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Amateur Astrophotography

Patrick Frank speaking to William Herschel Society 5/12/2014 at BRLSI
Picture of Hersche Nebula looks much better with a modern digital camera on a smaller telescope, similarly with  Orion Nebula.

Ideally use exposure time of an hour in total and at least several minutes to achieve this.
Examples of objects: Andromeda, Heart and Soul Nebula, Pheides, M3

Simple formula devised to maximise image quality:

Dark – from quantum temperature effects on CCD chip
Read – from CCD chip – determines exposure time
·         Use multiple exposures and integrate to reduce other terms


·         Use short exposures of a couple to a few minutes
·         Align them
·         Integrate
Lights    -              Normal photo x2 or so
Darks     -              with lens cap on to subtract “dark” effect of sensor from integrated image
Flats       -              use a uniform background such as a white T-shirt
Bias        -              rapidly taken darks with same ISO

“stretching” image – concentrated on lower end of spectrum to reduce noise to signal ratioe and increase contrast on interesting objects.

Not sure what this software package is called.


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