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Everything posted by tmarkuk

  1. I made it home from Italy yesterday, and took some time out this evening to take a look at the images I took whilst away. I ended up getting two nights worth of imaging in, though with clear mountain skies I wish I had had more, but small boys don't let Daddy sleep in when there are castles to explore. I took my Vixen Sphinx mount and a William Optics ZS66SD with the Mark II 0.8x reducer / flattener, I spent both evenings imaging M31 as that was the best object visible in the gap between trees where I could get everything plugged in. I used my Canon EOS1000d without any filters. The image is composed of 92 x 2.5m exposures plus darks and flats, aligned and stacked in Iris (a first for me) and processed in photoshop. I'm sure some time spent in more expert hands could improve the result somewhat though. I can't seem to get quite the contrast levels I would like from it and it loses some depth because of it. All comments, and advice greatfully recieved! Tim.
  2. Another vote for the 1000D, I got mine just before Christmas with the 18-55mm lense. At the time canon had a £30 cash back, plus tesco direct had them on sale, and I looked up a voucher code online. I got the camera for £272 in the end, which can't be bad. So wait for the deals if your not in a rush and buy at the right time! Have a look in my profile for my deep sky efforts, all taken at prime focus on a 250mm reflector.
  3. Crikey, I never knew I had it in me. Well now I know what I'm going to be attempting to do tonight.
  4. Not so much a finished article as a test of several nights of DIY. Over the last few weeks I have built a dual mount bar so I can mount my little Vixen 70mm F12.9 refractor next to the OO 250mm reflector for use as a guidescope. The next thing required was a guide camera, so I located a second hand SPC900NC and carried out an SC1 mod which went very smoothly. I also picked up a Baader MPCC. Last night I finally got to try out my new setup and though I had a few issues I did manage to pull out some usable data. I went for NGC6946 as it was a target I just could not do anything with unguided, 2 minute exposures barely brought out the core. It's a bit noisy which won't be an issue with more exposures and more time to adjust the camera settings to my new found freedom. I used PHD guiding which seemed fine though every so often something moved or slipped and it lost track of it's guide star until I could correct it resulting in several lost exposures. Trying to locate a guide star through a 70mm F12.9 scope onto a webcam ccd chip is more work than anything ever needs to be, I have a cheap -0.5 focal reducer on the way for that. I kept the post processing to a minimum, and will revisit it once I have time to get more data. 8x6min exposures at ISO800 + Darks / Flats Canon EOS1000d Unmodified Skywatcher 2" LP Filter Baader MPCC Orion Optics 250mm Europa Vixen Sphinx SX Mount
  5. tmarkuk

    ngc 9646

    From the album: Deep Space

  6. Flocking and glue has been the bain of my life for a while now. I originally bought some protostar material, which has an adhiesive backing thinking that would make life easier. I followed the directions carefully, overlapping at the seams etc, and the end result looked very good Unfortunately a couple of weeks after I finished I noticed that anywhere it had stuck to itself it was rapidly becoming unstuck, the seller advised using PVA to restick it. This I did and it lasted the winter like that. However as soon as we got a few hot days it began to wilt, and the material started pealing off in strips, whether it was stuck to itself or to the inside of the tube. In the end I stripped the tube down again and went at it with instant contact adhesive, it was messy, gave me a stinking headache and was utterly unpleasant, but several weeks on I can report that it is very much still stuck. For reference a friend used the same protostar material and has had exactly the same experience. My recommendation if your starting from scratch would be to try a good quality PVA first, certainly it works for others. But if you absolutely want it to stay put go at it with contact adhesive, it does not stick quite instantly and you can buy 'time bond' stuff as well which lets you tune how long it takes to stick. But once stuck it won't go anywhere.
  7. Since getting my DSLR I've only been concentrating on deep sky objects, but whilst out the other night I figured I'd have a look at the moon and see what I could do. This was a single frame, out of the 50 or so I took whilst trying different exposure and ISO levels on a hazy evening. I fairly happy with how it came out, and looking forward to trying some lunar imaging with my newly arrived webcam now as well.
  8. tmarkuk

    The Moon, 02/06/2009

    From the album: Moon

  9. Every time I open DSS I ask myself this same question, I'm glad someone else thought to actually voice it!
  10. tmarkuk


    Thanks for the kind words, I think that's now my favourite!
  11. tmarkuk


    From Saturday night,I went out at about 11pm and stumbled in to bed some time around 4am. I really must get that coma corrector. 69x2 minute light frames plus darks, flats & bias. Orion Optics 250mm F4.8 reflector Vixen Sphinx SX mount unguided Canon EOS 1000d Unmodified Skywatcher Light Pollution filter
  12. tmarkuk


    From the album: Deep Space

  13. Well I've sent it round to the other imagers at my society and the best we can come up with is a bug as well. I've no idea what that is Sam, but it looks pretty cool!
  14. I was reviewing some of the pictures I took last week whilst imaging M27 and ran into this weird anomaly in one of the discarded frames: I've no idea what it might be, obviously my mount was shifting a bit as you can tell from the star trails, but I've never had anything like this turn up before or since. There is no sign of it in the frames before or after. It appears to be in focus, so my first thought of 'highly reflective bug' appears to be off. Does anyone have any ideas? It's really annoying me! Tim.
  15. It seems I wasn't the only one trying to get M27 over the last few nights, I hope I can add to the great images captured all ready. On Friday night I went out and took 60x2 minute exposures at ISO800, but due to mount problems I had to bin about 20 of them before DSS even got to look at them. After spending the afternoon playing with the mount and working out the issues I had another go and caught another 30x2 minute at ISO800 and out of interest another 20x2 minute at ISO1600 binning about 10%. I think the mount issue is down to balance but I'm not 100% convinced yet. Anyway, I stacked the ISO800 images together and played with the result : Then I stacked the ISO1600 and after much mucking about merged them with the previous data to bring out more of the faint nebulosity whilst hopefully retaining some detail of the red clouds: I think my processing skills are getting better, but as always any and all advice is appreciated! Tim. Orion Optics Europa 250mm F4.8 Canon EOS1000D Unmodified Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter Vixen Sphinx SX unguided.
  16. tmarkuk

    m27 nebulosity

    From the album: Deep Space

  17. tmarkuk

    m27 wide angle

    From the album: Deep Space

  18. tmarkuk

    m27 detail

    From the album: Deep Space

  19. Those look great, thanks for that! The ISO was 800, I shall try a lower setting next time I try a globular. My previous M51 image was taken at ISO 1600 so I went with the next step down for this session. I made a Bahtinov mask a while back, though I think the star I focussed on was far to dim as it was very difficult to see the spikes and I guess I ended up slightly off focus. For my last image I used a far brighter star and they stood out much better, I'll have to make sure I spend more time checking it next time.
  20. Not sure what's wrong there Arran, I've downloaded the file on two PCs and both have been able to extract the files and open them, in photoshop and gimp. What error are you getting?
  21. I'd certainly be interested to see what you come up with, though I think Peter is correct with the more subs, less exposure advice. Still if you want a look you can grab a couple of raw images here : http://www.mediafire.com/file/ejijmmzc5wt/finals.zip Two in there, one stacked with bias and darks, the other with just bias.
  22. I had another go with the processing this evening, I'm certainly happier with some aspects of it, but not others. I shall have to get out again another night and try again with a lot more subs I think.
  23. Thanks for the link and recommendation, I'll definitely add an MPCC to the shopping list. I'll have a go with your tutorial this evening and see if I can produce something a bit better.
  24. That sounds like a plan, I may have to try and get some shorter subs the next time the weather allows and see if I can achieve a similar effect. I also really need to work out how to get the clean black back ground without losing to much detail. Always something new to learn, is what makes this so enjoyable.
  25. Awesome, I think I need to have another go at M51 myself, That's a really nice picture.
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