Making Beautiful Deep-Sky Images: Astrophotography with Affordable Equipment and Software

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Springer, Oct 26, 2016 - Science - 189 pages
I have recently discovered the most satisfying hobby so far, and to be frank, I have pursued quite a few hobbies in my time! This one encompasses computers, optics, precision mechanics, digital image processing and artistic appreciation, and it therefore satisfies just about every major interest I have in one go. The hobby is taking photographic images of the deep-sky. I have not met anyone, so far, that has not been moved, sometimes to a great extent, by the images you will find within the pages of this book. Some people will actually admit to being frightened by the vastness of space that these images depict. I am not frightened by these images, but I am certainly awe-struck by them, and they do make me feel rather insignificant regarding the grand scale of things. I am also still firmly in the grip of being totally amazed that the capability to take such awe-inspiring images is now available to anyone with sufficient time and effort to dedicate to this most rewarding of hobbies. This book has two aims. The first is to show you the richness, wonder, and beauty of deep-sky objects. The second is to show you how you can take these images for yourself, using readily available commercial equipment.
 

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Contents

How did I start?
1
The Beginning  and a Serious Health Warning
15
Assembling your Imaging System
18
Computational Considerations  Data Acquisition and Image Processing
39
A Permanent Setup
45
First Light  Choosing your Objects
51
First Light  your First Objects
59
WideField Imaging with a Short Focal Length Refractor
63
Fundamentals of Image Processing
84
Processing Professional Data
95
The DeepSky Images
107
Differentiating your Work
152
Your Largest Resource
161
Book Recommendations
167
Appendix 1 The Angular Size of Objects in the Sky
171
Appendix 2 The Designation of DeepSky Objects
173

Hyperstar III Imaging
69
Parallel Imaging with an Array
75

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About the author (2016)

Professor Greg Parker was Head of the Nanoscale Systems Integration Group at Southampton University in southern England until his recent retirement. His deep-sky astronomical images have been published in Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines. He is the author of Introductory Semiconductor Device Physics (IOP, ISBN 0750310219), and has written many scientific papers and articles, mostly in the area of photonics and optoelectronics, as well as a chapter (Guided-wave Optical Communications: Materials) in Elsevier’s Encyclopaedia of Materials: Science & Technology.

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