Astrophotography Contest

Each quarter the Seattle Astronomical Society highlights an especially wonderful photo submitted by one of our members.

Each photo is displayed on the SAS Facebook page, where votes are submitted by simply "Like"ing the photo. Voting is open to both members and the public. The entry with the most votes/likes by the deadline will be our Facebook and Twitter cover photos for the whole season, as well as permanently memorialized here on the SAS webpage. Send any questions (or your entry - preferably in .jpg format) to contest@seattleastro.org.

The next astrophotography contest will be: Spring of 2017, and the voting deadline will be March 20th, 2017.

Winter 2016

Winner’s Name: Wayne Hixson

Object Imaged (common name): Witch's Broom/Western Veil Nebula

 Winter 2016 Winner: Western Veil Nebula

Image details:

Object #: NGC 6960

Date Taken: June 28, 2016

Location: North Seattle (Home)

Telescope: TeleVue NP127is

Mount: Astro-Physics AP1100

Camera: QSI 690

Exposure: 220 minutes. 11x600 H-a, 11x600 O-III (Astrodon filters)

Processing: Captured, calibrated, stacked and aligned with MaximDL. Processed with StarTools 1.4 (Windows 10) using Bicolor technique - H-a:Red, O-III:Blue, and 50/50 H-a/O-III:Green

 

Fall 2016

Winner’s Name: Rick Ellis

https://www.flickr.com/photos/136923237@N02

Object Imaged (common name): Shark/Dark Nebula

 Fall 2016 Winner: Shark Nebula

Image details:

Object #: LDN 1235

Date Taken: Aug 4th, 5th and 6th

Location: Eden Valley (TMSP)

Telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 80

Mount: Mach1GTO Mount

Camera: QSI583ws cooled CCD camera w/Astrodon LRGB filters with QHY miniguide scope + ZWO ASI120MM-S guide camera

Exposure:

Lum = 4.3hrs (52 x 5min)
RGB = 1hr each (12 x 5 min) binned 2x2

 

Summer 2016

Winner’s Name: Matt Dahl

https://www.flickr.com/photos/128352927@N02/albums/72157650606143101

Object Imaged (common name): Rho Ophiuchus and Antares Nebula Region

 Summer 2016 Winner: Rho Ophiuchus and Antares Nebula Region

Image details:

Object #: LDN 1688

Date Taken: June 3, 2016

Location: Mauna Kea Observatories Visitor Center

Mount: SkyWatcher Star Adventurer

Camera: Canon 6D (Hutech Modified) DSLR with on 300mm f/4L at f/5 Lens

Exposure: 61 minutes (61 x 60 seconds)

Processing: Processed in PixInsight 1.8

 

Spring 2016

Winner’s Name: Dylan Ma

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49501285@N04/albums/72157662594221510

Object Imaged (common name): The Orion Nebula

 Spring 2016 Winner: The Orion Nebula

Image details:

Object #: Messier 42

Date Taken: December 30th, 2015

Location: Bellevue, Washington

Telescope: Stellarvue SV80 ED

Mount: iOptron ZEQ25

Camera: Canon T3i (modified)

Exposure: 10 Darks, 20 Flats, 20 Biases

50 x 60 seconds at f/7, ISO 800

10 x 30 seconds at f/7, ISO 800

10 x 10 seconds at f/7, ISO 800

Processing: Stacking, basic histogram adjustments in DeepSkyStacker. Color Saturation, Levels, Contrast, Brightness, Highlights and Shadows, and Sharpness adjustments made in Adobe Photoshop.

 

Winter 2015

Winner’s Name: Matt Dahl

https://www.flickr.com/photos/128352927@N02/albums/72157650606143101

Object Imaged (common name): The Soul Nebula in the Hubble Palette

 Winter 2015 Winner: The Soul Nebula in the Hubble Palette

Image details:

Object #: IC 1848 (Sh2-199 or Westerhout 5)

Date Taken: November 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, 2015

Location: near North Bend, WA.

Telescope: TEC 180FL @ f/5 using an Astro-Physics Quad-TCC reducer

Mount: Astro-Physics 900

Camera: QSI 683 wsg-8 with Starlight Xpress Lodestar Autoguider

Exposure: This is a narrowband four-panel mosaic, consisting of the following exposure times:

Ha: 

Panel 1: 255 minutes (17 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 2: 255 minutes (17 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 3: 255 minutes (17 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 4: 270 minutes (18 * 15 min, bin 1x1)

OIII: 

Panel 1: 240 minutes (16 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 2: 240 minutes (16 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 3: 240 minutes (16 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 4: 225 minutes (15 * 15 min, bin 1x1)

SII: 

Panel 1: 120 minutes (8 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 2: 120 minutes (8 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 3: 120 minutes (8 * 15 min, bin 1x1)
Panel 4: 120 minutes (8 * 15 min, bin 1x1)

Total Integration Time: 
Each Panel: 615 minutes (10 hours 15 minutes)
Total Image: 2,460 minutes (41 hours)

Processing:  Processed in PixInsight 1.8. I used the modified J-P Metsavainio tone map processing technique as described on the L'arciere celeste website to combine the narrowband color data. Additionally, I used PI's GradientMergeMosaic tool to combine the 4 different panels. The seeing was not good during this exposure run, so that created some processing challenges.

 

Fall 2015

Winner’s Name: Dylan Ma

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49501285@N04/albums/72157662594221510

Object Imaged (common name): Sagittarius “Core of the Milky Way”

 Fall 2015 Winner: Sagittarius

Image details:

Date Taken: August 15th, 2015

Location: Table Mountain Star Party - Eden Valley Ranch, Oroville, Washington

Mount: iOptron Skytracker

Camera: Nikon D610 with Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Exposure: 177.0 seconds at f/3.2, ISO 1600

Processing: Color Saturation, Levels, Contrast, Brightness, Highlights and Shadows, Sharpness, and Clarity adjustments made in Adobe Lightroom.

 

Summer 2015

Winner’s Name: Dylan Ma

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49501285@N04/albums/72157662594221510

Object Imaged (common name): The North American Nebula

 Summer 2015 Winner: The North American Nebula

Image details:

Object #: NGC 7000

Date Taken: August 29th, 2014

Location: the Goldendale Star Party, Brooks Memorial State Park, Goldendale, Washington

Mount: iOptron ZEQ25

Camera: Nikon D600 with a Nikon 300 mm f/2.8 ED Lens

Exposure: 118.0 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 2500

Processing: Color Saturation, Levels, Midtone Contrast, Brightness Highlights and Shadow, and Cropping adjustments made in Adobe Photoshop Elements Version 6.

 

Spring 2015

Winner’s Name: Andy Ermolli

https://www.flickr.com/photos/andyinsea

Object Imaged (common name): Bode's Galaxy

 Spring 2015 Winner: Bode's Galaxy

Image details:

Object #: Messier 81

Date Taken: Luminance in March of 2015 and RGB in Early Spring of 2014

Location: Luminance: Potholes state park and RGB: Skagit Wilderness area.

Telescope: Luminance: Astro-tech 10"RC truss tube. And RGB: Takahashi TOA130.

Mount: Luminance: Astro-physics AP900GTOCP3 mount. And RGB: on Astro Physics Mach 1 mount.

Camera: Luminance: QSI532wsg and RGB: QSI 583wsg

Exposure: Luminance: (40) 5minute subs. And RGB: (10)ea 10minute subs.

Processing:  Data acquisition: Sequence Generator pro, Auto guiding: PHD guiding. Calibrated, stacked and processed with Pixinsight.

Upcoming Astrophotography Contest Events

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