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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/06/12 in all areas

  1. 79 points
    Happy New Year Everyone. So finally after 9 months processing, which included a full redo of the RGB blend, I have finished the 2nd Mega Mosaic to complement the 400hr Orion Mosaic myself and Olly made. This mosaic began in 2012 where I collected 30 panes of Luminance. In 2013 I completed 2 rows of RGB. Later in 2015 while taking imaging trips at Ollys in Les Granges, I finished the RGB panels, and I took Ha data to blend into the central rift area. I also took an extra LRGB column on the left hand side of the image. Like the Orion mosaic, this had data at 0.53m with added 1m resolution data for the Eagle, Swan, Lagoon and Trifid nebulae. Again this is the highest resolution image of this area of the sky as far as I am aware of. Thanks Tom. Flickr image can be seen here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28192200@N02/24086292076/in/dateposted-public/
  2. 68 points
    I don't profess to be either an expert or an expert speaker but was asked to do a couple of talks at the Peak Star Party recently. I have attached below my written handout notes for each session in the hope they will help the odd person with how to find objects in the sky and also how to ensure you get the best views when you do find them. These notes are based on my own experience and also information gleaned from many sources since I started observing; thanks to anyone who recognises their work or comments. If one person finds them useful then I'll be delighted and it's been worth the minor effort uploading them. They have been put into a couple of other threads but I felt they were somewhat hidden and might be more easily located here. Cheers Shane Locating Objects in the Night Sky.pdf Collimation of Newtonian Telescopes-1.pdf This post has been promoted to an article
  3. 57 points
    Imaged with my AG12 and H35. A massive task to tame Alnitak, it took over 12hours to process this one. Exposure times were 4x900s in H-alpha, 4x900s in Red, 4x820s in Blue and 4x640s in Green. Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom. Comments welcome thanks for looking
  4. 52 points
    What a fabulous night it was last night (Saturday 6th Oct) Everything worked flawlessly with no issues except for one green channel getting trashed from high cloud, that passed pretty quickly and I was able to continue. This shot is a simple RGB image, I do have plans to get some more data including Luminance and Ha to enhance the H2 regions. Im quite please with the core detail. Exposure time 7x 900s in Red, 7x640s in Green and 860s in Blue. Taken with my AG12 and H35 camera Click to view full res image Thanks Peter Shah RGB Managed to get 4hours of Ha 900s subs....click for full res version RGB and H-alpha
  5. 51 points
    I'm still dizzy after processing this one for each LRGB filter. Comet 21P meets open cluster M37 in the night/morning of 10/11 September, at perihelion. This is a combination of 60s x 30 x 4 subs, taken through the SW130PDS with an ASI1600MMC. https://www.astrobin.com/366252/ No deconvolution applied, only noise reduction. About the remaining noise?! ... yes, please. Unfortunately the light pollution at home didn't let me record more. Thanks for watching and clear skies! Alex
  6. 49 points
    First time I have a proper go at some astro with my nifty fifty lens. Canon 600d full spectrum, ISO800, 50mm f1.8 lens stopped at f4, 10x600sec guided on my eq3 pro mount. I love how it came out.
  7. 44 points
    i am well pleased with this. 15 x 1200 sec HA binned 1 x 1 8 x 600 sec OIII binned 2 x 2 6 x 600 sec S2 binned 2 x 2 the stars are from short rgb data for there color stacked in dss processed in photoshop cs2 it took 5 clearish nights to gather the data a couple of hours per night i chucked out half the images high cloud ruined them.
  8. 43 points
    First one of the year, folks. We've had a cracking run of skies and I did this over the last four nights in what's now the single Tak 106, since Tom's camera has moved next door to his new robotic shed. Mesu 200/Atik 11000/Baader filters. Luminance 20x15mns, RGB 9x10mns per colour, Ha 13x20 mns. Total just short of 14 hours. This target is beset by challenges. There is a veritable air display of satellites in this region, each sub copping four or five. Then there were off shot flares blazing across two parts of the image. We had great seeing for the first two nights but then set two new world records for bad seeing after that. Never seen anything like it. FWHM went from 0.88 on night 2 to 2.3 on night 3! Fortunately I got the L on the first two nights so soft colour wasn't too hard to deal with and there is no fine detail in the Ha. (The Ha gives the image a real lift but is incredibly faint. Had anyone seen what I had to do to get it into the image they'd have notified the Police.) Anyway, enough excuses. Here she is... Olly
  9. 40 points
    Well, I couldn't find another image of NGC4157 on SGL so it's obviously not that popular a target ! The galaxy is located in Ursa Major about 56million light years from Earth and is approximately the same size as our own Milky Way. It is receding from us at 774 km/s. From Earth you see it almost edge on, however, a little of the core detail is visible. Three supernova explosions have been recorded in this galaxy. Processing this galaxy was less than straightforward due to the fact that it has a low surface brightness but it is also surrounded by bright blue stars. The LRGB image below represents 14.5 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150. I've also attached an annotated version for the background galaxy fuzzy hunters. I hope you like it ! Alan LIGHTS: L:29, R:20, G:19, B:19 x 600s, DARKS:30. FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  10. 40 points
    (please bear with my english!) A year ago, I joined this forum. What a journey it has been ! At the age of 44 I finally got the chance to look through an eyepiece for the first time; it was on a monday, may 2014, at Les "Rencontres Techniques de Valbonne" in the Alps. (That's me in the middle with a red t-shirt and black coat) There I made a friend, a former Air France Pilot who had just upgraded his kit to a C8 on a Atlas mount. He no longer needed his C6 on a Sirious mount (HEQ5) and kindly asked me if I wanted to buy it as he wanted to sell it to someone who was passionate about the hobby. I jumped on the occasion and bought it, with a bunch of accessories, for a mere 500€. I was now in the game I had spent years reading about astronomy in Ciel Et Espace magazine (amazing writers, beautiful magazine) and I could not wait for first light. As I needed to put some money aside for the scope, I had to wait until october, ho ! the agony. Finally the day arrived and, on the day after my 45th birthday, I traveled back from Paris to south of France to pickup my beautiful C6 and brought it back to my flat by train (not an easy task) With the help of my 5 year old daughter I set up the scope in the living room feeling like a child on xmas. Of course, it rained for the next 3 weeks. First light finally happened at the end of october, I set up my mount in my kitchen, looking through an open window... really bad conditions for a 1st light but I was hooked as soon as I pointed Saturn and the moon... And then, everything went fast... - got stellarium !!! - spent dozens of hours in stellarium - learned the difference between RA and DEC - learned how to polar align - Found a webcam in an old box and was fortunate enought that it was one of the most popular one (Toucam Pro) - learned how to flash it to an SPC900NC (made an 'how to post' about it) - learned how to use PIPP/AutoStakkert/Registax - first capture of saturn I was hooked... so I spent even more time on the forum learning such things as - balancing the scope - FOV calculator - drift alignement - orthogonality errors - cone error - PEC / PAE I made a friend on the forum, an English man and is lovely wife. I was invited to his house near Paris and spent 2 nights with amazing skies and our respective scopes. There I discovered: - jaffa cakes - bangers and mash Back on the forum... dug even deeper, learning from OllyPenrice, JamesF, Gina, Alien 13, Zakalwe, Macavity, Psychobilly, and so many others on: - guiding with PHD - building a powerbox - IR light - size on sensor (not magnification for crying out loud) hi JamesF - lengths of sub - darks, bias and flats - plate solving - got my 1st EP case (!) And then, I sold my C6 OTA and got an 80ED (without losing any money... no profit though to start a new journey... DSO imaging. - made my own EQdirect cable (a failure, please don't buy cheap chinese copies, buy from FLO or FTDI) - modded my Canon 1000D like a big boy without fainting mid-way - learned how to use DSS - took all my gear to the alps and imaged my first DSO (M31) So, here I am today, after a year, still hooked and full of memories. Of course this journey involved a lot of frustration and rage but, but, but also incredible moments where I stood there in awe, jaw dropped to the floor, amazed at all that beauty. Although it is a technical hobby (and expensive) it does not have to be. I learned that you can take out a pair of binocular, a lounge chair and a warm blanket and still be amazed. That is the real beauty of it all... anyone can join, it is a community of like minded people who share a passion for the beauty and the mysteries of our universe... To me, it is also a human experience. Astronomy is something I want to share with others. Funny enough, everytime I look at something amazing, be it the pleiades, Orion's nebula or M57, this monologue from Blade Runner comes to mind: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost, in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." and then I chuckle in the dark. I thank you all for taking me under your wings when I needed help. Hopefully I will be able to give back as I get more experienced. My future projects are: - learn Pixinsght - get an ASI224MC for planetary and guiding - get a MAK 180 to cover lunar and planetary imaging when in Paris - start my journey on the monochrome CCD and narrowband filters side. This one, very slowly... baby steps ! Long live SGL !
  11. 39 points
    Finally, half a clear night and I had my second chance to learn to master the Mesu mount. Put the Esprit 150 on it with the ASI 071MC at the camera end (gain 200, offset 30, -15°C). After a bit of fighting with the software running the mount (I thought I remembered how to do it but had finally to read the manual again), I started imaging at 21.30. At midnight clouds moved in so I only got 2.4 hours of data (29 x 5 min). Still, I caught a lot of galaxies, the three larger ones being NGC 4725, 4712 and 4747. Seeing was probably relatively poor since I was far from the Mesu guiding curves people post. Mine was around 1.0" RMS. Stacked and annotated in PI, processed in PS. It may be clear on Monday night and my plan right now is to collect lum using the Esprit 150 with a 0.79x TS reducer (so f/5.5) and my ASI 1600MM. Will give a very similar FOV and pixel scale. Comments and suggestions wecome of course!
  12. 39 points
    Warning, long boring bit at the beginning. Just as I was about to head off to bed last night/this morning I noticed a nice bright display of NLCs sandwiched between the regular clouds out the bedroom window...looked very promising...typical though since I hadn't expected much since it had been raining earlier and there was a thick blanket of cloud no less than 20 minutes earlier. My NLC imaging rig had been on standby for for ~4 weeks however it was in "macro" mode, as I was trying to capture a Jumping Spider that I had spotted in the house in the afternoon, which subsequently disappeared before I could even get a record shot. Anyway, I hastily grabbed the bits I needed, head torch, tripod, shoes, fleece, camera, lens, phone, half of which I didn't take with me the last time I imaged NLCs from this location. Other than the head torch not working properly (battery contacts), most things were looking good by the time I got to the top of the hill, that was until I was greeted by a herd of cows...they are meant to be fenced in, but they are free to roam a much wider area as the fences between the pastures have long been flattened. So at least I had company, even though I wish they weren't there as they were quite interested in my tripod. Plus there were some skittish/boisterous young about and of course protective mothers...but I braved it anyway, and a bonus is that I managed to avoid all the cow pats. The view wasn't great initially but after about 45 minutes, just as hypothermia was about to set in, the clouds started to clear and what I got to see over the next hour or so the best NLC display I have ever seen, absolutely awesome. Eventually I had to give up as I was absolutely frozen by the blasting wind and the fleece I was wearing was not doing much to help, plus I was pretty tired and the cows were getting angry. I foolishly took a 135mm and a 16-35mm lens, a big mistake. There's a huge gap in that focal length as previously I was using a cropped camera but now on a full frame 35mm was just too wide, it was okay at 16mm to get the entire NLC FOV in but then there's not much detail and a lot of foreground and black sky. Luckily the tripod has got a panning head attached so I imaged this with the camera in "portrait" mode to capture as much of the sky as possible and the final image comprised 15 frames. Well enough about that, just one word...Be Prepared Canon 5D Mark III @ ISO400. Canon 135mm f/2 L @ f/7. 15 Frames @ 3.2 seconds per frame. Manual Exposure Mode with remote shutter release. Manfrotto 410 junior geared tripod head. Hugin to create and stitch the panorama. Thanks for looking! Click on the image for a larger view... Leeds Noctilucent Clouds by Stuart, on Flickr A single frame from above:
  13. 39 points
    NGC 6888, the Crescent nebula, very near to Sadr in Cygnus is thought to have started formation about 250,000 years ago. The central star is very massive, and has a solar wind so strong it has blown off roughly the same mass as the sun every 10,000 years. This wind has collided with gas that had been shed by the star in a series of shells in the past, and the wind has heated it and caused to glow. At a distance of about 4700 light years, the light that those of us who’ve imaged or viewed this have just received left at a time that saw the start of the bronze age, the beginning of writing and the spread of agriculture. World population was between 7 and 14 million. Not long ago in the big scheme of things In this image I’ve set out to get as much depth in the OIII as I could, rather than concentrating on the Ha as the dominant filter. The OIII in this target is often treated as a kind of second cousin, but it’s really interesting, and very different in structure from the Ha. Imaged in June and July 2014 from Weymouth, Dorset. Telescope. 12 inch Ritchey Chretien @ F5.3 Camera. Atik 460 EXM, Baader filters Ha. 16 x 30 minutes OIII. 16 X 45 minutes RGB. 11 x 5 minutes for each filter All subs binned 2x2 Ha-red, OIII-green and blue RGB stars added as individual 'lighten' layers to each mono sub master Captured, calibrated and stacked in Maxim and processed in PS CS6.
  14. 38 points
    SkyEyE Observatory Ts130 f6.6 +reducer G3_16200 Frames: R 24x300" G 24x300" L 75x300" R 25x300"
  15. 38 points
    I think time is just about up on Orion, I cant see me adding any more in the near future so its time to wrap it up for next winter. Ive added another 2 hours of non-moony subs to help with the noise. As usual Ive deployed the star hammer to knock back Alnitak and a few of the other stars that turn into ruffy bloaters when you develop the image. Some selective high pass and selective contrast enhancement was also applied, enough to perk up the Flame, HH and M42 - but leave the rest alone. So, as it stands: 2.5hr (in 600 & 900s subs), 2x2 bin, x6 panes (Ha) 130pds, Atik 383L+, NEQ6, SWCC Thanks for looking
  16. 38 points
    Following on from my mono image, here is the colour version. It was nice and clear all night and the moon wasn't above the horizon until fairly late which allowed me to capture another 6.25 hours in OIII to add to the earlier Ha, meaning this one adds up to 12.5 hours in 900 sec subs.
  17. 37 points
    This was guest Paul Kummer's idea, and an excellent idea it was! We dedicated the TEC140/Atik 460/TEC140 to the object, which is not all that much photographed, and added captures over 7 June nights as we got to grips with the processing. We went for a lot - really a lot - of colour and found that the Ha reached a certain point and didn't benefit from much more. There are about 24 hours data in this result and, at some point, I'll try a processing restart from scratch because this is a target apart from the norm. Check it out in fuller resolution. (This is a crop.) I think the object is sensational. Olly and Paul.
  18. 37 points
    Orion Nebula (Messier 42) from a few nights ago. ~8 hours of data on my Nikon D7000. Best night I have seen here in my little spot of England for the past 3 years. It was absolutely perfect out! I had been wanting to image this again for years as I hadn't since I first started astrophotography and was mightily pleased that I finally got around to it. I have a little bit of coma in the image still just as I forgot to use my field flattener. I processed some of it out, but didn't want to crop too much or lose too much around the edges by using lens correction too much. Aside from that, I was quite happy. Almost makes me want to use my Nikon more and my CCD a little less! This was done with a stock Nikon D7000 at ISO200 and Orion EON80ED. Processed in Photoshop CS5. Exposure details: Integration Time: 20x60" 12x120" 10x480" 12x600" 16x900" Total Integration: 8.1 hours I have also done a writeup on my blog about the processing as I had several people ask after I first threw it up on my Facebook. More image details/higher res: My website or on Astrobin
  19. 34 points
    NGC 1333 is the currently most active region of star formation in the Perseus molecular cloud. It was first discovered by Eduard Schonfeld in 1855 and is a bright reflection nebula in the western portion of the Perseus molecular cloud. The star BD +30◦549 illuminates NGC 1333 and was found to be a B8 spectral type. It is approximately 1000 light years away and is about 15 light years in diameter. I rarely capture data on LRGB targets, so this has been a baptism of fire for me!! It;s very tricky for sure. I'm certain that I didn't have enough data, so maybe I'll get some more next year!! I welcome all comments for this area that is VERY new to me. Details M: Avalon Linear Fast Reverse T: Orion Optics ODK10 C: QSI683 with Baader LRGB filters Luminance 60x600s Red, Green and Blue 30x600s for each filter Totalling 25 hours of exposure. You can see a larger res version here
  20. 34 points
    I posted these on CN last night & thought I'd post them here on SGL as well: there are 2 or 3 other images on about the same level as these but I chose these 2 to create a couple of our "Somersaulting Saturns" for the website... Check out the website http://momilika.net/ & click on the Saturn icon & then go to the "Latest Saturns" link to see a bit more info but SGL should accept the .pngs at full scale...if not they'll definitely be full-size on our website! ps: The top image is from the ASI174MM & the bottom from the ASI224MC!
  21. 34 points
    I'm currently on 'astro-holiday' at Kiripotib in Namibia. First target on the list was (of course) the Carina Nebula. Below you'll find a (very) quick process of the 52x5minutes of data I gathered. Used a unmodded Nikon D600 with a 107/700 APM with Riccardi Reducer, mounted on Fornax 51 and guided by my Lacerta MGEN. Setup works like a charm! Quite pleased already with the result I must say, especially considering the fact I'm using a non-modified camera
  22. 33 points
    I have put together a few images which demonstrate in a nutshell how I get from raw input data to the panes I throw into AutoStitch64. It all starts with the AVI, I typically gather 1000 frames per pane. With the Solar Spectrum filter, even a single frame can show a good deal of detail. Carefully tweaking focus until sharpness is optimal is essential. A frame obtained today is shown below. Although it looks decent, this is not a good starting point for mosaic stitching. One reason is the fact that there is a distinct uneven illumination (or shading) visible. By taking flats this can be corrected. Various approaches can be used, I tend to defocus, take an AVI of the same length as the ones for the panes, and create a master stack in AS!2 (under image calibration). I often apply a smoothing filter (100 pixel diameter flat averaging often works) to get rid of residuals of sunspots or bright plage. A caveat is that dust bunnies are not well corrected for if you smooth the flat. Fortunately, the camera shows no sign of them (yet). Loading the master flat into AS!2 ensures all frames are corrected. Not that if you take AVIs of an ROI rather than full frame, you must create flats for that ROI. The result of flat-field correction is shown below. This looks more promising. I then stack 100 (typically) of the frames (letting AS!2 pick out the best ones). The result appears to be not much different from the previous, as can be seen below. Looks can be deceiving, however. If we apply Lucy-Richardson deconvolution (sigma = 1.15, 50 iterations works for these data) and unsharp masking (sigma = 1.15, strength 2.75) in ImPPG to the stack of 100 images, we get a very decent result. I frequently work with higher strength values (3.75) in ImPPG, as can be seen in this screenshot The parameter values used depend heavily on the optical system and camera used. I have recently found that the smaller sigma values work best for my current Solar Spectrum filter, whereas in my previous LS35THa and also SolarMax-II 60mm I tended to use much larger values of sigma for unsharp masking, and slightly larger ones for LR deconvolution. The reason for the small sigma value for unsharp masking in the new set-up might be that the contrast for large structures is good enough, and they do not need to be boosted, so I can focus on small detail. Just experimenting in ImPPG is the way to find what suits you best. The image above is the kind that I use for mosaic stitching. My procedure for that is VERY easy: open AutoStich64, click on the "open files" button, select all your panes, and sit back. Any tweaks of contrast after stitching is done in GIMP. Applying the same settings for sharpening to the flat-field corrected frame yields this: Result ≠ good The noise in a single frame just explodes. By stacking 100 frames we can increase the signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of 10 (square root of the number of frames stacked). I might also want to use a single pane as a detail shot. In that case I like to apply contrast stretching or (partial) invertion of contrast in ImPPG, not GIMP. The reason is that AS!2 outputs 16-bit TIFF files, and ImPPG allows me to work in 16 bit mode with the curves. The results of applying a sigmoidal curve to stretch the contrast in the mid-tones look like this: The exact degree of contrast stretching is entirely a matter of taste. One of my favourite contrast tweaks is partial inversion of the contrast. The aim here is to have the region outside the disk in positive contrast (but heavily stretched to bring out proms and spicule detail), and everything on the disk in negative contrast. To achieve this I create a convex curve with a single maximum near the grey level of the spicule layer. The original black and white values are both mapped to zero. I then insert an extra control point to set the apex of the curve at the grey level of the layer of spicules, or a bit above. This point is set to just below white (255) as output value to avoid saturation. The resulting curve is roughly a parabola, which I then correct with two additional control points on either side of the apex. I move these to make the curve on the right a bit concave, and on the left nearly straight. I then tweak until satisfied. The result looks like the one below, and has a 3D feel to it. A screenshot of ImPPG shows the curves used: Finally, I might want to turn the image into a pseudo-colour version. To do this I open the image in GIMP, and apply a series of curves for red green and blue to achieve this: The latter is done with curves that look more-or-less like this I will add more detail (including screenshots) in due course.
  23. 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.
  24. 33 points
    Hello everybody, the requested M31 mosaic is ready Details: http://www.spaceimages.de/en/astrophotos/galaxies/m-31-mosaic or https://www.astrobin.com/378147/ Best viewed in full resolution. I hoppe you like it. Jens
  25. 33 points
    Rarely imaged Molecular Clouds in Cepheus: MBM 163 - 166 (Magnani, Blitz & Mundy), LBN 569 (Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae) and probably others... Centre of field: RA 22h12' DEC +81°10' Exposure time: 26 hours, 30 minutes (5 min. subs) Optics: Takahashi Epsilon-180ED f/2.8 Camera: Nikon D810a (ISO 400) Mount: Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO SQM: 21.4 - 21.7 magnitude/arcsec² Location: Izon-la-Bruisse, France Date: August 6, 8, 10, 11, 13 & 17, 2018 Data reduction / pre-processing with Astro Pixel Processor, post-processing in Photoshop CC. https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-5Z9v6J4/A https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-GgxGf8N/A
  26. 32 points
    Some of you might recall my Tardis Observatory. It was my first construction job on moving to my new home 3½ years ago, even though rebuilding the leaky roof and crumbling chimney stack were probably more pressing requirements. Anyway, the Tardis has never been quite right. It leaked everywhere and the doors never shut properly. So I've just done a big refurbishment: Thoroughly sealed the roof with black bitumen paint, double-glazed and sealed the windows, sealed all the gaps in the timber, repainted it and re-hung the doors, and put a black DPC skirt around the base to conceal the wheels. We had a fair bit of heavy rain last week, and it was bone dry inside for the first time since it was built. The lighting was all corroded due to the damp, so I've replaced all the lighting. Even the blue 'Police Box' panels on the side and the flashing lamp on the top all now light up! Here's the result. I know the finials on the corners are't really authentic, but I think they look nice, and they help keep out the damp. As you see, it's quite near the house and the west and north-west views are blocked, but south and east are good. In action:
  27. 32 points
    The Orion Nebula Last night observation of Orion Nebula. DAY: Saturday DATE: 23/2/19 TIME: 21:00 SCOPE: Dob 10px Sky-Watcher F.L.1200/f4.7 EYEPIECE: 24mm Explore Scientific F.O.V. 68° LOCATION:Mammari Thanks for looking
  28. 32 points
    Greetings! Today I will be sharing with you all, the coolest galaxy in the night sky: Messier 51- The Whirlpool Galaxy. I gathered a total of 17 hours of data (14hrs Lum, 3hrs RGB) under bortle 4.5 skies. This was a very quick process with the RGB but the color turned out exactly as I wanted it to. I may re process this again but I’m extremely happy with these results! This wasn’t supposed to be a project until late March or April but I just couldn’t help myself?. Hope you all enjoy one of our galactic neighbors Equipment: Astro-Tech 8rc (.82pix/") CEM60 gem Atik 414ex monochrome ccd QHY5L-ii autoguider Astrodon LRGB
  29. 32 points
    NGC7023 Imaged over two nights and plagued by satellite trails. Imaged before moon rise on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th nights. Exposure times were 8x 900s in Red 8x 630s in Green 8x 820s in Blue. Tricky one to process, pushing it so close to the noise levels really brings out faint gradients. Processed in Photoshop. Click for full res but dont look too close ?
  30. 32 points
    Just had this image published in the BBC Sky at Night Magazine,
  31. 31 points
    My first attempt at NGC1333, which is a reflection nebula in the constellation Perseus. There's quite a lot going on in the LRGB image below which represents just over 14 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150: a blue reflection nebula, dark dusty lanes and intense areas of star formation. These latter regions contain an impressive collection of Herbig Haro objects which are formed when narrow bands of very rapidly moving partially ionized gas, ejected by the proto stars, collide with by nearby gas and dust. I decided to run my customized Pixinsight annotation script over the image which revealed that it contains over 20 HH objects, given that about 500 have been discovered, this seemed quite a catch ! Alan LIGHTS: L: 38, R:15, G:15, B: 19 x 600s, FLATS:40, BIAS:100, DARKS:30 all at -20C.
  32. 31 points
    Hey, could gather some data of M31. 33x600sec L je 6x300sec 2x2Bin for R,G und B 5x900sec Halpha. at astrobin: http://www.astrobin.com/205766/ i need to gather more exposure time for RGB and Halpha... More L would be also fine The colors may not be realistic but i like it Looking forward for your opinions. best regards!
  33. 30 points
    The Headphones Nebula This project has tested me beyond all imagination. With much help from folk on here, I finally managed to get the EdgeHD 8" collimated, back spaced and functioning as well as possible. The weather has done everything it can to scupper me - I had a small snowy flood in the observatory and the QSI doesn't seem to like very cold ambient temperatures. Processing of the data has been a huge challenge. I have a fair bit of data, but this target is extremely faint, so I just don't have enough data to combat the noise. The image reminds me slightly of an impressionist painting, but hey, they can be quite nice! The target itself is an old planetary nebula some 1,600 light years away in the constellation of Lynx. It has the catalogue numbers of Jones-Emberson 1 and PK 164+31.1. It is only magnitude +14 or +15, sources vary, and given that it stretches across about 3 light years, it has a very low surface brightness. This thing is faint! The white dwarf star that remains after the explosion that created this nebula is clearly visible in the centre of the nebula and is extremely blue, almost turquoise, shining at just magnitude +17. Is this the ultimate fate of our own Sun? Something like this anyway and we certainly won't be around to witness it... by we I mean humanity! Technical Details Celestron EdgeHD 8" with 0.7x Reducer, QSI 683-WSG8, Astrodon 31mm filters, Mesu 200. Ha = 18 x 1800s OIII = 20 x 1800s RGB = 24 x 300s each TOTAL = 25 hours I could have done with a load more data really given how faint the target is and how slow my SCT is, but the Sky Gods have decided otherwise. It doesn't look like there will be any good imaging nights before the Moon comes back, so that is it for this project for now. I have done my best with the data I collected and am happy to let this one go now. I can't face any more time trying to tweak this and desperately trying to stop it being noisy. Damn headphones... Hope you like it and please do let me know what you think. Clear skies!
  34. 30 points
    My prayers and sacrifices to the Sky Gods were heard and answered - a window of clarity opened at around midnight last night and while the seeing was atrocious, I had to have a go at imaging 46P as it slipped past the Pleiades. This image consists of 75 x 60s with a Canon EOS 1Dx and 70-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO800, f2.8, tracked with a Star Adventurer. Shot between 00:19 and 01:37. I'm delighted to have got something of this part of 46P's journey, but I need to work on my comet / stars background DSS processing techniques as there is still a bit of streaking around the comet from the DSS stack. Anyway, I'm very happy to have been given the chance at this one.
  35. 30 points
    Located in the constellation of Pegasus and about 50m light years distant is the 11th magnitude ring galaxy NGC7217. Simulations indicate that the formation can be explained by the collision of a two galaxies: a compact galaxy with a larger spiral. However, today, it has no nearby companions and appears to float isolated in space. The LRGB image was taken with my Esprit 150 and represents just over 11 hours integration time. Alan LIGHTS: L: 26,R:13,G:11, B:17 x 600s. DARKS:30, FLATS:40, BIAS:100 all at -20C.
  36. 30 points
    I've been rather busy recently posting on the Skywatcher ED150 so I've just noticed that I have passed 40K posts on this wonderful forum today Many thanks to FLO, the admins and the mods for creating and maintaining this unique place to share our hobby. And thanks to the members here for putting up with me for 10+ years
  37. 30 points
    When I saw HST image Pillars of Creation (it's been over 20 years ago) I was totally impressed - both with the image and with its context. M16 Eagle nebula is not an easy target at my location. It crawls low above horizon and I needed to wait for some really good conditions to capture it - and it does not happen often. Bu the night has come at the beginning of July this year, and I managed to collect almost 2 hours of subframes with H alpha filter. Made with Meade ACF 10", AP CCDT67 telecompressor, QHY163M camera (gain 100), EQ6 mount, Ha alpha filter - 5 and 2 minutes subframes. Suburban sky, both seeing and transparency were good. M16 Eagle nebula centre - full frame Enlarged crop to Pillars of Creation Thanks for watching!
  38. 30 points
    Apologies to SGL'ers for essentially "cut & pasting" the CN text I've just posted here...I do think SGL'ers deserve their own thread comments but I'm tired & pushed for time here, so only a few alterations to that thread on Cn if you've just been there..! Hi all - spent a couple of nights down in the Mallee trying to find a bit of clear air.....the forecasts looked good but being brutally honest the seeing was nowhere near as good as BoM or SkippySky suggested - not that we place terribly much credence in any forecasts anytime tbh..! And just to be clear about things like "great air" etc that were bandied about on CN let me be frank herein - naturally all these appraisals are "relative" to each & every one of us...but there was no way whatsoever that the last 2 mornings qualified for anything more than "barely passable" seeing - I think we've been around long enough to know our own situations to a reasonable degree! Ok - with that "off my chest" (and I think it IS relevant when appraising the "possibilities" with this new camera) we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome on Saturn: Jove is a bit of a dog down here at only 38-39° & requires quite extra-ordinary seeing to deliver decent outcomes - love to shoot up North for a week or 2 but we're broke & I can't keep on using Pat's lappy constantly, so pennies are sort here..! Thus getting a decent Saturn with plenty of surface detail in very pedestrian seeing is quite an accomplishment & suggests this camera is a "go-er"...we've managed said with the 120MM-S before but without nearly as much histogram control that the software gain gives us with the 174MM. I have a lot more experimenting/investigation & queries re this camera, plus the new FireCapture beta program used, but I think the preceding paragraph is a good valid observation for starters... Of note is the fact that Pat's Dell is only a standard duo-core (with hyper-threading, thus acts like a 4-core to a certain degree) with a standard HD - we switched off the Wi-Fi & disabled Norton AV, cleared all surplus data off the drive & had no trouble keeping up the FPS...even at 200fps using 512X440 ROI on Jove. As said the Jupiter caps weren't worthwhile but the fps with Pat's lappy showed that this machine could take it...I want a super-fast replacement to my old dead lappy - which was a "fast-un" - but this works in the meantime! If we opened WinJupos etc during captures the FPS saved did lag behind the capture rate but caught up again pretty quickly before the avi finished its' set time-span.....so it looks like you don't necessarily need the fastest machines out there. We had only a couple of spots on the camera window which were most likely the result of me having the covers off for a lot of time trying to get an optimum imaging train set-up at short notice: seems like ZWO have done some work there over time :waytogo: ...I certainly don't think the (almost) 10 metres f/l was ideal in the conditions but that must count as another plus for the specific image... I'm making up a new imaging train & still want variability in the arrangement but think I might have an answer... Anyway, here's a Saturn with promise, plenty of bright spots visible on the disk & whilst I'd "love" some Jovian opportunities further North atm that's not going to happen...and in many ways surface detail on Saturn is much more demanding than great Jovian resolution so we're pretty satisfied with our first efforts - but a whole lot more trialling & also investigations/queries to be done! A big "thank you" to Sam at ZWO - without his generosity this would not be possible..! :waytogo:
  39. 30 points
    Finally, after much trial and tribulation, I have my camera/scope combination right and working correctly....no camera issues (my old H18), or problems with astigmatism with the scope. This is a target I’ve imaged before, but I like this galaxy and it’s well positioned at the moment, so chose it as my ‘first light proper’ for the rig. A quick bit of background info..... NGC 891 in Andromeda is one of the most photogenic edge-on spirals around and about 30 million light years away. We are looking at light that left near the start of the Oligocene epoch, the time of the transition between the tropical Eocene and the more modern ecosystems of the following Miocene. This is the time when grasslands, and the associated grazing animals were spreading, and the tropical forests were becoming limited to the equatorial belts. The planet was getting cooler and more seasonal, and in Europe, the Alps were rising as the African landmass continued to push northwards. There was also a major extinction event, where Asian fauna replaced the previous European fauna. Some species of terrestrial mammals returned to the oceans about this time. Amongst these were the ancestors of the dolphins. The imaging data is...... Telescope. 12 inch custom Ritchey Chretien with GSO optics (started life as a standard GSO, but very little of the original scope remains) Camera. Atik 460 EX mono. Filters. Baader LRGB & Hutech IDAS filter. 40 x 8 minutes Luminance 22 x 220s Red, 20 x 200s Green, and 22 x 240s Blue. All subs binned 2x2, and an AP 0.67X focal reducer used, giving a focal ratio of F5.4 Total imaging time. 9 hrs 15 minutes. As I binned the data 2x2 (giving a resolution of 1.14 arc secs per pixel), for the processing, in order to avoid artifacts, I substantially increased the image size, and then reduced it again for the final image. Imaged on the 29th & 30th November 2013 from Weymouth, Dorset.
  40. 29 points
    Like the lunatic that I am, I decided to get the scope out last week during that storm that was passing through. The skies were clear and there was no moon about, so I figured why not! Only problem was the 17-20 mph winds, lol. I got 2 hrs of subs but had to throw away half of them due to guiding problems more so than the wind, amazingly. This was the 2nd time in a row i'd had Dec guiding problems, and that's after about 2 years of not having a single problem guiding. After the 1st hr of wasted subs, I turned off Fast Switching in Dec and chose to only Dither in RA, and the Dec problems mostly went away, at least to allow me to capture 1 hr of 'still dodgy but just about useable' subs. Once M42 disappeared behind the neighbour's roof, I then re-calibrated on the Celestial Equator (Dec 0) and when I switched to the Pinwheel Galaxy I was able to guide as normal again (with Fast Switching and Dithering in both RA and Dec both turned on again) and didn't lose any subs, despite the wind, so I've decided that from now on I won't be calibrating at the target itself, i'm always going to do it at Dec 0. I decided to throw this in with another 1 hr of subs (plus 10 x 30s for the core) that I took back in Jan 2017 (has it really been that long?!). That hr also had issues, with some weird streaking in the lower left that I could never work out what caused it. The D5300 hadn't been modified at that stage either. So I fired it all in to APP and decided to stack it anyway, and give it a quick process. Then chose to crank it up to 11 on the colour front, just for laughs. It won't be going on the wall anytime soon, lol, but I suppose it came out a bit better than I was expecting, all things considered. 20 x 360s with an IDAS-D1 D5300, 80ED, HEQ5-Pro. Stacked in APP, processed in PS. CS! edit - I forgot to downscale it - so no pixel peeping allowed ?
  41. 29 points
    Ive wanted to get a nice rendition of Orion for ages but its one I always overlook as sky time is very precious in the UK and there is always something else to get. Its got to be the most imaged target in the sky but is it easy....I dont think so. The colour and tonal range is massive making it a huge task to process. It took me around 12hours to process this one. Imaged in one night with my AG12 F3.8 Newt and Starlight Xpress H35, conditions were variable with light haze hindering the session, but to be honest I'll take what I can. We have had another very poor winter season with partial clear skies and rain as most of you already know. Exposure times were. 4x900 Ha 1x900 in R 4x840 in B 4x620 in G. Core exposures in RGB were 30s. Managed to increase the red signal with the H-alpha frames. Not Ideal but it is what it is! Calibrated with DSS, processed in Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom. thanks for looking
  42. 29 points
    From Wikipedia: "The Cone Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Monoceros. It was discovered by William Herschel on December 26, 1785, at which time he designated it H V.27. The nebula is located about 830 parsecs or 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The Cone Nebula forms part of the nebulosity surrounding the Christmas Tree Cluster. The designation of NGC 2264 in the New General Catalogue refers to both objects and not the nebula alone. The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264, the northern part being the magnitude-3.9 Christmas Tree Cluster. It is in the northern part of Monoceros, just north of the midpoint of a line from Procyon to Betelgeuse. The cone's shape comes from a dark absorption nebula consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long (with an apparent length of 10 arcminutes), and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth." This image has been a delight to process and much simpler than my last image of the 4 panel mosaaic of IC59-63. I do particularly enjoy the wonderful 'texture' of the Fox Fur and the delicate blushing orange/yellow reflection nebula seemingly floating above the Cone. The bright blue stars of course needed some taming and careful care when combining the Ha to avoid excessive ringing. Details: TEC140 10 Micron GM2000HPS II UP QSI690wsg-8 Astrodon filters Ha (3nm) 23 x 1200s; Lum 48 x 600s; R 26 x 600s; G 24 x 600s; B 24 x 600s Total integartion 28 hours Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne at our shared remote rig e-Eye, Spain. Processing: Barry Wilson using PI, capture SGP. Thanks for looking & CS!
  43. 29 points
    A 2-pane mosaic. I shunned the traditional HST palette for a more natural palette aligning with emission wavelengths, so Ha+SII to Red, OIII to blue, and a blend of Ha (25%) and OIII (75%) for green. 49 hours total integration, captured on the APM TMB in Spain.
  44. 29 points
    So after fitting a RA motor drive to my eq5 to observe planets at high magnification without constantly turning the slow motion controls; we set out to our local spot last nighy ti give it a try. Gawping at m42 was so much easier without having to worry about tracking the object. It just hung tgere beautifully right in the middle of the eyepiece! Why had i never bought a motor before?! So the though occurred to me that i could try to take a photo with mu cheap pentax camera attached to my skywatcher 200p. I had previously written off astrophotography because i am very aware that my equipment is not suited to it. So with my 200p, eq5, cheap pentax camera, rough visual polar alignment, no guide scope, and no idea what i was doing i tried a 12 second exposure. I was not expecting anything! Now i know this is relatively poor but i honestly had thought that nothing was possible with my equpment. Mike
  45. 29 points
    Wow, Mates ! I got !!! It was a hard process to bring out all those stars ! GSO 305 mm - ASI120MC Resolution = 800 x 640 Exposure (s)=2,98578 Brightness=2 Gamma=90 WhiteBalance=5000 Gain=6
  46. 29 points
    Just the right size for my focal length and chip. However you capture and process this galaxy , it remains a big scruffy ball of stars and hydrogen clouds. I have to say though it is possibly my favourite object in the night sky. You see this processed with so many different colour variations, it is tricky to get any colour in to the core at all. This image is a combination of data captured during 2014 and 2015, totalling 14.5 hours of exposure time. Altair Astro 6" RC and Atik 460ex. Captured in Sequence Generator Pro and processed in Pixinsight & CS5. Hope you like
  47. 29 points
    Tom took charge of getting me a large print done by his regular photoprinter in Ireland and it shipped over, but then got delayed for long enough for us to have gone on holiday by the time it arrived. However, our friend Ray noticed it on the van driver's list while receiving something himself and told the driver he'd take it. He then lent us his minibus so that while Tom was here on holiday we could collect it from the framers. The good people at the Crayon Gris art shop in Sisteron handled the framing. They, too, are friends because Monique exhibits with them. (The multiple virtues of small communities!) It's framed in aluminium extrusion and behind museum quality plexiglass. The framers pointed out the danger of glass at this size, it's extreme weight and prodigious expense. In fact it's very transparent on far less reflective than it appears in the photo. We run a guest house so we don't want anything dangerous, either. So this is only a tiny fraction of what would be possible in terms of size from our 33 panel mosaic but we didn't have a wall that could take anything bigger! All good fun. Olly - and thanks to Tom and Ray along with Francis and Cécile of the Crayon Gris.
  48. 29 points
    Well, its been cloudy for some time now - so I thought I would process some M31 data thats been sitting around for a few weeks. I was already happy with the colour in last years version, so all I needed to do was concentrate on getting some Lum time on this. But I do have to admit cheating a little with the flats becuase I used the Ha master flat to calibrate it - but it seemed to work well enough! I also had to use noels LP removal action as I was shooting while it was still a bit low in the sky. M31 Andromeda 18x600 (L) RGB from 80ED 2013 version 130pds, Atik 383L+, NEQ6, SWCC Thanks for looking! Rob
  49. 28 points
    The Milky Way rising in La Palma. I've only just got around to processing this from my trip back in May....so much to do so little time to do it.
  50. 28 points
    Firstly, a big thank you to the SGL members. Your advice, encouragement and inspiration have been a great help. In a year I've gone from taking images like this: ...to this... (Apologies if you've seen some of these images before, there are some I haven't posted previously at the end.) The first snap is one of my early attempts at capturing the Milky Way from a fixed tripod. It's a bit of a noisy mess as I hadn't found the aperture control on my camera at that point, but I was chuffed to find I'd accidently picked up Andromeda. The second shot is a 20 minute stack from a couple weeks ago, with a modded camera but using the same kit lens at 18mm. September 2013 - A more successful Milky Way taken while in holiday in Menorca, by resting the camera on the patio and giving it 30 seconds with the lens wide open. December 2013... Down in Cornwall for Christmas but not much luck with the weather, so only managed a few quick shots. Another fixed tripod shot. A 20 second Orion framed to show the club as well as the body, although I always see Orion as an archer. March 2014... Flight BA8727 to the Moon. Taken with my 250mm zoom lens. One of my first experiments with stacking. A stack of 70 three-point-two second exposures taken with a 50mm lens at f2.5, cropped down to hide the coma. Was very encouraged to pick up a touch of the Flame Nebula, especially as Orion wasn't well placed at the time - I was looking over a town. April 2014... A stack of about 70 exposures taken with an old 450mm M42 lens. My first widefield from a tracking mount, showing the Beehive Cluster and M67 on the left. About 5 minutes of data, 50mm lens at f2.8, cropped. Bought my own tracking mount off AtroBuySell in June, an EQ3-2 with RA motor. Here's a couple early efforts with a 50mm lens, taken before I fitted a polar scope to my mount. I found I could consistently get 2 minute subs at 50mm without one. Around Cepheus, about 40 minutes at f4 I think. Andromeda (crop). ~1 hour at f3.5. Also snapped some Noctilucent Clouds while I was out imaging one night (50mm lens, 10 seconds). At 50 miles altitude and just above the horizon they must have been somewhere off the west coast of Norway. Picked up a 45 year old 135mm Super-Takumar f3.5 M42 lens off eBay for £18.40 + postage at the beginning of August. Comet Jacques and the Double Cluster. Pacman Nebula. Had to magic select the nebulosity and boost its saturation separately from the starfield to get some colour out of it. Took a trip down to Cornwall a couple weeks ago and was very lucky with the weather, had three decent imaging nights. Used the modded Canon 100D at Caradon Observatory on my mount with a variety of lenses. Didn't manage any long imaging runs due to light cloud, dew and inconsistent tracking from my mount forcing me to discard plenty of subs, but I've very happy with what I did get. 12 minute Cygnus at 50mm, f3.5. 12 Minute North America and Pelican Nebulae at 135mm/f3.5. 12 minute Veil Nebula, 135mm/f3.5, cropped a bit. 22 minute Triangulum, 135mm/f3.5, cropped. Comet Jacques passing the Garnet Star and entering (or leaving?) IC1396. Can just make out the Elephant Trunk. 135mm/f4.5?, 30 minutes. Heart and Soul Nebulae and the Double Cluster. ~30 minutes at 135mm/f3.5. Bit yellow at the lower middle as some stray light was getting in the eyepiece. 10 minutes at 135mm, f4.5 or f5.6. Taken at about 2:00 in the morning. Bit of a gradient as it was quite low down. A 1 minute test shot of Andromeda with my 250mm zoom lens at f5.6. Bit of coma but I can always crop a little, good to see this lens is perfectly useable on my mount. The extra reach brings more targets into range. Hopefully this thread shows what can be achieved with modest equipment and a bit of enthusiasm. My camera equipment also gets heavily used for daylight photography. Imaging has been interesting in other ways, it's encouraged me to larn my skies better and think more about what I'm seeing. For example, in the shot of Veil Nebula I can see glowing hydrogen and oxygen, but is most of the materiel from the supernova itself or pre-existing molecular clouds being compressed by the shockwave? I'm guessing the latter but it's quite hard to find solid information online. I'm very happy with what I've achieved so far but there is plenty of scope for improvement in my images. At the moment I'm finding good backgrounds harder than imaging the DSOs themselves. The above images look pretty good at the size I've posted them, but I'd like to get tighter, better star shapes and colours and knock out more of the noise. I may need to stop down a bit more and aim for more data. Next steps: - Get my mount tracking to its full potential. Might need to adjust the balance more finely or I may need to strip it down and give it some attention, I notice there are a couple EQ3 guides on the forum here. If that doesn't work I'll need to reduce my sub times a bit, have been mostly shooting for 2 minutes at 135mm. - Sort out a modded camera and LP filter for imaging up here in Hertfordshire. - Think about what software I need. Have had some success with the Star Tools demo so that could be an option. - Work on my processing skills. There are lots of tutorials out there if I can find the right ones. - Try some longer imaging runs. - Find a Bahtinov mask that fits my lenses, or make one. Here's to the next year of imaging, may the weather be kind to us.
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