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  1. Firstly, Welcome to Stargazers Lounge - the liveliest place in the Internet to discuss all aspects of astronomy, share pictures and observing reports, and find out what there is to see in the night sky. To ensure the Forum operates as smoothly as possible, we ask that you read and adhere to our Code of Conduct: Stargazers Lounge – Members Code of Conduct Before we start …. Use of our forums constitutes acceptance and agreement to our Forum Code of Conduct. If you do not agree to these terms, please contact a member of the Administration Team to have your account disabled. If you violate the
    552 points
  2. What Can I Expect to See? By Way of Introduction It’s a very easy mistake to make. You see those spectacular images of colour and shape which show the beauty of the Universe and just how fortunate you are to live within it and you think to yourself, perhaps a telescope will show me something similar? Time passes and one day you hear about some astronomical phenomenon that’s going to occur. You’ve read the reports in newspapers and seen something on TV about the breath taking sights in the superlative that will appear in the night sky. So you decide to ask about what telescope you should buy an
    345 points
  3. I have considered the question of what a person needs in his eyepiece kit, as a bare minimum, for quite a while. Personally, I don't have a lot of disposable income, and I recognize that a lot of amateur astronomers are getting along on a shoestring budget. So, if you can afford to go out and buy a full set of Naglers, or even Radians, go ahead, this article isn't for you. It is for those of us who have to choose between a new eyepiece and a new spring jacket, and are already garnering disapproving looks from our partners for buying that natty little refractor at a higher price than they reall
    172 points
  4. Hi guys!I finally managed to decide I'm done processing my insane photoproject of digging deep inside M31.Long story short: One picture of M31, 27megapixel 2x2 mosaic, +3 months of imaging in crappy weather, 18 separate nights, 534 separate exposures, +150 hours of processing, 1233 manually annotated objects inside M31.(images in the end of this post, lots of "bla bla" first)I had a great start last autumn with loads of clear nights, which made me think it be a quick stab to make a 2x2 mosaic (my first mosaic btw) of M 31 since my f.o.v is to narrow to capture M31 in one frame...But pretty muc
    154 points
  5. ORION. This is a marathon O'Donoghue-Penrice production owing more to Tom than to me. Tom began the luminance and Ha in Spain four years ago using one Tak 106N/Atik 11000. We then set up the dual Tak rig here and carried on, finishing the colour and Ha acquisition a couple of weeks ago. (Running three Taks and three full frame cameras we collected 24 hours of data in two memorable nights!) Tom did the stitching of the part-stretched data and handed a copy over to me, so the final processing here is mine though Tom's own version is in the pipeline. Higher resolution data has been added from the
    144 points
  6. By using stargazerslounge.com you agree to our use of cookies as described in this Cookie Policy. WHAT ARE ‘COOKIES'? Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or application. Your web browser then sends these cookies back to the website or application on each subsequent visit so that they can recognise you and remember things like user details or user preferences. Cookies are very useful and do lots of different jobs which help to make your experience on websites as smooth as possible. For example, they let you move between we
    97 points
  7. Introduction If someone were to ask what a galaxy is, the simplest answer would be to say a group of thousands of millions of stars, lots of planets, dust, gas and dark matter rotating within the emptiness of space. If they wanted a little more detail, you could point out that some galaxies are so small they contain no more than 10 million stars or so, while others are so big they could have over a billion stars, that is, a million times a million. 1 followed by 12 zeros. You could say that there are an estimated 200,000 million galaxies in the visible universe and the average distance between
    86 points
  8. Pleas for help with PHD guiding seem to come up more often than almost other imaging topic. I make no claims to be the ultimate expert on the subject, but I have travelled some way along the road from guiding failure to success, and so I thought it might be good to share a few pointers I've picked up along the way. (By failure I mean I was getting one 1 minute exposure out of every five where the stars were slightly less egg-shaped than the rest. By success I mean I now discard one 10 minute exposure out of every thirty due to a guiding issue). Firstly, I am going to cover the basics of a go
    85 points
  9. A true dark site is not "pitch black". Once your eyes are fully dark adapted the sky is markedly bright with stars, Milky Way and natural airglow. Moving around without any artificial light is easy. A lamp is only needed for seeing small objects, reading etc. Foreground objects (trees etc) look truly black against the bright sky. In a telescope at high power, the sky background looks truly black (you can't see the eyepiece field stop). After viewing for some time, when you look up at the sky again it's dazzling (you need to shield your eye from it while looking through the eyepiece). At a ligh
    82 points
  10. I've recently come across this piece on the web written by Alan MacRobert from the well known and respected astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope. It is well worth a read if you are thinking of getting into the hobby - ideally before you leap in and buy a telescope : https://www2.wwnorton.com/college/astronomy/astro21/sandt/startright.html As someone who has been in the hobby for many years now I found that many of the hints, tips and pointers in this article are right "on the button". John
    79 points
  11. 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 f
    79 points
  12. Just a few of the goodies ive had from the 130pds over the past few months:
    78 points
  13. 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
    74 points
  14. Preface The purpose of this post is to provoke a basic understanding of Mars which will not only help ignite further interest in the red planet but also aid planetary observations when out in the field. In this manner, I have divided the entry into two main divisions. The first deals with some of the more important features and characteristics of the red planet while the second entry deals with observing Mars. Part One: A General Understanding of Mars 1 – General Introduction Mars is a barren and cold planet orbiting the vast darkness of space. It is a world of undulating landscapes, jagged ro
    71 points
  15. First attempt and first clear morning after 2 weeks of bad astrophotography weather. Taken about 2 hrs before sunrise on 07/13/2020 The image still has some startrails from the comet stacking mode in DSS. I've used the comet stacking mode and normal stacking mode and blended both together in Photoshop to get the comet with its starfield rather than startrails. Difficult process to do this manually. If someone knows a method/software that does comet stacking with its starfield, please let me know. DSS failed me on several occasions using comet+star stacking method. K
    71 points
  16. There is a section in the Code of Conduct that refers to the forum censor that is used to edit out profanities. Please read it and follow its dictates. This is a family friendly forum and there have been many instances recently where posters have deliberately included words that are obvious profanities that have been obscured by asterisks or other non-alphabetic characters. This is not acceptable - there is no reason to include such words in posts. Let's keep the forum suitable for our children and grandchildren and something we can all be proud of. Mike
    71 points
  17. I took a photo of Betelgeuse in February 2019 just because it's a pretty star - Thought I'd take another to see if it really has dimmed as much as everyone says and the difference is very noticeable - (prime focus of a 7" refractor with a focal reducer bringing it to f 5.6. )
    70 points
  18. Years ago in one of my first astronomy books I read that this cluster is now known to be ploughing through some interstellar gas and dust - and the book (now lost) had a picture showing the streaming 'wake' behind the stars as proof. Trying to bring this evidence of motion out in my own picture has become an obsession so whenever guests want to image the region I add new data to what I already have and push it even harder in processing. A couple of nights ago with SGL member Sandancer we captured a further 6.5 hours or so in the dual rig. Great! I don't know how much is in here altogether but
    70 points
  19. "It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages." Henry FordFirst Light Optics is only one month away from her seventh birthday. With your support we have grown from a single person working from home to a team of seven operating from two units on a business park in Exeter. We literally could not have done this without you so we are hugely grateful. Earlier this year we began wondering how we can give something back to the community. We already sponsor Stargazerslounge which benefits it's members and others searching for info.
    67 points
  20. The MW from Perissa Beach, Santorini. Taken on my recent 23rd wedding anniversary trip with my lovely missus. Canon 6d/Samyang 14mm, bracketed image - sky 10 x 25s iso 800 stacked in PI, foreground 1 x 30s iso 800. Processed in PS. Hope you like it! Rich ?
    67 points
  21. I havent posted for a while its so good to finally get going again..... Ive been wanting to image a wide field of M45 for years.... managed to get tenough over the past 4 weeks now it is rising early in the morning.......total 12hrs comprised of 300s, 180s and 60s exposures. Imaged with a 105mm 1.4 Sigman lens @ f2 with an ASI2600 OSC. Cmos Processed in Pixinsight, Photoshop,and lightroom Thanks for looking Peter
    66 points
  22. I've just realised that I have just passed my 15th year of membership of the Stargazers Lounge. I joined on the 28th of November 2005. This was my 1st post https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/1422-its-nice-to-be-here/ I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to First Light Optics, the admins and the moderators for creating and maintaining this amazing place and also to all the members here who have helped me, put up with me, replied to my posts, been polite when I've (often) been mistaken, joined in when I've been excited about something and generally made this forum the most importa
    65 points
  23. This has got to be THE single most iconic image out there - So thanks to Hubble there's masses of pressure with this image! How can you improve on an icon? I have no idea at the moment! But the mono Ha data has come out OK! This is a low one for me - Only gets to 37 degrees maximum and I was just starting to only image above 40 degrees I will be collecting the OIII and probably SII as well (depends on how a bi colour comes out) - But meanwhile I thought that this stood on it's own two feet as a mono target. It was a delight to process as the data is nice and strong. Details: Mount
    65 points
  24. Imaged from Spain, The Lion Nebula taken with the William Optics FLT132 at f5.6 and the QSI-660WSG Done in the usual Hubble palette. 2.8hrs in Ha and OIII, 3.5hrs in SII, just over 9hrs total. Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop. Thanks for looking Peter
    61 points
  25. These are a few considerations that I've found handy and might be useful with organising your observing . Practical. Red torch, check it's working and the batteries are ok Check your finder is aligned with your scope. Half covering a Telrad will enable you to align on a distant chimney in the day. Notebook or paper and a soft pencil, 4B or softer. This'll avoid ripping into paper as you note or draw in your fever of excitement. A cardboard box on it's side will keep stuff out of the dew. Ensure your dew heater is on straight away , they take time to get results. Have a hairdryer handy in cas
    61 points
  26. Hi all, this has been a tough slog. Starting in August i intended to just shoot Barnard 150 and well i just kept going. I really have no idea how you guys with mono cameras manage mosaics, hats off. Shot over 9 nights and a total of 31 hrs in 150 second subs. Esprit 100, Zwo 071 pro, mounted on an AzEq6 Captured using SGPro, stacked in APP. Processed in APP, PI and PS. Hope you like it. Richard.
    61 points
  27. I never seem to be pleased with my editing of the M45-data I´ve got but now I think I´m getting there! This time I pushed the faint nebulosity even harder but still managed to keep it together... sort of. I could have sharpened the nebulosity more but I like the dusty, fluffy look. This is a bit over 15,5 hours of data, captured using Canon EOS 1100D and a Canon EF 300/4L IS lens. My mount is a HEQ5 Pro Synscan, guided. 31*3 minutes 87*5 minutes 55*8 minutes All at ISO 800. I hope you like it, don´t think I will do much more reprocessing of this one now. No use beating
    61 points
  28. Well, I didn't think I'd be making this post but here it is - tonight I have managed to see the Horsehead Nebula, Barnard 33 The sky here tonight is the best and darkest I've experienced for a long, long time. The transparency is excellent although the actual seeing is mediocre in terms of star images, splitting doubles etc. M31 is a direct vision naked eye object and notably extended too. The double clusters in Perseus are clear without any sort of optical aid as is M35 in Gemini and the brighter 3 star clusters in Auriga. I don't know what the naked eye limit at the zenith is - pro
    61 points
  29. I have had this on the PC since January and have refrained from posting it as I really can't decide how I feel. It started off as a more usual colour palette for me, but it always seemed very flat. I went back to process and decided to leave the green in and see what that bought to the party. It certainly seemed to give it a more 3D feel and more general depth..... but it has been tweaked here and there now for months. It hasn't been posted anywhere yet as I think it's too far from my comfort zone colours to be able to decide how I feel about. I've tried to look at it objectively and wond
    60 points
  30. Some photos added today?.. Mint Takahashi FS128 on Tak EM2 mount. My heartfelt thanks to Tony for waiting for so long until I could proceed with the purchase, and to my wonderful wife Heather for her loving support. Can't quite believe it.. Dave
    59 points
  31. 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
    57 points
  32. Hi, hope everyone's keeping well. I got lucky on Thursday and Friday night with some of the best conditions for imaging I've seen in months and with no plan in place I decided to go for the Horsehead. Whenever I image something I try to learn a little about the target and to my surprise It's not that clear who discovered this nebula. It is believed Herschel may have been the first to observe it in 1811 but his descriptions are vague. Edward Charles Pickering had photographic plates of the area which were cataloged in 1888 by Williamina Fleming who had previously been his maid and was then hire
    56 points
  33. Hi everyone Today I woud like show You my longest expose photo. This is very well known OU4 (Outters4) Gigant Squid Nebula. In polish wheader condition I started cathing it at last week od may and finish few days ago. All frames without moon. It is O3RGB composition. QHY695A, Ioptron Cem60EC, TS APO100Q, Chroma O3 3nm, Chroma RGB. O3 47h @1200s, RGB 3h @300s link to full size https://www.astrobin.com/7wcspr/ edit. Sorry, I forgot Negative and starless version full at Astrobin
    54 points
  34. Headed out after work last night in chance of capturing the arch for the last time before summer nights really take a grip. I had a idea of a location and it worked out better than planned. theres a slight glow to the north ( left of the image) as the auroa kicked off at 1:30am sadly the mountain was in my way but i like the purple hue's. Sony a7rii Tokina F2 FIRIN lens 21x12" iso 6400
    54 points
  35. Two panels, the lower one from last year. The top one was from this week, with guests, but Tom remembered that he also had a good dose of Shark Nebula data so that went in as well. The lower panel is Ha OIII LRGB for the supernova remnant and planetary nebula while the top is only LRGB. About 50 hours, dual Tak FSQ106N/Atik 11000/SXVH36/Mesu 2000. This time I went for an honest colour, resisting the temptation to try to make the Shark look like an emission nebula! The three VDB objects are, 149, 150 and 152. The PN is G111.0+11.6 (catchy name) and the SNR is ... I've forgotten!!! Oll
    54 points
  36. This Sunday 24th May at 8pm, we are launching the first of an ongoing series of virtual astronomy talks, workshops and presentations at 'StarGaZine'. You can attend StarGaZine events free of charge via the Zoom video communications platform. For our very first event (Sunday 8pm) Steve Richards / @steppenwolf will provide his talk 'Making Every Photon Count: An Introduction to Deep Sky Imaging for Observers'. His beginner-friendly talk will explain the equipment and techniques necessary to successfully capture deep sky targets. After the talk there will be a Q&A session.
    53 points
  37. Here are my attempts at Astrophotography with a smartphone. Taken thought a 10 and 20inch Dobsonians. Most of the photos have been processed through photoshop. The eclipse photos where taken with a smartphone with a small screw on Samsung lens and a home made white light filter. I have more on my Instagram https://www.instagram.com/astroramblerphotos/ Venus Messier 13 (Hercules Cluster)
    53 points
  38. We will soon apply a significant update to the SGL platform but before we do we want to remind everyone what SGL is, and is not. This is important because it underpins the way SGL is constructed and moderated. What is SGL? SGL is a positive, safe, friendly online community where you can discuss all things astronomy with like-minded people. Whether you are beginner or professional, visual astronomer or astrophotographer, armchair astronomer or cosmologist. SGL is for you. SGL is not Facebook. SGL does not amplify negative emotion, does not insert dodgy video into your ti
    52 points
  39. Made this false colour venus image using a UV data from 9th April and IR data from the 10th April (as I didn't capture any IR on the 9th). As the IR channel is generally featureless I didnt see any issue doing this, just needed to align and resize the IR slightly to match. 90k frames of UV and same IR. 20% stacked for each and synthetic green made from a 50/50 mix. Fullerscope 8.75" newt with APM 2.7x barlow. Altair GPCAM 290m with Baader UV and ZWO 850nm filters. Image resized 200%. North up.
    52 points
  40. 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 4h
    52 points
  41. Naturally this is a popular target with guests, which means I can accumulate data and combine it to keep chipping away at the quality of the final image. Last night we ran the dual Tak rig on this for our guests' new image, but I also combined it with everything I already had from both the Taks and the TEC140. It allowed me, above all, to push the outlying dusty structures without the need for noise reduction. I've lost track of the total exposure time but it will be around 25 to 30 hours. I thought I was approaching the limit of useful data last time I worked on this but the extra 9 hours fro
    52 points
  42. Following on from my Horsehead nebula in mono thread here I was quite happy with it as it was.... then ..... @pietervdv was a very naughty boy and suggested that perhaps I *may* like to do another pane above it. Well how could I resist when I was finally up and running with the dual rig. Double bubble on the Ha time as I've got a 3nm Astrodon in both camera's. It would have been rude to ignore his suggestion! The original thread was called widefield.... so this one can only be *even wider* All comments and thoughts welcomed (except those that suggest ANOTHER couple of panes are in or
    52 points
  43. Snowdon and the Milky way panorama. 41 images captured on a Sony A7S and Samyang 24mm f/1.4 lens exposed at 8 seconds, f/2.0 iso5000 and post processed in Autopano Giga to produce the stitched image and then processed in Autopano Panotour to produce a 360 interactive panorama which is quite nice to play with full screen
    52 points
  44. Sales of astronomy equipment during the pandemic continue to be significantly higher than normal while manufactures struggle with materials shortages and fewer shipping channels. Obtaining reliable ETAs from manufacturers and distributors is understandably very difficult. Even when they do have an ETA, it often changes overnight and it is not unusual for entire shipments to sell out before they dock. We believe this perfect storm will continue at least until a vaccine is found and made readily available so, with this in mind, we have made some changes at FLO that we want to share w
    51 points
  45. 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
    51 points
  46. Hello Sometimes show images at 100% does not allow to see all the details. If you are looking the smallest craters visible it is necessary to enlarge the image. Here are somes pictures, Copernicus at 300%, Copernicus at 120%, a part of Clavius at 120%, Atlas at 300% and Walter's area at 150%. Of course click on images for full resolution. Regards. Luc
    51 points
  47. Planetary Nebulae Chapter 1: Historical Background Messier - The Unknowing Discoverer At the end of its lifetime the Sun will swell into a red giant, a moribund star hundreds of millions of kilometeres in size, expanding out beyond the orbit of Venus and Earth. As it burns through its fuel, the Sun will eventually collapse. It is possible that the outer layers of the star will be ejected into a shell of gas that will last a few tens of thousands of years before spreading out into the vastness of space to be recycled again by future stars. When we see this beautiful halo of diffuse gas from d
    50 points
  48. As a relative newbie to astronomy I can't really contribute any tutorials on nebulae and planets, but in the spirit of giving back to this forum, from where I've learnt so much, here is a short primer on the eye and how it works in the dark, in the hope it helps people understand all this stuff about red lights, averted gaze and telescope tapping. (I'm a psychologist with a background in neuroscience...) THE RETINA As you probably know, the back of the eye is coated with a layer of cells called the retina. Many neuroscientists see the retina as an extension of the brain because it isn't just a
    50 points
  49. Hi SGL, I ve been away for quite a while, but its good to be back, and have a picture to post. This is Cassiopeia, a 25 pane 530mm mosaic. I started this in 2016 when I captured the Lum panels, it took building my own remote observatory at Ollys in France before I could capture the RGB, Ha and O3 data. This comes to about 350hrs of LHaRGB data about 240 of those taken in the last year remotely. No noise reduction has been used, and only sharpening on a few certain objects. I re-took about 5 panels in RGB due to stitching and gradient issues. There are a lot of obj
    50 points
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