ASI071MC
Filter: ZWO IR
Astro Pixel Processor
Location:Mill Park VIC
The end result of a video taken of Jupiter on 7/11 at 8pm. Telescope was Nexstar 8SE using a ZWO 462 MC camera. 15 second video at 60 FPS. Video file then converted to PIPP format then processed with Registax6 using wavelet sharpening and de-noising.
Final image is a Jpeg 7.34 MB photo.
Significance of photo is the volcanic eruption on moon Io which is shown also in reflection of Io on Jupiter cloud cover. Need to zoom in to see this.
dscott_aurora_australis was taken onboard a “Southern Lights” flight in April 2022. This is a creative stack of 5x 2 second exposures, shot with a Canon RP using a Sigma 30mm, at f/2.
NGC 7293 captured from Brisbane, Australia in SHO narrowband
Imaging Telescope – Bintel BT200 f/4
Imaging Camera – ZWO ASI1600MM Pro
Mount – Saxon HEQ5 Pro
Filters – ZWO H-alpha 7nm 36mm · ZWO O-III 7nm 36mm · ZWO S-II 7nm 36 mm
Accessories – ZWO EAF · ZWO EFW 7 x 2″
Software – Open PHD Guiding Project PHD2 · Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight · Stefan Berg Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy (N.I.N.A. / NINA)
Guiding Telescope – ZWO 30mm Mini Guider Scope
Guiding Camera – ZWO ASI120MM-S
Dates: 14 Aug 2022 · 15 Aug 2022 · 17 Aug 2022 · 18 Aug 2022
ZWO S-II 7nm 36 mm: 141×180″(7h 3′) (gain: 139.00) f/4 -15°C bin 1×1
ZWO H-alpha 7nm 36mm: 287×180″(14h 21′) (gain: 139.00) f/4 -15°C bin 1×1, ZWO O-III 7nm 36mm: 80×180″(4h) (gain: 139.00) f/4 -15°C bin 1×1
Integration: 25h 24′
Flat darks: 20
Avg. Moon age: 19.52 days
Avg. Moon phase: 75.02%
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00
Saturn – 5th November 2022 – A little cloud around but much better seeing than our previous clear night in Sydney.
-Celestron C11 XLT
-Sharpcap – Capture
-Autostakkert – Stacking SER files
-Astrosurface – Wavelet sharpening
-Pixinsight – To stack RGB