Bintel Astrophotographer of the year 2023 Platinum Winners

Our Platinum Winners

Name – Paul Montague

Object – Centaurus A

The popular galaxy target Centaurus A is shown offset here to accentuate the relativistic jet emanating from its central black hole. This image was taken partly in outback South Australia, but also suburban Adelaide (for the narrowband data). It was taken using an 8 inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope, with about 67 hours total exposure with a ZWO ASI294MM-Pro monochrome camera and Chroma LRGB (17 hours) and Ha (50 hours) filters.

Name – Steeve Body

Object – M17

M17 Nebula, commonly referred to as the Omega or Swan Nebula is located approximately 5,500 light-years away from Earth in the Sagittarius constellationIt exhibits complex structures that are quite a challenging task to process.

The core’s brightness is pretty bright and needs careful attention during processing… very easy to clip the highlights. I have spent a fair amount of time just getting the initial stretch right. Equally tricky was getting the right colour transition between the nebula’s emissions.

I went with a square crop in the end because it felt like it balanced the image a little better.

Imaging Telescopes Or Lenses: Askar 107PHQ

Imaging Cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM Pro

Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro

Filters: Antlia 3nm Narrowband H-alpha 1.25″ · Antlia 3nm Narrowband Oxygen III 1.25″ · Antlia 3nm Narrowband Sulfur II 1.25″ · Antlia Blue Pro · Antlia Green Pro · Antlia Red Pro

Accessories: Intel NUC 8 · Pegasus Astro Falcon Rotator · Pegasus Astro Powerbox Micro · Pegasus Astro Scops OAG · ZWO EAF

Software: Adobe Photoshop · Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight · Russell Croman Astrophotography BlurXTerminator · Russell Croman Astrophotography NoiseXTerminator · Russell Croman Astrophotography StarXTerminator · Stefan Berg Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy (N.I.N.A. / NINA)

Name – Yanwu Luo

Object – Horse Head Nebula

Horse Head Nebula
Location: Cathedral Reserve, Bortle 3
Mount: SkyWatcher AZEQ6 GT
Scope: SkyWatcher 150P with modification
Camera: ASI294MC Pro
Guide scope: cyck52 guide scope
Guide camera: ASI120MM-S
Gain 110, 0°C
No filter
Light 300s*40
Dark 300s*24
Flat 10s*30
Dark flat 10s*30
PixInsight 1.8.9-2

Name – Rowan Prangley

Object – NGC 6164, The Dragon Egg

To-date, Star HD 148937 is believed to the be the only magnetic O-type star known to be surrounded by a nebula. At a size 40 times as massive as our own Sun, HD148937 is rare, hot, and quite the spectacular artist!

What makes HD 148937 so interesting is that it is, by far, the most massive Galactic star with a detected magnetic field. When focusing on the evolutionary state of this target, one should consider not just the star but its close bipolar ejecta nebula: NGC 6164 and NGC 6165 (known to comprise “The Dragon’s Egg”) and their formation as circumstellar nebulous regions. When imaging this target, more time was given (> 28 hours) to OIII integration to emphasize the blue halo, the ellipsoidal wind-blown shells. As NGC 6164/5 are relative bright, less than 8 hours for both Ha and SII were integrated to showcase the ionized nebula’s – almost a figure “8” shape – spherically symmetric Strömgren sphere.

The Dragon’s Egg has always been a favourite of mine and it is the first project I’ve submitted public for viewing. The image presented and its data was captured over several evenings during the 20th of May 2023 through to the 14th of July 2023, each night taking advantage of when the moon was below the horizon. What I love most about the target is that the star HD 148937 is still in its prime, leading researchers to believe the creation of its surrounding ionized gasses to be due to the star’s high rotation rate, expelling materials during earlier high-activity phases to create the beautiful blue halos and the magnetic field driven inner egg coining its name.

Imaging Telescopes – Celestron RASA 36cm (14″)

Imaging Cameras – QHYCCD QHY268M

Mount – 10Micron GM3000 HPS

Name – Chi Chan

Object – Rho Ophiuchus Cloud, IC4604

About Rho Ophiuchus Cloud Complex:

Captured date: 2023-06-17

The Rho Ophiuchus Cloud Complex is one of the most interestingregion of the Milky Way, containing lots of colourful emission nebulae, reflection nebula, globular clusters, dust clouds and the brilliant star Antares. This very wide field true colour image was captured using a short focus length DSLR lens and a full frame camera from the Bortle 2 dark-sky site ASNSW Wiruna. The dark sky allowed the faint dust clouds to be captured in great details.

Equipment: Rokinon 135mm f/2 for Nikon F-mount @f/4, ASI6200MC Pro (-5°C, gain 100, offset 50), no filter used, SvBony SV165 with ASI120MM-S, Astrodymium Ring System for Rokinon/Samyang 135mm Lens, Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi in EQ mode, William Optics Low Latitude Vixen Style Base Mount, ZWO EAF, ASIAIR Pro, Pegasus Astro FlatMaster 150 Flat Panel.

Image capture and autoguiding: ASIAIR Pro

Total integration time: 5 hr 36 min, 112x 3min subs, calibrated with bias/dark/flat frames

Processing: PixInsight 1.8.9-1 The master image files were post-processed with the help of third party add-on tools (BlurXTerminator, NoiseXTerminator, StarXTerminator, GeneralizedHyperbolicStretch). SPCC process was used for colour calibration.

Name – Mike Manning

Object – NGC6822

NGC6822 was another challenging galaxy as it’s incredibly dim and a difficult target to obtain good results on.  Recently I had made the switch from Photoshop to Pixinsight and was blown away by how much better my processing became, so thought I would try my luck at getting as much data from this one as I could.. in the end I ended up with a whopping 33 hours of data which made the tiny bubble nebula structures really shine as well as the dust filaments and galactic cirrus.

Imaging Telescopes Or Lenses: Sky-Watcher Quattro 300P

Imaging Cameras: ZWO ASI2600MC Pro

Mounts: JTW Astronomy Trident P75

Accessories: Sky-Watcher F4 Aplanatic Coma Corrector

Software: Luc Coiffier DeepSkyStacker (DSS) · Main Sequence Software Sequence Generator Pro (SGP) · Open PHD Guiding Project PHD2 · Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight · Russell Croman Astrophotography BlurXTerminator · Russell Croman Astrophotography NoiseXTerminator · Russell Croman Astrophotography StarXTerminator

Guiding Telescopes Or Lenses: Orion 50mm Mini Guide scope

Guiding Cameras: SVBony SV305

Name – Andy Casely

Object – Saturn

A small gathering of several of Saturn’s moons decorated the eastern side of the scene in excellent seeing (12:35UT, 6/9/2023). Colourful Saturn was joined (l-r) by Mimas, Dione, Enceladus and Tethys. A few small spots are visible on Saturn in both hemispheres.

Celestron C14 on CGX-L mount, Televue 2x Barlow, QHY5III200M, Chroma RGB filters. 30 mins exposure. The best 30% of ~180,000 frames stacked with Autostakkert!3, Registax 6, Winjupos, and finished in Photoshop. Red filter data was used for the four moons

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