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About AstroAndy

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    Star Forming

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    Surrey, UK
  1. AstroAndy

    First ever attempt at HaRGB on NGC6888

    No problem, Mike.
  2. AstroAndy

    First ever attempt at HaRGB on NGC6888

    Hi Mike Solid image. I've found this of help: https://starizona.com/tutorial/using-an-h-alpha-image-as-a-luminance-channel/ . Andy
  3. AstroAndy

    The Iris in RGB

    If I could get that with 4x the amount of data, I'd be a happy man. Another amazing image, Peter. - Andy -
  4. AstroAndy


    Hi Rodd Looks legit to me. As to HDR composition, there are many ways to skin a cat. You can do the layer masking bit, or this little 4 stepper I do, because it isn't too much trouble. After stacking and pre-processing, you can copy a short exposure over a long one, use the lasso to surround the parts you want to change, feather it 2ce (you might have to experiment w/ the feathering radius), then >layer >masks > reveal selection (or hide selection if it's the wrong way around (eg. long sub layered on short), and voila. Hope that helps. - Andy -
  5. AstroAndy

    Setting up for an allnighter

    Hi Mike Here is what I do; taking into consideration that I travel to dark sites, you might have to adapt these steps. Even though Murphy (and his law), like to travel with me occasionally, it has served me well so far. Before I go out, I will have set the necessary software for coordinates (eg. latitude, elevation). I will also have checked the position of Polaris (in Stellarium) at about the time when I start my 3 star alignment. I will also have set a sequence of captures in my imaging software. 1) With about one hr. to sundown, I arrive at my site. 2)Using a smartphone compass, I set up the mount first, align it as North as I can (almost always finding the North Star in my polar scope on the first try), level the mount, put scope and counterweights on, whereby the scope is sideways (along East West, so's I can see through the polar scope). I may swing the scope to where my target is, to see that the camera, which is not connected yet, is not pointing downwards). 3) Then I connect all the equipment (except cam, guidecam and filterwheel), during daylight it's somewhat easier to see and place all the cablery. 4) Collimation, then I focus and center a bright star, or planet, in the main scope and finder (stuff always gets out of kilter driving the equipment around) Visually at first (much easier without cameras, having to run around looking at a computer screen, and never finding stuff through narrow FOVs). By then the North star will have become visible. 5)Then, adjusting azimuth and latitude, I'll put the Northstar "in it's place"with the polar scope, opposite the Stellarium position (because 2 lens optical systems are reversed with up / down, left/right, then put the scope in "park position". 6)Then, all the Equipment gets switched on (except maybe the dew heaters, which, however, are already connected, because once I start the alignment, I want to touch the scope as little as possible). 7) I run through the Synscan setup routine, choosing 3 star alignment (making sure the stars I chose form a big triangle that is not too steep, and whereby one star is past the meridian from the other 2; this eliminates cone error). On the first star, I manually center, rather than using the hand control. On the third star, centering visually as well as possible, the cameras and filterwheel go in and get connected (guide and main). Then I focus and center both. After that (and only after that), will I click enter on the handset (Alignment successful). 8)Drift alignment using a software called EQAlign (less so PHD, although I have successfully used that before, EQAlign works better for me). I usually do 2 iterations, Az, Alt., Az, Alt. (because a move in one axis contributes a small error in the other, so 2-3 iterations will make that negligible. I do the drift alignment through the main scope w/ the big camera rather than through the finder with the guidecam for more precise results (my image scale is 4 times bigger than my guide scale). I should note here that I'd rather do the drift alignment first, but the Synscan setup routine asks for the star alignment before it kicks in). I'm usually precise enough that the little position change doesn't matter too much. Then the dew heaters get turned on. 9) Then I slew to the object, recenter and refocus both scopes, calibrate and start the imaging run (unless the object is too far North, then I calibrate (with PHD2) as close to it as I can. 10) Shiver through a cold night watching graphs, or sleep in the car, occasionally checking how my guiding is doing. 11) If there is a semblance of life left in me in the morning, I wait up for twilight and shoot flats (as if, mostly, I make synthetic ones in PS). - Andy -
  6. Hello all On the Altair Astro Collimator; lately, I have noticed a weak laser beam (batteries are full), and was wondering whether that can be fixed, or whether I need a new one. What I noticed was when I turned it off, letting go of the button slowly, the beam would get normal (bright) again, so I was thinking it must be the contacts (wherever they are in the inaccessible button holder in the back). Any advice? - Andy -
  7. AstroAndy

    M33 in RGB **added Ha**

    What Sara said...always a pleasure to open one of your images, Peter.
  8. AstroAndy

    First attempt at NGC 6888 using only LRGB subs

    Hi Mike I found these steps pretty straightforward, it explains how to integrate ha into red, and use Ha as lum. as well (for PhSh). https://starizona.com/tutorial/using-an-h-alpha-image-as-a-luminance-channel/ Andy
  9. Hello all I've looked through threads, and also online for a good power supply for AP, and haven't come to a conclusion, so I'm going to ask in here: What I'm after is a power supply with minimal installation (or DYI skills required, as I have 2 left hands) that runs the following equipment for about 12hrs. Now, I'm in the field with 4 power supplies (power packs), but they are not deep cycle, and are getting on in years (except the 17a/h one, but which is also more of a car battery charger). Laptop (5a/h) Dew heater (5a/h) Atik cam (0.8 a/h) EQ5 mount (0.5 a/h average) Filterwheel (0.3 a/h) Hitec Focus (? a/h) QHY5 guide cam. (0.1 a/h) Roundabout, my equipment will draw 12 amps per hour. I would also need a 6 way female cigarette lighter socket with one male socket (don't know whether they even make them, I only found a 3 way, to keep from overcharging?) to the battery (as well as whatever I'd need to make the battery connectable, not blow myself or my equipment up, and make it safe from dew).. Again, I may have to rig it a little bit, but I'm no expert. All in all, I'd need to connect 6 things to the battery (not the guide cam., as it runs through the PC). Since many APers face the same problems, I thought to ask in here. Regards Andy.
  10. AstroAndy

    M31 very first attempt

    If my first image of M31 had looked like that, I'd have been as happy as a pig in mud. - Andy -
  11. AstroAndy

    M81 4hrs of Luminance

    Thanks, Adrian I hope to get more luminance, color and Ha on this object, time, weather, and Moon permitting, but I think it stands well on its own. - Andy -
  12. AstroAndy

    M81 4hrs of Luminance

    Hello all So, Tue. night found me in the Ramsbury area, where I managed to get 4hrs. of luminance of M81. The subs were of varying lengths ( 66x 5min, about 10x3min 10x 1min, 1x10min, 10x 30 secs., 70 frames. Equipment: Atik 314L cooled 2 -10 degrees, SW200P Newtonian, EQ5 mount, guiding w/ the 50x9 finderscope and PHD2 (EQAlign for Polar drift alignment, which this time, I'm happy to say, was just a few pixels (or arc-secs.) off. Stacked in DSS, processed in PhSh CS2. This is an uncropped, full resolution image. Regs. Andy
  13. Hello I would be interested to know what percentage is ideal to use mainly on Lum. (and RGB) to get a good sky back ground. On RGB, I set the four sample points, and try to keep them at 23/23/23 3x3 average. Andy
  14. AstroAndy

    M33 in RGB **added Ha**

  15. Looks like Pel-yu-can.

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