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Everything posted by DeepThought

  1. This thread was created in the context of the winter storms wasn't it? We're now in the middle of a heatwave. Yes it's ended. If we start the thread up again every time the British weather goes south then potentially this could go on forever. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Wow, this thread just won't lie down will it. The weather can do whatever it likes while we're a month either side of midsummer's day. When the nights get back to being fully dark and moonless the weather will have my full attention again. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. To my eye that looks identical to SkySafari in the screenshot, which is interesting because SkySafari will cost you at least a couple of quid depending which version you get. Here's a screenshot of SS I took a moment ago... And here's the screenshot provided for the Celestron app... If they are the same then it's a no brainer. Get it before they start charging for it. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Another first for me, my first globular cluster. I'm pretty pleased with this one, taken from a dark site rather than my city garden. 45 lights and 30 darks. Don't know if globs are easy or I just got lucky with this one. Always happy to receive constructive criticism of course. Cheers
  5. Just your camera on a tripod will get you some pretty decent shots from a dark site. Keep the focal length short (18mm short) and you should be able to manage 60 second or longer exposures without star trailing. Take multiple frames and stack them with software like Deep Sky Stacker for even better results. In time you'll probably want to introduce some tracking and a telescope but that's a whole different ball game. You'd do well to contact a local astro club and meet some of their imagers to see the kit they use, it will I'm sure vary from hundreds to thousands of pounds worth.
  6. That's 30x 60 second exposures using my Skywatcher Skymax 127 on an unguided EQ5. Taken using an unmodified Canon 1100D. No darks, flats or bias frames were used, they're my next challenge. Stacked in DSS and adjusted in Photoshop.
  7. Hi Here's my first attempt at the Leo triplet. As a beginner i'm happy enough with it but I wondered if anyone had any suggestion on dealing with the noise? I suppose the obvious solution is not to capture it in the first place and reduce the ISO, but I'm not getting a lot of signal when I do that. Would stacking a greater number of darker frames yield the same results or do I need to think about longer exposures? Cheers
  8. Available from 7th April in the UK priced at £16.99. http://www.lidl.co.uk/cps/rde/SID-54BD22F2-85C2B0E7/www_lidl_uk/hs.xsl/our-offers-2491.htm?id=262
  9. Thanks Unfortunately I need something that can be turned to astro and non astro photography. At the moment at least the vast majority of my photos are taken in daylight. Elements might well be sufficient for me. Have you seen my photos? I'm hardly Damian Peach and I don't presume that the marginal gains of increased colour depth will change that fact.
  10. Looks like i'm sticking with GIMP then. As I said, creative suite is simply not an option on my budget. It's not that I won't pay for it, I actually can't. Many Thanks
  11. Hi I know this gets asked often enough but the advice seems to vary from thread to thread. I'm looking to move on from GIMP to a piece of paid software for my post processing and I'm torn between Photoshop Elements 12, Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. I know the current deal on Photoshop CC and Lightroom for £8 ish per month looks very attractive but I'm not certain I necessarily need that level of functionality as I won't be doing any graphic design. I'll be working with both astro and regular images so I need the best all rounder. I know a lot of you use CS6 but that's simply not an option on my budget. That's the sort of money I'd rather spend on hardware. What would you recommend? Thanks Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  12. We'll like I said, that's near the poles, and a bit of a fluke I think, was only managing to get a minute last night. Believe me I'd love a proper imaging setup but you've got to 'love the one you're with' so to speak. Tonight's target is M101, we'll see what happens there. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  13. Do you still have the original autosave.tif? If so then upload it via a file sharing site and I'm sure some of us would love to have a play.
  14. It's worth mentioning that Adobe CS2 is still available for free download due to the licencing server being taken down. You will need an Adobe account but that's free to set up. Just Google "CS2 download".
  15. You can use PAE to improve accuracy. The manual says the following: Pointing Accuracy Enhancement (PAE)The three star alignment methods provide alignment adequate for any visual observing purpose. For applications that require extra high precision in a particular part of the sky, the SynScanTM provides a Pointing Accuracy Enhancement (PAE) function to further improve the accuracy. The PAE can be performed in up to 85 zones to cover the whole sky. The area(s) where the chosen alignment star(s) is located should be already mapped out accurately by the SynScanTM. Further accuracy enhancement is not necessary. The following provides a step-by-step procedure on how to perform PAE:Choose a star as reference object from a star chart or planetarium software. This star should be a known, bright object that is currently located in the same part of the sky with the object of your interest.Find the reference object in the SynScanTM hand control database and go-to the object. If the mount is under the control of the planetarium software, click on the object to slew to it.Adjust the telescope so that the reference object is in the center of the eyepiece or CCD view.Press and hold down the ESC key for 2 seconds. The hand control will display "Re-center" and the name of the reference object will appear in a blinking mode (3 times). If the go-to command is sent from the planetarium software, instead of the name of the object, the hand control will display "Last goto object".Make sure that the reference object is still in the center of the view and press ENTER. If you do not wish to record the result, press ESC to abort the operation. After pressing ENTER, the SynScanTM will record the amount of pointing inaccuracy and recalculate the model of the sky. Now the pointing accuracy of this particular part of the sky should be greatly improved.Reading between the lines, what that means is use goto to point to the object, centre the object, hold down escape, press enter.
  16. Thanks for the responses, and there was me feeling hard done by with my exposure times. I suppose the next logical question is what sort of objects can I hope to image with this setup? The orion nebula is of course very rewarding for a beginner and relatively straightforward thanks to the high surface brightness, but what else is within reach of my "modest" kit?
  17. Hi I just wondered if the community had any opinions on what sort of exposure times I should be getting using an unguided EQ5 that is well polar aligned? Currently i'm getting up to about 90 seconds towards the poles before some evidence of trailing and I wondered if I should be aiming for better? Guiding is obviously my ultimate goal but I can't throw any more money at this currently and I'd like to get the best out of what I already have first. The scope I'm using is a 127mm maksutov with 1500mm focal length so magnification is relatively high, perhaps not ideal for AP but it's what I've got. Cheers
  18. As a first Orion Nebula shot is pretty much a right of passage in the imaging business, I thought it'd be rude not to share mine. No darks or bias frames and about 20 minutes of data so obviously much room for improvement but I'll take this as a first attempt.
  19. Thanks. Is this normal then? The camera is under warranty if it's anything untoward.
  20. Hi Can anyone tell me what the strange "S" shaped markings could be on this crop of a stacked image? They appear to be all over it in varying colours but I have just zoomed in on a couple of them. Thanks Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  21. Hi I have tried stacking with the star detection threshold set between 25-50% with no difference in the results. As I recall I had to bump this up as it wasn't picking any stars up from shorter wide field exposures and I never lowered it again, I guess it could be picking up ISO noise. Should I try lowering it? Cheers
  22. Hi I have been playing about with Deep Sky Stacker and have run in to an issue where it doesn't seem to be aligning my subs correctly (or indeed at all) and therefore the stars in my images are coming out as wobbly lines on the final image rather than individual points. The drift isn't really noticeable on the individual frames but when an hour's worth of data is stacked it is significant enough to spoil the final image. I thought DSS did the alignment for you as standard, is there something I'm missing? Cheers
  23. To be fair those nuclear tests probably spoil the views every now and again.
  24. It's applied as a layer in Google Earth, the .kmz file can be downloaded from here.
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