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**Space*Hopper**

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Everything posted by **Space*Hopper**

  1. Hi all, Maybe it's just me but poor M92 does not appear to get as much attention as the likes of M13 + M3 so I thought I would have a bash at it. This is the result of 28 subs totalling just over 20 mins. Usual setup: Celestron C8 SCT + HEQ5 Pro + Canon 400D. Taken from my tiny light polluted garden as always. The 1st image is the full photo and the 2nd is a crop of the core. Not as colourful as my previous M13 but I am still very please with the result. Hope you like it to.
  2. Hi all, When I originally processed this I suddenly realized that compared to the individual frames, my end result was distinctly lacking in colour so I decided to give it another bash before posting. My goal was therefore to try and bring out as many stars as possible while maintaining a nice variety of star colours. The result is the most colourful globular I have ever produced and keeping in mind that I am still fumbling around in Paint Shop Pro without really knowing what I am doing, I am very happy with the result, (although I appreciate that I have still got a long way to goto match some of the incredible globulars I have seen posted here). So here it is, the sum of 24 x 43 second exposures + some darks using my usual C8 SCT + HEQ5 Pro + Canon 400D from my tiny light poluted back garden. I have attached the full picture plus a crop of the core for your viewing pleasure As always thanks for looking.
  3. Have just had a fiddle with the "unsharp mask" in PSP in an attempt to seperate the stars in the middle more, but I am not sure if I have over done it. What do you think ?
  4. Thanks Talitha, Not only for moving the thread, but for your kind comments also All the very best Ian
  5. Hi everyone, It's been a while since I have done any imaging, but with the mild evening yesterday and the relatively clear sky, I thought that it was too good an oppurtunity to miss so out into my tiny, light polluted back garden I went. The attached is the result of 19 x 38 second exposures taken with my trusty 400D / Celestron C8 SCT / HEQ5 Pro combo. Stacked in DSS and curves adjusted in PSP. Looking back through my previous attempts, I believe this is my best M3 so far DOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH !!!! 1st post in ages and I have managed to put this in the "observing deep sky section" . Please can someone move this to it's proper home - thanks
  6. Hi all, I have recently purchased the above from a fellow SGL member and it is simply brilliant One thing that has me slightly puzzled though is that I have looked up my latitude and longitude on the web and double checked it on my satnav and both say the same as per the below satnav photo. However the Synscan handset refuses to take the 000 69 figure. Any ideas what I am doing wrong please ? As always thanks in advance Ian
  7. Hi all, After the problems I had with my previous project M3, I did wonder if I was in for a similar experience with this go at M13 but thankfully, using what I had learnt, this one went a lot smoother. So here is the result of 18 x 30 second subs at iso 1600 and 8 x 30 second darks. Stacked in DSS and tweaked in Paint Shop Pro 8. Equipment was the usual for me now: Canon 400D and a Celestron C8 SCT. I like this one lots and hope you do to. Thanks for looking Ian m13-20-4-09-c8-18 subs - bilinear-3-25%.bmp
  8. Have something planned for this Sunday but could move that to Saturday if needs be. Easter Sunday is definitely a no go for me I'm afraid.
  9. Thanks for the kind comments Yes mate it was, with my trusty Canon EOS 400D and it's the result of 11 x 30 sec subs @ ISO 1600 and 8 x 30 sec darks. Stacked in DSS and tweaked in Paint Shop Pro 8, (although I must admit that I still have a lot to learn as far as processing goes also).
  10. Hi all, Some of you will have already seen the below images in one of my other threads but as I am so impressed with the performance of the focus mask, I thought I would re-post them as a seperate thread in the hope that it will be seen by more people who might in turn benefit from the knowledge as I have. As many will know, I was really struggling to focus my C8 SCT but as a result of some advice from fellow forum memebers I dowloaded a free focus mask template from Bahtinov Mask by Focus-Mask and cut a crude mask out of cardboard to see if it worked and it really does ! Now that it has proved itself, I will eventually take greater care in making a further mask out of a slightly more durable material. The idea for those who don't already know is that as you alter the focus of the scope, the horizontal light rays move up or down depending on the direction of focus. Perfect, (or very near perfect), focus is achieved when all of the light rays converge in exactly the same place. To illustrate this I have attached: (1) An image of the bright star I used to focus (2) An image of the star viewed through the mask with the scope out of focus. (3) An image of the star viewed through the mask with the scope in focus. (4) An image of my crudely produced cardboard mask. Before this mask, DSS would not properly stack any of the subs produced from my C8. However with the mask, not only do the subs stack in DSS, but the resulting image is the sharpest I have taken of M3 with any scope so far, (see this in the Deep Space imaging section) Assuming that there is a suitable mask template for your scope, why not give it a go ? especially as it costs nothing but time to make Ian
  11. Hi all, I am very pleased to finally be able to share with you my first DSO image from my recently purchased C8 SCT. As many of you will know, I have really struggled to produce stackable full resolution subs, (a problem which I had not experienced with my less powerfull ED100). However thanks to the fantastic advice and encouragement from many fellow forum members, all came right in the end and the lessons I have learnt from this project will prove envaluable for future ones. When I compare this M3 to last years taken through the ED100 the difference is astonishing, partly I guess down to the extra light grasp of the C8 but also down to many other things resulting from the advice I have received such as using a focus mask and taking subs in RAW format. For me, looking back at my previous images to see if this years are better than the ones I took of the same object last year is great fun and certainly in this instance with M3, there is a vast improvement which must mean that I am heading in the right direction . Anyway enough talk, here is the image. Ian M3-27-3-09-11 FILES - FULL SIZE STACK - PROCESSED-DIMMER CENTRE.bmp
  12. Hi everyone, After my disapointing attempt with the focus mask I have made, the very helpful & constructive advice posted in this thread motivated me into having another bash at M3 last night, so here's how it went: I took everything out into the garden and played around for a while to give the scope enough time to cool down, (or so I thought). Previously I had pointed the scope at a fairly bright star for the purpose of using the focus mask but this time round I used one of the brightest stars I could find and was amazed at how much difference this extra brightness made to the clarity of the lines appearing in the focusing pattern and I was therefore able to easily see if I was turning the focus knob the right or wrong way and quickly obtained perfect focus, (according to the mask). But then the problems started. As previously mentioned I usually locate a deep space object using a low power eyepiece, center it and then replace the eyepiece with the camera and re-focus. However with the camera now in theory perfectly focused, I obviously did not want to remove it so had to try an locate M3 purely by pointing and shooting, (does anyone have a better way of doing this ?). After around 45 mins of this without even a glimpse of M3 I felt like giving up and started to just point the scope at other stars to at least see how the focus mask had performed and much to my surprise, there were donuts everywhere Pointing the scope back at the original star that I had used to focus with and re-attaching the mask showed that the focus had shifted by a long way and I now believe that I had not allowed anywhere near enough time for the air, mirrors & glass inside the scope to properly cool down. Anyway I re-focused using the mask and thought that I would have another go at finding M3 as that was going to be the best way of proving if the focus mask was doing its job properly. This time after about 10 minutes I found it and quickly started taking subs, (in RAW mode of course ). Even though the LCD screen of my camera is very small, when zooming into the subs I could tell that the focus of the stars in the middle of the cluster looked better than I ever remember seeing them before so I was quietly optimistic. I took just over 30 x 30 sec subs along with 8 x 30 sec darks and then came in for what I knew was going to be the moment of truth, would any of the subs stack in DSS at full resolution ? I picked 17 of what I considered to be the best subs and loaded them along with the darks into DSS. It proceeded to register 17 and then stack 11 but during this I thought to myself, dare I look at the resulting image on the screen at the end of the process, would all the subs be out of alignment Anyway stacking of the 11 completed and when the image appeared on the screen a very big came across my face as the 11 frames had correctly stacked this time. So what have I learnt from all this ? (1) My C8 scope is awesome but requires more attention to detail than my ED100 in terms of critical focusing, cooling down times etc. (2) While my mount was an absolute bargain for the £100 I paid for it, it is now the weekest link in my system and for every sub I use, I delete around 3 or 4 because of tracking errors, (even some of the subs I use for stacking do not have perfectly round stars). (3) My focus mask, crudely cut out from a bit of cardboard using the downloaded template from the site previously mentioned in this thread is simply awesome and for people like me who are strugling to obtain perfect focus, I cannot recommend it enough, (especially as it costs nothing but time to make). (4) You guys were spot on as always thanks, poor focus resulting in donut shaped stars with dark centers was the reason why DSS could not stack the subs but fingers crossed, armed with my focus mask and the lessons learnt from this M3 project, my next project with the C8 should not be such a trying one For your viewing pleasure I have attached: (1) An image of the bright star I used to focus (2) An image of the star viewed through the mask with the scope out of focus. (3) An image of the star viewed through the mask with the scope in focus. (4) An image of my crudely produced mask, (In time I will probably take more time to make a better one out of a lino floor tile or similar). (5) An image resulting from the DSS stack of 11 x full res RAW subs + 8 x darks quickly processed in Paint Shop Pro 8. I will undoubtedly take more time and have a more careful go at the PS Pro processing but at this stage I am so happy just to have an image from full res subs words cannot explain Anyway thanks again to everyone who contributed to the invaluable help and advice in this thread to get me to this point, I really do greatly appreciate it. Ian M3-27-3-09-11 FILES - FULL SIZE STACK - PROCESSED-DIMMER CENTRE.bmp
  13. Not being one to give up easily, today I made a focus mask from the free C8 template available at Bahtinov Mask by Focus-Mask I used this to focus on a fairly bright star and it appeared to work exactly as described. I then searched for M3 and this was harder than usual as I left the camera on and had to just take images of the rough area until it appeared on the cameras screen, (normally I would use a wide angle eyepiece to locate M3 and then swap to the camera but having just focused the camera with the mask I could not do this). Anyway eventually I found it and took some subs in RAW mode. As always to my eyes they looked good. Eagerly I then came inside and loaded them into DSS and guess what, they wont stack either :crybaby2:Anyone want to buy a C8 ?
  14. Firstly a big thanks to Billy & KK for having a play with the 10 subs I posted and for all of the info they have provided. Secondly a big thanks to everyone else who also provided useful info within this thread. I had another go at M3 last night with the camera set to RAW but the resulting subs will not stack either, even though I had taken even more care with the focusing. I guess for the reasons already mentioned in this thread, the focusing of the C8 is more critical than my ED100 and certainly more so than I can achieve on the tiny screen of the 400D, (even when zoomed in). I therefore feel that a Bathinov mask is definitely the way to go. Has anyone used the below mask generator to create a mask for a 2000mm C8 SCT ? astrojargon - Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator: Overview If so I would be very interested to know how it worked along with any tips you discovered while fabricating. Thanks again to all of you Ian P.S. One thing that I do not fully understand about the mask, my normal proceedure is to center an object with a wide angle eyepiece, then replace the eyepiece with the camera and re-focus. However if the mask works by focusing on a bright star with the camera attached, how do you then locate the much dimmer object that you actually want to image ?
  15. Ok understood, I will give the RAW format a go for my next project but that won't help me with this one for which all my subs are in JPEG format. Surely there must be some clever person out there who can find a method of successfully stacking these
  16. Has anyone had any joy with stacking the 10 x full size subs posted within this thread ?
  17. Interesting point thanks Kev, They are all JPEG's as that's what I have always used in the past without ever encountering this problem, (however this is the 1st DSO I have taken with the C8). If no one manages to stack the full size JPG subs then maybe I will give the RAW format a go on my next project to see if the problem goes away.
  18. There may be some truth in that Billy. But all I know is that I have previously successfully processed many stacks from my 900mm focal length ED100 with far worse stars than these, so the extra magnification from the 2000mm focal length C8 must definitely be a contributing factor. Anyway at least I now have an image to show for my evenings work and fingers crossed, someone will find a way to stack the full size subs Thanks for all the help so far guys
  19. I have resized 34 subs and 8 darks to 50% of their original size and they have stacked fine I am tired now and need to go to bed but just had to have a quick go at processing so here is the resulting image, (resized by a further 50% height + width to get it within limits for the forum). I know I have over-cooked it a bit and have not yet cropped off the frame stack overlap from the edges of the image but I am convinced now that this is definitely going to be my best ever M3 and I will no doubt have another go at processing it tomorrow when I am more awake If processing subs resized to 50% looks this good, (in fact they are resized to 50% height and 50% width so they are only 25% of the original size ), just imagine what it would look like if I could find a way to process the full size versions Anyway the extra light grasp of the C8 over my ED100 is clear and I am a lot happier now I know that at least the subs are ok and the reason why DSS is not processing them in their original form. Please, please, please do keep trying to stack the full size versions I have posted above as I am still very eager to learn how this can be done and see the full size result If I manage to process a better version tomorrow I will of course post it Goodnight all
  20. I think I might be onto something here. I have found the manual star selection tool but it does not recognize the main bright stars as stars and will therefore not let me select them. It looks like the 2000mm focal length of the C8 has made the stars too big for them to be clased as stars That got me thinking that maybe if I resized the images to make the stars smaller, maybe they would then be recognized as stars. So I have just resized 20 subs to 50% of their original size to test this theory and sure enough they stack perfectly However 90%, 80%, 70% or even 60% of the original image size still causes problems. Surely reducing the image size cannot be the only way to resolve this can it ? If so then it kind of defeats the whole point of buying a more powerfull scope Please therefore keep trying to stack the 10 original size subs as I would love to know if this is possible and if so, how Thanks Ian
  21. Ok guys, Below are the links to 10 of the subs. If anyone can successfully stack these I will then post the remaining subs along with the associated darks, (always assuming that they are happy to stack the whole lot for me). Once stacked if they could then post a link to the resulting file I will gladly process it from there. Also if someone does manage to stack these and has got any idea as to why I cannot, I would be very grateful for some guidance as to what I am doing wrong. Thanks & fingers crossed Ian Just right click and "save target as" Image3776 Image3767 Image3765 Image3760 Image3754 Image3752 Image3750 Image3744 Image3742 Image3738
  22. Come on please guys this is driving me nuts The 1st DSO I have tried with my new C8 and DSS can't cope with it, it's not a promising start I have just tried some of last years subs from my ED100 and they are still stacking fine so I guess DSS is still working, (but just not with subs from the C8 ). If nobody has a solution, maybe I can upload the subs somewhere for some other kind person to have a go at stacking ? What do you think please ? Looking at the subs I think this promises to be my best M3 to date so you can understand my frustration Please someone help P.S. I have tried but am honestly not sure how to do the manual star selection thing - sorry
  23. Ok - stacking the subs is no longer a problem but DSS is not making any effort to align them. Here is the latest attempt using 3 of the subs as a test with Johns settings, (found so many stars it took ages lol). I cannot for the life of me understand why it has done all my previous projects but is having so much trouble with this one. But moving on................. How do I do the manual star selection please ? Or is there a better program to try ?
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