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Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
CURRENT MOON
Astrophotography
Picture of the Month
In 2015 SCAS will hold an Astronomical Photo contest each and every month. This contest is open to SCAS members.  If you are a friend of SCAS or are interested in joining the society and would
like to participate in this monthly contest please consider submitting a membership application.

The rules for this competition are as follows:
1.        The picture has to be taken by you.
2.        Photos must have been taken during the designated calendar month.
3.        Contestants may submit as many pictures per month as they wish and must be of astronomical objects.
4.        Data such as telescope type, size, focal ratio, eye piece, focal length, camera type, length of exposure(s), ISO setting, and what software was used to process the image needs to be
submitted with each picture (this is information provided so others may learn from your efforts).
5.        For a picture to be considered for the monthly APOM title it must be submitted no later than 5 days after the end of the month for which it is to compete in.

The competition will start the 1st of January 2015 and will last for the full calendar year. The pictures can be taken with your own telescope or with the CSU-P observatory telescope and camera.  
Pictures will be sent to Treasure Tom Northup at
tnorthup@scaspueblo.com and be judged by all society members present at the society monthly meetings.  Monthly winners will be featured in the
SCAS Times, SCAS Website, the SCAS Facebook page, and the photograph will be submitted to area media outlets such as newspapers and television stations.  At the end of 2014 the monthly
winning photographs will be voted on for the title of SCAS Astronomical Picture of the Year (APOY).  The winner of APOY will receive an award yet to be determined.

Pictures submitted in the APOM/APOY contest will not become property of the society however the society will reserve the right to republish the imagery for future society related promotional,
educational and informational use.  Any pictures used in such a capacity will provide credit information.

Those entering the APOM contest will have the option of a Gallery Page being created for their efforts here on the SCAS website for all to see. Please contact PR Director Alan Knight at
aknight@scaspueblo.com to let him know you need a page set up.
If you would like to participate in the SCAS are
not a member please visit the
Membership
Form Page or click on the hyperlink text in blue
join the society mail your membership
applicaiton to the following address:

SCAS Pueblo
PO Box 9023
Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

Remember to make your dues payable to the
Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
Below is a list compiled by astrophotography shooting members of software they are familiar
with to help you out with this contest.   Here is list of software and what it's purpose is.

Free Astronomy programs
Free star chart programs with telescope and observatory control capabilities .
Cartes Du Ciel       http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/download
Stellarium      http://www.stellarium.org/

Free webcam capture programs.
WXAstroCapture      http://arnholm.org/astro/software/wxAstroCapture/
SharpCap     http://www.sharpcap.co.uk/
WcCtrl      http://www.burri-web.org/bm98/soft/wcctrl/
Virtual Dub      http://www.virtualdub.org/download.html
Craterlet     http://www.stark-labs.com/craterlet.html

Free image processing programs.
Auto Stitch     http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/brown/autostitch/autostitch.html
Avi Stack    http://www.avistack.de/
Deep Sky Stacker     http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html
Iris     http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/us/iris/iris.htm
RegiStax     http://www.astronomie.be/registax/download.html
Startrails     http://www.startrails.de/html/software.html
Gimp     http://www.gimp.org/

Free DSLR control software
DSLR Control     http://www.barkosoftware.com/DSLRControl/index.html
Dslr Shutter     http://www.stark-labs.com/DSLR_Shutter.html

Miscellaneous Programs
Fits Liberator     http://
www.spacetelescope.org/projects/fits_liberator/

You Tube often has video tutorials of the software listed above to help understand how to use it.
Judging Criteria

Four categories: Smartphone, Beginner, Intermediate and
Advanced, those submitting must declare what category they
fall into.

Creativity / Originality
•Subject revealed in extraordinary or unique way?

Focus / Exposure / Contrast (technical issues)
•Sharpest point on item of interest?
•Good overall contrast?

Composition
•Overall organization
•Filled the frame?
•Controlled the background (non-distracting)?
•Kept it simple (unnecessary clutter)?

Center of Interest
•What holds your eye the longest?
•What is first thing you notice?
•Other elements compete for interest?

Visual Impact
•"Wow" factor
Our April 2015
Astronomical Picture of
the Month winners are:
Please visit the Members
Gallery page to see
astrophotography
collections from individual
members.
Smartphone Category
Winner: Doug Villers with
his image of our Moon.
Beginner Category Winner:
Richard Burnett with his
image of M4 Globular
Cluster.
Intermediate Category
Winner: David Furry with
his image of our Sun.
Advanced Category
Winner: Tom Northup with
Sombrero Galaxy.