Byron Bergert Imaging Group on Feb 3 10:00a – 1:00p

by Rick Stevenson

NOVAC’s Byron Bergert Imaging Group will hold its Groundhog Day +1 Processing Party, featuring Special Guest Processor John Kasianowicz, on Saturday February 3 from 10am to 1pm at the Providence Community Center near the Vienna Metro Station. We’ll be in Multipurpose Room 1, which is to the left past the registration desk. As usual, we’re very low key: come when you like, leave when you like. You don’t need to be an experienced astrophotographer – or even an astrophotographer at all yet – to join us. In addition to a processing demonstration, we talk about capturing and processing images and we share tips and techniques in an informal environment. Please bring a laptop with any images you’re working on. You’re sure to get a hand in processing them.

This month’s processing demonstration will be given by John Kasianowicz. John is a member of a six-person world class imaging team that operates remote-controlled observatories in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, in west Texas, and in West Virginia. John’s group operates equipment that most of us only dream of, including a Ceravolo astrograph, Planewave CDK telescopes, and 16803-equipped cameras, and the group’s images show that they take full advantage of that gear. If you google John’s name with “astrophoto” you’ll find endless examples of his team’s beautiful work, including this narrowband image of the Heart Nebula processed by Rick Stevenson (a name that those of us who use PixInsight may well recognize). John will talk a bit about his equipment and show us how he processes images.

We’ll post the raw data John will be using so that you can follow along with the processing steps during the meeting. You’re also encouraged to work on it in advance, and share your processing technique with us at the meeting. I’ll post a link when the data is available.

In addition to John’s processing demonstration, we’ll do our usual “show and tell” of images from NOVAC members. I’d also like to expand our discussion to include hardware and software. If you’ve got some experience with hardware or software that other group members might benefit from, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list. So far, I’m thinking of the following topics for this meeting:

Inexpensive illuminated panels for flats. I’ve been testing out an LED panel, and I’ve found it gives surprisingly good flats, to the point that I think my days of shooting sky flats are over. I’ll bring the panel to the meeting.
Filters, both narrowband and LRGB, from China. There’s been a lot of discussion about inexpensive filters on Cloudy Nights over the last few months. I’ll share some of what I’ve been reading, but I know we’d all like to get firsthand information from anyone who’s actually using these filters.
CMOS-chipped cameras. I don’t use one of these cameras, but with their relatively low cost they’ve become very popular and it sounds like the early bugs have been solved. I know several group members use the ASI1600, and perhaps the QHY-163 equivalent. Please share your experiences with these cameras, including any quirks you’ve discovered solutions to.

If anyone has other subjects they’d like to hear about or share themselves, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

The Providence Community Center (map) is between Route 29 and the metro station, just west of Nutley Street. There’s easy access from I-66, and it’s only a short walk from the metro station:

Hope to see you there.

The Hole in the Trees Skybox:

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