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Everything posted by coxy322

  1. Here is an single 30s frame of the Ring M57, taken almost a year ago when I just got into AP. This pic was also on the BBC Sky At Night program late last year, the star party episode. Small claim to fame and encouraging nonetheless. http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/6959666050/in/photostream Equipment listed below. This is ISO 1600 Prime focus 30s unguided. Taken under a very dark sky and good seeing. Ash
  2. Great to see such admiration across media and social media especially. Just read that he missed only a single show since inception in 1957, due to food poisoning. A great measure of the passion and dedication he had for teaching us all so much about what he loved so much. Long live the legacy of Sir Patrick.
  3. Thanks for the comments - I had aimed to get 30 frames but 16 of them had either slight or bad star movement. So I ended up with 14x 45s frames that were spot on. Can anybody explain why this happens, if the eq5 alignment was out surely all frames would have movement? When observing and zoomed into Jupiter at high magnification I noticed that it moved quite a bit when a lorry passed the back of my garden... how much could this sort of environmental and wind cause movement? How can I combat it? I do the photography from indoors via Remote Desktop so there is no danger of me causing it. Re the quality of the image I must stress that the seeing was the best I'd experienced for a long time, maybe ever. Jupiter was excellent through a blue filter, there were moments where the atmosphere lifted for what felt like seconds; enabling perfect clear and a stable image. Awesome detail around the spot and the blue marbles scattered around the entire planet etc was seen at 170x mag.
  4. On Wednesday this week I was spying Jupiter and was blown away by the first sighting of the red spot. The seeing was so good I decided to wait up and shoot Orion's Nebula, I have huge trees to the South East which means it was around 1130 that I could begin. It was so cold and frost was beginning to build everywhere! So here it is, first attempt at M42. Thought I’d share it… Description on link. http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/8247860983/in/photostream Shot using Canon 1100d, total 10.5min. It's a little noisy but am in awe of the colours and the silky cloud.
  5. I have attempted processing the data for this target again! This time tweaking the stacking process, using Median mode and maximum RGB alignment on background calibration. The image is smoother but with lots of nebulosity HOWEVER I don't like how the stars have blown up. Hopefully I'll have time to revisit and collect more data before the end of the year (wishful thinking with this terrible weather STILL!). http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/8129322438/in/photostream So, with three examples using relatively the same data set but different stacking parameters and less/more extreme processing, which is better!? Any more tips welcome and gratefully received. Ash
  6. So do you use Star Masks to collect data over several nights? I have been using APT and see it offers this function.. I'd love to get the second shot above worked on some more, it'd be great to get the detail of the first but with the quality of the second.
  7. I've only been up there twice and even then only once was it worth the time spent. Its rather windy as so high up! I took my gf up there a few weeks ago to show her the MY. Pleased to report she was stunned! V. jealous I can't live further out. One day... Ash
  8. 60 Subs would take me ages! To get the above I took 30 subs, 7 of which were Rubbish and went in the bin immediately. So to get 60 I'd need approx 80 which could take me 3 hours or so. With the weather the way it has been all year I hardly get the chance! When we will get a decent break?!
  9. I am on the edge of Taunton, between J25 and Corfe however still in the suberbs. Luckily the LP is not too bad but it is here for sure, I sometimes go to Smeatharpe as up there it's totally dark!
  10. I had another go at processing from Friday night's data. This time I included 5x more lights and was more subtle with the proecssing, although it felt like a different image altogether to process really. I adjusted more in GIMP too. Less noise, but less prominent nebula. Although it now looks more like a photo rather than a painting :-) What do you think, which is better? http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/8114384858/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Ash
  11. Forgot the Url (Doh)! http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/
  12. I bought the 200p on EQ5 (Black Diamond model) for 420quid new in May 2011. By April this year decided I wanted to do AP. I must say I am getting loads out of it and only had to get a Tring (£20) and a dual axis motor (£80). Check out my Flickr site for some examples of deep sky and lunar imaging, including closeups of craters, all achieved with a setup well under your budget. My next step would be a much larger and more expensive scope. The 200p is more than enough to keep me going for several years. Ash
  13. ... going on hols is more exciting as means that you get new parts of the sky to see.
  14. Thanks for the comments. This is 12 mins total at 1600 iso. Dont think any more would be necessary?! I like the way the nebulosity resembles brush strokes, as if painted not photographed.
  15. Hey fellow astro geeks. It's been ages (again) - the weather cleared just after midnight tonight and I was straight on it, seeing as it's the weekend! Thought I'd share my first attempt at the Pleiades. Am quite impressed and it's turned me onto M45 more. Don't you also find that you make a better connection to one of these wonders when you image it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrocox/8104163842/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Jupiter next, let's see what the Canon 1100D can do :-) Ash
  16. When packing up I lifted the scope, which was on it's side, by the ends - forgetting the dew sheild was on. Quickly the shield loosened and the whole OTA dropped onto the concrete luckily secondary mirror side down (since I still had grip of the primary mirror end!). Another time I carried the OTA through the house but the focus tube was out too far. Smacked the door frame very hard indeed. My poor OTA, only a year old. Still works fantastically though, only bruised.
  17. Hi Tinker1947 I like shots of stars, either single or double. I think they look better at prime focus, there is little advantage to my eye with magnification unless you are trying to split doubles. Have you tried stacking several, say 10x 40 or 50 secs at iso 800. You'll see much deeper colour, a wider spike and halo effect. Check out this example I did a few weeks ago (I have same Camera and nearly same scope setup): http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8145/7633881116_be8d47f05d_b_d.jpg Gamma Cassiopeiae (Navi) with a hint of the "chair" above it. 10x 1600 ISO @ 40s each 5x Darks 5x Bias 5x Flats Nice colour in the star you have there. Just need to add flat to the image to lose the vignette and then curve out the lp. Ash
  18. All good info there regarding Gimp, thanks David & TziuRiky. As I am still getting to grips with the hobby and finally getting some rather decent end results (happier with calibration) my next step is to find a more suitable image editing program. I use Windows 7 64bit and so far the software is Gimp 2.8. Not Linux, Tziu, although I could Virtualise if there were good enough reasons to use Linux over Windows for this reason?(although a Vm means the processing power capacity will be dropped). Who ranks what software, and what sort of costs are we talking? CS/PS seems a bit too expensive, Id rather invest more money in the hardware at this point in time...
  19. Hey Gina. Great image, such vivid colour. Am curious to learn about modding the 1100D, and how do you cool it (is this runtime cooling, or cooled pre-session?). Also, why do you have 2x 1100D modded - are they modded in different ways or just because you like to image off two scopes simultaneously etc? Final question, could the filter you put onto the camera work or improve light transmission of faint nebula to an un-modded 1100D? I am starting out in photography now too so don't want to make my 1100D only good for Astronomy... (at least not until I can save pennies and justify cost for an exclusive AP camera). Ash
  20. Posting at 3am, you're addicted too!
  21. Cheers Dave! As time progresses and I get more data and nights under my belt I'll keep building a portfolio of them. I had a shot of Albireo but the seeing was not too great - that's a great colour contrast double too, so soon I'll retry that and get a clean shot like Omicron Sygni above. Mirach in Pegasus/Andromeda is another beauty. Ash
  22. I have been out until very late every night this week. Only looking up to watch for shooting stars etc for brief 10/15 mins at a time and I have been seeing small ones going in all directions and also larger ones (very infrequently) also doing the same. I am only looking east though... no vis to the west. Will be in Greece as we approach the peak of the Persieds, am away from light pollution too - so annoying I cannot take my scope! :-(
  23. Thanks for the comments guys. I am now getting confident with astrophotography, just mastering the calibration shots (namely flats were my bad area) and processing techniques are getting better every time I have another try. Still only using free software though, no all singing Adobe CS etc (yet). I do find the activity most addictive. I am starting to understand the limits of the equipment I have much more now too (camera mainly).
  24. Hello strangers, it's been a while hasn't it!? I have had a cracking 3 and a bit nights imaging and even on 'school nights' since it has been so long! Thought I'd share my images from this week. This is the first time I have really had the grasp of calibrating my images and getting better at post-processing. Still using free tools, DSS and GIMP. Any comments welcome! 1) A bad attempt at the crescent, whislt mildly ok for subs and darks my flats let me down. 2) Here is a better attempt at the Crescent from tonight. 3) Gamma Cassiopeiae. I might get a modded camera one day.... 4) Omicron 1 and 2 Cygni. A pleasing double. 5) The all might itself, Andromeda. This was my first ever shot at this beauty. Only 3x 1Min subs, no calibration. Taken at a dark sky site on Friday last week but the clouds rolled in and ruined the night. Still, it was amazing to see the Milky Way shining so brightly - another first! 6) The Coathanger. 7) Just a shot of my old man putting the finishing touches to his scope. Mine is primed and ready for action in the foreground! So the forecast is looking gloomy, I think I have had my fix! Night all! Ash
  25. Do not delay, the sooner you get a telrad you will realise the potential in your new hobby! It takes less than 30s on average to find things, once you have visited a target once or twice you'll find them again in seconds. Dew is a problem, they are a magnet for the moisture so think about this when you use it. Also the more stars you can see with the naked eye the better - but keep your finder and you have that x9 to show you quite a bit... then move to the main scope and check, using lowest powered ep.
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