About the Blog

This blog contains recent projects, activities, and musings about astrophotography and space, to view my main webpage with prints for sale, final images, and Annie's Astro Actions, please visit: www.eprisephoto.com


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer project

Have you ever wanted to image for 8.5 days? I don't mean take a vacation and take a photo sometime throughout each day - I mean 8.5 days, 200+ hours, of cumulative exposure time for one photo. This is what I am currently in the midst of. I don't even want to add in set up, acquisition, focusing, tear down into the mix else I might faint from the amount of time I am working on this one shot.

The goal: a high resolution narrowband mosaic of the Pelican and North American Nebulas.

I am using my Atik 314L+ ccd camera and my Orion EON80ED scope to (hopefully) make a very high resolution large mosaic of the region. By my calculations and progress so far each filter will have 20 panels. I am currently half-way through the Ha, which I am shooting 10x1200s subs, binned 1x1 for each of those panels.

My thinking? Well, summers here in England have very short nights and I realized that combined with the infamous cloudy and rainy weather here I would be lucky to finish more than just a couple objects during the summer months. I was beginning the season with just a Ha shot of the main portion of the Pelican when I had this brilliant plan. Why not avoid frustration over having to drag out each image and plan that into the summer? Do a mosaic of the region, which with my small chip was the only way to image it anyways, and therefore when I do have clear nights, even though incredibly short on darkness, I already have all the planning done and just have to center on the next panel and off I go. Halfway through the first filter's panels I am wondering if I was completely insane when I set my mind out to do this! The 10 panels I currently have are roughly 77 inches square in size and so large I have to cut it down to 1/4 size just to load to Flickr and not hit their size maximums!!! No, I will not be printing a 10 foot poster of the final project, but the resolution for even a (what a normal person would consider) large print should be fantastic.

I still have the rest of the summer and beginning of fall until my targets rotate away for a few months so I am hoping that the remaining 167 hours are as promising as the first 33 were!

(Note: I have cropped the excess off of the right and bottom to where I plan the edges to roughly be for the final mosaic, I am still working left and up)


  1. A wonderful project you have set your sights on indeed!! There are many great offers out there just waiting for you! You are amazing and very patient and can do anything you set your mind to!

  2. WOW! Thats great! Can't wait to see the final product and if you want server space to host in on give me a yell. I'd be happy to! @gkasica STS135 tweep.

  3. You are absolutely, completely and utterly insane!!!
    Bit what a fantastic image you will have once its finished.

    For a brief moment I thought you were based in the USA, especially because of the video's, now I realise your in the UK, so this is definitely an insane project...

    Good Luck, you're going to need it...


Monitor Calibration

Monitor Calibration
The grayscale above presents 24 shades of gray from pure white to solid black. If you cannot see all 24, your monitor needs calibration to view the astrophotos correctly: I recommend the site linked in the image