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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/05/14 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Hi guys!I finally managed to decide I'm done processing my insane photoproject of digging deep inside M31.Long story short: One picture of M31, 27megapixel 2x2 mosaic, +3 months of imaging in crappy weather, 18 separate nights, 534 separate exposures, +150 hours of processing, 1233 manually annotated objects inside M31.(images in the end of this post, lots of "bla bla" first)I had a great start last autumn with loads of clear nights, which made me think it be a quick stab to make a 2x2 mosaic (my first mosaic btw) of M 31 since my f.o.v is to narrow to capture M31 in one frame...But pretty much as soon as I started, the swedish weather turned into a mess which made me shoot M31 during 18(!) separate nights, during more than 3 months(!).I also spent countless of hours studying the M31 Atlas available online at: http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/ANDROMEDA_Atlas/frames.htmlIt contains +40 annotated plates of M31 captured with Kitts Peak 4m telescope and contains +1000 globular clusters, open clusters, stellar ascossiations and dust-clouds inside M31.By looking at those charts, I manually annotated 1233 objects in my image, along with names & outlines (except for dustcloud-names, since it cluttered the image too much)Here's what I found within my image:232 Globular Clusters235 Open Clusters140 Stellar Assosciations626 Dust CloudsData captured using ACP + SchedulerCalibration was done in Maxim, registration & stacking + mosaic-merging done in PI, the rest in photoshop.Gear:Telescope: Orion Optics AG12Camera: QSI 583 wsg-8Mount: 10Micron GM 2000 HPSGuiding: UnguidedSummary of exposures:Lum: 364 x 180s / 1092 minutesRed: 39 x 300s / 195 minutesGreen : 36 x 300s / 180 minutesBlue : 43 x 300s / 215 minutesHa : 52 x 900s / 780 minutesTotal time: 2462 minutes / 41 hoursHere are a few 100% crops so you can appreciate the level of resolution and the hard work behind it.(note Hubbles famous Cepheid, marked as "Var 1")Also, here's one of the charts used for annotation along with a matching crop from my image:If you're not using a mobile device, I highly recommend following the links to my homepage where the image is presented in full resolution along with selectable annotation-layers containing the following:Globular ClustersOpen ClustersDark NebulaeStellar AssociationsGrid + DSO'sIt was really mind-boggling processing a image of this scale, realizing that all those fuzzy spots visible inside the galaxy are actually open clusters and globular clusters, along with Ha-regions and much more!Unfortunately mobile devices usually downscale the huge 27MP resolution images and have trouble with the annotation-layers, so if you're using a computer(highly recommended), click the following images to be taken to my homepage where you can select which layers of annotation to be displayed, as well as the choice of 3 different resolutions. Otherwise there are direct-links to all versions below the images in this thread.Direct-links to images, No annotation:http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Med_102.jpg - (1024px width)http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Large_102.jpg - (3500px width)http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Full_102.jpg - (+6000px width)Direct-links to images, Annotated:http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Med_102_Annotated.jpg - (1024px width)http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Large_102_Annotated.jpg - (3500px width)http://www.grinderphoto.se/pics/Full_102_Annotated.jpg - (+6000px width)Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoy exploring all the details in this fantastic galaxy!Best RegardsJonas Grindehttp://www.grinderphoto.se
  2. 11 points
    Hi everyone! Good seeing last night which resulted in my best Mars image to date! No so good for Saturn as a dew heater failure and onset of heavy dew meant I was imaging through a no longer transparent corrector! Oh well...what to do!
  3. 9 points
    Well I thought it was funny........
  4. 8 points
    Had a great night observing last night after what seems like night after night of poor transparency I finally got it good! I got to my local dark site just after sunset and started unloading the van and walking 50 metres to my observing spot. Each time I did that walk (4 times) I was looking up at the stunning crescent moon, Jupiter and Mars blazing away against a deep blue sky. So I set up, collimated and sat back with a coffee just enjoying the view. I took a quick look at Mars but the wind was a little too gusty so I made the decision to move back closer to the car where a hedge would give me a little shelter....another 4 walks carrying gear and once again set up collimated but happy that it was out of the wind. I just had a few targets planned, I've seen all of them before but apart from M51 havent sketched them, the problem was going to be that most of them were very close to the zenith and into 'the dob hole' where nudging a dob gets pretty tricky. First object was M63 the Sunflower galaxy. Quite bright and easy to find but really hard to make out any detail, just suggestions of spiral arms more than anything. Onto the great M101. I think my sketch shows the spiral arms clearer than what they actually are even with a large scope at dark skies. It took a while for the arms to appear, I struggle using averted vision to see detail so usually rock the scope which does the same thing but with the dob almost pointing vertical that proved almost impossible but eventually my eyes became adjusted and the spiral arms popped into view and I made the sketch. M101 has got so much to offer with more NGC's within it but I'II save those for another night when its altitude is a little better. Next up M51 the Whirlpool galaxy. Complete contrast to M101 the Whirlpool was bright and bold with its spiral arms reaching around to NGC 5195, just the connecting bridge was fairly faint but really wasnt hard to spot. This is the first time I've looked at it with the 16" and it was so much better than when I saw it last with the 12". Just incredible! Enough said!! The last galaxy for the night was in Virgo, M61 the Swelling galaxy. Fairly small and compact with a central bar pointing from NE to SW and one tuft of an arm visible. So I think that may be the last chance I'II get for DSO's before the moon becomes too bright. It really was one of the best nights I've had for a long time, perfect transparency with fairly dark skies. Talking of dark skies, my SQM readings for that site have been alot better this winter. A couple years ago my best readings there were around 21.3 SQ, last night my best average reading was 21.65 SQ! I guess I have to thank Emad and his lamp post for that haha!
  5. 8 points
    Hi guys. Sorry I have been absent for such a while! I just realised it's been about a year since I posted here last! How slack haha! Been busy with work, and buying of a new business, and haven't had much time to get outside, plus the weather hasn't been really great or consistent, but I have managed to get a few images in! Thought I'd share the best of what I have achieved over the past year, hope you like them All were imaged through the RC10 on the G11, in Lakes Entrance, Australia. With the Sculptor Galaxy, it was my first image with the new QHY9, and I used the wrong setting, so there is a slightly noticeable band across the lower half of the image. Tarantula Nebula in Ha, 6 Hours, 36, 10 minute subs, binned 2x2 with the QHY9 Eagle Nebula, 11 Hours, 44, 15 minute subs with the QHY10 Sculptor Galaxy 6 Hours Exposure (First light with the QHY9) 3 Hours L, 3 Hours RGB Keyhole Nebula, 2 Hours, 8x15 minutes with the QHY10 NGC 4372, 3 Hours, 18x10 minute subs with the QHY10 Gabriela Mistral Nebula in Ha, 10 Hours, 30x 20 minute subs with the QHY9 Gabriela Mistral Nebula in HaRGB, 25 Hours total, 15 Hours in RGB+10 Hours Ha, with the QHY9 Thanks for looking Erik
  6. 5 points
    Since I received my Atik 460ex I've been gradually tinkering with my set-up to get things spot on. First I found the chip to reducer spacing needed adjustment, the larger chip is nowhere near as tolerant as the small chip in the 314l+. I got this sorted to find the larger chip also picked up a light leak in my filterwheel which I could get away with in the old camera. So in came a new manual filterwheel. In the middle of all of this was a blazing full moon and an unfriendly (now departed) neighbour which put a temporary stop to getting to grips with the 460ex. Now I have things in place and sorted out I combined my 3 sets of images in to a 10 hours luminance master to see what I'd got so far. My experience with the 460ex so far is nothing short of excellent, quietest and most responsive chip I've has the pleasure to work with yet, an absolute joy. So here's the story to date, all imaged with my Altair 6" RC and 460ex, then poked and prodded in Pixinsight and Photoshop. Hoping to capture the colour data to complete this before the full moon comes back to spoil the fun. Hope you like
  7. 5 points
    20mm exit pupil! Ideal for this little fellow
  8. 4 points
    Hello everyone! Didnt have much expectation today as the conditions was pretty bad, but good to see whats going on at least. Lunt 60 + DMK 41 //Johan
  9. 4 points
    A nice early evening Sun through a decently blue sky for once! 48/140 stacked:
  10. 3 points
    It isn't often a new binocular catches our attention as much as this one The Vixen SG 2.1x42 binocular offers an ultra-low 2.1x magnification and 42mm objectives. Seriously, 2.1x magnification! We can't wait to try it! Imagine lying on a recliner under a clear dark sky observing the Milky Way at only 2.1x magnification. The SG 2.1x42 is the result of a joint project between Vixen and Miyauchi and is manufactured in Saitama, Japan. Surprisingly the RRP is only £229!
  11. 3 points
    Hi all, Just had a 40 minute break in the clouds and put the scope out to cool. In the mean-time I grabbed the bins and had a quick scan about. And . . . WOW! I'd never fully appreciated the depth of colour that binoculars give, and the ease of looking at something naked eye ( as far as specs will allow) and then just putting the bins up. Lovely! Immediate and very . . . vital? The richness of colour was what impressed me the most, far surpassing anything that I've seen through my scope so far (with it's stock EP's). Didn't feel the need to identify anything, I just had fun enjoying the colours and the spectacle. My bins are a 10 yr old pair of Minolta 9 x 50's, very dusty, not well looked after, and definitely need a bit of collimation. That said, it was an awesome bit of viewing! m x P.S. Any tips on DIY binocular collimation would be welcome!
  12. 3 points
    Well pleased with the forecast, even my seaweed has dried up ! A frost is forecast in Middle England. I've got list........ Jupiter , 0.22 GRS transit. Mars, 11.05 at it's highest. Saturn,9.00 rises , 1.42 highest, 6.20 sets. A load of doubles to finish , including Hercules. Revisiting some planetary nebulae and how could you not spot, Panstarrs, 8.5 mag. In Canes Venatici at (11pm) 13h 26m 21s. +82 44' 40". Wonderfully clear and bright last time our. Clear skies, Nick.
  13. 3 points
    Here is my latest aquisition, no not the 200p dob, but a newtonian telelescope primary mirror flexible dust shield. Otherwise known as a shower cap. I live in a house with 3 kids and a number of othe furry creatures and I was forever having to blow off the primary mirror. Not any more, this works perfectly and all for the princely sum of 50 pence from Asda. Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk
  14. 3 points
    A Dobular cluster surely
  15. 3 points
    I want to extend my most humble and sincere thanks to all of you who enjoyed and commented my image!!! It's been a long journey and I'm very happy to be able to share this epic "space-voyage to andromeda and back" with all of you. Seeing so many ppl being inspired and encouraged in exploring this fantastic galaxy really makes my day! It definatelly makes up for all my hard work, and it's already making me look forward to my next project, what ever that may be!A lot of ppl might think I'm crazy, spending all this time and and money on astrophotography... But I'm really making my childhood dream come true, exploring nebulas, galaxies and beyond. My telescope is my spaceship and the ccd is my window. I'm living my dream. Those who don't, they are the ones who's crazy So to all of you... Thanks! At f/3.8 and under my skies, 3 minutes was enough to make the background in my subs sky-limited. Increasing sub-lengths beyond that won't bring out fainter background-galaxies (since the sky is "outshining" the weaker ones). In fact, longer exposures would reduce the dynamic range in this photo, bloating more stars and blowing out the core of M 31, so I see no point of going for even longer exposures on this target since its entire dynamic range fits within my cameras dynamic range. The only target I've shot so far that motivates the hassle of multi-length exposures is M42. But for all other than M42, I stick with a single sub-length for all my filters. Note that these are all my personal opinions based on my own experiences, not to be taken too seriously Great idea!! But unfortunately I belive the subs for that particular mosaic-panel was shot during a short period of a few days in the same week, but I'll definately have a look! Perhaps compare it with the earlier M31's I shot with my 190MN. Thank you! And once again the pleasure was all mine, thanks for giving me the opportunity of coming down & meeting you all, what a fantastic astro-community you have! Hearing other people being inspired by my work is making it all the hard work worth it. Every single night of cursing the moon, clouds, photoshop & other infernal forces us astrophotographers have to fight all to often Thanks! Thanks Gina! "Out of this world" was my state of mind while processing this... Over and over again I found my self not processing, but exploring I don't mind my work being used as wallpaper or toiletpaper as long as it's for personal use But just a quick reminder to all of you thinking of printing it: at home with your own printer is OK, but taking it to a printing-lab without my permission to do so would be a copyright-infringement and against the law & so on. (And don't think of sending it to a magazine under another name, because I will find you Just like I found someone else posting my Rosette Nebula last year (ended up in S@N magazine). We settled things like gentlemen with no need for Judge Judy to step in... But if it happens again, I will come after you. Of course I have my self to blame by posting stuff in full resolution, but I guess it's the closest thing I have to "artistic pride", I don't want to castrate my work by downsizing it or slapping enormous copyright-labels & watermarks all over the image.Don't exploit my work, explore it!
  16. 3 points
    Excellent observations!! If you decide to use it with a binoviewer, make sure you place the GPC on the diagonal instead of the binoviewer as the prisms from the diagonal and the the binoviewer together shift the spectrum too much. Of course you would need the 1.25" nosepiece option on the T2.
  17. 3 points
    Had a bit more success on Tuesday albeit lots of duff videos from terrible dew issues all over the place and wrecking all but one capture. So I was pleased with my new Mars effort which is a lot cleaner than I've managed before and has had little processing other than wavelets . Pretty certain the "pimple" is from the shadow of Elysium Fossea area with Elysium Mons which I didn't think was possible with my dslr. Canon 5d mk11 video , 20mm plossl projected , c11, BYE .
  18. 2 points
    Just a very short session last night (about 1 hour), all of it focused on Copeland's Septet in Leo. (Paul, I have lots of darks and lights to send you -- took the dog for a walk half way through and left it capturing ). This was with a fair bit of LP from street lights reflected off the white of the Andalucian buildings. Copeland's Septet is mentioned in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge book as one for 'monster scopes' -- visually, that is. The brightest is mag 13.7 and the faintest 15.2 (there are fainter galaxies in the field too). The group fits in a 5' field. The largest (NGC 3753 is 1.7' x 0.5' and the smallest (NGC 3745) just 0.4' x 0.2'. For my setup (3.5" or about 0.06' per pixel) this corresponds to just over 6 x 3 pixels -- about right if you look at the inset image. Again, I really wasn't expecting a lot but its worth a try as always. I suppose I just have to get used to it, but the Lodestar pulled them out easily in 60s, even showing morphological details for some of them. Apologies for the mislabelling as a sextet... and blown up Now I'd like to see them through the eyepiece! Cheers Martin
  19. 2 points
    Some steady seeing as the mist closed in on the 29th. I was down to 7.5 fps for blue on Saturn before I had to abandon the session. My best detail of the year so far. best regards Peter
  20. 2 points
    Inspired by melskys picture yesterday I thought I'd have a crack of it myself. It's by no means the greatest pic but I'm quite happy with it and M51 is also a first for me. Still got no idea what I'm doing so any pointers will help. This was the best of a bad lot, my subs were too dark to stack the comet itself. It's a touch over 30 minutes worth of 45second subs at 270mm, f9.0, ISO1600. With the 450D and Polarie.
  21. 2 points
    Has been extremely windy ere this spring, so it finally calmed down enough yesterday afternoon to enable me to snap a few of mars. Haven't processed the other two yet. 8" Edge, DMK21, LRGB
  22. 2 points
    It was a fight with clouds this morning before cloud out but a white light and H-alpha observation was secured amidst much cursing. 5 groups, one north, R = 100. New small Axx group over the SE limb was active in H-alpha plage and so was AR2051 in the SW quadrant. Few prominences visible but 9 filaments counted. AR2047 also has some plage associated with it; couldn't be sure about AR2049 before cloud out.
  23. 2 points
    If you look carefully you can see a distant Galaxy....
  24. 2 points
    really mike? im gonna use my telescope instead!
  25. 2 points
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/10802421/Nasa-releases-images-of-prototype-Mars-space-suit.html Posted with no comment.....what is it with the shorts on the outside?
  26. 2 points
    Here's a comparison of the ED80, 130PDS and 150PDS. And also a comparison of the Crab Nebula (just to see how they compare with something small). And yes I couldn't resist including the 200P in this one (and what a difference).
  27. 2 points
    Didn't realise you can shoot close-ups through cloud too ... SPC900NC Mono + Tal 100RS + 2 x Barlow + Scopium wedge + Continuum + UV/IR Block ( + Nature's own ND1.8 ... ) 250 from 1000 PIPPed and VDubbed down , SharpCap , PIPP , VDub , AS!2 , Reg 6.
  28. 2 points
    I'll let that slide seen as you're a northerner like my mother. Unless, you mean your name is Paddy? LOL.
  29. 2 points
    Absolutely! Love the design of the AstroTrac tho. It's as portable as it gets. Tho the upcoming Skywatcher offering will throw some competition in the mix. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p7007_Skywatcher-Star-Adventurer-travel-mount---astro-imaging-made-easy-.html
  30. 2 points
    Very intrigued. Might be nice to fashion some kind of head wear that can hold them in position, bit like those seen in night-sights.
  31. 2 points
    Positive - your mount will handle the smaller scope better. I image with my 150p rather than my 200p for this very reason. That will change when The beast is commissioned. (Meade 16ds mount with AWR goto)
  32. 2 points
    You should try checking it with the focus tube all the way in, in the middle and fully out. The collimation shouldn't change. If it does, it means the focus tube is not correctly aligned, or possibly the secondary is misaligned. There will always be a slight difference due to slop in the focus mechanism and the better quality the less there will be. I would suggest get it as good as you can across the whole of the range and then fine tune it for the normal position you use the most. Robin
  33. 2 points
    Sorry Robin, I missed this when you first posted it. I'm glad you are enjoying it.
  34. 2 points
    Terrific session Mike, good to learn that you finally got a night of good transparency, great set of drawings to. I am inspired to try for the spirals in M101 tonight, which is looking to be very promising up here, certainly intend to be situation as far away as possible from any type of lamp post.
  35. 2 points
    Or get yourself a 130PDS and with the money you save compared to an ED80 you can get yourself a DSLR camera
  36. 2 points
    Nice one Mike. Gorgeous artworks Emad will not be thinking about his lamp post, he'll be thinking should I get that 16 inch after all
  37. 2 points
    I have a scope same as yours but its Saxon branded down here and its on a HEQ5 and its very sturdy for visual , not so for AP but very usable . The only thing I had to do was buy a William Optics HW tripod to raise the mount 12 inches or so , so I could view the zenith without sitting on the ground , all chinese tripods are to short for these long OTA's. As you see these mounts are a nice match to our scopes , look in proportion . Here is mine , sexy on the HEQ5 I think , hope this helps . Brian.
  38. 2 points
    Not looking good for down here but last night was probably the best galaxy observing conditions I've ever been in. I even put up with observing in 'the dob hole' to see the beautiful spiral arms of M101 and M51 like I've never seen them before. It really was stunning, a night I'II remember for quite a while. Hope the forecast stays good for you tonight nick, clear skies mate.
  39. 2 points
    Why is it always ok when I have work the next day.
  40. 2 points
    I hope the aliens in M31 will get to see this some day! Completely splendid!!
  41. 2 points
    I told the council that I was an astronomer and it was interfering with my hobby and causing a nuisance. I explained that I new sheilding was possible as they had been kind enough to fit it elsewhere so I basically told them what I wanted to happen. At first it was slow but I chased up my concillor asking her to provide details of someone who could resolve the problem if she wasnt able to do so (ie was thier a coincillor with a responsibility for stretlights) and copied the other councillors in. No councillor likes to feel theyare not being effective and I knew there would be a point where they would get something done to get me off thier back. when it was fitted I emailed them all to say thanks for being such a responsive council whilst givng particular praise to my particular councillor. Kept it polite but to the point.... with the main point being "your light is causing a nuisance but I know you can sheild it , so can you let me know when you will be doing this so I dont need to take the matter further". Cheers
  42. 2 points
    The pier is complete! I mixed up some mortar - (3 parts building sand to 1 part cement) and filled the last few mm, it was much nicer to work with than the concrete and gave a really nice finish to the top of the pier. I might give it a coat of white masonry paint later to blend it in to the plastic pipe but I'm really happy with how the white pier looks with the Skywatcher. The level of my adapter plate is very slightly off. From previous posts I read while researching my build the general opinion is that the level being slightly off will not affect the scope when it is set up but I would like to get it as close as I can. I buffed down a couple of the washers that are between my adapter plate and the top of the pier and it is much closer to level but it could do with a little more buffing to level it perfectly, it's really not much off though but I think it would be worth the extra time just for the piece of mind. The captive nuts concreted into the pier The adapter sitting on the mortar The scope fitted to the adapter plate The scope fitted to the adapter plate with the footprint of the observatory marked out Next step will be lifting the turf and setting the slabs for the base of the observatory
  43. 2 points
    Apologies in advance for taking the liberty of messing with your image, but I think there's more detail in there that can be brought out. This is just a quick stab at a screen grab, given access to the full data I'm sure a better job could be done... ChrisH
  44. 2 points
    A nice image of M13. Yep, mine also ended up with a similar blue core, I don't know why but I had to go back and re-balance the colours to reduce it. Hey, maybe it's really supposed to look like that and everyone else has it wrong ChrisH
  45. 2 points
    50mm lenses are great fun for astro work. My Nikon F1.4 has a 49mm filter thread, with a step down ring I can screw on 48mm narrowband astro filters to image the faint nebulas- some of which are very large in the sky. This experimental Cygnus widefield image was achieved by using a 7nm Ha filter for 10 minutes at F1.4, covering the lens, stopping down F2.8, unscrewing the filter and exposing 3 minutes more- all in one shot. No Photoshop jiggery pokery- just a steady hand!
  46. 2 points
    well this is the rest of my week! Pretty dull as usual I'm seriously thinking of starting an indoor hobby like maybe tapestry or knitting or something at least I'd use them more!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  47. 2 points
    Hopefully I'm not breaking the thread 'rules' by posting, but this thread is a real inspiration to someone wanting to have a go with imaging. I've spent as much time reading the settings files and member's signature details as I have oggling the images. I look forward to having something to attach before the year's end.
  48. 2 points
    This image of M51 was taken over a period of about 4 years. My first image ever taken was of this galaxy and recently I decided to shoot it again. All data from the last 4 years, taken with a C11, Skywatcher ED80, Robtics ED110 and TEC140 were combined to get this result. Further more rgb-data from Michael van Doorn (dutchastrocolors.com) with his Hyperstar C11, was integrated to get a nice color view. Total exposure time was 17 hours, consisting of 110 images of 300 and 600s taken during the past 4 years.
  49. 2 points
    The Dob has landed!!! Cant wait to get it out tonight as the weather looks good Bigger than I thought it would be. I think my wife might notice it, I best inform her now Cant fault the service from rother valley optics too! Ordered at 10am yesterday and arrived at 11 am today! A great looking scope! Exciting times. Shep
  50. 2 points
    shortened the tube and fitted the spider to the more sturdy top ring. makes a huge difference in how easy it is to collimate the top end of the scope orion optics spider is still utterly pants though. just need a clear night now to properly collimate everything.
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