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Everything posted by PhotoGav

  1. Interesting responses, thank you all. Yes, it has come out of nowhere, hasn't it? Communication with their current customer base is evidently not a priority for the SGP developers! I have gone and paid the subscription for this year, in the hope that my 'premium support' access will get my various gripes dealt with sooner rather than later and that this is all being done as version 4 is about to be released, with amazing new functionality... go on, let me dream..! My problem is that I can't fault the software. It has been a relatively painful process getting it to work, but Ken and Jared have been very responsive to my problems and requests. For the money back then, it was great and I have enjoyed being part of the beta development process for them. I currently have a system that works and allows me to 'fire and forget'. I will have to look at NINA and EKOS, but I have to say that the idea of knocking down my current observatory 'house of cards' and the inevitable pain of trying to build a new one might just be too much for me and makes $59 seem worth paying!
  2. Ken and Jared at Sequence Generator Pro have just changed their payment model. The software has become a one off membership fee ($149) plus an annual subscription fee ($59 / year). Does this represent good value still? It has been my observatory and imaging control package of choice for about five years and was amazingly good value when it was a one off fee, plus very rare upgrade fees. I am wondering what the alternative software packages are that provide equally good (or better) control of everything? Please let me know what you use, how much it costs and how good it is! Thanks, Gav.
  3. Damn! Though I have had a quick search online and CS6 should work on Mojave... look at this: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/install-creative-suite-mac-os-sierra.html
  4. Progress is wonderful, but happens so quickly with all these digital devices that it doesn't take long to be left out of date! I have only just taken the plunge and upgraded my MacBook to Catalina and find that one of my scanners is no longer supported... doh! You should try updating your Mac to MacOS Mojave, which is OS 10.14. All your 32 bit apps will still work with that. Catalina is 10.15 and does require 64 bit apps, so avoid that until you are ready! Here's a link to find Mojave: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT210190 - scroll down to the download section and the app store link is there. Good luck.
  5. Thank you all for your kind comments. It is definitely an interesting target. I like @ollypenrice’s idea of ‘favourite galaxy’ - this one would certainly be on the list, but which would be top of my list? I’ll have to consider that one!
  6. You can load an integrated stack into APP through the ‘Other/Processed’ button at the very top of the 1) LOAD tab. Turn off Multi-Channel/Filter and Multi-Session Processing first. You can then apply the stretching etc in the right hand panel or got to 9) TOOLS and use them. Hope that gets you moving forwards.
  7. This is a very interesting topic! I love the focal length of an SCT, but they have a certain softness and are generally a bit of a pig to use for imaging. I have a Celestron EdgeHD 8" and almost love it...! If I had the cash, I think I would invest in an Esprit 150 and take the hit in focal length, but enjoy the vast increase in quality. If you do go for the SCT, be warned that really the only way to successfully guide it is with an OAG. I look forward to hearing what people reckon about the long focal length options available these days.
  8. Lockdown has been very productive for my observatory. I am slowly making my way through the multiple target data sets that I have acquired through the spring and summer. Here is my latest process: NGC 4725, the One-Armed Spiral Galaxy and it is pretty clear to see why it has that name! Most spiral galaxies have two or more arms, but unusually, NGC 4725 appears to have just one. It forms a ring around the core of the galaxy, giving rise to its alternative name, the Ringed Galaxy. Why just one arm or how it formed is a bit of a mystery! NGC 4725 lives about 41 million light years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices, the patch of sky found between Ursa Major, Leo, Boötes and Virgo. It stretches across about 140,000 light years, making it bigger than our own Milky Way, which is about 100,000 light years across. Data captured with Celestron EdgeHD 8" and QSI 683-WSG8 with 31mm Astrodon filters all on a Mesu 200. RGB = 10 x 600s each L = 27 x 1200s TOTAL = 14 hours Thanks for looking and I hope you like it! All thoughts and comments gratefully received. Clear skies and stay safe!
  9. Thank you @PaulM, @tomato and @Ronclarke. Yes, I did use ‘Calibrate Star Colour’ in APP, though with great caution. I selected my sample star areas as far as possible from the globular itself as the algorithm requires main sequence stars and the globular is full of anything but main sequence stars! Huge fan of APP, it has greatly sped up my processing workflow.
  10. Phew, I’m relieved to read this as I have been lying on the sun lounger, enjoying the occasional Perseid meteor, wondering why there seemed to be quite a lot of occasional flashing. Fairly confident it wasn’t my eyes, I had put it down to lights on the combine harvesters I could hear working in nearby fields, but I wasn’t totally convinced! Would love it to be a Pink Floyd reunion gig! Saw the Floyd at Earls Court in 1994 and would love to relive that whole experience!
  11. This is my latest attempt at this most wonderful of globular clusters - Messier 13, the Great Hercules Cluster. Globs are my favourite objects visually in a telescope, the intensity and sheer number of stars is mesmerising. I also find them fascinating as nobody seems to really know where they originate from - are they stripped galaxies, cluster formations or what?! As I'm sure you are aware, this globular cluster is about 25,000 light years away from Earth in the Keystone asterism in Hercules. The data for this project was gathered (or should that be 'were gathered'? though that never sounds right to me!) during May. I have only just got round to processing it. It consists of 24 x 300s in each of RGB and 42 x 300s in Lum, making a total integration time of 9 1/2 hours. I used a Celestron EdgeHD 8" with a QSI 683-WSG8 and 31mm Astrodon filters, all on a Mesu 200. I'm happy with the result, especially as 'the Propellor' is pretty visible in the upper right quadrant of the cluster. I'm never certain about star colours, but I think this is about right. I used APP and PS to process the data. Please let me know what you think of it. Clear skies and enjoy the Perseids tonight, weather permitting!
  12. I do have some NEOWISE data that I would use, but I shot it knowing that it is a hassle to process long total exposure times of a comet. Having good comet & stars software would influence the way I shoot new data. I tried the two stack combo with DSS for Wirtanen (I think it was that one) and it was sort of OK, but drove me completely potty! And who doesn’t love a bright comet with a huge long tail or two?!?!
  13. Thank you Grant & Daz, that was an excellent presentation this evening by the master that is Mabula! Can't wait for him to complete the comet stuff and release it to us - then all we will need is another decent comet. Great idea to get Mabula back to talk through different parts of APP - it is such a fully featured app now that it takes quite a bit of time to get to grips with everything. Fabulous results every time from it though, so well worth the effort. I await to hear when his next installment will be.
  14. Thank you Rodd. Yes indeed, the core is a tricky one. It took some taming as there is plenty of detail in it - a sort of quarter pattern going on. I was torn between this rendition and reducing its brightness further. In the end I decided to leave it relatively bright as I felt that is more representative of the way the galaxy appears to us.
  15. Thank you @alan potts - I try my best!
  16. Thank you @Adreneline and @tomato Yes, 2.3 billion light years and a blob that is more than one pixel in size is a PB for me I think!
  17. I have finally started making my way through processing a number of data sets that I have gathered through the spring. Here is the first of them - Messier 100. It is a spiral galaxy about 56 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices. The distance to M100 is well established as Hubble has observed over 20 Cepheid variables within the galaxy and this has enabled the distance to be calculated with a high degree of accuracy. There are all sorts of other galaxies in the field of view, which is not surprising given that M100 is a member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. I thought it would be interesting to highlight them and look up their distances. This is what I found: M100 = 56 Mly IC783A = 64 Mly PGC 40045 = 30 Mly PGC 4104234 = 930 Mly PGC 4104233 = 2300 Mly PGC 40184 = ?? NGC 4322 = 92 Mly PGC 40214 = ?? NGC 4328 = 30 Mly PGC 3090632 = 970 Mly Technical Details Celestron EdgeHD 8" and QSI 683-WSG8 with 31mm Astrodon Filters, all on a Mesu 200. L = 30 x 1200s RGB = 10 x 600s each TOTAL = 15 hours I hope you like it! I'm pretty happy with the result, except for some streaking in the upper left quadrant of the image. I have seen this before when there has been a bright star just outside the field of view, however I couldn't find a culprit this time. I only saw the streaks when processing the data and it was all too late then. Nevermind, it is what it is! Clear skies all and enjoy comet NEOWISE while it's here.
  18. Thank you - I look forward to gathering a load more luminance for this project now that the Moon is on the wane again. I would say that much more than normal is required to combat all the satellite trails, but that would just be inflamatory!! It will be very interesting to see how effective the brightness mitigation strategies that SpaceX are trying really are. I finally watched last month's Sky At Night, which has a whole section about the Starlink satellites. Makes for very interesting viewing.
  19. @RayD - thanks, I’m happy with the way the project is progressing, satellites notwithstanding. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this sat issue, we are coming to rely on all this technology and there is an opportunity cost that we must bear. The problem is that the skies are busy already, but the current population is just nothing compared to the predicted numbers. Bear in mind that SpaceX have about 500 Starlink satellites in orbit now, but the constellation requires more like three times that number to provide its first level of service. Multiply that number by the three or four other constellations that are set to be launched over the coming decade and we will be dreaming of the good old days when we had just twenty or so sat trails to deal with in an image! Personally, I think it’s a question of limits, not of an outright ban. Compromise is always the way forwards.
  20. @Davey-T - they're everywhere! Gather enough subs and they will be just faint inclusions! @Corncrake - thank you, I was rather pleased with the variation and colours!
  21. Fascinating discussion folks, thank you for contributing. It's very interesting to see that we are not all of the same opinion. Anyway, here is a quick data update. I haven't gathered the whole set yet, but thought it would be interesting to see how the rejection gets on with those trails. So, with minimal processing beyond calibrating, stacking and combining the LRGB data sets in APP... Here it is with no rejection: And here it is with sigma rejection: There is hope after all (as expected!)... (This does not mean I now condone the satellite mega-constellations!) Clear sat-free skies to you all
  22. Too true. Would it be most appropriate to lobby for sensible low limits to the number of satellites allowed, rather than attempting to quash any satellites being launched (an unlikely eventuallity!)?
  23. Very true. That is why I suggest to people who only see them in the first 'marching' phase and are amazed by them, thinking 'how cool', that once they are less conspicuous to the naked eye, they are still very much an issue for astronomers. That's all. Wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Starlink satellites themselves that ended up defending the Earth from an incoming hazardous object as the shield they form around the Earth broke up the offending rock as it hit them!!
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