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Everything posted by konstantinos75

  1. Hello Last time I setup my astrophotography equipment in order to capture a target during the night while I was sleeping. In the morning I woke up I saw to my frustration the telescope had hit the tripod legs. The route cause of this problem was that the system did not perform a meridian flip during the night. My setup consists of Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan pro mount Vixen VC200L telescope SBIG ST2000XM ccd camera I did the following Launch ACP Observatory Control software Connect to CCD camera Connect to HEQ5 mount via ASCOM EQMOD Start session I would like to ask anybody who has experience with ACP + EQMOD what settings I need to configure in ACP and EQMOD in order to have meridian flip performed successfully and have a nice sleep during the night while the system takes astroimages on its own. Thank you Konstantinos
  2. Hello I hope you will enjoy this image of which was acquired this month from Korinthos city in Greece. It blends Ha and L-R-G-B data. I have paid special attention to reveal the star colors as well as the nebulosity itself. You can access the image with technical details under this link http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/nebulae/diffuse/2017.09.17/NGC7635_BUBBLE.html Enjoy and clear skies! Konstantinos www.albireo.gr
  3. Hello I hope you will enjoy this image of M52 Open Star Cluster which was acquired this month from a dark site in Greece. It blends L and R-G-B data. I have paid special attention to reveal the star colors. You can access the image with technical details under this link http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/stars/open_clusters/2017.08.18/M52.html Enjoy and clear skies!
  4. Hi Thank you all for the comments, I am glad you liked my photo. I have played a little bit with the Ring Nebula in Pixinsight in order to reduce its lightness and allow the inner stars to be more visible. Konstantinos
  5. I hope you will enjoy this image of M57 the Ring Nebula which was acquired last June from Korrinthos city in Greece. It blends L and R-G-B data. I have paid special attention to reveal the star colors and nebula color as well. There's a pretty spiral galaxy ΙC 1296 close to the Ring Nebula of magnitude 14.30. You can access the image with technical details under this link http://www.albireo.gr/astrogallery/nebulae/planetary/2017.06.24/M57_ring.html Enjoy and clear skies!
  6. Hello EveryBody! I would like to send my warmest greetings to all of you. I have a question regarding setup of the Vixen Sphinx mount during the summer season. I live in Greece where the time zone is UT+2 hours. During Summer, i set the hour setting in starbook 1 hour ahead (Daylight Saving Time), and the time zone to UT+3, as the manual says "starbook does not automatically compensate for daylight saving time". However, when i polar align using the Polar axis scope, and match the date to the time, i set the time back one hour, that is to say not taking account of daylight saving time. Is this correct? Or should i set the time in the Polar Axis Scope also to match summer time? The instructions of the Polar Axis Scope manual do not clarify this point, and the example refers to winter Time!
  7. M81 or Bode's galaxy is a large bright spiral galaxy located 11.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. With an apparent magnitude of +6.9 it's easily visible with binoculars, a fine target for small telescope owners and a wonderful sight in larger scopes. The galaxy is a striking example of a grand design spiral; a galaxy that exhibits prominent near perfect and well defined spiral arms. Bode’s Galaxy was named after Johann Elert Bode, the German astronomer who discovered it on December 31, 1774. Technical Details Optics Vixen VC200L @ f/6.4 Mount HEQ5 synscan Pro Guiding ST-237 guide chip of SBIG ST2000XM Camera SBIG ST2000XM Filter Wheel SBIG CFW9 Filters Astronomik LRGB CCD Temperature -5 degrees Celsius Constellation Ursa Major Date 23 Mar, 2017 Location Kifisia, Athens Greece Exposure Red : 30 min (15x2 min) Green : 30 min (15x2 min) Blue : 30 min (15x2 min) L: 60 min (12x5 min) Binning: 1x1(R,G,B,L) Total exposure 2.3 h Calibration: Darks, Flats, Bias Software Skyx, Pixinsight
  8. ok so you advise me to go ahead buying the 2" diagonal. Many thanks
  9. Hello I have the following flip mirror which accepts 1.25" eyepieces http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p242_Vixen-flip-mirror-for-2--systems---adapts-to-2x-T2---1-25-.html Now I am thinking to upgrade to this 2" dielectric diagonal https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/william-optics-2-dielectric-diagonal.html If I place a 1.25" eyepiece to this 2" dielectric diagonal will I have - wider field of view - better image quality - sharpher and brighter image ??? Thank you Konstantinos
  10. Hi I managed to correct the PAS alignment a lot but I realized is very difficult almost impossible to correct it perfectly. I think for optical observation of celestial objects you don't need to be perfect on this.
  11. Oh thank you so much, now it's all clear to me. I did not have this manual as this is a second hand mount I own.
  12. Hello Pete I release the altitude clamp and set the altitude of the mount to minimum value. The tripod is level. But when I look through the Polar Axis Scope I see only the sky. This happens because the PAS cannot be in horizontal position. To overcome this problem I have to adjust the tripod legs so that the mount is not level anymore. Have you also experienced this problem?
  13. Hi I have the Vixen Polar Axis Scope (vixen item # 2573) for the Vixen Sphinx mount. I have found the PAS is off by some minutes (refer to image pas.jpg) The procedure is basically to remove the counterweights and scope from the mount, rotate the RA axis so that the CW shaft points to the right horizon, point the PAS to a fixed spot on the landscape around 1 km distance, then rotate again the RA axis to make the CW shaft point to the left horizon and check it the PAS still pointing to the same spot in the landscape. Unfortunately the Vixen manual does not specify which bolt needs to be adjusted to correct the misalignment. There are possible 5 bolts as candidates. Which ones I need to adjust? Has anybody performed successfully this task and has some detailed instructions? Thank you Konstantinos
  14. Hello Thank you for the reply to this topic. Vixen recommends the following items to be used with Sphinx mount (1) Vixen #3599 12V mains adapter http://www.vixenoptics.com/Vixen-AC-Adapter-p/3599.htm Vixen AC Power Adapter Kit Includes Futaba Industries Model AC45-12 Power Supply made in Japan, with cord and male plug for Vixen products. Power Supply plugs into wall current to provide 12 volt DC current for use with the Sky Sensor 2000, and DD-1 controllers. This is not recommended for the SD-1 controller. For use with the SPHINX Starbook also order the P/N AM-AC-2537 Tip Adapter (described below). Power Input: 100 to 240 volt AC Output: 12 volt DC Ampere Rating: 3 Amp Power Cord Polarity: Center is Negative, Shield is Positive (2) Vixen #2537 tip adapter http://vixenamerica.com/Products/Default.asp?TopCatCode=AM&Fam_or_Cat=AM-AC&Short_Verbose=Accessory#AM-AC-2537 AC Adapter Sphinx Plug for use with AM-AC-3599 Converts tip of Vixen P/N AM-AC-3599 12 volt 3 amp AC adapter (described above) to work with SPHINX mounts. Will also work for any tip negative "M-plug". Plug Dimensions: outer diameter 5.5 mm, inner diameter 2.1mm) Plug Type: "M-plug" Cord Length: 67 inches / 171 cm Model # AM-AC-2537 (3) Vixen serial cable for starbook controller http://www.vixenoptics.com/product-p/25227.htm Reference: VX-25227 Manufacturer: Vixen Vixen serial cable for connecting Starbook controller onto Vixen equatorial mount (Vixen replacement part). All the above items cost around 200 Euros or 223$ to get them to my home location. I just wanted to ask what is the added value to buy these vixen items. e.g. I will have better GOTOs with the Sphinx mount? the mount will run more smoothly? The mount and starbook will be protected better from power fluctuations?... Another approach to all above is that I can save a lot of money if I buy budget equipment which also can do the job... Serial cable: https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-6-Feet-Straight-Through-Serial/dp/B00066HP2E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1475526174&sr=8-4&keywords=db9+serial+cable Power unit made in China: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/50w-universal-charger-for-netebook-PSP_890034431.html Total Cost both around 10$ or I can buy this power unit, made in China, from Baader http://www.baader-planetarium.com/de/baader-otp-60w-outdoor-telescope-power-60w-mit-winkelstecker.html Total Cost with serial cable around 65$ Both Chinese power units offer plug with dimensions 5.5 mm x 2.1mm which is OK for the Sphinx mount. Could someone persuade me why to go with Vixen option? Thank you
  15. Hello everyone, I have recently acquired an old Vixen Sphinx SXW mount with star book controller. I have updated starbook to version 2.7 firmware. I need to buy the serial cable which connects star book to the mount. Also I need to buy the AC power adapter to power on the system. Will this serial cable and this ac power adapter fit my purposes? Other option is to buy straight from Vixen but these items I believe are highly overpriced. http://www.vixenoptics.com/product-p/25227.htm http://www.vixenoptics.com/Vixen-AC-Adapter-p/3599.htm Anybody who has this mount let me know. Thank you Konstantinos
  16. Hi I know Vicent Peris method for LRGB combination but it does not work successfully with my M31 data. At the end is a matter of experimenting until you come up with a solution you are satisfied. Try, try again and practice makes perfect
  17. Hi Thank you all for your contribution to this post. I have tried to reprocess the data. Step1) align the master L,R,G,B,Ha frames with reference image the master L Step2) resample all master frames to 50% Step3) dynamic crop to remove black edges Step4) ABE on each channel to remove gradients Step5) Linear fit on each channel with reference the Ha file to in order to match the brightness intensities Step6) produce the RGB image Step7) DBE to the RGB Step8) Background neutralization and color calibration Step9) Curves to increase saturation and SCNR after that Step10) produce the HaRGB Step11) Stretch the HaRGB Step12) DBE and stretch the master L Step13) generate the HaLRGB Step14) create masks DEAL WITH THE STARS DEAL WITH THE BACKGROUND DEAL WITH THE GALAXIES TGV Denoise multiscale sharpening Here you can download the detailed descriptions of my steps: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukkkmfedwmhwqka/M31_PROCESSING_NEW_BEST.docx?dl=0 Here you can see the full size M31 http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/galaxies/2015.09.18/M31.html I have come to the conclusion that to get a better results its a matter of equipment (camera,filters,telescope...) and night sky darkness.
  18. Hi I made a mistake Here you can download the master L,R,G,B,Ha frames. They are aligned and no other processing has been done. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hlcc8w70tafhlwh/Masters-M31.zip?dl=0
  19. Hello I have tried to process some data of M31 I took last year multiple times and I cannot seem to optimize the colors and detail in my final image. Here is the best I have been able to come up with: http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/galaxies/2015.09.18/M31.html I am using Pixinsight from beginning to the end. Could someone give me any detailed guidance how to process M31 properly with Pixinsight or any other program (e.g. Photoshp, ccdstack..) and have comparable results to these images: http://www.starkeeper.it/M31BridgeM110_Mid.htm http://bf-astro.com/m31/m31big.htm http://www.billionsandbillions.com/andromeda.html http://astrofotky.cz/gallery.php?show=Konihlav/1414773348.jpg http://www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=13424 Here you can download the master L,R,G,B,Ha frames. They are aligned and no other processing has been done. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mbwzc6u5jjqj3e3/M31_data.zip?dl=0 Thank you Konstantinos
  20. The 10th National Greek Amateur Astronomers Gathering took place July 2016 in Mount Parnonas, Greece. In one of the darkest observing sites in Europe, at an altitude of 1,420 meters, a record of 1000 amateur astronomers had the chance to participate in what came to be the largest star party ever to take place in Greece. Below you can see some images I have captured with the Canon EOS 450D piggybacked on my system. Enjoy http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/star_parties/parnonas/2016/2016.html
  21. Hi I take the pleasure to submit an image of NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula, for your consideration. You can find all information you need about this image including full image size at my website http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/nebulae/diffuse/2016.08.23/NGC6888.html Thank you Konstantinos Christodoulopoulos www.albireo.gr Greece
  22. Hi This is my latest image featuring M101 the Pinwheel Galaxy and dwarf galaxy NGC 5474. The Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M101 and NGC 5457, is one of the best known spiral galaxies in the night sky. M101 is a grand design spiral galaxy (a spiral galaxy with prominent and well-defined spiral arms) located in the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The galaxy appears face-on when observed from Earth, and is a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers. Not far from M101 and interacting strongly with M101, lies this peculiar looking dwarf galaxy, NGC 5474. The shape of NGC 5474 has been distorted by the gravitational interaction and you can see how the nucleus has been displaced from centre. There is also evidence of new star formation. Other distant galaxies are also visible in this field. Check the image here: http://albireo.gr/astrogallery/galaxies/2016.06.13/M101.html Hope you like it Regards Konstantinos
  23. My experience has shown that you must be 100% sure what cleaning solution to use on the sensor otherwise you may damage it...
  24. Hi The camera sensor was cleaned with above cleaning solution. This is the latest flat frame with the camera attached to my refractor telescope: https://www.dropbox.com/home?preview=flat.jpg Unfortunately the streak cannot be gone it is indeed a little scratch on the ccd sensor protective layer. But the good news now. This is a 20 min test light frame exposure: https://www.dropbox.com/home?preview=light-20min.jpg This is the light frame calibrated only with the flat frame: https://www.dropbox.com/home?preview=light-20min---cal.jpg Success the streak is gone also the dust motes and vignetting. Flat frame made its magic Let's consider this topic as closed. Thank you all for your support and understanding Regards, Konstantinos
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