Scotland had a great spell of cloud free weather in Spring 2020 and below are some of my deep sky captures. All were captured on my Canon PowerShot SX530HS superzoom camera using CHDK AstroKam, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in StarTools. Click an image for full size.
M101 captured with a Canon SX530HS at 50x zoom in CHDK AstroKam. 50x200sec lights at f8 and ISO 1600 with 15 each darks and offsets. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, processed in StarTools and polished in Paint.net.
I took a shot of the night sky with my SX530HS and submitted it to nova.astrometry.net for analysis. They returned the result within a few minutes, including a copy of the original image with deep sky object labels superimposed. Below is a detail of that image.
Pretty good for a point and shoot camera and a great service from http://nova.astrometry.net.
I just built an astro camera tracker with bits costing around £10 and tried it out with my Canon SX230HS. It seemed to track very well and here is a shot of Orion made up of 35 exposures of 150 seconds stacked together in DSS and processed in StarTools.
Another shot taken with my £95 SX530HS. Software = CHDK, Astrokam, ASPS, PHD2, DSS, StarTools and Paint.Net.
I am a member of the Powershotters group who asked for some details on how I processed this image. Here is a light image:
and here is a dark image
The 48 light and 15 dark images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker along with 25 flats and 15 offsets to produce the FITS image below. This was then processed in StarTools to give the final result above.
Here is a shot I took with my SX530HS PowerShot at maximum optical zoom. Captured in CHDK AstroKam, guided by PHD2, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in StarTools and Paint.NET.
Not bad for a second hand camera with no telescope?
Here is my first attempt at deep sky with my new (second-hand) Canon SX530HS compact camera. I shot this with a beta version of AstroKam that I hope to release soon. I only used about a third of the optical zoom range so there is plenty of scope (pun) to chase smaller targets.
Still messing with settings for it but I think it compares well with a similar shot I took with my Canon 1100D below.
I have been working on a new app that will automatically take astro images overnight and below are some early results. All taken with a Canon 1100D and Sigma 70-300mm lens, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in StarTools.
AstroTour interfaces with PHD2 autoguider (including dithering), All Sky Plate Solver for accurate targeting and digiCamControl for capture. digiCamControl allows a wide range of Canon and Nikon DSLRs to be controlled as well as some Sony and other cameras.
Above is a trial I shot of the Horsehead Nebula using iTelescope.net which has a range of high spec remote controlled telescopes across the world. I bought 20 imaging points using their starter plan which was made up to 60 points as a new member. I then booked 45 minutes on their telescope #24 which is a 0.61 metre reflector in California. I shot 300s each of Ha, R,G,B, O and S and combined the HaRGB in Krita.
This shooting plan took 47 of my points which I think is really good value for using a scope I could never hope to own.
Note that the image is pretty noisy because I did not have enough images to stack and reduce the noise. I will be taking more shots soon and will post the results here.