Introduction

My location in light-polluted Lancashire and my interests in the deep, deep sky would appear to be mutually exclusive. However, advances in techniques as much as advances in technology have meant that we can successfully image all manner of interesting objects (see Figure 9.1). We cannot expect to rival the best of images from dark sites but by acting smarter in subject choice, imaging

Figure 9.1. The power of CCDs. With just amateur equipment we are able to reach some of the most remote objects known -high-redshift (z > 4) quasars. Their light has taken around 12 billion years to reach Earth! FLI Maxcam and 16-inch Newtonian.

Quasars with redshift of z > 4

Light travel time of appro* 12 billion years

PSSJ1435+3057 PSS J1443+2724 PSS J1347+4956

Redshift 2 "4.35

Redshift I = 4.42

Redshift I =4.57

Quasars with redshift of z > 4

Light travel time of appro* 12 billion years

PSSJ1435+3057 PSS J1443+2724 PSS J1347+4956

Redshift 2 "4.35

Redshift I = 4.42

SDSS J1737+5828

Redshift i = 4.94

SDSS J0756+4104

Redshift z = S 09

SDSS J1737+5828

Redshift i = 4.94

SDSS J0756+4104

Redshift z = S 09

techniques and processing methods, we can fight back. Smarter subject choice means searching out suitable targets - there are plenty, believe me. Smarter imaging techniques means optimizing filters and exposures for the limits of our site. Smarter processing includes using state-of-the-art noise-reduction filters -but more on that later.

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