(Last Updated on July 10, 2003)
Click on Images to EnlargeAstro-Imaging is an extremely demanding discipline that involves at least as much Art as Science. Perfect images are produced only when several ingredients come together in perfect fashion. These include camera focus, excellent optics & optical alignment, steady atmospheric seeing conditions, and perfect guiding/tracking of the telescope ... not to mention processing the images after they have been taken. This final step can sometimes require more effort than acquiring the images in the first place.
Most of the images below represent the very first efforts while the telescope is being adjusted during its preliminary phase of operation. For the time being, black & white (grayscale) images are being taken, but eventually tri-color imaging will also be performed. In all cases, the images were taken at the Newtonian focus of the 26" f/4.8 telescope, using an SBig, ST-8 CCD camera. CCDSoft software was used for camera control and some mild image processing. Of interest to those familiar with CCD imaging, it should be noted that none of these images have been flat fielded and have been made by combining several, short 10-15 second exposures in order to create a longer equivalent exposure. Although certainly not "perfect", these images represent an encouraging beginning for CCD imaging at Badlands Observatory.
M-11 Wild Duck Cluster (Student Image)
NGC 4565 Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices: 4/18/01
M-104 The Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo: 4/20/01
Comet LINEAR C2001 A2: 7/22/01
M-13, the great globular cluster in Hercules: 7/14/00. Note: "1st Image" taken at Badlands Observatory!
M-27 The Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula: 7/22/00, Exposure time 30 seconds.
M-57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra: 7/29/00, Exposure 70 seconds.
M-17 The Omega Nebula in Sagittarius: 7/30/00, Exposure 100 seconds.
M-16 Eagle Nebula in Serpens: 7/30/00, Exposure 60 seconds.
M-71 Globular Cluster in the Constellation Sagitta: 8/29/00, Exposure 60 seconds.
NGC 6960 The Veil Nebula in Cygnus: 8/29/00, Exposure 180 seconds.
NGC 7635 The Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia: 8/29/00, Exposure 60 seconds.
M-2 Globular Cluster in Aquarius: 9/3/00, Exposure 60 seconds.
M-74 Spiral Galaxy in Pisces: 9/3/00, Exposure 180 seconds.
M-51 The "Whirlpool Galaxy" (a Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venaciti): Two images (3/19/01 and 4/9/03).
NGC 891 Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda: 9/7/00, Exposure 100 seconds.
M-42 (Great Nebula in Orion): 11 minute cumulative exposure.
Mystery Image (Guess What This Is???): 11/03/00
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