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Everything posted by 26Left

  1. All very good advice; thank you Neil. I use a DBK21 and their own IC.Capture software. For Jupiter and Mars, I tend to set the gamma around 60, but I don't know what that number actually means. For Saturn, I experimented with 80 and 100 and found 100 the best. Yes, the details there, and perhaps I could bring it out in Photoshop. But, I like the subtle look with Saturn. Tom.
  2. Neil: yes, it makes more sense to alter the gamma at capture, and that's what I did last night (a night of very good seeing). I'm very pleased with the result. The rings have more "weight". Yes, there is less contrast on the planet, but more detail and a more natural look (IMO). Thanks, Tom.
  3. It was a six minute run at 7.5 FPS. So there were 2700 frames captured. I used Ninox to grade them and kept the best 2000. Then aligned/limited them with Registax and kept about 1500.
  4. Thanks all for your comments. Sorry it's taken me so long to check back. Neil: Thanks for your suggestion. I use PS so I added a Curves layer and pulled the centre up a little. Is that what you mean? I have attached the result - the newer version is the lower Saturn. The rings look a little better but, as you say, the contrast has gone a little. Should I pull the curves up a little more again? What do you think? Overall, I think the second image looks a little more natural. Spaceboy: I use the DBK21, which is a one shot colour camera, because I can't be bothered with filters! I used a x2.5 PowerMate on my C11, so I thinkt the image scale is 0.17 arcseconds per pixel. But, I reduced the image to 75% of its original, because I did not like the full size image. Cheers, Tom.
  5. I haven't posted for a while, but I thought I would share this Saturn image. Seeing was pretty good for me last weekend. Tom.
  6. 26Left


    Strange, because I can focus fine with my C11 and x2.5 Powermate. Having said that, I think this combination gives a little too much gain. A decent x1.5 Barlow would match the seeing conditions I usually have much better. But, I don't think such a thing exists.
  7. I'm very proud to see one of my pictures in Sky at Night Magazine this month (April 2012, page 27) :)
  8. Thanks all. It was a DBK21 on the back of my Meade 127 refractor with a x3 TV Barlow and an extension tube. My 'frac picks out colour really well, to the point where I have to wind down the saturation quite a bit in Photoshop. The C11 is the opposite. I wish I had an 11" refractor
  9. Me too. I don't get much from these visually, unlike M81/M82, which I love to observe. But, I think it's great a Milky Way object and another galaxy apparently side by side.
  10. Hello all, Here is my image of M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken on 19th February 2012. 34 x 4 minute exposures @ ISO800 with my Nikon D7000 DSLR. In June 2011, I took an image of M51 to capture supernova SN2011dh. I have presented the two images aligned as an animated GIF: I'm not sure if the lightbox on this forum deals with animated GIFs correctly. If not, it can also be see at http://26left.co.uk/animations/SN2011dh.gif There is currently a dot where the supernova was. I think supernovae die down in a much shorter timeframe than eight months, so perhaps this is a foreground star or an object in M51 that happens to be in the same apparent position. It would be interesting to see an image from 2010 for comparison. Well, this is the nearest I get to real science Tom.
  11. Having imaged Jupiter for several months with my C11, I thought I'd go back to my 5" refractor at F/30. Jupiter's dropping into the murk, so this image scale is probably more realistic to use now.
  12. I'm not getting particularly great results on Saturn so far this year, perhaps because it is so low. Here one from a few nights ago. I guess the lighter band in the north is the storm that I read is still active this year. Cheers, Tom.
  13. Having just fitted a Moonlite focusser to my Meade 127, I was keen to try some imaging last night. It was a little damp, and transparency was not ideal. Here is my image of the Owl Nebula M97 and the galaxy M108. This was the result of 28 x 4 minutes subs at ISO 800. The image would have benfited from some more subs, but the at 2am, the targets were an hour or so past the meridian and the camera was about to hit a tripod leg. Here's M108 in more detail: ...and M97: The new Moonlite works a treat. Just set it and forget it Cheers, Tom.
  14. Last weekend was great for imaging. It had rained during the day on Saturday and transparency was excellent. Here is my image of M35. 25 x 180s @ ISO800. I particularly like the contrast in star colours between the two clusters. Cheers, Tom.
  15. Thanks for all your comments. I must do some research on Mars. As we only see it once every two years, I tend to forget about it. But, it seems to be as dynamic in nature as Jupiter.
  16. I love putting animations and comparison images together. Here is my comparison of Mars in January and February with roughly the same area facing us. Both images are at the same scale. It looks to me as though the northern polar ice cap has shrunk and been replaced by a darker area. A storm perhaps? It could be some sort of illusion as the planet now appears larger or perhaps a result of the processing I applied. But, visually, I have also noticed that the ice cap is a lot less apparent than it was a month ago. Tom.
  17. Hi Staurt, This was my first time imaging Saturn with the DBK and my C11 and I was hoping for 1/15s. But, 1/8 was the best I could manage (Gamma was 70 I think and gain was full at 1023). I was thinking about a new 618 DBK so I can reduce the exposure time a little and, on the brighter targets, get up to 60fps. But, I'm not sure my laptop and its USB are up to it. If I set my current DBK to 60fps, all it manages to record is about 34fps. And thank for to everyone else who commented. Now, don't think I sat outside for hours and hours. At minus 8 degress, I could only stand a few minutes at a time. So, a good polar alignment - start the recording - run inside to warm up Tom.
  18. Thanks all, Mars was what I actually set out to image and I think it's come out very well. Is it me or has the northern polar cap shrunk in the last month? Visually too, it seemed far less noticable. The exposure times were: Venus 1/120s Jupiter 1/30s Mars 1/45s Saturn 1/8s Saturn surprised me, because last year with my refractor, I was capturing at 1/9s and the optics were configured for F/30. Currently, I am at F/24.5 with the C11 and I would have expected 50% more light and a faster exposure time. I suppose the frost on my C11 didn't help. I am using the 098 version of the DBK camera. Has anyone tried the osc 618 chipped DBK on Saturn? Tom.
  19. Hello all, Although I was not planning to, I ended up imaging four planets on Friday night. Except for Mars, the pictures individually are not great. But, four planets in one session is a first for me, so I have presented the images here: Venus never makes exciting images for me. It's so bright, that were was a lot of CA, and it would probably have been better imaged with my refractor. But, you can see the phase easily enough. I turned by C11 to Jupiter. As I had only planned on imaging Mars, I had not given my C11 nearly enough time to cool down. The result is a very blurred image, with the GRS just visible as it made an appearance. Mars was my real target. I'm very pleased with this image. Mars has gained nearly three seconds of arc since my last image, and it shows. Also, it has such high surface brightness, that I could record at 1/45s exposure, which makes all the difference. Because the seeing was so good, I decided to stay up for Saturn. This one's a disappointment. Saturn was dimmer than I had calculated it would be, and I discovered that a frost had developed on the inside of the corrector plate. Not much I could do about that. But, I carried on anyway. I hope you enjoy them. Cheers, Tom.
  20. Sounds a good place to be. On a good night, my NELM is a little better than 5, which is not bad. I see the Milky way through Cygnus in the summer, but only just. I was flying over the Netherlands on my way to Germany last year and I noticed some large rectangles of bright lights on the ground. Are they the greenhouses you mentioned? What do they grow?
  21. A higher ISO setting makes the camera more sensitive to light and therefore means shorter exposure times. If you double the ISO, you can halve the exposure time. Shorter exposure times are good, because you are less likely to get spoilt frames from satellite passes etc. and longer exposure times tend to result in more noise as the camera sensor gets hot. But, as always, there is a trade off. Higher ISO settings result in images with more noise. So, you need to find a balance that works for your camera. I always use ISO 800. You'll probably find most people use a setting between 800 and 1600.
  22. Glad you found them. I look at them regularly. I particularly like M82.
  23. That's a great shot. What are your skies like? 10 minutes at ISO 800 and F/5 is pretty long by my standards, so they must be pretty dark. Cheers, Tom.
  24. Yes, it can. But, you need two adapters: If you remove the rubber eye shield, you'll see a thread. The first adapter screws into there and presents a T-Thread A T-thread to 1.25 EP adapter that you can push the webcam into. They are both made by Baader. I have both, but I can't find the part numbers. It works for eyepiece projection through a Hyperion and I used it several times last year on Saturn with reasonable success. Hyperions suffer a little from chromatic aberation (false colours around bright features) and this was noticeable on the images. Registax's RGB align feature corrected this to some degree. Good luck, Tom.
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