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Everything posted by ShineOn

  1. We all know that data is king in this game and that less is hardly ever more. But....when the prevailing conditions are in your favour, ie, you happen to find yourself under some of the darkest skies in Europe and your host for the week is a certain Mr O Penrice, interesting things can happen! And so it was on the day of our arrival at Les Granges. We were greeted by clear skies and the promise of some class A photon gathering. I'd decided to image the Leo trio as it was an object I'd never captured and I knew it would be a good fit for my Tak 85 at native FL coupled with my Atik 460. I'd framed the image up to centralise the galaxies in the field of view and the first 10 minute sub looked very nice. It was at this point though that Olly glanced at my capture screen and floated the idea that I might like to try for the extremely faint tidal tail emanating from the Hamburger galaxy. The carrot was dangled and I didn't really need to think twice, as I reframed to push the galaxies down the FOV in the hope of bagging the tail. But, 10 minute exposures were not going to do the trick here, so I took Olly's advice and upped the exposure to 30 minutes in luminance. Everything came together well and the Tak/Atik combo did it's thing. Approaching cloud and a rising moon however brought proceedings to a premature end though with the following data captured: 4 x 30 mins Luminance 4 x 3 mins in each of RGB Cloudy skies since have meant plenty of time to process this data which Olly expertly executed entirely, using Astro Art 5, PixInsight, Registar and Photoshop. This is the end result and is an outcome we're extremely happy with, given the low integration time. Simon
  2. This is 15x1200s in Ha. Am loving what 328mm of focal length can cover with the reduced Baby Q. Will look to add some RGB next time out. Simon
  3. Many thanks everyone for the very kind comments. Everything seemed to fall into place nicely last Friday morning, plus I have the benefit of an almost flat horizon in that direction as I image from my first floor balcony It's clear at the moment Andrew....I'm getting some Lum on M31 whilst the moon is away, but I fear the cloud and rain will scupper any ISON chances tomorrow morning. Simon
  4. Comet ISON - Friday 15th November, over Bakewell, England. This is (roughly) 15x1 min subs in each of RGB and 7x1 mins Lum with my Takahashi FSQ85 / Atik 460. Tracking was done on the stars and the images processed separately - in DSS for the comet and Neb for the starfield. (DSS produced a disappointing result in it's 'stars and comet' mode). I then processed in CS5 using a layer mask technique to blend in the comet over the starfield. It took a fair amount of processing but am pleased with the outcome, and even managed a few Virgo faint fuzzies. Thanks for looking, Simon
  5. You're obviously a quick learner, you have some cracking images there, M33 being my favourite. Rest assured, the desire to continuously upgrade one's kit does not diminish with time. Simon
  6. Yes, it was a surprise to me too because his site implies it's not included...but it is. I did trip up a bit on the various adapters / connectors needed though. Ian supplied me with the wide t mount and CA35 adapter but you'll also need this adapter to link the EFW2 to the imaging train: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adaptors/atik-m54-to-m42-t-adapter.html I also had to go back to Ian for the Tak extension tube (part no. TKA23250) to use when operating at native focal length without the 0.73 reducer. The Tak system chart here maps things out: http://www.takahashi-europe.com/en/FSQ-85ED.systemcharts.php Simon
  7. Actually not true. I recently got my 85 from Ian King.....complete with CAA bundled for the price on his website.
  8. Welcome to the Baby Q club Steve :-) That sure is a lovely FOV you have there. What do you put the star shapes down to? Simon
  9. A similar story here guys, the paucity of recent opportunities has been very frustrating. Mind you, the start of the barren period did coincide with the arrival of my FSQ85, so I've only myself to blame I guess!
  10. Thank you. Yes - a nice starter for 10
  11. Thanks Steve, I will revisit the data to see what else can be gleaned but to begin with I was just happy to get some small colourful stars
  12. Thanks Olly. Yes, Bakewell it is - my Tak is not the only one in town as a friend has a 106. We both enjoy a post midnight street light switch off which helps a deal and of course the Peaks themselves offer darker skies should we venture out of town.
  13. Such is the reputation and undoubted ability of the Takahashi FSQ85, it was with a heady mixture of excitement and trepidation that I was finally able to put the Baby Q through its paces last Wednesday evening. It had been a long wait – the inevitable 6 weeks of almost perpetual cloud following unboxing had given rise to a heightened sense of anticipation and of course frustration. Conditions were not ideal last week. A strong breeze was blowing through my somewhat exposed balcony location here in the Peaks, which I’m sure would have hampered guiding on my MN190 and its 1000mm of focal length. Nothing was going to deter me though, not even a somewhat neglected girlfriend in the living room! After a couple of hours of cooling and initial set up, focus was readily achieved using a Bahtinov mask and Bahtinov grabber software. My first test target of the Double Cluster in Perseus was located and guiding initiated. Final framing done and I was ready to press the button on Artemis to kick everything off. This is the result of 15 minutes per channel in RGB (5 x 180secs each), with the x0.73 reducer plumbed in. It’s only been cropped a few pixels to tidy up the edges following stacking. I spent the next few hours collecting data on the Eastern Veil. Am hoping to get more imaging time on this before posting. I’m very pleased with the initial results from my combo of the 85 plus Atik 460, and look forward to the next clear skies. Simon
  14. Nice one Alistair. And NGC3077 joining the party too. Was this with the Tak? Simon
  15. Thanks for the nice comments everyone. @Coco - agreed, the stars could be rounder. I included a few below par rgb subs that if I'd had more data I would have discarded.
  16. A first light in a sense here, as it's my first successful outing using my new Atik OAG with the MN190. Getting the guide cam and Atik 460 parfocal proved a bit of a challenge for a while and I'm not convinced that my QHY5 is sensitive enough in this set-up. Lodestar may be the way to go... Imaged over 2 nights it comprises 3hrs 15 luminance data (10 min subs) followed by RGB of 25:40:35 in 5 minute subs. Conditions were not as favourable last night, hence the lack of RGB data. All subs unbinned. For fellow Atik users out there, the recently introduced 'marker mode' in Artemis proved useful in accurate alignment for the second night's session. Just click on some prominent stars from Session 1, save them, and then reload a text file at the next session to enable easy framing. The individual channels were stacked in Nebulosity and aligned in Registar. I then combined the LRGB in PS using this tutorial from Anna Morris: http://www.eprisephoto.com/create-lrgb. The High Pass filter in PS proved useful in bringing out the dust lanes. The fact that this object passed the meridian at around 11pm meant for satisfyingly lazy data acquisition as I slept through it all and dreamt of a laptop full of data for the morning Simon
  17. Thanks for the nice comments all
  18. This is my M51 compiled over several nights, totalling 9 hours of data split as: RGB - 1 hour 25 per channel, bin x2 (mostly 10 minute subs) Lum - 2hrs 50 min, bin x1, 17 x 10 minute subs Ha - 2hrs, binx1, 6 x 20 minute subs Bias and flats (but no darks) Each channel was stacked in Nebulosity and then aligned in Registar, combined and processed in CS5. Noel's actions helped with star colour and noise reduction, oh and Hasta La Vista Green was useful too! As ever, more data would have been nice, but it's time to move onto something new now! Any comments welcomed, Simon
  19. Thanks Ian...that was the plan yes, but the rubbish skies have had other ideas. The object is getting pretty low for me now but will hope to revisit next year for sure!
  20. Thanks Gina - I think the scope+cam will be a good combo. Do you have your 190 order in yet?
  21. The frustrations of our fickle weather of late has meant that my planned attempts to capture luminance / Ha data for this - my first complete RGB image with the Atik 460 - have been thwarted. So I thought I'd post what I had managed to collect now...this is just 55 minutes in the Red and Green channels plus 25mins in blue. All subs 300secs, taken at -15C on the sensor through my MN190. Data captured using Artemis, each channel stacked in DSS, aligned in Neb3 and processed in CS5 with the help of Noel and some of his actions. Am pretty pleased with the outcome - I particularly like the contrast with the blue reflections of NGC 2023 lower left. I hope you do too! Simon
  22. I've just measured mine Gina. She's 94cm from tip to tail. The dew shield will add on a fair bit more. My astrozap is 30cm long. A fine scope though. Simon
  23. That'll be PGC 208507. Nice image. Simon
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