Novice vs. James Webb Area Telescope taking pictures Rho Ophiuchi

Amateur vs. James Webb Space Telescope shooting Rho Ophiuchi

Final week, NASA launched the most recent picture from the James Webb Area Telescope, a close-up view on the molecular cloud complicated Rho Ophiuchi. This can be a vivid and colourful object positioned within the constellation Ophiuchus, 400 mild years away and really near the Milky Approach core. Right here is that picture:

JWST Rho Ophiuchi

Rho Ophiuchi, JWST and me

Rho Ophiuchi is also referred to as XSS J16271-2423; it’s the closest stellar nursery to Earth and contains the intense orange star Antares.

The timing is ideal as a result of, for the previous few weeks, I’ve been engaged on gathering knowledge on this very same goal with my very own novice telescope.

For the primary time in my astrophotography journey, I made a decision to do a 2×2 panel mosaic of this object to get a really high-resolution picture that exhibits the complete molecular cloud complicated. I used 300-second exposures for about 2-3 hours on every panel after which stitched and processed all the pieces. You possibly can see the ultimate picture beneath:

This object may be very low within the sky, so it’s not simple to {photograph}. It’s because the sunshine from the nebula and stars goes by way of some atmospheric disturbance. Being so low, I used to be solely capable of spend 2 hours per evening whereas it was at its highest place.

My telescope is put in at a distant observatory known as Utah Desert Distant Observatories. This allowed me to seize knowledge each clear evening and underneath very darkish skies. The darkish skies particularly matter right here as a result of this object is generally a broadband goal, which means it may be shot with none filters.

Gear used

  • Telescope: Celestron RASA 8
  • Digital camera: ZWO ASI2600MC
  • Mount: 10Micron GM1000HPS
  • Laptop: Eagle 5S
  • Filters: None

The sky high quality on this shoot was two. (Typically, the sky high quality ranges on a scale from one to 9 -9, with one (Bortle one) being the least mild polluted.

The picture above exhibits the precise gear used to seize this picture.

Rho Ophiuchi taking pictures challenges

NASA’s photograph of Rho Ophiuchi is way clearer and with higher decision, as anticipated. That stated, listed here are a number of the components that make JWST’s pictures clearer and present the significance of getting this glorious system.

As I discussed earlier than, taking pictures situations usually are not best: The low place within the sky, creates atmospheric disturbance; The sunshine air pollution, even at degree two, shouldn’t be zero. JWST, begging so excessive, clearly shouldn’t be impacted by these two components.

However, additionally, the post-processing a part of the picture creation shouldn’t be trivial:

The information was not simple to course of. First, all the photographs needed to be debayered, calibrated, and aligned. Then, the photographs needed to be divided into their respective panels and stacked to create 4 grasp information.
The 4 grasp information then needed to be plate-solved and stitched collectively into the processing software program (PixInsight).

This course of created some residual black strains on the sides and some contained in the picture. These needed to be mounted as finest as attainable in order that they had been now not seen.

Lastly, the picture was processed like another deep-space picture, being cautious to deliver out as a lot element and colours as attainable with out bringing out noise or undesirable artifacts.

Can you spot the part photographed by NASA’s JWST on my novice picture? If not, this may assist! This comparability picture exhibits Rho Ophiuchi thrice:

  • Shot with a DSLR and a large lens
  • Then shot once more with my telescope (seen above)
  • And, lastly, the photograph from JWST
Rho Ophiuchi different views comparison

It’s all the time enjoyable once you spend a number of nights imagining an object and see that NASA releases a brand new image of that very same object!

In regards to the Creator

We’re Antoine and Dalia Grelin. For the final ten years, we’ve been honing our abilities as novice astrophotographers. Our aim is to inspire folks to leap into this glorious passion of astrophotography and assist others to seize their first pictures of the evening sky.

We do that by way of movies on our Galactic Hunter YouTube channel, lots of of written tutorials on our astrophotography website, and thru books about astrophotography. Half of our pictures are taken from the desert, distant from all the sunshine air pollution of the town, and the opposite half from our yard in Las Vegas, NV utilizing specialised filters