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PhotoGav last won the day on October 29

PhotoGav had the most liked content!

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  1. PhotoGav

    NGC918 through a veil of cirrus

    Oooo, very nice Barry. The dust frames the galaxy beautifully. This is a new one to me. I’ve just looked it up on Sky Safari and am happy to see that it isn’t that low, so will have to be added to my long ‘to do’ list... one day I might be able to attempt a version through a more earthly veil of Wiltshire cirrus...!
  2. PhotoGav

    Observing Comet 46P

    True, 46P is not a Hale-Bopp style, Bayeux Tapestry obvious comic book comet painted on the night sky as some reports may have hyped it up to potentially become. However, I think it is far from disappointing! It appears so ‘dim’ as the magnitude is spread across its huuuuuuuge diffuse coma. I think it is incredible that such a small ‘mis-shaped potato’ of only about 1km diameter can eject so much material and cover such a large patch of sky, currently about 46’, well over a full Moon’s worth of sky! It is very ‘findable’ as a large diffuse blob with a tiny bright nucleus and I am looking forward to following (and hopefully imaging) it’s journey northwards between the Hyades and the Pleiades over the next few days. I wouldn’t hold your breath for any significant increase in apparent brightness, but simply enjoy the solar system spectacle on offer as it is...
  3. PhotoGav

    Flats issue from a newbie

    Brilliant result well done. In a slightly masochistic way, sometimes the pain of it not working makes the pleasure of it finally working all the more enjoyable!
  4. PhotoGav

    Observing Comet 46P

    I know this is the Observing thread and not the imaging thread, but I don't feel that this image warrants a thread of its own, so I have posted it here. It is more 'my sketch' of my session last night - it's just that I am better at sketching with a camera! Anyway, a very obvious green visitor in the low-ish southern skies...
  5. PhotoGav

    Observing Comet 46P

    Managed to see the comet again this evening, firstly in binoculars - it was easy to spot as a fuzzy patch below Menkar - and then in the 10" refractor - this gave a great view and there was a definite suggestion of a tail with averted vision. I tried imaging it widefield with a DSLR, though there was a lot of passing cloud. I hope to post something up tomorrow, but the obvious thing when reviewing the images on camera was the green tinge to the comet. Shame the forecast is so rubbish in Wiltshire for the rest of this week...
  6. As Des says, 20 to 30 minutes will give you fully dark adapted eyes, depending on age. The older you are, the slower the eyes proceed. Once you are fully dark adapted, do everything you can to preserve it as it can vanish in the click of a light switch and you are back to square one... Be extra careful of smartphones, which are very useful for planetarium apps etc, but have a nasty habit of glowing a very bright white when you aren't expecting it. Good luck and have a great session!
  7. Love this! Did you stack with ‘Comet Mode’ in DSS?
  8. Yes, total RMS. Remember, that is only theory that I was spouting! The best thing to do is give it a go, with the theory in mind, that way you can assess the results with some understanding. The HEQ5 might just surprise you! The other thing to consider to improve guiding is an off axis guider rather than separate guide scope. That can eliminate all sorts of weirdness, especially where longer focal lengths / smaller pixel scales are concerned. You are right, an 80ED with the larger pixel scale would be more forgiving, but use what you have first! Good luck and I look forward to hearing / seeing how you get on.
  9. The theory of guiding is that your RMS error should be a max of half your pixel scale. So with your set up at 1.16”/px, you should be aiming for a guiding error of less than 0.58”. That is do-able on a night of good seeing with an HEQ5. I used a belt-modded HEQ5 for quite a few years until just recently and could confidently guide well within 1” error. My Edge 8” and camera are 0.55”/px and while I took 30 minute subs for narrowband with that set up, I was never happy with the sharpness, which I think was down to the guiding not being good enough. I have recently upgraded the mount and hope to get better results... yet to test!
  10. PhotoGav

    M34 - Not Just An Open Cluster...

    Thank you very much for your comments. I see what you mean about the red tinge. I have de-redded it a bit. What's the consesus on this version?
  11. Messier 34 Continuing my photographic tour of clusters through the autumn / winter sky, here is Messier 34, an open cluster about 1500 light years from Earth in the constellation of Perseus. It seems a fairly regular open cluster with its concentration of some twenty to thirty main stars, looking pretty in their shades of blue and orange. However, I couldn't help noticing lots of small faint fuzzies throughout the field of view. I think that these must be members of the Perseus Cluster - a massive galaxy cluster that stretches over 14º of the sky. M34 is only about 7º from the Perseus Cluster, so all these galaxies must be the outer reaches of the Perseus Cluster. Nice! Especially when my previous target to M34 was.... the Perseus Cluster - well a portion at the centre of the Perseus Cluster anyway! Technical Details: Skywatcher Esprit 100ED, QSI-683-WSG8, HEQ5 and Mesu 200, Baader 1.25" and Astrodon 31mm filters (more about the kit in a moment!) LRGB = 36 x 300s each TOTAL = 12 hours The first thing to say is that this project sort of represents my first light with my new mount - a Mesu 200. One came up on Astro Buy & Sell and I just couldn't let the opportunity pass me by, so I grabbed it. The trusty old HEQ5 has served me really well for many years, but I have a feeling that I am going to like the Mesu very much. It has been easy to set up, despite my best efforts to make it complicated! I must thank @steppenwolf, @swag72, @RayD & @Barry-Wilson for their immense help and encouragement during the set up process. You will notice that I also changed my filters during the project from Baader 1.25" to Astrodon 31mm. That was in progress before the mount came along. Basically, Christmas has come early this year to the River Park Observatory! The change of filters made this project a huge processing task. I shot the first hour in each filter with the Baaders, and their respective set of flats. I then changed to the Astrodons for the second hour of data, and their new set of flats. While shooting the new Astrodon flats I noticed an issue with the Ha filter, so had to open up the filter wheel and take remedial action. That meant that the third hour of data in each filter had to have a new set of flats. APP did a sterling job of coping with the multi-filter and multi-session processing with all those flats and processed it all together beautifully in one hit. I do like APP! Anyway, enough of my ramblings, I hope you like the image and please do let me know what you think. Clear Skies!
  12. PhotoGav

    Comet 46P/Wirtanen

    Davide, that's brilliant, thank you for your detailed explanation. Fingers crossed that we all get some good clear skies to have a go at photographing this beauty!
  13. PhotoGav

    Comet 46P/Wirtanen

    That’s a good looking first image of this currently rather murky visitor! Hopefully it will only improve as it increases in altitude from here in the UK. Did you guide on the comet or a star? I’m presuming a star? Can you please give a quick overview of your data processing workflow? Does DSS create one image that deals with both the movement of the comet and of the stars or does it create two images that you then merge? I am hoping to have a go at 46P soon too and have never tried stacking multiple subs of a comet... thanks in advance!
  14. PhotoGav

    Hell and The Devil in Astronomy?

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I will be offering some of these on to the Music Department!
  15. PhotoGav

    Heart and Soul with widefield set up

    That’s a corker, well done! Well worth the pain of getting the new kit to actually work!

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