Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Thomas Jefferson Library, Falls Church, VA
Sep 6 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

NOVAC’s Byron Bergert Image Processing Group will hold its (Almost) Autumnal Equinox Processing Party on Saturday September 6 from 1-5pm at the Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, on Route 50 just inside the beltway. Same agenda as last time: none. Just bring yourself, your data, a laptop for processing, and/or your questions about imaging. Come when you like, leave when you like. We’ll hang out as long as we have patience for, process images, and talk about imaging.

A suggestion from some folks who were there last time: if anyone would like to bring a projector for a laptop, that could stimulate spontaneous demonstrations! (PixInsight, anyone?) Hope to see you all then.

The Hole in the Trees Skybox:

Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Patrick Henry Library
Nov 22 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

NOVAC’s Byron Bergert Imaging Group continues to defy expectations by, well, continuing! Our Pre-Thanksgiving Processing Party will be held Saturday November 22 from 10am to 2pm at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna. We’ll be talking about imaging and processing images, so bring your laptop, your data, or just your questions. And in a radical departure from precedent (meaning the first two meetings), we’ll have an actual presentation: our very own Robert Whisler will give a presentation on guiding for astrophotography. So participate in the making of history and join us. Don’t be intimidated – none of us know what we’re doing either!

Please note the change in time and location. The Patrick Henry Library is on Maple Avenue in Vienna, about a mile east of Nutley Street and two miles west of Tysons Corner. The meeting room is on the right as you come in the door. Recommendation: bring an extension cord and a power strip, if you can. There are only so many outlets, and we don’t want to all huddle against the walls! I hope to see you there.

Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Patrick Henry Library
Jan 31 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

NOVAC’s Byron Bergert Imaging Group will hold its Pre-Groundhog Day Image Processing Party on Saturday January 31 from 10am to 2pm at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna. We’ll be in the meeting room, first door on the right as you come in the main door.

This time around we’ll have an addition to our normal routine of talking about imaging and processing our data. I’ll demonstrate how I processed a recent deep sky image, showing how I use Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop to stack the data and process it. To make the most of this, I’ll post the data online (hopefully tonight), so that other imagers can try their hand at processing the data as well. At the get-together on Jan 31, we can look at different ways of processing the same data, and compare results. I’m hoping that one of the PixInsight users in the club will take a crack at this so that we can compare the different workflows. This walkthrough will require a projector! If you can bring one, please let me know.

I hope to see you there.

Kevin Quin

Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Loudoun Public County Library
May 23 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
After some hunting, we’ve found a time, date, and location for the next meeting of NOVAC’s astro-imaging group, named in honor of late NOVACian Byron Bergert.

Tentatively, we’re hoping to hold this on 23 May from 10:00-1:00, in a meeting room at the Loudoun County Public Library on Hay Road in Ashburn, VA.  This is of course the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, but given availability of meeting space, it was the first option we’ve been able to find for a while that doesn’t conflict with Astronomy Day on the 16th, so we’re going to go ahead and scheduling it.

There’s not typically a really structured agenda; an important part of this is informal discussion.  As a starting point for this session, however, Beth will be talking about solar imaging and processing techniques that she’s used for images she has sent out over the past few weeks to this list.  Kevin Quin also may do an imaging processing walkthrough with PixInsight, unless another member has some imaging data they’d like to try and do a processing walkthrough with.

We’ve had a few of our past attendees indicate that they can make it, but newcomers are always welcome as well.  This is really a low-intensity group; our aim is to make it really painless to join or contribute. If you have some astrophotography data you want some help processing, or something you’d like to show, or an imaging question you’d like to discuss, feel free to bring it up at the meeting–that’s what this is all about.

Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Patrick Henry Library
Sep 5 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
NOVAC’s Byron Berget Imaging Group will hold its next processing party on Saturday September 5 from 10am to 1pm at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna.  The room is just inside the main door to the right.  Bring your images from AHSP or your backyard, your laptops, or just your questions, and we’ll process our data and discuss imaging techniques.  Like usual, our group is low stress.  No agenda, no presentations, just hanging out and learning from other people who take pictures of the stars.  Hope to see you then.

Note that this is a change from a date (Aug 29) some of us had discussed a while back.  Apologies to anyone who wasn’t included in the rescheduling discussion.  I was still posting to the listserv from my Yahoo address then, and most things weren’t getting through.

For the same reasons, I’m reposting a message below about a few galaxy images I processed recently:

I finally starting to get a stable processing routine in PixInsight for my LRGB images, and have managed to get through a bunch of galaxies that I shot since last fall.  These were all taken from my little backyard dog-servatory in Dunn Loring, between Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District, so you know there’s plenty of light pollution.  The springtime galaxy images really suffered from this, as transparency was lower then and the soggy air reflected more light back down into the scope.  Seeing was also much better for the one image shot in the fall (NGC 891), so details are sharper in that image.  FWHM (a measure of sharpness of the stars in the image) was 1.95 arcsecs for that one, vs. 2.7 for the three shot in the spring.

NGC 891 is the best of them.  It’s “the other Andromeda galaxy,” also sometimes called The Outer Limits galaxy because it was used in the opening sequence to that old TV show.  NGC 4244 is the Silver Needle Galaxy.  I was really surprised at the amount of detail in the star clouds, but it turns out that NGC 4244 is quite close, just outside our local group, at 13 million light years.  NGC 5921 in Virgo is a bit off the beaten track, as it’s pretty small compared to other spring galaxies.  But I like the barred spiral structure.  NGC 4565 may be familiar, as it’s one of the brightest edge-on galaxies of springtime.  The last two galaxies probably look quite a bit less detailed than the first two, mostly because they only have 2-3 hours of exposure time vs 5-7 on the first two.  As usual, spring skies weren’t very cooperative.
These were all taken with a CPC1100 and an SXVR-H694 camera.  Full details are located below each image.
Byron Bergert Imaging Group @ Online via Google Meet
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

NOVAC’s Byron Bergert Imaging Group will hold its Not-a-Leap-Year Processing Party online on Saturday, February 27 from 10am to 1pm. As our planet’s satellite moves into its springtime prime, when the first-quarter moon will ride high in the sky, this seemed like a good opportunity to take a step sideways from our usual focus on deep sky astrophotography to do a session on lunar imaging. Our Special Guest Processor for this meeting is Tom Glenn, a skilled lunar and planetary photographer who lives in San Diego. You may be familiar with Tom’s work from his fantastic APOD of the International Space Station transiting Mars, but if you look at Tom’s Flickr site you’ll quickly see that he’s equally talented at lunar imaging, and in fact he earned his first APOD for that work. Tom images the moon with a 9.25” Celestron SCT and an ASI183 camera.

We’ll be holding this meeting online via Google Meet. Follow the link below to join the meeting (you can dial in for audio only):

Phone: 414-436-7479
PIN: ‪891 623 500#

We’ll open the connection about 10 minutes before the meeting time.