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Posts posted by PhotoGav

  1. Here is my rendition of The Butterfly Nebula (IC 1318), aka the area around Sadr (the bright star to the right of the image). It seems to have taken me an age to gather the data for this, I started the project at the end of August and collected the final couple of hours last night. It is a total of 24 hours integration time, consisting of 24 x 1800s subs in both Ha and OIII. I used an Esprit 100ED with QSI-683 and Astrodon 5nm filters all on a Mesu-200 mount. Stacking in APP and HOO bi-colour put together in PhotoShop. I couldn't resist a starless version with StarNet++. I hope you like it and thank you for looking. Clear skies to you all...!





    • Like 23
  2. A single Perseid above the Dome of the Blackett Observatory. Taken with a Canon R5 & 15mm f2.8 lens, clicking away taking 20 sec exposures at ISO1600 - caught a load of satellites and just a couple of meteors. That’s not say I didn’t see plenty - over 60 in about 1.5 hours, it was just the camera was rarely pointing in the right direction!



    • Like 3
  3. I have had a growing number of data sets sitting on my laptop, waiting to be processed for quite some time now. Today was the day... I finally started climbing the processing mountain.

    First up was the Propeller Nebula in Cygnus, the most recent data set, having been gathered in June this year. It consists of 43 x 1800s Ha and 25 x 300s in each of RGB - total integration time of 27 hours and 45 minutes. Captured with an Esprit 100ED and QSI 683-WSG8, using Astrodon RGB & 5nm Ha filters, all on top of a Mesu-200.




    Next up, the Elephant Trunk in Cepheus, which is the oldest data set, gathered last year in July! 48 x 1800s Ha and 47 x 1800s OIII, total of 47.5 hours! I also had some RGB data, but ended up not using it. Quite how I managed to get so much on this, I have no idea! Same kit as above.




    Not sure what I think of my processing of these two - all done with AstroPixelProcessor and Photoshop. I'm a bit rusty! It's good to be playing with data again though. More pics from old data to come soon, with not much more data being gathered courtesy of the English Summer weather...

    Clear skies to all!

    • Like 9
  4. Thank you Sky Gods! You were kind to me and I hope I didn't let you down. I couldn't believe it when the clouds started thinning just at the crucial moment this morning. I had pretty much given up on any chance of seeing this eclipse for myself, but wondered if I might be able to see something with the Lunt 50 in my obsy through the cloud. Absolutely no chance to begin with, so I missed the start, but then thick cloud slowly became thin cloud and then there were even a few momentary breaks in the cloud. Amazing! So, here is the best frame from the session, a bit after maximum. It is just a single frame capture as there was zero chance of grabbing a usable video - there were clouds scudding across pretty much the whole time...





    I also tried to upload an animated gif time lapse, but the upload keeps on failing with 'error -200' - anyone know what that is all about?!

    • Like 15
  5. I was in exactly your position just recently. I opted to purchase a Double Stack for my Lunt 50 as one came up on Astro Buy & Sell for a sensible price. I am absolutely delighted with the improvement that it has brought to my solar imaging. It seemed quite subtle to begin with, but now I’ve sussed out settings, the difference is what I had hoped for.

    Having said that, of course I would prefer a Lunt 60, double stacked! We all know that increased aperture is key to resolving power and the 50 is limited. Cost is prohibitive for this. While we are at it, the 80 would be even better!

    Having said that, I would also love a refractor plus Quark! I didn’t go down this route now as it would end up more expensive, given that I would need a suitable dedicated refractor too (my refractors are assigned to deep sky imaging duties). It would be less portable than the 50, which I also use for outreach observing and is just perfect on a small mount or my Star Adventurer. Ultimately, I will probably able end up purchasing a Quark system at some point, for close up views, leaving the 50 for whole disk views.

    Good luck with your research and eventual choice. Suffice to say that I can wholeheartedly recommend the double stack upgrade for the Lunt 50 - it is probably your easiest and cheapest first step. It will also hold its value very well and be very sellable once you decide to sell and upgrade your whole system.

  6. I have been working on taking images of the Sun while it has some obvious active regions and overlaying a Stonyhurst disc to allow my astronomy GCSE pupils to calculate the different speeds of rotation at varying solar latitudes. Here are the images: 






    I look forward to seeing what values you all get!

    Images taken through a Lunt LS50THa with Double Stack, using a Point Grey Chameleon3 camera.

    Isn't it wonderful to see some decent solar activity at loooooong last!

    • Like 3
  7. 8 hours ago, inFINNity Deck said:

    Hi Gav,

    which of the methods did you use for the overlay?



    I used the day 115 frame from the animated gif that you posted towards the start of this thread.

    Quick question - why the two latitude scales on opposite sides that are reversed??

  8. The wonderful clear sky this morning gave me the chance to try all of this out and here are the results:





    Very happy with that!

    All I need now is a clear sky in a few days time to get another shot...

    Thank you for your help folks.

    • Like 3
  9. Ah ok, as I was typing I did wonder if the day number was literally the day of the year. I reckon it's always better to ask a silly question to get an easy answer though! Thank you for your help. All I need now is a run of sunny days and plenty of surface activity at varying latitudes to follow!

    • Like 1
  10. Nicolàs, you total superstar, thank you for your detailed explanation of the techniques required. That is just so perfect... I love this forum!!!

    Your help will enable the next generation of astronomers to be inspired.

    Many thanks,


    • Thanks 1
  11. 1 hour ago, inFINNity Deck said:

    I have my camera aligned with RA/DEC. The rotational axis of the Sun can then be found using a Stonyhurst disc, see for an animated one:




    Thank you very much Nicolàs, that is great. Everyday I discover a little more how little I know about astronomy!!! I now need to ask a multiple questions regarding how to do all of that...!

    Am I right in saying that aligning the camera with RA and Dec is as simple as rotating the camera until movements in RA cause the image to move in a level line across the middle of the sensor from side to side and in DEC until level up and down across the middle?

    With regards to the Stonyhurst disc - are you able to elaborate a little more on how to actually use that with images on the computer, please?

  12. I would like to gather a set of solar images to allow my GCSE pupils to calculate the differing rotation speeds of the sun’s surface. The problem is establishing which way is up! Is there an easy way to work out where north is on the Sun and place that at the top of the camera chip? I look forward to hearing what you all recommend. My current method is to compare my live view with the most recent image on GONG and rotate the camera to get as close as possible to that orientation. I sometimes tweak rotation in post processing too.

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