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Xiga last won the day on October 9 2018

Xiga had the most liked content!

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About Xiga

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  1. Hi SGL Just planning ahead here, on the off-chance i might get the odd spot of imaging done every now and then. Like many others i suspect, my imaging laptop is still running Windows 7, which MS has now officially ended support for. So the longer i go on using it, the less secure it will become. The laptop is great, it has an SSD so it's not slow. And everything just works, without fail, so there is no way i am going to upgrade to Win 10 and go through the pain of re-installing all the software and drivers, as no doubt something will not work as it should just when i need it to! I will of course upgrade eventually, but i'm in no rush. So does someone know of a simple, easy to do and undo, method of disconnecting a laptop from the WWW, but crucially, still retain the ability to monitor progress via Teamviewer or Chrome Desktop (which i'm yet to try) from inside the house? I don't use the laptop for anything other than astro capture, so keeping it offline is not an issue. And if there are software or driver updates needed, i can just copy them over via USB from my desktop computer. I did some Googling, but i didn't get very far. I'm a fairly techy kind of guy, so this feels like something that should be quite simple to do. Any ideas folks? CS.
  2. One of the best Fov simulators I've found is the Imaging Toolbox on Blackwaterskies here: http://www.blackwaterskies.co.uk/imaging-toolbox/ And being a website, you can use it on your phone too. Good for spontaneous checks! I also use the mobile apps for stellarium and telescopius (formerly dso-browser) to check in advance where an object will be throughout the night. Finally, here is a great website that tells you how much astro dark, twilight, etc there is on any given night of the year for any location. This one's set to Belfast, N.I https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/belfast
  3. Thanks Michael. I definitely feel ready for an upgrade, and in an ideal world, I would have done so by now. Work and family life are taking up all my time (and money!) for now, so it's not the right time for it. All in good time! I do actually have a Qhy163c i picked up 2nd hand some 9 months ago. To this day i still haven't produced 1 single image with it though, such is life. Still, i'm not completely convinced it will be a significant upgrade from what i have at the moment. Time will tell. While i would *love* a bigger mount (for galaxies), the HEQ5-Pro is a solid performer for me right now, and as Adam says, perfectly suited to my imaging scale. For now anyways! Edit - looking at this again now, it really needs re-worked. Too much sharpening....ugh.
  4. Very nice Adam. Amazing what can be done with so little exposure when you have aperture to burn! About the yellow colour cast. Are you doing Colour Calibration at all? After you do gradient reduction, it should be the very next step. I personally am not a fan of APP's 'star color calibration' routine, I find it a bit too fiddly and hard to get similarly reproducible results each time, so I don't use it. Instead, I use Siril's 'Photometric Colour Calibration' instead. It only takes a minute, and gives the same outcome every time, as there's no settings to mess with. ps - As luck would have it, I actually managed to get out on Sat night and do some imaging myself. Got a shed-load of 60s subs of the Iris, so hopefully it amounts to something! Only took me 9 months to get a proper First Light for the Qhy163c
  5. Mmmm that's lovely Richard. Great control of the stars, and just look at all that dust! Glad the new camera is working well for you. Those Esprit stars really are something. I can hardly look at my 80ED ones the more I look at images like these, lol. Quick question for you - do you still use your IDAS filter much? I think our skies are very similar. I still use my IDAS-D1, but am curious if you have stopped using yours, and if so, did you see any improvement? ps - Could the colour maybe do with a very slight blur in the dimmer areas?
  6. Thanks Adam. You're absolutely right, the contrast on M33 is a hard one. Often what looks good zoomed out, doesn't look good at a all zoomed in, and vice-versa. I need to tweak this slightly, but after looking at it solidly for a few nights on the trot I need to leave it for a bit before I can dive back in, lol. Hopefully the UK weather improves for all you guys.
  7. Thanks Ahmed, you're too kind! I'm not completely happy with it I must say. I had several goes at processing it over the last week or so, with each one a failure but for different reasons. In the end, due to processing fatigue, I got a bit lazy with the sharpening and NR, and the slight unevenness is showing through in places, but in any case it should hopefully be a big improvement on the original version.
  8. Hi guys I thought it would be fun to revisit my first 'proper' data set, i.e anything over an hour. Which, as it turns out, was M33. This was taken back in Oct 2016. The data did have issues though. It was early days for me back then in terms of guiding, and the guide graph in Phd on this night was absolutely horrific! Big spikes all over the place. I remember spending ages trying to fix it, but couldn't. In the end, i just started imaging, and couldn't believe my luck when the images didn't show any trailing. Luckily i just got bigger stars, rather than oval ones, or trailing. Also, this was taken before i had the D5300 modded, so it doesn't show up the Ha regions as much as it should. Still, for a stock camera, i don't think it did too bad. The one good thing the data had going for it, were the skies. I took this in Delamont Country Park here in N.I, which i think is a Blue Zone, so pretty good skies. 19 x 360s (1 hr 54 mins) at ISO 200 Nikon D5300 SW 80ED HEQ5-Pro Stacked in PS, and processed mostly in PS. Siril was used for Photometric Colour Calibration and Deconvolution. Processing i found difficult i must say. I hadn't realised just how hard a target M33 is tbh. It really needs a lot more exposure than this (goes without saying i know), and i also think this is a target that just needs a lot more aperture than 80mm to really do it justice. I tried pushing it as far as i could, without going too far and into cartoon territory. Not sure if i managed it in the end, so all comments welcomed. After an awful winter here in N.I there are finally some clear skies here tonight, so hopefully some of you guys were able to get out and take advantage of them. The best i could manage was a quick view of the moon, M42, and M45 with the 25x70 Bino's Santa kindly left for me
  9. Thanks Adam. I did a quick count last night. Think I only managed 7 new images in all of last year, and some of those had very low amounts of exposure, so not a great year for me AP-wise. I very much doubt I will do any better this year, but you never know!
  10. Astonishing amount of detail in the mono version. Utterly amazing.
  11. Happy New Year Adam! That's a great compilation, with lots of variety, and some real corkers in there too. 2019 was a good year indeed! (despite the weather....as always lol). Here's to an even better 2020.
  12. Hi Ryan Your batch file isn't quite right. You've specified the input file ok, but you haven't specified a filename for the starless image to be output. You just need to add a filename before the '64' in the batch file. Sonething like mono_HaHDR-s.tif should be fine. Good luck!
  13. It's because the sky background has some areas that are darker than others, so when the overall sky background is darkened, the darker areas get really dark, and the contrast between the two stands out more. Btw, sorry if it sounded like i was being overly critical. That wasn't my intention. The images are already amazing so was just trying to offer some CC
  14. Both great images Rodd. I'm quite prone to a bit of 'pop' myself, but as they are I would choose Image 1 between these two. However, the reason i prefer it is because Image 2 has too dark a sky background, plus it's stars are larger and, in many cases their cores are blown, whereas none are blown in Image 1. Also, the mottling in the sky background is more apparent in Image 2. You should separate out the stars using Starnet, then you can process both independently. To my eye, the nebulosity in Image 2 looks so good, that it surely has to be possible to have the best of both worlds - the stars and background of Image 1, with the more vibrant nebulosity of Image 2. I think until that can be seen, Image 1 will always win.
  15. Thanks Adam. It's still not sitting right with me though. I know it's ok to rotate images any way we want, but deep down i know that inverting them is kind of 'out of bounds'. Sure i have both versions saved, so i can pick and choose as i like, lol. Than you Carole! Colour is rarely a problem with the D5300. I think most DSLR users are still using the earlier Canon's, which have much lower DR due to the need to use them at higher ISO's. Whereas the D5300 can be used at ISO 200, which gives tonnes of DR to work with. I meant to post something about the workflow over the weekend, but never quite found the time. I will try and do so at some point during the week. Thanks Ceph!
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