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Everything posted by tmarkuk

  1. Hi all, I am please to present the schedule of speakers for the next year at Basingstoke AS. If you are in the area we would love to see you. More details are available at Basingstoke Astronomical Society Practical session are divided into visual and imaging sections and are centred around short presentations from member's and general shop talk. 2011 Sep 22nd Brendan Shaw - “Observing the Moon” Oct 13th Practical Meeting Oct 27th Dr Stuart Eves (Surrey Satellite Technology Systems) “Sophisticated Small Satellites from Surrey” Nov 10th Practical Meeting Nov 24th Mark
  2. It's been quite a while since I posted an image here, hopefully these will cut it though. Taken with my modified Canon 1000D and EF 50mm lens @ f3.5 from a Vixen Sphinx mount last week in the Aveyron region of France, a place with apparently not one flat surface. Cygnus Central Region by tmarkuk, on Flickr 33 x 5 minutes, the only uninterrupted night I had. Cassiopeia by tmarkuk, on Flickr 14 x 4 minutes, a cloudy and annoying evening, the framing is a bit off but nevermind. Saggitarius & Scutum by tmarkuk, on Flickr 9 x 5 minutes, not great but OK, the clouds didn't clear till gone mid
  3. Protostar make curved spiders if you don't like spikes, personally I quite like them but I don't really care what orientation they are. The primary aim for me is to frame the object and it's not always possible to align the spikes neatly whilst framing larger objects neatly in my fov.
  4. I used anchor bolts for mine, it's certainly not moved anywhere since I put it in and will be simple to remove should I need to get it out at any point.
  5. Hey, that's me! In a weird effort to shoot myself in the foot I've not really done a proper nebula image since completing the modification, there have been a few other targets on my list which have taken my attention. I've certainly noticed the difference on galaxies though, more than I expected to. The other benefit has been the colour balance when used in conjunction with my Astronomik CLS-CCD filter. I'm not needing to spend much time at all getting it right in post processing.
  6. This has just been re-listed as it failed to attract any bids last time, possibly because he has spelt telescope wrong, I should probably be kind and tell him. Still, I very nearly had it last time for £100, but honestly I don't have a need for another reflector and I've already bought to much astro stuff this month. So if anyone is interested in an interesting Russian mak for Christmas then you might want to keep an eye on it.
  7. That would be normal, don't worry about it, mine are always green, it won't affect the performance of the flat when you use it from my experience.
  8. On Sunday night I took advantage of the local streetlights being broken to take a few frames of the horsehead and flame nebula (attached), and did a quick run through the processing in Pixinsight last night to see what I got. As you can see from the image, what I have is a not bad picture hiding behind a very large coma / bloom effect from Alnitak. Now I'm fairly sure this was caused by generally unfavourable seeing, though you can also see a small reflection effect to the left of the star caused by internal reflections. How would you go about reducing or masking out this large effect from the
  9. There are a couple of workflow guides on the Pixinsight forums based on calibrating and stacking Canon raw format images : DSLR_RAW work flow Workflow for Canon CR2 RAW Formats for Newbies The first is a couple of video tutorials on the subject, the second offers a basic workflow which is the one I normally keep around for notes. There are in fact a whole bunch of discussions regarding the various gotcha's and oddities you'll run in to so it's worth a browse. The process could certainly use a more streamlined frontend, however I've found the results to be way beyond anything else I have tried,
  10. My only issue with HDR wavelet transform is that for my images at least the effect it has across the entire image makes noise control a bit more difficult. I need to do some tests using masks to ensure it's only working on the object I want sharpened and not doing anything to the background by mistake..
  11. I've been making use of this for the last couple of clear nights with my SPN900NC, no problems found at all. Loving the clean interface and having the camera controls available without extra dialogs / programs running. My only feature request would be for a zoom control of some sort, K3CCD has a 200% zoom. I can't always get close enough to the laptop whilst fiddling with the focus to see it clearly so anything to make it fill the screen better would help. But otherwise, excellent work!
  12. I've been using Pixinsight for just over a year now, I don't think I've ever even thought to look for a manual, I started with Harry's tutorials and moved on from there, filling in gaps and learning new techniques using tutorials from the website and forums. Frankly it's been a much easier process to pick up that using Iris was. I would like a more integrated workflow type tool for image calibration though, making masters is more work than it needs to be.
  13. I've got a EQ5/4/HEQ5 extension sitting in the garage which hasn't been used in ages. It was great when I needed it, and was equally great as a useful extension for a Vixen mount with some extra holes drilled into it. Nice robust extra for getting that extra bit of height. Right now it's just taking up space, I should probably stick it on the for sale page as it's not required for my use any more, one slightly abused but still working extension anyone?
  14. A while back I posted an Iris nebula image and mentioned that I was unhappy not to be able to see more of the dust clouds, and that I had tried a widefield image with similarly disappointing results. Last week I made a visit to my fellow BAS member and Pixinsight user John Murphy to put together a short presentation on Pix for the society and as part of that we ran through the processing of my Iris image. It is always helpful to have a second and far more experienced pair of eyes to help you and offer advice, and the results of the changes made in my processing can be seen below. The first is
  15. After seeing Gordon's stunning widefield I'm feeling a bit put off posting this, especially as I had attempted a similar widefield with my ZS66 earlier in the week only to get a very disappointing result. It doesn't seem to be an ideal target for the 1000D, those dust clouds just won't come out how I hoped they might. Still I swapped to the 250mm reflector and had another go, hoping to get a decent image of the nebula itself at least, this is 42x10 minutes from the canon 1000D processed in Pixinsight. Tim.
  16. Thanks for the comments! The small cluster is NGC 6910. Tim
  17. This is from Friday night, a section of IC1318 known as the Butterfly nebula in Cygnus, not to be confused with the other butterfly nebula (ngc6302). Quite happy with this one, it's a tough target for an unmodified camera and was a pig to process. William Optics ZS66SD William Optics MkII 0.8 Field Flattener Canon EOS 1000D (unmodified) Astronomic CLS CCD Filter 39 x 5 minutes (195minutes total) 31 x bias 31 x dark 31 x flat Full version here : http://www.veryamateur.co.uk/astro/cygni_butterfly_full.jpg All comments and pointers gratefully received! Tim.
  18. A wide-ish-field view of the Crescent nebula in Cygnus from last night, though I think it could stand another hour or two of subs to help clean it up. Don't go hunting for the bubble, the image scale is a bit to wide and the resolution a bit to low to pick it up. I might have to have another go at both objects once I have the reflector mounted again. This is a region where a modified camera would do wonders, I really should get on with doing mine. Tim. Imaging Equipment William Optics ZS66SD William Optics MkII 0.8 Field Flattener Canon EOS 1000D (unmodified) Astronomic CLS CCD Filter Guiding
  19. It might be worth searching for reviews or comments about the scope under it's 'Astro-tech' name, they are sold in the US under that name and seem popular over there. I'm looking at getting one myself, so I've been hunting around and the general opinion seems to be positive. Tim.
  20. Euan, I did the NA nebula a couple of weeks ago, it was posted here at the time but the thread has sunk down a few pages. You can see my effort at that object on my website though Very Amateur Astronomy
  21. Thanks for the positive comments everyone, , the ZS66 is such a joy to work with compared to my temperamental and rather ancient reflector, I need to find more targets this size to keep me occupied.
  22. Normally mine has an Orion Optics 250mm reflector on it plus guiding and imaging kit, though right now it's having an easy life with only my ZS66 and guide scope on it. The 250mm needs a tear down / rebuild and I'm enjoying doing some widefield imaging.
  23. A quick Cygnus loop / Veil complex from last night, I had every intention of going out again tonight but my brain won't manage another day at work without suitable rest. My normal golden number of five minute exposures for the 1000d is 50, but I can live with 40 and maybe add more another night. Slightly annoyed that the nebula spills over into the area the MkII flattener fails to flatten, if anyone has better results with a different flattener on the ZS66 I'd love to hear all about it. This is also the first time I have reduced the star sizes in an image, many thanks to Harry Page for his Pi
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