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Elephants Trunk IC 1396  35 mins close to Deneb, head is 6 min - RASA   - Redo 

Flaming Star IC405 or Caldwell 31 next to Tadpole Nebula NGC1893

Trifid NGC6514 (close to Rosette 10 arcmins M6.3

N.American NGC7000 , Deneb - 100mm + Sony and NF QHY in March in Wimberley  

Orion NGC1976


Andromeda 3 deg NGC224 or M31

Stephans quintet  NGC7320  7331 neighbour  near Andrmeda

Phantom Galaxy  20' M74 between Orion and ANdromeda

Whirlpool Galaxy NGC5194  near Ursa  Minor

Antennae galax NGC4039  - April.May  near VIRGO - Southern cross end  MW

Gamma Leonis Group NGC 3190 in leo 

Eagle Nebula NGC6611  (Pillars of creation) 35 arc min in Core, pillars is 6 arcmin across - RASA

Omega Nebula  - close by to Eagle -Eagle and Omega may just fit in RASA field, otherwise 100mm. 

Lagoon NGC6530

Cats Paw  NGC 6334 35 arc min close to Lagoon 

Antares IC4604 - needs 100mm lens and low noise  - 5 sec no track. Try using Fornax or mount. 1 hour of collection. 

Sony 7as with bulb and Darks. ISO 6400. 

Milky Way with foreground  - 8mm  & Ha filter. 180 deg FOV  - Deneb overhead in AK Sept.   20mm f2 ISO640 120s - deep nebula. 

Milky Way full spectrum - 8mm/filter/QHY = 90 deg FOV

Milky Way time lapse -

8-20mm Sony 7as  - 30s @3200 = 65 sec cycles = 1 frame every 10 arcmins of motion. Compress to 20 fps for smooth action. Make corrections to RAW files. Use Photodirector - 0.02 per frame. 45 mins of 8mm lens = 2 secs of video.  2 hours for 30 degrees of motion.  Need battery extender.

iPhone14 Night mode - on tripod.  Much noisier than Sony RAW. 

Northern Lights - iPhone 1x 24mm best resolution, or 8mm & 20mm Sony 7as.

Sombrero Galaxy 15 amin in Virgo.

Needle Galaxy 15 arcmin in Coma next to Canis 

Helix 18 arcmins M7.3  in Aquarius

Crab Nebula NGC 1952  6 arcmin M8.4  supernova remnant.


Leo Triplet  M66

Markarians Chain.


Long term

Eskimo - Clown faced nebula   54 arcsecs  M9.1

Cats eye 38 arcsecs M8.1  in Drago

Stephans quintet M14 in Virgo near Andromeda


Spring Northern  Galaxies, MW low in sky 

Summer  Core, rho, Eagle N, Lagoon N

Fall Andromeda, Deneb, Elephants trunk N 

Winter Orion N.


Nebulae HOS  - large 100mm, small needs RASA

Milky Way HOS - needs 8mm and ASI

Galaxies high res - needs C6 and good seeing

Planets high res - needs C6  and good seein

Total Eclipse 

Full sequence single view....  cell phone. 

Full sequence scanned  - Bailey beads/Diamond - need video - 400mm 

Corona  2 degree edge to edge  - Multiple exposures on scan stage - 400mm - 

Protrusions  30 asecs similar to Jupiter - Telephoto  find protrusion - P1000 video. 

Use scanning stage to track and create a time lapse video. How to deal with transition in and out of totality.

Use Hyperlapse on phone to cover whole transition. 

Annular Eclipse 

Oct 14 2023, at noon 52 degrees alt due south.   

100mm lens at f32 has a 6m -inf DOF, good for eclipse with foreground, limited by Sony 7as pixel res.

100mm Canon lens stopped down with Svbony. 

400mm lens at f22 has 132m-inf DOF will require refocus, needed for good resolution. 


Generates ring, needs an interesting center for the bulls eye.  A wind director to form an arrow. Or Texas capitol statue. Sonora, or Rocksprings in center of totality. Kerrville about half way out - Kerrville clock is a possibility, San Antonio Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, 1715 N Zarzamora St, The Alamo.


Video tour

Milky Way visible with Nebula foregrounds. 

Northern Hemisphere with Galaxy foregrounds

VIDEO tour script


Tour Milky Way 

Planets - Moon - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn add light year clock in bottom right from here
Plieades - Antares - Orion & Flame & Rosette  - Lagoon & Eagle    - clip all and superimpose on full pan all to give depth scale full MW 10% for Orion and lagoon.

Isolate  lagoon (may be at 400mm) and zoom in keeping full MW background fixed

Pass Lagoon and zoom in to MW, scan and exit (100 mm images) 

LMC_SMC (all deep sky from here)


Triangulum  2Mly

Bode 11 then Cigar 12

Whirlpool  23

Leo M61 32 then Sarah 36 then M65 41

Hubble  11Bly

Create foreground and background for zoom.

Select key area - inverse - copypaste new layer - select big star - enlarge 3 - copy paste to form star layer - copy star layer - select bkg - inverse - enlarge 5 - move /copy/paste in original layer to replace foregrounds. Now have foreground and background. 

Match middle ground to background, zoom in final step. Start foreground 1/3 frame early to get sense of foreground relative to background.


Saturn and Jupiter grand conjunction (one day before)

Camera is a Nikon P1000 on a Fornax tracking stage so the planet stays in frame. Get the zoom setting right at 6000 mm equivalent. Take 1 min videos at different ISO settings for the moons and planets. Wait for the perfect align to get a single align shot. Wait for planets to move away. Go back and get a video of the right bit of foreground. Use software to separate into frames and then stack 100+ frames to a single low noise image at each ISO using AutoStakkert. Then assemble the images in Photoshop. Using the align image as background image in the layers, cut around the foreground, planets and moons layers to form a spatially correct, very high dynamic range, composite. You have to size the cuts to cover up the overexposed planets in the background layer. Merge the layers and adjust to taste !! Its the better part of a day post processing to get it to work. The key really is the frame stacking it reduces the low light ISO noise and the atmospheric noise. QED!

Sky Stack3Best-DeNoiseAI-denoise.jpg

Andromeda (M31) Mag.  3.4, Size 3 degrees.

Above M110 Mag. 8.9, Size 21'.


Photographed using a Canon 7as

400mm f6.1 exposed 10x30 secs @ 25600 ISO at 1.5M ISOsecs, Fornax tracking stage.

Bortle 2 sky - background at Mag. 11. 



Flame Nebula in Orion Mag. 7.2, Size 30', illuminated by the neighboring star Alnitak Mag. 1.74.

Photographed using astro mod Canon 7as 400mm f6.1, exposed at 0.6M ISOsecs. Fornax tracking stage. 

3 degree field of view. 

Bortle 4 sky - background at Mag. 9

HDR created with the stars imaged by 4 smaller exposures, converted to B&W and stacked, then stacked with the nebula image. 


Stitched fish eye view panorama June, Sept and Dec, March in southern hemisphere. 

20 mm lens with a  84x61 degree field @ 20secs 2000 ISO. In landscape orientation starting  20 degrees angled up. In 4 vertical rows 25 degree increments; on the horizon 25 x 15 degree rotations, 12 x 30 degree, 4 x 90 degree, 1 vertical view. Assemble each session using PTgui software using equirectangular mode and linear corrections, discard any excess images.  Combine sessions by manual stich, and take out edge illumination artifacts using PS level in +- 10% level increments.  

Saturn stack4-Shapen-DeNoiseAI-denoise.j

I have a new appreciation for the nerds at Nikon. Here is a picture of Saturn that I think provides a direct measure of the optical performance of the P1000. It was taken at 12,000 mm zoom – 3000 mm optical and 4 x digital (i.e. cropped and resampled). The image was taken as a video on a tripod with a Fornax tracking stage. The focus was set manually using the remote control. A selection of the 250 best frames in a 2 minute video were averaged using Austostakkert. The results is the image with my best focus, least atmospherics, and minimized digitization.  Atmospherics dominate so frame count and pixel count is more important than low compression.  The NikonP1000 supports higher video resolution and better pixel resolution at 12kmm zoom, than the Sony 7as.   If seeing creates 20 pixel noise in 1 frame, 100 frames  = 13 pixel noise, 2000 frames = 10 pixel noise, 4000 frames 25% = 5 pixel noise. 

The dark band (Cassini’s Division) between the 2 major rings is hinted but not resolved. The average Saturn diameter is 14.5″ to 20.1″ excluding rings, 35" for outer ring. Using a high resolution Hubble photo of Saturn, also shown, Cassini’s Division is about 0.5 arc secs wide, and the dark band between the planet and the first ring is about 5 arc secs wide.

The aperture of the P1000 is 70 mm, which translates into a Rayleigh diffraction limited resolution of 1.97 arc secs. ( Rayliegh limit (1.22 lambda/d) = 1.8 arc secs, edge resolution 0.9 arc secs, recorded at 2160i video so pixel = 0.25 arc secs, with 4x video compression.

At 3000 mm, the pixel resolution of the P1000 is 0.7 arc secs, equal to the edge resolution – as it should be !

It looks to me like the limiting resolution of the P1000 must be close to the diffraction limit of 2 arc secs based on almost resolving Cassini’s Division at 0.5 arc secs, and clearly resolving the first dark band at 5 arc secs.

BRAVO – to Nikon nerds !

BTW In 1675, Cassini in the Paris Observatory used telescopes with focal lengths up to 136 feet long to observe Saturn and its division. (


1) Collimation

2) Guiding Svbony 

3) Eagle Nebula with filters. 20 minute field. 6 minute to emulate Hubble 180 pixel image.  Need stack for HDR of saturated stars. 

Jupiter close.jpg
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