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Bloom last won the day on August 23 2020

Bloom had the most liked content!

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About Bloom

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  • Interests
    My interests, other than astronomy: Reading all sorts of books, playing chess, geology, running
  • Location
    Central Greece
  1. As promised yesterday, I stayed till late and imaged Mars. Seeing conditions were good, but were a bit worse than yesterday. Well, the planet is never easy - it is just 17 arcsec wide. Only good, at 02:45 the planet was high... Taken with a 6 inch f/5 GSO Newtonian and a barlow lens x2,5. Programs used: Sharpcap, Autostakkert, IRIS, Astroart. I took 5 minute frames at 160 fps, and stacked the best 50%. Then, I split the stack into R, G, and B components, and I recreated a new stack, using the red channel as luminance.
  2. I hadn't noticed the green colour! I used all the automatic Colour Balance functions of IRIS and Astroart, and I did not pay attention. I' ll fix it in ImagesPlus; thanks.
  3. After more than 14 years in the hobby, and after a two year hiatus, this is the first time I manage to get decent images of the gas giants. I think it was back in 2008 when I was trying to force an unmodified Toucam Pro in creating anything close to satisfactory - I don't know what others have achieved with such meagre equipment, but my verdict has been that these webcams, along with all the hype about them, were just inadequate, and I lost many nights trying for the impossible. Anyway, technology has advanced, and it has done it in an impressive way. I cannot stress how absolutely fantastic the ASI camera is. I almost did not read the instructions, yet I managed to surpass all my previous webcam efforts by a huge margin. I can't wait for tonight to get my hand on Mars. The images were taken with a 6 inch f/5 GSO Newtonian and a barlow lens x2,5, sitting on top of my old, rusty, but still in (almost) proper working order CG5. The quality of the videos was such, that I rescaled some of the stacks, and worked from there, as if I had a x5 barlow lens. Programs used: Sharpcap, Autostakkert, IRIS, Astroart.
  4. Two days ago, I used an improper power supply on my 12 years old CG-5. So, whenever I turn on the mount, enter time, date, and then press for alignment, the mount immediately starts slewing in RA in its greatest of speeds. Theory says most probably the mount control board got damaged; and you cannot buy a spare one from Celestron, since they have been discontinued. Yesterday, I decided to at least check what would happen with the correct power supply, and by pure chance I discovered a quick fix. Here it goes: When you turn on your mount, before anything else, before aligning, or entering any sort of time and date data, before anything, you adjust the slew speed to "8" or "9", and then you press the RA motion button just once, as much as is necessary to create motion. Then, you perform a "quick align" (to be honest, I rarely use anything other than quick align), and the mount works! Well, not everything goes smoothly after that; for example, I ordered the mount to slew to Vega, and it started searching it in the opposite direction, to the west. But until I decide if it is worth to spend money on a repair effort, or buy a new mount, I can keep on doing basic work. Hope this will help others with similar issues.
  5. Well, maybe guys your monitors are calibrated differently. There is a vertical line, which seperates the image in two areas: on the left side the image has a bluish tint, while on the right side it is greenish. If you look closely, there are a few more bands, less pronounced. The sepatration, when it happens, it is always in the same position (the NGC6946 image is cropped). I am posting the M81 image again, a bit overexposed, so that you can see.
  6. For a couple of years, my Atik 450C gets this defect (I won't describe it; it is obvious enough in the attached images). When I manage to gather enough signal, the problem is not that obvious. Does anybody know what is going on? Note: both galaxy images have been processed in an effort to eliminate the problem (which means that in the initial stack it was even more profound). The third (M16) and fourth (M35) images are somewhat recent, and they seem to be OK. Whatever goes wrong, it does not happen all the time.
  7. Don't know if anybody has already mentioned it: Being an owner of both a dSLR and an OSC CCD camera, I know from experience that in general dSLR cameras cannot compete with cooled dedicated astro cameras. Still, dSLR cameras do keep a couple of advantages. First, they have big chips in a very attractive price - CCD cameras cannot compete in this. Second, there is a multitude of brilliant photographic lenses suitable for wide field imaging, and dSLR cameras are the best solution for these lenses. Third, and I think nobody has mentioned it, is that (unmodified) dSLR cameras are much better in white balancing. They almost always get the colour balance correct and beautiful right from the first stack. This is often not the case with dedicated astro cameras, either OSC or Mono. These are a few details which imho keep the dSLR cameras still in the game. So, should a beginner start with a dSLR?Well, I am not sure! Given modern technology, one can start with dedicated astro cameras and I guess it is not that difficult to find one's way around with using telephoto and wide angle lenses with all sorts of weird adaptors. I myself started imaging with a Canon 400d. If I were to start the hobby all over again, I would buy a midrange dSLR, not any sort of CCD. But I am also an amateur photographer (among my many hobbies), so maybe my opinion shouldn't count. P.S.: I think we all mean APS-C sized dSLRs. Full frame cameras are much better in all aspects than their APS-C counterparts, but they are too expensive, and for the benefit of less noise and extra sensitivity, they reach a price which compares with the best of dedicated cameras - comparing to them, they are inferior. In the past couple of years, I did consider getting a used full frame camera, but I shied away because of another two reasons: the 35mm format reveals even the slightest inaccuracies of even the best optics, and these cameras also put a heavy burden on the focusers, since they are not the lightest piece of equipment.
  8. The NEQ6 is portable! When unassembled, it has the same amount of parts as the CG5, which is the definition of a portable, yet efficient GOTO mount. The only difference is that the NEQ6 has a significantly heavier head (if I remember correctly, it weighs 18 kilograms - 40 lbs, which is the weight of the entire CG5, along with its counterweights). But if one does not have any back pain issues, 40 lbs is not something difficult. So, when I go stargazing out in the mountains, I take the NEQ6. It is a far better mount than the CG5.
  9. This is my last week's effort; two hours (39 frames, 4 minutes each), with an Atik450 OSC on a 6 inch, f/5 newtonian. It is an ongoing project, and I plan on reaching 6 hours.
  10. This one is from last August. Taken through three successive nights . Well, remote galaxies are never easy, especially with modest equipment; but I guess it turned out nice. I almost reached ten hours 148x4min, GSO 6'' f/5 newtonian, NEQ6, Atik450L OSC camera, Baader MPCC coma corrector, Baader UV/IR filter. Guiding: Starlight Xpress Lodestar with Stellarvue FV50 9x50 finderscope, and PHD. Image scale is 0.95 arcsec/pixel. Image processing was done with IRIS, Astroart 5, Imagesplus, and Paint Shop Pro X5
  11. This is 4 hours of data, from September 7, with an unmodded Canon 40d. 62x4min,Skywatcher Equinox 80/Televue field flattener TRF 2008 (F=400mm, f/5), NEQ6, Canon EOS 40d (unmodded). Guiding: Starlight Xpress Lodestar with Stellarvue FV50 9x50 finderscope, and PHD. Image scale is 2.94 arcsec/pixel. Image processing was done with Imagesplus, IRIS, and Paint Shop Pro X2.
  12. Great image. Congratulations.
  13. For the last two months I' ve been quite busy; so I only started processing any frames I captured in September last week... What is new in my astroimaging efforts is that I have increased the imaging times, aiming at 4 hours minimum. So here is NGC 7331 from September 8. 101x4min, GSO 6'' f/5 newtonian, NEQ6, Atik450L OSC camera, Baader MPCC coma corrector, Baader UV/IR filter. Guiding: Starlight Xpress Lodestar with Stellarvue FV50 9x50 finderscope, and PHD. Image scale is 0.95 arcsec/pixel. Image processing was done with IRIS, Artemis RGB, Astroart 5, Imagesplus, and Paint Shop Pro X2).
  14. Well, it is much better than anything I ever accomplished on Jupiter...
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