Andrew Lowe's Astrophotography

Andrew Lowe's Astrophotography

I recently moved into the world of digital photography when I acquired two Nikon D750 DSLR cameras. From time to time, I will post results here.

Click on an image to view its uncompressed version.

My rendered videos are available on the Videos page.


The Moon on March 23, 2019, at 6:52 AM MDT, as seen from Calgary; a 1/640 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 30 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.240, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on March 21, 2019, at 11:46 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1250 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 15 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.210, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon over Downtown Calgary on March 21, 2019, as seen from Edworthy Park. Following moonrise at 8:54 PM MDT, I took photographs every 3 minutes with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8. Exposures varied with the brightness of the Moon.

The images were combined and processed in Photoshop and Lightroom.

The Moon on March 20, 2019, at 11:45 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary; a 1/2500 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 25 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.210, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on March 19, 2019, at 11:12 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1250 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 25 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.210, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on January 10, 2019, at 6:28 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/250 sec. exposure at ISO 1000 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 30 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.40 and Sharpen setting of 0.180, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The occultation of the star SAO 165019 (visual mag. = 7.8) by the Moon was observed at Calgary on January 9, 2019; these are one-second exposures at ISO 1600 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

The exposures were taken at 6:02:10, 6:04:04, 6:09:04, 6:10:38, and 6:10:42 PM MST. The computed time of disappearance was 6:10:38.5 PM MST.

The Moon on January 9, 2019, at 6:01 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/250 sec. exposure at ISO 1270 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 10 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.35 and Sharpen setting of 0.120, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

First test of my new Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer, which tracks the stars and allows you to take long-exposure photographs without the stars smearing.

On the left is a five-minute untracked exposure of Castor and Pollux on January 4, 2019, with a Nikon D750 at ISO 100 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/8. On the right is the same exposure with the tracking turned on. There is a bit of vibration from the observing platform, but overall the results are quite impressive!

The Moon on December 21, 2018, at 10:40 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/2500 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 18 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.35 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 20, 2018, at 9:35 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1250 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Clouds were extensive and the seeing was poor.

This is a stack of 8 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.50 and Sharpen setting of 0.210, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 19, 2018, at 6:18 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/200 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Clouds were pervasive and the seeing was very poor.

This is a stack of 7 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.40 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 18, 2018, at 10:38 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1250 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 14 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.40 and Sharpen setting of 0.200, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 17, 2018, at 5:33 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1000 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

The seeing was excellent.

This is a stack of 31 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.210, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 16, 2018, at 5:06 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/800 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 15 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.40 and Sharpen setting of 0.190, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 15, 2018, at 6:18 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/640 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Chinook winds (and their associated poor sky conditions) were much reduced tonight, and the seeing was very good.

This is a stack of 20 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.35 and Sharpen setting of 0.190, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 14, 2018, at 10:22 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/500 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 19 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.30 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 13, 2018, at 8:45 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/400 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 27 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.45 and Sharpen setting of 0.220, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Iridium 64 satellite produced a bright flare from its solar panels this morning in Calgary. Venus and Spica are also visible in this picture taken on December 13, 2018, at 6:19 AM MST.

A ten-second exposure at ISO 800 with a Nikon D750 and AF-S Nikkor 35mm lens at f/10.

The Moon on December 12, 2018, at 6:27 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/320 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 51 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.35 and Sharpen setting of 0.200, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on December 11, 2018, at 5:54 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/60 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Sky conditions were not great, with cirrus cloud and poor seeing.

This is a stack of six images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.25 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

I captured an early Geminid meteor while shooting video of Gemini with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens, on the evening of December 8, 2018, near Bartstow, Alberta. I aligned and stacked five consecutive ten-second exposure frames in Photoshop.

The outline of Gemini has been added.

I captured an early Geminid meteor while shooting video of Taurus and the comet 46P/Wirtanen with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and AF-S Nikkor 35mm lens at f/1.8, on the evening of December 8, 2018, near Bartstow, Alberta. I aligned and stacked five consecutive ten-second exposure frames in Photoshop.

Taurus and the Pleaides are in the upper-left corner, while 46P/Wirtanen is the fuzzy green dot in the lower-right corner.

M42 and the central area of Orion, on the evening of December 8, 2018. This is a stack of four images with five-second exposures, processed and aligned with Lightroom and Photoshop, with a Nikon D750 at ISO 1600 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8.

I observed from Township Road 232 and Range Road 251, about 10 km south of Strathmore, Alberta.

A view of the winter sky from Bartstow, Alberta, on the evening of December 8, 2018. Orion is prominent left-of-center, while Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster are located slightly to the upper-left of center. The comet 46P/Wirtanen is the fuzzy green dot just to the right-of-center.

This is a stack of four images, each of 10 seconds duration, with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens. Stacking and processing in Photoshop.

The comet 46P/Wirtanen, at 10:23 PM MST on the evening of December 8, 2018, from Township Road 232 and Range Road 251, about 10 km south of Strathmore, Alberta.

This is a stack of four images with five-second exposures, processed and aligned with Lightroom and Photoshop, with a Nikon D750 at ISO 1600 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8.

The comet 46P/Wirtanen, at 10:41 PM MST on the evening of December 5, 2018, from Highway 68, about 400 m south of the Sibbald Creek Trail exit on the Trans-Canada Highway, Alberta.

This is a stack of four images with five-second exposures, processed and aligned with Lightroom and Photoshop, with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8.

The Moon on November 28, 2018, at 1:17 AM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/640 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 14 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.20 and Sharpen setting of 0.140, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

I captured this beautiful meteor while shooting the northern skies on the evening of November 27, 2018, from the Sibbald Creek Trail exit in Alberta, Canada.

A 10-second exposure at ISO 800 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens. Processing in Lightroom.

The Moon on November 25, 2018, at 11:15 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/640 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 30 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.20 and Sharpen setting of 0.140, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on November 24, 2018, at 10:16 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/1000 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 30 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.20 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

A continuation of my moon photograph from two nights ago; here is the Moon on November 19, 2018, at 7:48 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/640 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 30 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.25 and Sharpen setting of 0.140, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

The Moon on November 17, 2018, at 6:01 PM MST, as seen from Calgary; a 1/400 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 24 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.25 and Sharpen setting of 0.160, with Linked Wavelets) using RegiStax 6.

Smoky conditions in Calgary last night gave the Moon a distinctive orange color. This is a stack of 32 images (1/60 sec. exposure at ISO 800) at 9:18 p.m. on August 22, 2018, with the Nikon D750 and a Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Stacking with PIPP and post-stack processing with RegiStax 6 and Photoshop CC.

Well, it took me a week to find one tiny meteor from my series of 116 shots of the Perseid meteor shower, but here it is! There are also three earth satellites, a plane (lower left corner), and M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) in this ten-second exposure at ISO 2016 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens.

This picture was taken at 11:14 p.m. on the evening of August 13, 2018, facing towards the radiant in the northeast. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.

Another spectacular sunset in the Springbank Hill suburb of Calgary, courtesy of the forest fires in British Columbia, at 8:13 p.m. on August 17, 2018.

This is a 1/500 sec. exposure at ISO 200 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/5.6. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.

While the forest fires in British Columbia continue to play havoc with our night-time skies here in Calgary, the smoke makes for some awesome day pics. Here is the Sun at 8:05 p.m. on August 15, 2018, 52 minutes before sunset.

This is a 1/500 sec. exposure at ISO 200 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/5.6. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.

The Summer Milky Way as seen from Scott Lake Hill, about 53 km west of Calgary, on the evening of August 13, 2018. This is a 10-second exposure at ISO 2016 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.

Mars is the bright red object in the left side of the image. Saturn is buried within the Milky Way at the bottom center.

A composite picture of the passage of the International Space Station over Calgary on August 5, 2018. Two-second exposures were taken every four seconds. A Nikon D750 with a Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens was used for this wide-angle shot, operating at ISO 800 and f/3.5.

Jupiter is the bright object below the ISS track, in the middle of the frame. Saturn is above the end of the track on the left side.

Click here for a rendered video. Two-second exposures were taken every four seconds, then processed in Lightroom and combined in Photoshop.

The Moon and Venus in conjunction on the evening of July 15, 2018 at 10:46 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary. A 1/2 sec. exposure with a Nikon D750 at ISO 800 and a Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
The Moon and Venus in conjunction on the evening of July 15, 2018 at 11:05 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary. This is a 1/8 sec. exposure at ISO 800 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8.
Three close-ups of the Moon on April 25, 2018, at 10:24 PM MDT as seen from Calgary. All images are 1/500 sec. exposures at ISO 800 with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

The left photograph is a single exposure, while the middle photograph is a stack of 12 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, and stacked with RegiStax 6. Note the increase in resolution in the stacked photograph.

The right photograph is the result of RegiStax 6 applying a Denoise setting of 0.25 and a Sharpen setting of 0.140, with Linked Wavelets, to the middle photograph. There is better contrast in the final photograph, while retaining detail along the terminator (upper-left corner).

The Moon on April 25, 2018, at 10:24 PM MDT as seen from Calgary. This is a 1/500 sec. exposure at ISO 800, my first photograph with my Nikon D750 and the Meade 8" f/10 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

This is a stack of 12 images, cropped and aligned with PIPP, then stacked and processed (Denoise setting of 0.25 and Sharpen setting of 0.140, with Linked Wavelets) with RegiStax 6.

The Moon on April 23, 2018, at 10:26 PM MDT as seen from Calgary. This is a 1/250 sec. exposure at ISO 400 with the Meade 4" f/10 telescope.

For this image, I did a collimation of the telescope's optics, and for the first time shot the Nikon D750 with the mirror in the lock-up position to minimize vibration.

The Moon on April 21, 2018, at 10:07 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary. A 1/125 sec. exposure with a Nikon D750 at ISO 400 and a Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
The Moon and Venus in conjunction on the evening of April 17, 2018 at 9:49 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary. This is a 1/2 sec. exposure at ISO 1600 with a Nikon D750 and AF-S Nikkor 35mm lens at f/1.8.

The star directly below the Moon is 5 Tauri, with an apparent magnitude of 4.14.

The Moon and Venus in conjunction on the evening of April 17, 2018 at 9:45 PM MDT, as seen from Calgary. This is a 1/8 sec. exposure at ISO 1600 with a Nikon D750 and Sigma 135mm DG lens at f/1.8.

The star directly below the Moon is 5 Tauri, with an apparent magnitude of 4.14.

A composite picture of the passage of the International Space Station over Calgary on February 9, 2018. One-second exposures were taken every two seconds. A Nikon D750 at ISO 800 with a Sigma Art 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens was used for this wide-angle shot.

Click here for a rendered video. One-second exposures were taken every two seconds, then processed in Lightroom and combined in Photoshop.

A composite picture of the passage of the International Space Station over Calgary on December 8, 2017. 1/13-second exposures were taken every two seconds. A Nikon D750 with a Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens was used for this wide-angle shot.
A composite picture of the passage of the International Space Station over Calgary on November 30, 2017. Two-second exposures were taken every four seconds. A Nikon D750 at ISO 400 with a Sigma Art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM lens was used for this wide-angle shot.

Click here for a rendered video. Two-second exposures were taken every four seconds, then processed in Lightroom and combined in Photoshop.

A composite picture of the passage of the International Space Station over Calgary on October 3, 2017. One-second exposures were taken every two seconds. Notice how the object slows down as it moves further to the east and away from the viewing site. The last few streaks turn red as the ISS moves into the Earth's shadow and disappears.

Click here for a rendered video. One-second exposures were taken every two seconds, then processed in Lightroom and combined in Photoshop.

The Moon on October 3, 2017, taken with the Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.
A composite picture of the rising Moon with a regular lens, from Calgary on October 3, 2017.
The Moon on October 2, 2017, at 10:22 PM MDT, taken with the Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
A composite picture of the rising Moon with a regular lens and through a telescope, from Calgary on October 1, 2017.
The Moon on September 27-29, 2017, from Calgary.
Pictures of the rising Moon were taken every three minutes and combined in Photoshop CC with a landscape photograph taken before moonrise. This montage was acquired near Ardrossan, Alberta, on September 7, 2017, nearly two days after Full Moon.

Note that due to refraction, the Moon was compressed vertically as it rose compared to its appearance later in the evening.

One day after the Full Moon, moonrise near Ardrossan, Alberta, on September 6, 2017. Pictures taken five minutes apart were combined in Photoshop CC.
Pictures of the Full Moon were taken every five minutes and combined in Photoshop CC with a landscape photograph taken at moonrise. This montage was acquired at Calgary, Alberta, on September 5, 2017.
The Sun on September 7, 2017. Notice how the sunspots have moved compared to the image two days earlier, due to the Sun's rotation.
The Sun on September 5, 2017. A solar filter was used with a Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Photoshop CC turned the original grey image into a pleasing yellow depiction.
The Moon on June 5, 2017, taken with the Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Photoshop CC was used to adjust the contrast and brightness.
The Moon on May 29, 2017, taken with the Meade 4" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. This photograph was acquired in JPEG format, which lacks the dynamic range of a NEF (RAW) image.