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JacksCreekHack

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  1. I've been seriously considering an OAG. Any suggestions for a good one? Thanks! Jason
  2. Thanks for the welcomes everyone. Darren: the skies here have been clear with so-so seeing the past week or so. Winter is best here because of the summer humidity (thank goodness for dew straps!). Hopefully it will clear up for you soon! Jason
  3. I forgot to mention that I use a 2x barlow on the ST80 to increase the FL - this makes it a little more than half the FL of the C8. I am imaging without a focal reducer. I do need to learn to drift align on this mount... Thanks! Jason
  4. Wow, very nice images and progression along what I have found to be a very steep learning curve. I wish you would have included iso and length of subs! Thanks for the inspiration! Jason
  5. I assume you used a mylar filter? Or was it a nice glass sun filter that gives an orange tint? Either way, nice image and nice color! Jason
  6. What program did you use to align? Manual aligning of images is a pain. For large bright objects (moon and planets) Registax is my preferred program. It helps to use video files. If you used a camera, having the images timed very close together will make registax work better. Jason
  7. Hello, I have been using PHD to autoguide a CGEM with a C8 using the SSAG on a ST80. Does anyone use this or a similar setup with success? The scope seems to track indefinitely (2 hours is the longest I've let it run). However, my graph looks terrible with RMS in the range of 0.3-0.9 in both RA and DEC. I use 2 star align and 3-4 calib stars with the precision polar alignment feature. I suppose the RMS to be the reason my longer exposures (>5m) tend to give slightly elongated stars? Or maybe it's an optical issue? My goal is for 10min subs on the best of nights. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help, Jason
  8. Welcome, Kev. I am new to the forum, too. Since you mention you are still becoming familiar to the night sky, I can recommend a free (and very awesome) planetarium program called Stellarium. I've been using it for years, and have learned a great deal about the sky and object locations from this program. My best resources, however, are friends who have taught me to star hop... Happy observing! Jason
  9. Hello Everyone, I am new to this group and hope to learn more about astronomy and astroimaging. I have been enjoying astronomy for 5-6 years and recently obtained a CGEM with a C8 as well as an ES AR127 - a new era for me, since all of my previous astronomical endeavors took place with homemade Dobs and an EQ platform for tracking. I am looking forward to improving my guiding and image processing skills! Thanks in advance for any advice and input you all may give! Jason
  10. Astrophotography by Jason Keyes (a.k.a. Jacks Creek Hack)
  11. I sometimes find DSS won't stack if there is elongation of stars or smear from factors such as wind (or a minor bump). In your first post you mention not using flats or darks - I would definitely include these in any image processing, and you'll notice huge improvement and have an easier time with levels, curves, and unsharp masking. Also, make sure to only shoot in RAW format - your image quality will be SO much better than crappy jpgs. If you can manage longer subs, you'll find DSS likes them better, too. I used to image on a homemade EQ platform and took 15-45sec prime focus subs. DSS usually didn't like about 1/3 or more. Recently, I have been imaging on a CGEM with 3 to 9 min subs, and only one sub has been rejected out of the 4-5 DSOs I have practiced on (with an old unmodded Canon 300D). The last image you posted looks really good, BTW. The colors are outstanding and close to the Stellarium image. Happy Imaging
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