When I'm not building Iron Man, I build my space observatory.

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Here's my first go at planetary photography through the new scope. I still have to multiply the focal length out to around six metres to get the best image scale, but here is is at nearly two and a half metre focal length.

Here you see Jupiter and a couple of it's moons. Ganymede on the right is casting a shadow on the surface atmosphere of the Jovian giant.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
Ok here you go. :thumbup:

After 30 hours of cutting, drilling, bolting and painting, ASIGN Observatory II is now sporting a very stylish pergola and banister over the front entrance.

And a bonus little screen grab of Johanna Griggs from the Better Homes and Gardens team with me on the observation deck.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
1. It's been couple of nights of rapid progression at ASIGN Observatory II. First night I got collimation of the mirrors sorted out.

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2, 3 &4. Last night I had a fellow astronomer visit and help me through configuring of all the software that runs the telescope and cameras. Here's a few shots of the setup.

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5 and finally, here's the first image (60 second single exposure) out of the new telescope through the deep space imager. It should be noted that there was nearly a full moon up and the mist filled the sky with poo. I can't wait to get a clear moonless night on some distant galaxies!

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
More testing of the new optics. I still have lots of room for tweaking the focus, but I am still fighting a sky full of moonlight and moisture/smoke. Too many people in our bush capital still using wood fires for heating.

The first picture is a single subexposure of M82 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy of ten minutes, guided using an SBIG ST-i guide camera and the Orion Starshoot (V1) as the main imager.

The second image is a single five minute subexposure of the Carina nebula.

Normally I would take twenty or thirty identical exposures, stack them together with dark, flat, offset/bias frames before exporting them to photoshop for final processing, so I'm pretty excited to see this level of detail, brightness and colour at the bottom of the pile.

Focus and collimation both need work, but that will come in time.

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Sandbagger

Sr Member
If only the sky would clear more often!

Here you go. Apart from all my duties as a husband and father with a full-time job and several projects on the go, this is all the sky has allowed me to capture so far.

Two measly five minute exposures combined to produce this image of Centaurus A, 10–16 million light-years away. One of the closest radio galaxies to Earth, it's center contains a supermassive black hole with a mass equivalent to 55 million solar masses.

This was two subexposures (frames) only. I really need to combine about thirty of them, along with dark frames, flat frames and offset/bias frames.

GSO RC12 Truss, Orion Starshoot One Shot colour imager (V1),Off-axis guiding with SBIG STi, EQ8 Equatorial Mount.

I'm just starting to get the hang of the new equipment but still got a ways to go.

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Demogorgon

Well-Known Member
These photos are absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to see future images once you get the calibrations tweaked. The universe is a beautiful and mysterious place.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
These photos are absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to see future images once you get the calibrations tweaked. The universe is a beautiful and mysterious place.
Thanks mate. Yep, they will get better and go deeper as I learn and improve.
 

Serin

Jr Member
Kinda surprised they aired something so intellectual :p Lovely though to get a little insight into why you built it.
It's reassuring to know that people out there other than me value the scientific future of our younger generations :)

/randomly related/
Dunno if you heard but the speaker of the house recently offered a speaking challenge to uni students with the reward being a trip to parliament...
Entered, figured if I win(unlikely) I'll ditch parliament and visit Mt Stromlo instead... Far more educational and much less depressing.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
Kinda surprised they aired something so intellectual :p Lovely though to get a little insight into why you built it.
It's reassuring to know that people out there other than me value the scientific future of our younger generations :)

/randomly related/
Dunno if you heard but the speaker of the house recently offered a speaking challenge to uni students with the reward being a trip to parliament...
Entered, figured if I win(unlikely) I'll ditch parliament and visit Mt Stromlo instead... Far more educational and much less depressing.
Thanks mate.

Yeah I toured parliament years ago. Most boring thing I've ever done.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
For those of my overseas friends that can't view the Manspace TV segment on their website, it is now on the home page of the ASIGN Observatory II website.

I wonder how I can edit the video and dub over the bit that calls me John....
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
ASIGN II's big new telescope starting to prove itself. I still have a few tweaks to make and need to improve my processing, but it's getting really exciting now!

Picture one is my first complete stack from the new telescope. This is one hour and twenty minutes of exposure on NGC253, Sculptor Galaxy.

Distance - 11.4 million light years away.

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This second image is six and a half hours of exposure on NGC 2070 Tarantula Nebula.

Distance - 159,800 light years away.

Apparently if this bright nebula was as close to us as the Orion nebula, it would cast shadows.

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TheOneWithNoName

Jr Member
I would love to be able to do something like this. The limiting factor for me is $$$. I don't even have enough to get replacement parts made for my 6in telescope, much less make an observatory. Local college near where I live runs an observatory, but I've never managed to make it to one of their events.

I'd love to make a small radio observatory at my house, but finding a good dish is hard.
 

Sandbagger

Sr Member
I would love to be able to do something like this. The limiting factor for me is $$$. I don't even have enough to get replacement parts made for my 6in telescope, much less make an observatory. Local college near where I live runs an observatory, but I've never managed to make it to one of their events.

I'd love to make a small radio observatory at my house, but finding a good dish is hard.
Yo can make your own radio antenna. I mad a few some years ago. Look up DIY radio astronomy, dipole antenna, Jupiter antenna, etc.
 
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