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Xiga last won the day on February 9

Xiga had the most liked content!

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About Xiga

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    Star Forming

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    Northern Ireland
  1. Made a slight improvement. Exposure of Jupiter is now much better, and the video has been sped up to help show the motion a bit better. Still not mind-blowing by all accounts, lol, but better than nothing i suppose!
  2. Xiga

    M13 - Last one of the season

    After reviewing a few other images of Globular Clusters, i realised that the framing of such objects is much more aesthetically pleasing when set off-centre. So i applied a final crop, and seeing as i was already in PS i decided to clean up the noise a tad more too. I think it has helped. Think being the operative word!
  3. Hi guys So then, what to do when the skies aren't dark enough for any DSO work? Something a bit different... I wanted to try and show the motion of the 4 Galilean Moons, so i set up the C8 on the HEQ5-pro and hooked up the D5300 and a basic x2 Barlow. After faffing about trying to get Jupiter on the bloomin chip (not as easy as i thought it would be!) and then getting focused, i managed only 2 hrs of real-time motion. I would have loved to capture more, but Jupiter is so low in the sky here at 54 degrees N, and my neighbour's house eventually gets in the way too, so 2 hrs is about as good as i can manage right now. I did PA through Eqmod and then Sharpcap, and i was guiding using a Finder-Guider. Yeah, i know, a Finder-Guider! But i figured it would still be better than nothing, as i really needed to keep Jupiter as stable as possible. I think PHD2 was reporting an RMS of between 1.2" and 1.5" so not too bad considering the weight of the C8 and the lack of FL of the Finder-Guider. I took 750 stills, about one every 10 seconds over the 2 hr period, and then ran them through PIPP to create the video below. Note, i did also take another 750 stills at a shorter exposure for Jupiter itself. The shots were taken in unison (one short, one long, then repeated 750 times) as it was my original intention to combine them so that the final video would not show Jupiter over-exposed, but try as i might i couldn't find an automated way to do this. I did get a video made, but i wasn't happy with the outcome, so i scratched it and just went with the simple option instead. Obviously a DSLR is not the best tool for this job, plus with Jupiter at between only 15 and 20 degrees altitude it really wasn't the best conditions, but as i wasn't interested in showing detail, and only motion, i figured what the hell, let's have a go all the same. Plus, it's not something i've really seen anyone else try much. So hopefully now someone else with better equipment, skies, skills can do something similar only way better! I'd love to see what others could achieve with their setups. Anyways, hopefully someone found this interesting! lol https://youtu.be/NGqAy_dJ0qw
  4. Xiga

    M27 Two hours in Astro Twilight

    Just seeing this discussion now. As someone who does all his imaging through a basic SW 80ED, I regularly have stars that are coloured differently on both sides. But just recently, I came across a setting in AstroPixelProcessor which claims to significantly reduce chromatic aberration so I thought I'd give it a go. It's basically nothing more than a tickbox so takes zero effort (always a good thing!). I can't remember exactly where it is, I'm at work so can't check, but I think it's somewhere near the bottom of the Calibration tab. I only tested it on one image, but I have to say I thought it really did make a noticeable difference, so I intend to use it now on all of my OSC images. There's a free trial of APP available so no reason not to download it and give it a go. It certainly sounds a lot easier than the workflow above.
  5. Xiga

    M13 - Last one of the season

    Thanks you Ajay Thanks for pointing this out Ags! I had totally missed that wee tiny galaxy as it is only visible at close quarters. Cheers! Thanks Olly. Thanks Reggie. It's one of my favourite too. With no Omega Centauri for us Northerners, M13 isn't a bad alternative
  6. Hi Jon Doing DSLR Planetary is something i dabbled in a few years back. I had one of the very few Canon models that actually had the special 'video crop' mode you mention, it was a 60D. It let me record just the central 640x480 pixels at 60fps and i got semi-decent results when paired with my C8 (see below for the best i managed on Jupiter). It is true that Magic Lantern opened this up to most models, plus BYEOS also allows a near exact 1:1 recording of the pixels, but alas these 2 options are for Canons only. And unfortunately Nikon's idea of what Live View means is very different to Canon's, so there's no such luck for using BYN in the same way as BYEOS. Alan has given you some great advice on minimising the compression and maximising the fps. I would also probably try the 720p mode over 1080p, for no other reason than because 1280 divides into 6016 better than 1080 does. Who knows, it might mean slightly better downsampling?!
  7. Be careful with extremely large stacks. I think once you get to a certain number Fixed Pattern Noise starts to rear it's ugly head, even with regular and aggressive dithering. From memory i think someone did some analysis of this over on CN. I can't recall the number of subs were it became apparent (i think it was in the hundreds though), but certainly if you were going down the route of using extremely short subs such as 1 or 5s, then i suspect you would run into this problem.
  8. So you're thinking of moving over to the Dark Side Adam? Congrats in advance. I would love to do the same myself, but am just about to move house so there's no chance of that happening any time soon, lol. ps - If it were me, i'd probably go for the ASI1600. The extra resolution and real estate are an obvious bonus, but it's the ability to transition to taking much shorter subs (especially for NB) that would drive me towards picking it. Just my 2p's worth!
  9. Xiga

    M13 - Last one of the season

    Thanks guys. I noticed that the Jpeg version that i uploaded seems to have some large red blotches throughout the background. Much bigger than the usual colour blotching that you often see with DSLR's. As it only shows up in the Jpeg version, i can only guess that perhaps i removed too much colour noise from the background (i did go a bit OTT if i'm being honest) and when it gets saved to Jpeg then maybe there's not enough information left over for the conversion? Just a guess. So I had another go at improving the background, hopefully this one looks better. To my eyes at least it does seem like the weird colour cast to the background is gone. Would be good to hear what you guys think. I also raised the background level more in this most recent version, as in hindsight i think i dropped the black point a bit too much. The outer regions of the globular cluster are also more prominent now too.
  10. Hi guys I thought the DSO season was well and truly over for me, but the weather's been unusually clear here in N.I for the last while that i just couldn't help myself So even though there is no astro dark at this time of year up here at 54 degrees N, i decided i wouldn't let that stop me try for one last target. There was also a very big bright moon up as well, so i figured M13 was pretty much the only viable target for me. Of course, with just a wee SW 80ED to work with (at 510mm FL) i knew i didn't really have the FL to do this one justice, but having never shot a Globular Cluster before i was still excited to give it a go. So here it is: Shot on May 24 from Crumlin, N.Ireland 20 * 420s with the IDAS-D1 at ISO 200 10 * 60s with the IDAS-D1 at ISO 200 All frames dithered aggressively every frame Usual gear, Nikon D5300 on a HEQ5-Pro, guided with a QHY5 and PHD2, and captured with SGP. AstroPixelProcessor used for stacking, gradient reduction, and star colour calibration. Everything else done in Photoshop. The 60s subs were used just for the core. I'm kind of pleased with how it came out. Although i'm not completely sure tbh, as this is new ground for me, and if there's one area the wee 80ED does struggle a tad with it's with stars, and with a globular there's certainly nowhere to hide on that front! Also attached is a 100% crop showing just the globular cluster itself. C&C most welcome as always. Cheers guys!
  11. Xiga

    Abell 1656 Coma Cluster . . . awesome

    Simply amazing Barry. I saw this earlier on my phone and, tbh, i didn't even raise an eyebrow. But now that i see it full screen on my PC, WOW, it actually reminds of the Hubble Deep Field image. So...Many...Galaxies, it is extraordinary! And despite the distance, some are even exhibiting detail, the one at 5 o'clock ish is showing some detail in the spiral arms. Amazing...
  12. Thanks Gorann I was struggling a bit with it, but then thankfully it all seemed to come together near the end of the workflow. I really like having the stars separated out into their own layer. It's hard to keep them looking natural though (and I don't think I'm particularly good at that tbh) but i find it make processing the rest of the image so much easier.
  13. I'm just looking on my phone but I think this looks great Adam. Lovely subtle colours and very well framed too. I do see a bit of a gradient on the LHS of the image. Looks. Like it might have been in the OIII stack? Would make an interesting 'Processing Challenge' this one
  14. Thanks Olly! The idea is to have a short stack taken with the IDAS filter, remove the stars from it and add them to the starless false colour image. Just to add some colour to the stars instead of having them be simply white. Plus there's the added bonus that they are smaller and tighter than the Ha ones. So yeah, I am mixing and matching colour schemes - or just filters, as I tell myself
  15. I usually just gauge the Ha stretch visually myself, and stop when I think there's enough nebulosity but not too much noise. I then temporarily convert it to RGB just to see what the Mean value is in the info panel. I then stretch the OIII to try and get it's Mean value somewhere in the same ballpark.

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