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Showing content with the highest reputation since 15/07/18 in Posts

  1. 33 points
    Rogelio Bernal Andreo pointed this one out: patches of dust near the Black Eye Galaxy (M64). I found this one quite difficult to process and I'm still not sure if I'm happy with the colours... There's a large difference in brightness between M64 and the lane of dust. Usually I try to keep away from local brightness adjustments, but this time I had to process M64 separately, because otherwise it would be completely overexposed. Captured last weekend from Grandpré (Ardennes, Northern France). Total integration time of 5 hours and 40 minutes. 5 minutes subs @ ISO 400. Takahashi Epsilon-180ED and Nikon D810a.
  2. 25 points
    A surprise clear sky tonight pursuaded me to get the 12 inch dob set up. Wispy cloud now and then but the impromptu session delivered some good galaxy viewing in the Coma / Virgo area and also Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Draco. Nice run down (or is it up ?) the Markarian's Chain with 11 galaxies showing then headed up for the Black Eye Galaxy and others in Coma B. Back to the fringes of our own galaxy for the Messier 3 globular cluster (Messier's first actual discovery apparently). On to Ursa Major practically overhead so M51 was showing two strong cores and more than a hint of spiral structure. M101 also showing well as a large somewhat unevenly illuminated patch with hints of a knotty structure. Ursa Minor and Draco revealed more galaxies (didn't note which I'm ashamed to say) but the Cat's Eye Nebula looked very bright and sharply defined with it's central star gleaming. Hercules had cleared the conifers so M13 and M92 globulars could not be ignored. Both looking wonderful at 199x and 265x - close to their photographic images with the 12 inches of aperture. Backing off the magnification a little to catch galaxy NGC 6207 in the same field of view as M13. Finished the session with the good old Ring Nebula as Lyra moved out of the Bristol skyglow and finally a Summer favourite - Albireo in Cygnus, with strongly contrasting coloured stars despite it's relatively low altitude. Post-session Googling found this very recent Sky & Telescope piece on the Markarian's Chain which might be helpful for those who wish to explore this rich area of the sky - and now is the time to do that ! https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/yanking-markarians-chain/
  3. 23 points
    Last weekend I went on a trip to a UK bortle 2 location and because I wanted the Blue Horsehead Nebula so much I decided to give it a try. Eq3 Pro, Canon 700D astro modified Samyang 135mm f2 @ f2.8, IDAS LPS-D1 clip in filter, QHY5 guide camera, 9x50 finder-guider, QhyCCD polemaster. Location: Woodland Caravan Park, Pontarfynach, Wales, Bortle 2 Date: 05.05.2019 The image is the result of 21x180sec ISO800 exposures stacked and calibrated in DSS and processed with Photoshop CC 2019 and Lightroom CC. Emil
  4. 23 points
    The beautiful Needle Galaxy, 50 million light years away! I'm still getting to grips with RGB imaging, and not entirely convinced it's for me yet. Here is my image of NGC 4565 purely from last night. I devoted pretty much the entire night to single object, getting up at 12:30am to do a meridian flip and assess focus of RGB filters. LUM = 18000s RED = 7200s GREEN = 5400s BLUE = 6300s Stars look bigger than I would have liked, and the dust isnt as well resolved as I had imagined. Thanks, any comments would be very welcome. Adam.
  5. 23 points
    Second light for the Twin TEC140 rig. Starting early we managed 11 hours (5.5 per scope) on the Draco Trio, the spiral being NGC5981. (The rig is O'Donoghue-Milne-Penrice.) I'm beginning to think that the Luminance scope is out-shooting the colour slightly. I've been using 15 minute L subs on one side and 10 minute RGB on the other (to preserve stellar core colour.) I think some tests with 15 minute colour or a short booster colour run on the 'Lum' side of the rig might give better results but this is a conversation to have with the other kit owners as well. The full field looks like this: For a 'no hidng place ' crop I ask you to be kind! Thoughts most welcome... Olly
  6. 22 points
    Well, I figured I'd stick with a target for the two flawless nights of clear skies I got Thursday and Friday, and picked on M51. Setup: Skywatcher 200PDS on EQ6-R, Baader LRGB in EFW Mini, ASI183MM-PRO at -10c, HitecAstro DC focus, guided with ASI120MC through a Primaluce Lab 60mm guidescope. Capture: Post ditching the crap frames, 51xL, 25xR, 27xG, 27xB, all 120s exposures. Processing: Stacked and processed entirely in PixInsight. General workflow was cal, hot pixel correction, registration, linear fit stacking, order a 32G RAM upgrade for next time, deconvolution on L, DBE on all, channel combination and photometric colour correction for RGB, multiscale linear transform noise reduction, histograms, LRGBCombination, final masked MLT and global TGVDenoise, a gentle ABE mixed in with PixelMath, local histogram equalization, a bit of gentle masked saturation tweaking, unsharpmask and curves. Quite happy with the result overall, though there's still some calibration issues - I have no way to make flats and my darks are out of date and not at 120s so PI's optimisation didn't quite null out all the amp glow from the 183. Deconv is still slightly unsatisfying, even with careful masking.
  7. 21 points
    This is the 2nd shot from my recent trip to the dark sky location . approx 51 images stacked @ 20secs a mix of ISO 3200,6500 & 10000 Sonya7RII Tokina F2 20mm Firin Lens Milkyway by Danny Kenealy, on Flickr
  8. 20 points
    Hi SGL folks - I haven't posted for a long while & tbh we haven't managed very much imaging this year for a number of reason so far...equipment hassles but mainly clouds...clouds & more clouds! We had to resort to the venerable ASI224MC last week where the seeing was pretty decent - here's an image from that morning (26th March) as well as a 24-frame reversing animation using WinJupos to interpolate additional frames to complement the number of captures we actually took by making additional frames from adjacent captures... We also lashed out & bought a Stellarvue 10x60 finder scope & mounted it on a SkyWatcher adjustable alt/az guidescape mount which is secured via a dovetail bar & clamp to an extra "rail" I constructed from 3mm thick folded aluminium -this device to come in useful for hunting down Neptune more easily later in the year. Lastly I converted an old aluminium pier with detachable legs to accept the EQ8 head with a plate I made from a piece of scrap plate aluminium - the ability to break this all down into 4 very light & small pieces (3 legs & the pier column) means it is much simpler & far lighter/easy to take with us & assemble...the 3 self-levelling adjustable height feet I purchased for the legs makes levelling the entire setup much simpler, it's a veritable breeze now & weighs so much less than the very heavy stock steel EQ8 tripod! Hopefully the animated gif won't need clicking on to start its motion!
  9. 20 points
    It's been clear for a few days down in Devon. I say clear - it's been murky and hazy... but, a clear sky is a clear sky... In between getting subs for an image of the Leo Triplet I'm working on, I got some RGB of M13 as it rose up in the east over a couple of nights this last week after the Leo Triplet crossed the meridian and entered the murky light polluted skies in the direction of Exeter. M13 is one of those fairly rare objects that I think look every bit as good visually through a scope as on an image I can't quite get over the number of little galaxies that are visible if I stretch the image a lot more than I have here. As it is there are quite a few, one off to the upper right, one near the edge of the field of view, but also at least two visible on the right hand side near the end... I used an ASI1600mm-Pro through an Esprit 120 with Astronomik RGB filters. 20x 20 seconds each of L, R, G, B so less than 30 minutes data - actually, by dithering I probably doubled the time taken... Now I have to hope for more clear skies to finish off my Leo Triplet!
  10. 19 points
    Hey guys So with no new data at hand (or on the horizon it would seem) i decided to go back and re-process my short stack of M81 & M82, being the glutton for punishment that i am! The last time i re-processed this was about a year ago, so i was curious to see if i could get any more out of it. It's hideously low on data (nothing new there!), this is just 9 x 600s of colour (with an IDAS-D1) together with 7 x 1200s of Ha (which i only used to Lighten the Reds in the Ha jets of M82 and the small spiral regions of M81). AstroPixelProcessor used for stacking and gradient reduction, and PS for everything else. I mistakenly shot the colour at ISO 800, instead of the usual 200 i always use. A mistake i imagine every DSLR user has made before! And i have to say i really noticed it during processing. There was noticeably less colour in the stars. That being said, i was still able to bring out more colour in the core of M81 this time. And i think M82 looks a bit better as well, it was definitely over-sharpened before. I really love these targets, but they just make me wish i had more reach! CS! Here is the original thread: And here's the new one, including a cropped version:
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