Collaborative Imaging

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Collaborative Imaging

Collaborative ImagingReaping benefits of teamworkSean WalkerImaging EditorSky & Telescope


My experiences Began astrophotography with theappearance of Comet Hyakutake in 1996Hyakutake March 16, 199610” Loomis-Michael refractor, 1-minute film exposure


My experiences Began astrophotography with theappearance of Comet Hyakutake in 1996 Shared photos on NASA websites andothers, allowing day-toto-day (andsometimes hourly) changes in the comet’sappearance to be tracked in near real-time Began scanning and processing otherlocal astrophotographers’ ’ comet images


Hyakutake, March 1996 Doug Zubenel (3 exposures) combined and processed by Sean Walker


Thus the seeds of collaboration were sewn


Collecting and hosting images of eventsthat occur within a narrow timeframe(astronomically speaking) cultivated anexcellent venue for pro/am collaboration


Collecting and hosting images of eventsthat occur within a narrow timeframe(astronomically speaking) cultivated anexcellent venue for pro/am collaboration One major ion tail disconnect event wasrecorded in March 1996 exclusively byamateur astrophotographers


Real science (measurement of the solarwind speed based upon visual interactionwith Comet Hyakutake (1996 B2) was ableto be gleaned from amateur photographsrecorded with bare-bones bones equipment


Real science (measurement of the solarwind speed based upon visual interactionwith Comet Hyakutake (1996 B2) was ableto be gleaned from amateur photographsrecorded with bare-bones bones equipment This shared community grew a hundred-fold during the apparition of Hale Boppthroughout the next year


Hale-Bopp 3/15/1997Bellingham, MA8” SCT @f/6, 2x5 minutesKodak PJM-640 film


4/26/199755mm f/2.82x5 minutesJackson, ME


After the great comets of the late 90’scame and went, I began to refine mydeep-sky astrophotography techniques


55mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak E200 slide film, 2x20 minutesSummer, 1998Added 2-hours Hydrogen Alpha data by Dennis di CiccoFall, 2008


My career in Digital Prepress allowed meaccess to all the major image manipulationprograms such as Adobe Photoshop (v3 atthe time), and I experimented withstacking, layering, color correction, andvignette removal


Abell 347 8” SCT at f/10, 90 minutes Kodak E200 film


By posting my images on the web (usenet(groups primarily), others becameinterested in my tricks and techniques,which I gladly shared and refined basedupon these interactions and critiques


By posting my images on the web (usenet(groups primarily), others becameinterested in my tricks and techniques,which I gladly shared and refined basedupon these interactions and critiques Some online friends began sending metheir raw images to process; I soon found Ienjoyed processing images just as much(and sometimes more) as capturing them.


So why should youcollaborate?


Collaborative imaging Many positive aspects, few (if any)negatives


Collaborative imaging Many positive aspects, few (if any)negatives Combines the strengths of each teammember


MASIL Imaging TeamEstablished sometime after 2000Sheldon Faworski (Midwest)Sean Walker (East)10-inch f/3.76 Faworski Astrograph


Sheldon Faworski Long time AmateurTelescope Maker


Sheldon lives to build and use telescopes,as well as taking images through them108mm f/4Astrograph


200mm f/3.68astrograph


150mmf/3.65astrograph254mm f/3.76Astrograph


14.5-inch f/3.95Newtonian


Epoxy-resin fiberglassweave tube for 108mmastrograph No focus shiftthere!)


Moto-focus for FeatherTouch focusers(direct control via Paramount ME interface)


Modified Meade DSI-II with two-stage Peltier cooler


My strengths: image processing, troubleshooting,and direct line to late-breaking events254mm at f/3.95 (10/29 – 11/2/2008)3 nights totaling 369 minutes Luminance, 84 minutes each RGB


AP Traveler, 8-megapixel CCD camera(you’ll find out which one in my review coming soon!)


VdB 141 10” f/3.76


Often we combine data from both our locationsNGC 1491AP Traveler (Ha) 8” f/3.68 newt (RGB)


Bubble region6” and 4.25” astrographs


4.25“, 6" f/3.65, 7" f/6 Mak Newt., 8" f/3.68, 10" f/3.76,ST10XE's w/CFW8, Astronomik and AstroDon H-alpha Filters


.One of MASIL’s biggest successes to datewas capturing comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 as fragment C passeddirectly in front of M57, the Ring Nebula.


14.5” Newtonian at f/4.59, composite imageconsisting of 60-minutes each color channel(composited from same data set)


Collaborative imaging Many positive aspects, few (if any)negatives Combines the strengths of each teammember Increases the likelihood of clear skies


I planned extensively for a week to capture theSW3/M57 event, accounting for both ourtelescopes (7” f/6 Maksutov-Newtonian, 14.5”f/5.9 Newt) our camera’s field of views (SBIGST-10XE CCD cameras) as well as framing.Ideally, we wanted to record two slightly differentimages based upon our equipment, with thesame general composition


Guess who got clouded out?


Fortunately, the roughly 1,000 mile distancebetween our locations blessed Sheldonwith clear skies… started recording the runwhen the comet was 10-degrees up.


Collaborative imaging Many positive aspects, few (if any)negatives Combines the strengths of each teammember Increase the likelihood of clear skies atone or both locations Extends your imaging repertoire


While Sheldon concentrates almostexclusively on imaging deep-skyobjects, I often pursue targets residingwithin our solar system


Collaborative imaging Many positive aspects, few (if any) negatives Combines the strengths of each team member Increase the likelihood of clear skies at one orboth locations Extends your imaging repertoire Allows the pursuit of extended projects while stillcontributing to the teams common goal


Mars7” f/6 Maksutov-Newtonian, Tele Vue 5x Powermate,Celestron Ultima barlow, Philips ToUcam 740 (2005)


Every two years I drop everything toobserve Mars. It was the first object Ilooked at through my first telescope(1994), and holds a special affinity for me


Dust storm recorded 10/17 through 10/20/20057” Mak-Newt, Philips ToUcam


12.5” Newtonian, DMK21AU04.AS, Custom ScientificRGB filtersHST 200712/09/2007


Recording on every clear night resulted in58 data sets spanning 11 months


Recording on every clear night resulted in58 data sets spanning 11 months This offered the opportunity to create acomplete map of the surface featuresusing my own data


Recording on every clear night resulted in58 data sets spanning 11 months This offered the opportunity to create acomplete map of the surface featuresusing my own data All the while, Sheldon continued to collectdata of deep-sky objects


http://www.grischa-hahn.homepage.t-online.de


WinJUPOS, , a powerful freeware packagedesigned to precisely plot the exact phase,apparent diameter, and central meridian ofall the major planets


WinJUPOS, , a powerful freeware packagedesigned to precisely plot the exact phase,apparent diameter, and central meridian ofall the major planets Also allows for the import of planetaryimages to measure surface (oratmospheric) markings based on the timeand location the image was recorded


WinJUPOS also enables the user tocreate Mercator projection maps of anyplanetary image


WinJUPOS also enables the user tocreate Mercator projection maps of anyplanetary image These maps can then be stitched togetherto create a global map that then can beused as a “skin” within the program foryour particular target


WinJUPOS also enables the user tocreate Mercator projection maps of anyplanetary image These maps can then be stitched togetherto create a global map that then can beused as a “skin” within the program foryour particular target WinJUPOS then can record animated GIFrotational movies


Each map was successively layered in Photoshop


Color and contrast adjustments and final blending applied


The final map was then tagged as the Mars “skin” inWinJUPOS, and one complete rotation was recorded, settingthe date as opposition 2008; any date can be chosen, thoughphase angle will become pronounced the farther your targetdate is set from opposition


Since Mars was so much fun, I decided totake on a bigger challenge


Venus 2007


Venus While Earth’s sister planet is very bland inwhite light, subtle contrasting bandsbecome apparent within the UV spectralregion, though scientists are still unsure ofthe reasons for this phenomena


Venus While Earth’s sister planet is very bland in whitelight, subtle contrasting bands become apparentwithin the UV spectral region, though scientistsare still unsure of the reasons for thisphenomena Venus rotates in retrograde very slowlycompared to the other planets (one day on thesurface is longer than one venusian year);however, its cloudy atmosphere takes just over 4days to complete one circuit.


Venus This offered me a bigger challenge; torecord a complete rotation of the cloudfeatures, I needed 4 consecutive eveningsof clear skies and good seeing conditions


Venus This offered me a bigger challenge; torecord a complete rotation of the cloudfeatures, I needed 4 consecutive eveningsof clear skies and good seeing conditions I managed to capture Venus on 36evenings between January 28 and July 15;this averaged one out of every 5 nights,but only twice did I have a complete setspanning 4 evenings.


Fortunately, studying my data revealedthat although there was many small-scalescalechanges in these atmospheric featuresduring each rotation, there was muchstability in the larger scale areas


Fortunately, studying my data revealedthat although there was many small-scalescalechanges in these atmospheric featuresduring each rotation, there was muchstability in the larger scale areas Therefore, I managed to fill in many gapswith various nights throughout a 2-week 2period.


One Venusian atmospheric day


One Venusian year(as seen from Earth)


Shooting Venus at WSP 2008 (Damian Peach at left, I’m under the towel notlooking at porn) with Don Parker’s scope (AKA, Mongo)


Another example of imaging vicariously; Don sent methis data to process for this talk.


Beyond MASIL Due to my position at S&T, I’ve happilybecome the go-to guy to make everyone’simages look their best


Especially this guy’s workDennis di CiccoSenior EditorSky & Telescope


Besides shooting images for various testreports of cameras, telescopes, and otherequipment, Dennis pursues a projectinvolving wide-field images of Hydrogenalphanebulosity


NGC 1499The California Nebula…probably should berenamed the Scimitar


Separated at birth?John GleasonMaster of 656.3 nm


Separated at birth?Total Eclipse 8/1/2008 Chinacustom built eclipse telescope, 9 exposures of various length, Nikon DSLR


Collaborative imaging There’s many more levels of collaborationgrowing in the amateur community


Collaborative imaging There’s many more levels of collaborationgrowing in the amateur community MASIL Imaging Team is not the first, best,or most productive team; after all,remember where we live!


Volker Wendel and Bernd Flach-Wilken


Shared ObservatoriesScott Hammonds and Chris HetlageDeerlick Astronomy Village


operated by Lewis Garrett, Rick Gilbert, Jack Harvey, Steve Mazlin,Teri Smoot, and Daniel Verschatse


Collaborative imaging There’s even the possibility that you canget to collaborate with professionalobservatories


Data from the ESO/Danish 1.5m telescope at La Silla Chile 2008Processing by Robert Gendler


New Horizons NASA, JHU/APL, SwRIAdditional Processing: Sean Walker (LRGB composite)


Collaborative imaging The possibilities are boundless


Collaborative imaging Benefits all parties involved; allows you toexpand your repertoire and processingskills, while also affording more nights fordata collection.


So virtually get togetherand enjoy the night!

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