[AZ-Observing] Re: NGC 4490(Cocoon Galaxy) and NGC 4485

  • From: "Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy)" <mrgalaxy@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 6 May 2012 07:40:08 GMT

Benson, AZ 85602
hm ph: 520-586-2244 How right you are, Steve, and the guys who are doing such 
great work want us to critique it! Difficult to say the least... I for one am 
glad they are so generous with their time and energies and I really enjoy the 
fruits of their labor. It is very interesting how CCD imaging has evolved since 
the early 90's when I was first involved with it for my supernova searching. 
Since the CCD sensor was so sensitive a minute of CCD imaging was supposed to 
be equivalent to an hour of film astrophotography. That use of CCD imaging has 
gone by the wayside except for the quick SN, asteroid, and nova surveys and 
planetary imaging (to cancel out the effects of seeing). In our case the 
ability to take relatively short CCD images rescued the Orange County 
(California) Astronomers' 22-in telescope from stagnation. That telescope had a 
clock drive that was only able to track reliably for less than a minute, okay 
for visual work, but certainly no good for film astrophotography. However, it 
was ample time for a decent CCD image reaching down to about 18th magn. The 
images were hardly beautiful, but contained the scientific information 
necessary to determine the presence, or not, of any new stars. Now a typical 
CCD image consists of a couple to several hours of stacked images to get 
monstrously deep space penetration and exquisite images. I'm not sure when the 
hyper-long exposure trend started, but I know Doug George and friends in Canada 
(of Cyanogen) started doing statistical analysis of images and vastly improved 
the software to allow such imaging times to become possible.   
Clear skies, 
Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy)
---------- Original Message ----------
From: stevecoe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Re: NGC 4490(Cocoon Galaxy) and NGC 4485
Date: Sat, 5 May 2012 15:15:28 -0400

Wayne, Bernie, Tom, et al;

Who would have thunk it??

If you had said to me in the 1980's that amateurs with something like
15,000 dollars worth of equipment would be able to produce images of the
deep sky that we are comparing to shots from Mt. Palomar...I would have
looked into having you put away for a while.

Several times Tom Polakis has shown up at club meetings with excellent
images of the planets and solar detail with the new German DMK camera that
he bought for less than a thousand dollars.  I shot many, many rolls of
film at Saturn and Mars hoping for just one shot to turn out good enough
to show some detail...and rarely got it.

It is utterly amazing to me that the digital CCD and software revolution
that has happened in the last 20 years or so has gotten us to here. 
Stunning detail in bright objects and a field of view covered in faint and
very faint DSOs everywhere you look.  I don't want to join in, but I am
fascinated by the results.

Thanks to all our astroimagers for sharing;
Steve Coe
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