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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/10/16 in all areas

  1. 18 points
    Here is my first effort at processing the vast amounts of data from Friday night at Kelling with some lovely skies for a few hours. TS60ED with an ASI1600 on a StarAdventurer. 229 x 30 seconds L and 90 x 10 second for each RGB, binned 2x2. Turned out rather nice. I threw away an awful lot of clouded out Lum subs, but my laptop was rather glad of that.
  2. 11 points
    Working on these two. First up is a straight Lum channel for M31 (Andromeda galaxy) - this is what I collected tonight 11 x 900s, but it's less than half the total if I include last year's data so I will try stacking them all together and see what comes out Usual kit: NP127is, Moravian G4-16000, 10-Micron GM2000HPS, Chroma 3nM filter (for Ha) Full size: http://s970.photobucket.com/user/ChrisLX200/media/Astro - Images G4-16000/M31 Lum ST_zpsiyxgriii.png.html Second is trying to see how deep I can get into gamma-Cass nebula, currently 10 x 1800s in Ha. Although hard stretched it does show some interesting structures which encourages me to gather more data. ChrisH
  3. 10 points
    With the lack of any really exciting activity and some decent size gaps in the clouds, I thought I would finally have a go at "proper" mosaic. I have been doing mostly 2 frame mosaics mostly due to the thought of the time involved in a 16 frame one. I decided to restrict the individual runs to 1,000 frames which take around 25secs to take. So 16 of them is around 8 minutes and the gaps looked big enough for that. The usual set up Lunt50mm D/S, dmk21AU618, plus my x2.5 Powermate. Stacked in A/S2, then sharpened in imPPG, coloured in C/S2. Absolutely delighted with the end result to be honest Always room for improvement, but that is for another day. Not sure whether the image posted is full resolution or not, I guess I will find out when its posted.
  4. 9 points
    well this is the first of my winter targets and the first with this widefield set up- 1200d unmodded and super-takumar vintage lens i got off Chris "thanks chris". 15 x 45sec shots on the wide on and 10x 60sec for the smaller. iso 800. im still learning how to process these widefield jobes, but am quite happy with how thay have turned out with a unmodded cam. i might get another chance tonight if the skys keep clear. thanks for looking and i hope you have clear skys. charl. its hard to judge how much black to clip same image but slighty diff colour but the black clipped more and less of a crop. wide. as it comes out the camera and staxed with little processing.
  5. 9 points
    Two nebulas from last night. After seeing the narrowband Pacmans just posted by toxic and others here, my RGB version looks a bit pale, to say the least, but I am just happy that the sky is dark again so I cannot stop myself from posting. I got my Sky Quality Meter out last night and it showed 21.2, so I cannot complain about light pollution. However, there were some haze that affected the resolution of my images and issues with the autoguiding. ES 127ED on an EQ8 in obsy with finderguider, Canon 60Da at ISO 1600. Pacman: 18 x 8 min. Iris: 11 x 8 min (then the haze killed the session)
  6. 8 points
    Thought i would get the LS35 our today and see what was going on on with our nearest star. Mainly watched a prom on the western limb most of the afternoon. Managed to get a couple of minutes of video with and without barlow. Nothing like as good as some of the solar images on here, but i am still happy with the little LS35. Thanks for looking :-)
  7. 8 points
    Well....I ground and polished both mirrors. The 10" primary was 19mm thick mounted with three silicone blobs onto an MDF board. The MDF mirror board was pivoted at the centre on a coach bolt and three bolts and wing nuts took care of the collimation. The tube was rolled galvanised steel sheet from a local ducting manufacturer and powder coated on the outside, black spray painted on the inside. Early ones had a single vane secondary mount while later ones were 4-vaned. The focuser was normally from Irvin's but your focuser looks more like a Celestron unit which I did use between supplies of Irvin ones. Both tubes and dob mounts had those white handles for ease of moving them around. Of course I cannot confirm that all of these features are still present on your scope as It has obviously had some mods done to discard the Dobsonian mounting. Here is a photo of the 8" version as made:
  8. 8 points
    Here is an unguided image made possible by the ASI1600. M31. 229 x 30 seconds at unity and 90 x 10 second binned 2x2 each RGB for under 3 hours total. TS60ED on a StarAdventurer. Amazing what can be done in quite a short time (ie 1 uk night) with this camera and a setup to take advantage of it.
  9. 7 points
    Skywatcher ED80, ISO1600 56 x 30 seconds {DSS}
  10. 7 points
    I've been hopeful of getting out while the moon is well away but the past week has been difficult with clouds and rain. 4am was quite clear and stars were shining brightly so I quickly pulled out the 152. The air was fresh and clear with a number of tumbling white clouds moving at speed. However there were big enough gaps to make for a fine session under skies as dark as I can get at home. M45 Pleiades A northerly breeze was a fair compliment to the brilliant glow of the Pleiades, framed well in 2.8° and looking pretty spectacular even in the 50mm finder! Naked eye I could make out at least six of the cluster despite the breeze. In the scope these hot young stars are a bombardment on the retina and make for a fine introduction to winter viewing. My eye is always drawn to the middle to double ΣΙ8 Along with Alcyone. Mel 25 Hyades From the cool blues of M25 it was then on to the Hyades and orange companion Aldebaran α Tau. Mel 25 is a huge area so not possible to bring it all together in this scope but my favorite has got to be the triangular asterism around θ. The primary stars make the triangle with two fairly bright stars at each apex. There are a few faint stars in the background and if you can fit K5 Aldebaran into the FOV this is great. Sadly the 152 doesn't do red very well, so α Tau looks more like a burnt white. M1 Crab Nebula I've not looked at this for a long long time and this is richly rewarding! It must have been dark enough last night because it was very easy to find at low power. The smoke puff stood up to a bit of magnification and the view in the ES 8.8 was quite good. Surprisingly the UHC seemed to worsen the image. I don't recall using the O-III which could be better. Nearby Σ742 is easily split at 100x of two fairly equal magnitudes and is a nice bonus! M43 & M42 Clouds were herding me back toward Orion, so go ahead, twist my arm and make me look at the Orion Nebula! I'm loving the aperture of the 152 on this complex of doubles, gasses, quadruple systems and more. The bright northern edge of Orion is like a white seagull; that is until I put the O-III filter on. Then the nebula doubles or triples in visible size which is fantastic. With the 31mm Nag I can take in the whole of the sword region with a few of the obvious doubles at the southern end being split. We are very fortunate in the northern hemisphere to have this vista........makes up for not having Eta Carina! M43 was a nice puff of gas around the bright star off the northern end without a filter. The O-III seemed to detract a bit of M43 unless that was my imagination. The advancing dawn was putting a finish to the session though I quickly got M81 and M82 in view. Skies were turning brighter though so not much more was possible. It's cooler, it's wetter, there's dew, but Winter is coming with some more fine views in store! What's missing is a set of planets to pick at dawn
  11. 7 points
    From Mars (towards the bottom centre) to Vega F3.5, 16mm, ISO1600 30 x 20 seconds {DSS}
  12. 7 points
    From last night. 14 X 7.5 min, iso 1600, UHC, DSS, PS. First time I have used the 150pds for a while and good to see the sharp stars again! I love my frac but you cant beat the stars on a reflector... Thanks for looking... p.s. looks like you can see the focuser shadow on the large star halo's, is the anything that can be done about that?
  13. 6 points
    Here is my latest image of NGC 281, aka the Pacman Nebula. This shows the nebula in Hubble palet with 15,5 hours of exposure time. Telescope: TMB92SS Camera: QSI583ws Exposure: 36x900s H-alpha (5nm) 10x900s SII (5nm) 16x900s OIII (3nm) NGC281 The Pacman Nebula by Andre van der Hoeven, on Flickr
  14. 6 points
    I've wanted to image this jewel for many years. I decided to visit an Astrofarm in Namibia, and finally got the chance. Taken with a Canon 200mm f/2.8 at around f/4.4. This is 4.5 hours of 15 min subs. This is a WIP as it's a tricky target to process. It has very bright areas, so it's a balancing act trying to dim them down slightly and getting some detail, while still keeping it natural looking. I'll no doubt be tinkering with this for a while I do have Oiii data as well, but I bought the filter just before I left (Baader 8.5nm), and it turned out to be part of the batch affected by the onion rings on bright stars My next job is to see if I can salvage the Oiii, as I'd love to put a bi-color together. C&C welcome as always.
  15. 6 points
    Sunny blue skies and warm here today. Seeing not so great but you can't have it all. Not a lot of activity but some nice prominences on show.
  16. 6 points
    Just taken this year's insurance photo and looking at my post last year 10/10/15 I have managed to reduce the number of fracs I own by one List as follows, left to right: 152mm Altair Astro Starwave 120mm Skywatcher Equinox 101mm TeleVue Renaissance SDF 102mm Ikharus (still my workhorse scope) 100mm TAL 100R stage 2 PST mod 80mm Vixen FL80S Fluorite (now with Baader diamond steeltrack focuser) 80mm Skylight Kenko f12 70mm TeleVue Ranger 63mm Zeiss Telementor The only change I'm currently contemplating is swapping the Ranger for a TV60
  17. 6 points
    To be honest, I think this is pretty irresponsible! Taking your argument to extreme, steel wool would remove the spots but the 'side effects' would be very bad. Please think of the possible consequences before you offer advice like this in future.
  18. 5 points
    Skywatcher ED80 ISO1600 64 x 20 seconds + 37 x 45 seconds {DSS}
  19. 5 points
    nice and sunny here with good seeing, the new action is 2 pores that moved onto the disc overnight, there only small but anythings better than none. kit- ed80, 1.5x barlow, lunt wedge, 1200d in mono and 1:1 crop mode. 82 frames staxed with regi and adjusted with photoshop. thanks for looking. clear skys charl. mono. crop of the action. coloured coloured invert.
  20. 5 points
    Hey all, Here's a look at the Pleiades last night. Canon 7d, 400mm at f5.6 ISO 1600. 15*2 min 6*5 min This focal length is starting to test the mount, plus it was a bit windy, so I threw away around 20% of the 2 min subs, and nearly half the 5 min subs (unguided). Beautiful target though.
  21. 5 points
    Ok a memorable night for all the wrong reasons. Session planned with a few others at a dark site, all keyed up and good to go. Start off, forgot my boots and my viewing list. Got there and found a bearing missing which mounts the pushto bush so that wasnt working. Some people arrived and couldn't get thier car lights to go out until they timed out after about 20 minutes. All later arrivals never thought to go to side lights for the last part and just take the time. Rather annoying. Cloud lingered longer than forcast but I Did manage to get M33 which was nice but thats the only good point and so left around 11pm. One way home hit a pothole and got a front puncture. Repair kit wouldnt work (there is no spare) so called the AA. They arrived about 00.30 and said oh yes, you have a rear puncture! You what, I don't believe it. Yes thats right, I had a double flipping puncture. The recovery wagon arrived at 2pm and I got home a 3pm. I might laugh about this later but right now I am tired. Night all. Steve
  22. 5 points
    After getting a bit annoyed with the focus rings on the kit lenses that came with my Canon 100D, I thought I would buy some cheap old M42 lenses from eBay. I have bought a 55mm F/2 prime and the 200mm prime that I have used for this shot of M33. The 55mm (a Super-Takumar) is stunning for widefield but I have not done any serious work with that yet. However I thought I would have my first go at M33, noting that it is not very bright. The following is the result of 40x120s Lights, 30x darks and 30x Flats taken whilst mounted on my Star Adventurer. Stacked in DSS and then processed in StarTools:
  23. 5 points
    Hi My ASI1600MM-C arrived and I got a clear night on Thursday so managed to use it in anger. I lost most of the evening to non-camera related issues so only managed to take usable images of M45. With 30s subs, I captured 15 mins of L and 5 mins each of RGB at a 300 gain. This was my first attempt at LRGB imaging and I have a few questions - not all camera related. - I set cooling to take 2 mins. Is this too fast? Will the speed of cooling need to change depending on ambient temperature/humidity? - I'm using SGPro on trial as previously I was using BackyardEOS. In its frame/focus module, is it possible to reduce exposure below 1 second? 1 second is fine for finding focus but I find it far too slow for aligning my mount (an alt/az goto). I know the camera can achieve fairly high fps and it's sensitive enough that short exposures on bright alignment stars are not a problem. - I was taking subs in a ratio of 3/1/1/1 (all bin1). What ratio would you recommend between L and RGB? Should I be binning RGB? So far (and this is from limited use) I have to say this camera is a real step up from my DSLR.
  24. 4 points
  25. 4 points
    It has been too long since I contributed anything to the forum, so I thought to share with you my latest try in planetary astrophotography. Actually it is my first try with SW 300p Goto Flextube dobsonian which I recently acquired. I wanted to try out how the system tracks for webcam astrophotography, which is my second point of interest after visual observing. In short - it tracked quite well - no jerkyness in tracking, very smooth, stable and centred for a long time, and I am also very happy with my old motor focus which helped me out tremendously. The conditions were very poor though, and the resulting picture is heavily post-processed. At least it managed to capture the colour quite nicely. For caputre, I use a modified Prestigion PWC2 webcam, Baader 2.25x barlow and UV/IR-cut filter. You can see the imaging setup in the second picture.
  26. 4 points
    90 minutes after sundown.
  27. 4 points
    What Does a Starfield Hide? I am experimenting with using the multi-spectral feature of StarlightLive to capture wide field images of the sky and also display the H-II regions of the same areas. I would have liked to continue with this thread, where I left an earlier thread near the Pipe nebula area in Southern Ophiuchus https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/265965-from-winter-towards-the-summer-along-the-milky-way/?do=findComment&comment=2912530. But as work didn't allow me to have any astronomy outings during the summer, there will be a gap. To start as South as I can from latitude 47 at the end of September, I aimed at the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud M24. I am not very knowledgeable about celestial objects and didn't know what to expect. I was surprised by the amount of H-alpha that I saw, in particular behind the star cloud. Here it is. (BTW North is towards the left of the image.) I checked with Astrometry.net and it identified only two Hydrogen nebulae, the well known and obvious IC 1283/84 and IC4701. As I am only in the early stages of experimenting with this real-time RGB+Ha overlap technique, I seriously thought that all the red that seems to protrude from below the star field is just some false positive. A dense area of the Milky Way that the H-alpha filter picks up as a continuum. But then I read more about the Sharpless objects and found a statement that "Sh 2-38, Sh 2-40, Sh 2-41 and Sh 2-42 all appear to be embedded in the Sagittarius OB4 association." So it seems that the entire M24 star cloud is an enormous group of young stars still swimming in the cloud of Hydrogen from which they were born and ionizing it with their UV radiation. According this, the red mat, that we see to extend over the edges of the star cloud, especially in the corner near the black nebulae, is just that gas cloud and has the Sharpless numbers mentioned in the quote. Here is a version annotated as well as I could. Except that I didn't label Sh 2-38, Sh 2-40, Sh 2-41 and Sh 2-42 as I didn't know which number refers to which part of the Hydrogen cloud and too many numbers would have just over-crowded the image. As said, the technique of making these overlap captures is still in an experimental state. For these captures I didn't stack at all, I just added up the components. I was planning to continue with this same object today using a better lens and stack more frames. But clouds moved in, rain started and I am not likely to be able to return to this object any more times this year. It was already very low with the horizon cutting into the image after 9 pm. The trick that needs more practicing is to prevent the H-alpha exposures from tripping up the natural neutral color balance of the stars. As you see, I was more successful with this on the second capture. The images were captured with an 85mm camera lens and an SX-825 mono camera. They have been cropped to about 85% size to fit within the posting file size limit and to cut out the obnoxiously bright and blown out Omega Nebula M17. I apologize for my lack of in-depth knowledge about the objects and the tentative experiemental nature of the captures. But the curtain has just rolled down on this object for the year. I can post whatever I have or wait until next summer. I plan to continue this thread, as time permits, with hopefully better captures of other objects from along the Northern arch of the Milky Way. Clear Skies! --Dom
  28. 4 points
    Apologies for uploading a lot of 'old' data, no time at the time to go through all of it & have only just done so. Some ok some not so great but thought I would share them as our star is pretty quite at the moment with surface action. Thanks for looking. 399.tif
  29. 4 points
    Was hoping for a prom animation but the promised blue skies didn't show up, bit better than yesterday though as no wind and rain and seeing improved a bit. Dave Quark chromo, Tecnosky152mm, PGBFly .5f/r
  30. 4 points
    Another break in the clouds, just 5 minutes this time! It's the usual poor afternoon seeing unfortunately:
  31. 3 points
    Recently some of the best nights have been on Sundays, which is a bit naughty before a week at work but also a great way to unwind and clear the mind and it’s on that basis that I justified putting the scope out late this afternoon ready for a session this evening. After a great session last Sunday on some doubles in Delphinus, I’d earmarked tonight for a deep sky tour of the dolphin followed by some indulgent galaxy hunting in Pegasus. Interstellarum was my companion. As the last signs of twilight dipped to the west, my first target was NGC 6950. This was a loose and uneventful open cluster comprising 20-30 resolvable stars that was only slightly more concentrated than the background. There was a hint of unresolved fog from time to time. The view was best at low power, but hardly spectacular even then. NGC 6934, the globular cluster, was a fairly easy star hop from Epsilon Delphinii; I’m finding the Telrad / RACI combination excellent for hopping about quickly. At low power in the 32mm TV Plossl, the cluster was a small, obviously fuzzy blob. Switching to the 20mm didn’t add anything exciting. But at x214 in the 7mm Nagler it took on a mottled appearance, brighter towards the core. With averted vision individual stars seemed to pop in and out of view. A slightly orange star sits just to the west, leading the globular across the field. NGC 7006 (also Caldwell 42), another globular, was a dim, hazy and compact patch at low power. At x214 it was more obviously a round, globular cluster but no stars were resolved and it was still quite dim. The slightest hint of mottling appeared with averted vission, but mostly it was amorphous and brighter towards the centre. Not an impressive globular, but interesting to contemplate its importance in the use of its RR Lyrae stars for determining galactic distances. Next I tried to locate the galaxy NGC 7025, which forms the base of Sue French’s “Toadstool” asterism. Whilst I could see a loose collection of brightish stars, I couldn’t detect the galaxy nor work out how the pattern made a mushroom-shape. Over to NGC 6905, the Blue Flash Nebula. This was quite a challenge to find, following a confusing star hop from Sagitta. In the end, I used the Telrad to plonk the scope in approximately the right place and then identified the field stars on the map, before homing in. At low power, it was a fuzz that didn’t quite appear round, with a brightish star fixing its northernmost edge. At high power the disc became much rounder and appeared to be less bright on its north western side. The disc was generally uniform (except for the NW dimness) and very round, with no central star visible. At high power it sat on the western sie of a triangle of stars that neatly encases it. Another planetary next, with NGC 6891 which was a straightforward star hop from Epsilon Delphinii. It was almost stellar at low power and I would have overlooked it has I not pinpointed its position with the hop. At high power it appeared as a bright, out-of-focus star, but no real detail was visible even at x428. I tried a few galaxies next, including the pairing of NGC 6930 and 6928 as well as NGC 6956. None of these were visible, and I began to notice that the sky wasn’t as transparent as it had been earlier on; the dew-sodden air just didn’t want to give up galaxies! So that rather scuppered my plans in Pegasus. There was one object, however, that the flying horse was not going to keep from me: the wonderful globular M15. A hop from Epsilon Pegasi, it appeared as a fuzzy star in the finder. At low power it was clearly a reasonably large globular with a very compact, almost stellar core. Its surface brightnessdrops off quickly but the cluster remains discernible some way out. At high power, in the 7mm Nagler, it was transformed into a really well resolved cluster. The stellar core that has been seen at low power softened to give an unresolved central quarter rather than point. With averted vision it was possible to see an almost spiral structure, with the main arm spinning off from the north and folding round to the east, and another tendril extending from the south east side. As it glides across the field it holds resolution well, even with direct vision, and it appears criss-crossed with a number of dark lanes. As the humidity started to suck the light from the sky, I just sat back and watched the Pleiades rise up in the north east, as a couple of sporadic meteors burned up to the south. Perseus and Auriga looked splendid to the north, and to the north west the Plough and Ursa Major looked enormous compared to the diminutive dolphin that had shared so many of its beautiful treasures this evening. Thanks for reading! Paul
  32. 3 points
    Hi SGL, I had a very successful Summer holiday at Ollys, where I began collecting data for Mosaic number 3. While we also captured some single panel shots, the main part of the work was done on the Dual Tak rig. At one stage we did have 4 cameras running, although one was just piggy backing on a mount taking DSLR widefield shots, so I was able to let it run on infinity focus, and no guiding or PC involvement necessary. Anyway, I collected 100 hours of Luminance in a 5x5 panel 530mm format. I gave more overlap than I had previously, as the Cartes Du Ciel program looked like I could get away with it. The frames stitched almost perfectly which was a treat. The last two had some issues which made fixes very time consuming. So here is a little teaser of what it looks like. I only very lightly stretched this in PI with the Histogram tool, as that is my preferred method before stitching. This can go a lot further and will later on. However for now here is what the starting point looks like. There is a dust bunny in the top right that needs fixing. That's another story though. Ever seen a dust bunny move between flat exposures!? And it was not an insect trapped under the light panel. Cue the X files music. Tom.
  33. 3 points
    An almost spotless Sun - Just a sign that a new AR is starting to form:
  34. 3 points
    I think this is my first Deep Sky image for over a year....I kept the session simple by using just a DSLR & lens on an EQ6 mount. NGC7000 North America Nebula, single 180s shot, Nikon 80-200mm F2.8 ED lens @80mm F2.8, Fuji IS Pro camera @ ISO3200. Dark sky site in Mid Wales
  35. 3 points
  36. 3 points
    In my fiies I get an image assembled and then call the first step P1 (Processing 1.) This goes on till I get to about P23 at which point, out of ideas, I call it Final. A month later this will be Final 27 version 8C colour balance provisional . You have it all to come... lly
  37. 3 points
    Glad it's still going strong and thanks for the compliments. Nigel
  38. 3 points
    Just connected up the RPi 3 with the Ubuntu Mate OS and yes, the WiFi is set up and working Ubuntu Mate looks rather easier (or familiar) than Raspbian. Now seeing what I have installed.
  39. 3 points
    OK, I'm sure Louis D gets the point so can we leave it at that now please.
  40. 3 points
    GSO 305 mm - Canon T3 - 18 x 2 min (36 min) - ISO 800 - OAG - Skyglow filter - Coma Corrector Editiion (October, 3): I don't know what happened, but I can't see the photo that I published here. As my site is on a server that has some problems ... I will let the link to the photo here. http://astronomia-e-astrofotos.1069742.n5.nabble.com/file/n2472/n7293-9k_final.jpg It is curious, because the link show well the photo. Both photos that I published in this thread disapeared !?!? I tried to re-publish it, but it isn't showed in this message !!!
  41. 3 points
    Well, all is not lost. It's still broken but repairable. It looks like I miss aligned a tape wire, worst case new PCB, best case new tape wire. Wire kit £30 PCB £65. It will work again. Could be expensive mistake but it can cost a couple of hundred to get it modified anyway In the meantime I bought the wife a new DSLR today with my scrap copper haul ( I'm a plumber by trade ) Forecast is for clear sky's tomorrow night so I'm going to try her new camera. Nige.
  42. 2 points
    I had a chance to gather some OIII data for the veil i started in HA the other night. Stars still aren't perfect but i am not super concerned with that at the moment. Have some issues to work out on the mount. So this image was processed in Pixinsight and finalized in Photoshop. I processed each separately and them combined them with LGRB Combination, 50% HA and 50% OIII as a LUM, HA as Red and OIII as BLUE and Green.. The only thing i did in Photoshop was contrast, saturation, and a small sharpen on the outside edges of a few things. Hope you enjoy! 17x600s HA 19x600s OIII
  43. 2 points
    Well. its cloudy and im bored - so I've just uploaded the current state of play regarding my Cygnus mosaic. Also, I've decided to increase the overall coverage to 20 panels, it doesnt really need to go past 16 - but I want it to sit nicely on a 16:9 monitor once Ive filled the gaps Im going to do another four down the left hand side - which should take it up to about 120 megapixels. Also, it would line up the rest of Cygnus quite nicely becuase if I were to do another 20 below this, it would bring in the NAN.... but not this year, there just isnt enough time left on it. But after the first 20 are done, I'm going to experiement with adding colour via binned OIII data.... yes, I know thats bonkers with a Star71 but I could eliminate the "blocky stars" issue simply by removing them! The only exceptions would be the Tulip and Crescent, both of which I could improve by using the 200 or 130pds to shoot at higher resolution. Come to think of it, I already have 130pds OIII data for the crescent just laying about doing nothing. Finally, I will go over the whole area with a DSLR at a low(ish) ISO to get some star colour back.... well thats the plan anyway!
  44. 2 points
    I've reached this point now as well. I've owned and used some excellent barlows and the superb Tele Vue Powermates but I do prefer "just the eyepiece" now
  45. 2 points
    This is my second deep sky image with the baby tak on the sky adventurer and my first of M31. Considering what the lights looked like I was surprised at the end result. I stacked 34 thirty second images taken on ISO 800 and calibrated, integrated, and processed them in pixinsight. I think more lights would have been good but for a 60mm scope it's picked up a lot of data. All suggestions welcome
  46. 2 points
    I had my first opportunity last night to try out my 14mm XW that I bought second hand over the summer. I noticed the Pleiades was on view and although it wasn't high, i set the scope up on its AZ4, inserted the 14mm XW and WOW! I wasn't dark adapted and the scope was warm yet the nebulosity was the first thing that struck me. It wasn't just visible around the brighter stars but the whole cluster was swaithed in a wraith like mesh which was easily visible. The Pentax XW's are a perfect match for my small refractor and although the 14mm has received mixed reviews, i found no fault with it. To get an idea of the real field I aimed the scope at M31. The nebulous arms of the galaxy extended beyond the field but the two companions were still well within the field and were very obvious. The double cluster was beautiful with its orange and red stars standing out against their glittering backdrop. The whole session lasted no more than 15 minutes but the memory of it will remain with me forever. Mike.
  47. 2 points
    Just captured this through a gap in the clouds and now its pouring with rain and I'm sitting under a blue tarpaulin typing this ! Hope you saw it too Don
  48. 2 points
    My wife approves, and she wants one as well
  49. 2 points
    Send Lee B my best and thanks please he knows what for.
  50. 2 points
    Entire Veil Nebula in one capture The moonless clear skies yesterday night gave me an opportunity to complete the Veil project with a capture that has all parts of the nebula in one image. This overview images should probably have been the first one before I got into the details of the various parts. But my attempt last month didn't work out and I had to ask Paul for the setting that I have forgotten. The issue is that there are too many indistinguishably uniform stars in this field. There is no way for the program to select a few, keep track and match them. The trick is to tell StarlightLive not even to try to match stars. One achieves this by setting Max Displacement to zero. This also implies that one shouldn't try to stack too many frames, as one is depending solely on the accuracy of the tracking by the mount. Anyway, here are two versions of the overview image both made from the same stack consisting of one frame only with each of the three filters S-II, H-alpha and O-III. This is not even a genuine stacked image, just the three separate channels assembled together. Accordingly, the detail, crispness and smoothness of this capture is not comparable to those of the genuinely stacked images of the Eastern and Western parts of the nebula captured and posted earlier on this tread. The first image is 1x60sec S-II (red) + 1x60sec Ha (green) +1x60sec O-III (blue) stacked together in StarlightLive and displayed with the linear tone mapping option. The yellow areas correspond to the largely overlapping Sulfur and Hydrogen emissions. The finer graduations are not really possible to distinguish on this image scale and without sufficient data depth (stack size). But there are myriads of uniformly tiny stars reasonably pinpoint and the image can serve as a kind of Table of Contents to organize the captures of the various parts of the nebula posted earlier. The second image is made from the same stack of one 60sec frame per channel but using the x^0.25 tone mapping option. This function smears out the stars, they are not as crisply defined. But a benefit of the less prominent stars is that the finer detail of the fainter parts of the nebulosity comes out better. To me the filamentary texture of nebula is more veil-like on this image and, if for nothing else, it's worth to see the comparison. There is, actually, some faint blue Oxygen nebulosity in the central part of the object, which is the cause of what looks likes some smear or noise in central part of the image. This can be better seen on the full resolution image. Both posted images have been slightly cropped and proportionally reduced in size in Microsoft Paint to fit the posting size limit. SX_825 mono camera was used with a Samyang 135mm camera lens at f/2.0 and the image was captured, stacked and processed with the multi-spectral feature of StarlightLive. This concludes the Hubble Palette Veil project for this summer. Clear Skies! --Dom
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