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Paul M

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Everything posted by Paul M

  1. Sounds interesting. I haven't seen it yet. Will download it tomorrow. I used my new Sesto Senso focuser for the 1st time recently. My first foray into auto focus. I use APT and found the auto focus routine a bit fiddly, not getting a clean parabolic curve. Not even a curve much of the time but the image seemed focussed! Hopefully this new version will be an improvement for me. Focussing is another plateau on the imaging learning curve!
  2. I too liked KStars and Co. But had nothing but misery trying to use a Pi 4 and then later using a mini PC running Ubuntu. That was less than 12 months ago. I dabbled with running the software on my W10 lappy and having the Pi as an Indi server running only the drivers. It worked in testing but was no solution to my wanting a headless system I could VNC into with a tablet.
  3. I might have said this already but, you are starting to make this look easy! well done!
  4. I've never dealt with the the company in question but he/it always seems to carry a good stock of tidy equipment. If he had an item that I was looking for and the price was fair then I wouldn't hesitate. I don't like car dealerships but I have never sold a car privately. I part ex with a dealer but it's up to them to make the deal look attractive. Warranty back up and peace of mind (usually). I don't care what their markup is.
  5. That'll be a typo then. If Mercury is following following the sun in the N/H then it'll be following the Sun in the S/H. Else there would be some strange goings on for equatorial observers! All that changes is the angle the ecliptic makes with your local horizon. So a good (higher above the horizon) apparition in the N/H will be a poor apparition in the S/H and vice versa.
  6. It's definitely a morning object for the N hemisphere. Here is what Stellarium makes of my circumstances. (for some reason the months are marked in Roman Numerals). Marked at 5 day intervals because otherwise the early part of the track is too cluttered.
  7. If verified as an impact I would expect some other imagers will have caught that event also. There's a lot of eyes on Jupiter! No residual marking as was left by comet Schumacker Levy. Maybe not a deep impact.
  8. Indeed! I'm happy to be getting ±1" guiding
  9. Paul M


    And the winner is.... Me! No, seriously guys. Thanks for spending time on my image. I was a bit unexcited about the original image but having seen the potential in my shallow data I'm inspired to go back to this object very soon and start afresh. A darker site and better flats would be a start.
  10. A few years ago I was asked the same question by my good friend's wife. He had a casual interest in the night sky and she thought a telescope would make a nice present. I ended up blindly suggesting the Celestron 127 SLT Mak. She bought one from First Light Optics and I helped him set it up. Unfortunately it was just too involved for him. The mount isn't suitable for casual pointing at objects, It requires aligning each time it's used and can only be moved by way of the handset. I now own that scope but don't use the mount. I use my bigger equatorial mount with it. It's a nice telescope but I wouldn't recommend the SLT mount. A simple Alt-Az mount is a better option to see if Mr. mil5now gets the bug before over complicating things.
  11. Paul M


    *Large File Alert* Ok, here is the original bin 1x1 stack ( I always save DSS stacks as TIF for direct export to P.S.) Autosave.tif And this is the bin 3x3 stack (stacked in ASTAP): M110, 2021-09-07, 20x240L, EQMOD HEQ56, ZWO ASI071MC Pro_stacked.fits You'll see that the flats didn't cure the vignetting.... Must try harder next time. It's the post processing to cure that that is killing the whole thing in this instance.
  12. Another target from my session a couple of nights ago. The Perseus Galaxy Cluster, centered on NGC 1275. Nothing breath taking about this image other than the number of objects it shows. 48 x 240 sec. and a bunch of dysfunctional flats, ASI071 Camera, Optolong L-Pro filter, binned 3x3 (after the event) . 250 PDS, NEQ6 Pro guided. This was stacked and stretched entirely in ASTAP. And annotated in ASTAP (Hyperleda data)
  13. Paul M


    Here it is with the same data batch binned 3x3 by ASTAP. I re stacked in DSS again and stretch/curves in P.S. but it was washed out, no colour. So I did it all in ASTAP. Seems to have done a better job but still no colour. Anyway, as a proof of concept it's shows that I can safely bib 3x3 with little, if any, loss of definition (not that I doubted you @vlaiv ) Still noisy because it is stretched to the limit to get anything worth looking at!
  14. Paul M


    I agree! This was only the second outing for this camera. On it's first outing I binned 2x2 . The sky conditions played a big roll but the binned data just seemed more compliant to my intentions in processing. I'll batch bin the M101 data and reprocess it. Would make an interesting comparison. The other variable being my "workflow". I don't have any strict system. No chance of processing the same data the same way!
  15. Paul M


    Very nice, and that wasn't even your primary target! And, wow, don't it just highlight the awful colour of mine! I'm minded to have another go at my data but to be fair I'm limited by the lack thereof!
  16. Paul M


    I looked on line for good images of M110 as a reference and found that they are few and far between! I realised early on that I'd wandered into a yellow colour shift but never really got away from it. I was concentrating too much on stretching the limited data. I think that's where the noise has come from as I do always either with PHD2 I need a darker and clearer sky and more subs next time, it's certainly a worthwhile target. I only set out to image it because with my gear M31 would be a mosaic job and that's new territory for me and I'd struggle to get enough time on acquisition.
  17. Paul M


    My session last night was plagued by sky glow. I intended having a lot more time on this target but live stacking with ASTAP confirmed that the sky brightens was killing it. Blackpool's inglorious illuminations strike again, and they're having an extended season this year to make up for Covid restrictions. Right through to January now Anyway, chin up! 19 x 240 sec. 250 PDS Newt on NEQ6 Pro, guided. ASI071 camera binned 1x1 and Optolong L-Pro filter. It's taken much effort to remove the vignetting. I left the scope out all night and all day, then did the flats when I got home from work, tripping over mad dogs, mad children and mad wife. The flats haven't worked so well. AstroFlat Pro plug-in in P.S. saved the day but it does have a habit of clipping the black point if not really careful. It could be so much better but it's a start. I've identified a number of M31's globulars in the image. I might annotate them when I have more time and energy.
  18. Nice! I so wanted to have my first go at M33 with my new ASI071 camera last night but it only just fits in the frame using my 250mm newt and I'd have had to rotate the camera thus meaning another set of flats to suit. Maybe next time...
  19. Paul M

    Albireo in Cygnus

    That's a lovely shot.
  20. Well, it's clear! But I'm sure no one wants another snap of my scope sat posing in the back garden so here is the software part of my set-up in action. APT filling its boots on the Perseus galaxy cluster: Lots of tiny fuzzies centered on NGC 1275. Guiding is very nice again, the new camera and focuser are working well and I'm off to bed leaving it all running. I'm up for work in less than 5 hours!
  21. I just reprocess this entirely in ASTAP. Not for the first time I think it's beaten my P.S. skills. It can do funny things with stars but I think this renditions is more"sparkly"
  22. I don't know NINA, I use APT with ASTAP. With APT I can load any suitable image into the viewer and either blind plate solve or give some approximate RA/DEC for the object and just ask it to solve. I guess NINA will have a similar ability to load an image and solve it. The main point with ASTAP is to tell it the image size in Deg/min/sec. If you open ASTAP as standalone and click "stack" then "alignment" you will see a box where the image size can be input. Also on that page is a "Downsample" tab. With my ASI178 camera I used to have to have that at "2" else it would time out. Any changes you make should persist after closing ASTAP and be effective when ASTAP is called by APT. With APT the sensor size and image size are forwarded to ASTAP if a camera is selected in APT.
  23. Can't you plate solve the QHY8 images? Maybe I've misunderstood the question... If you plate solve with your imaging camera it confirms exactly what/where is in the imaging field of view. You could plate solve your guide cam frames but with different size field of view, different rotation angles and (maybe) not being exactly aligned with the OTA's axis all reduce the value of such plate solving. In APT for GoTo++ object locating you'd have to mess about a bit to use the guide cam (disconnect it from your guiding software and make it the active camera in APT, then switch back again) If you accurately align the guide scope so that both camera's fields are co-centered then you can use that to get your subject in the imaging field of view and tweak from there. Hmmm, I still think I've misunderstood your question... I'm a big fan of APT. Install ASTAP too and point APT to the executable in the settings. Of course, ASTAP also needs a bunch of data files downloading to work, like any other solver but it's very fast and has other standalone image processing features.
  24. Not a spectacular action shot but here is the Big Gun taking flats after last night's session. I took this opportunity to weigh the fully loaded OTA. I'll whisper it so as not to cause embarrassment: 16 Kg! Over 35 pounds . Not so much Skywatcher as WeightWatcher
  25. I keep returning to this patch of sky. Last week I had first light with my ASI071 and targeted The Bubble Nebula. I noticed that I nearly got M52 in frame also, so last night I framed the target to include the Bubble, M52 and the Nova in Cassiopeia. This is 17 x 240 sec at gain 150, binned 2x2, Optolong L-Pro filter and Baader MPCC coma corrector. Skywatcher 250 P-DS on NEQ6 Pro mount. Captured with APT and guided with PHD2/ASI120 mini. Stacked in DSS with 65 Flats, no darks (not needed with this sensor) and contorted in P.S. (inc AstroFlat Pro and Astronomy tools). The sky was poor to very poor. Milky and glowing from Blackpool's illumination. I'd planned to leave it running all night but the clouds had other ideas... To locate the nova here is an annotated image from my previous session:
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