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Davide Simonetti

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About Davide Simonetti

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    Star Forming

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Photography, Astronomy, History, Music, Radio, Film, Sci-Fi, Philosophy, Cosmology.
  • Location
    London UK
  1. Messier 109 with the star Phecda in Ursa Major (γ Ursae Majoris). If you look carefully you can see other more distant galaxies in the image including - clockwise from Phecda: PGC 2446180; PGC 37239; PGC 37553 (at the bottom of the image); PGC 37621; and PGC 37700 (left of M109). 024 x 300 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -11°C 026 x dark frames 030 x flat frames 100 x bias frames (subtracted from flat frames) Binning 1x1 Total integration time = 2 hours Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Lightroom and Photoshop Equipment: Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  2. Thanks Gav, Guiding was done on a star...it was too faint to show up on my guide cam and guiding on a star gives me the option to do a time-lapse of the comet's movement later on. The processing was done as follows: Calibrations were done in Nebulosity 3 because I like the format in that program and I was hoping to avoid using Deep Sky Stacker (DSS). I used Fitswork 4 to debayer the subs because I think it does a better job of it and it's easy to use. I put the calibrated subs into DSS, registered the frames and used the comet stacking option (which means clicking on the comet's nucleus for each frame). I then chose the option to align on the comet and the stars so processing is done twice...it takes much longer but it's the only way to have the stars and the comet looking sharp. The stacking mode was standard and the alignment method bilinear. The stacking method was Median. The result was a single image of the comet on a starfield but there were faint residual streaks of the stars and the image was very grey with almost no colour. I put the combined image back into Nebulosity and used the Digital Development tool to brighten it up. I also adjusted the colour scaling and the colour background (offset). Finally I put the image into Photoshop where I stretched the histogram with levels, tweaked the colour balance and increased the saturation. I used several Photoshop plugins as well: Gradient Exterminator to remove a gradient, and Astroflat Pro to smooth it some more. I removed the streaks with the Clone Stamp tool. I also used some of the Astronomy Tools v 1.6 actions - Increase Star Colour, Make Stars Smaller, and Reduce Blue/Violet Halos. I created a layer mask to desaturate the residual green on the background without effecting the comet. Lastly I increased the vibrance. I think that's about everything I did...hope it helps ?
  3. Comet 46P/Wirtanen...I've been looking forward to imaging this comet since I heard that it was on its way to our part of the Solar System. The last time I imaged a comet was 18 months ago and I had fotgotten how tricky they can be to image and process. The only software I have that 'freezes' comets to avoid streaking stars is Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) which I'm not a fan of but it's very useful for this sort of image without performing contortions in Photoshop. The resulting image still had some faint streaks but they were easy enough to remove but the image also needed a big boost in saturation to bring out the colour. All in all I'm pleased with the result (though I would have liked to have resolved the tail). At the moment the 46P/Wirtanen is still low in in the sky close to the southern horizon so the scope was pointed at the murky London light pollution. It would have been better to wait until it's higher in the sky (it reaches perihelion on December 16th and should be significantly brighter) but with the weather here being what it is you never know if there'll be another opportunity...I hope there will be. 062 x 60 second exposures at Gain 180 cooled to -20°C 065 x dark frames 060 x flat frames 100 x bias frames Binning 1x1 Total integration time = 1 hours and 2 minutes Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop Equipment Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  4. Cheers Rodd, I'm always amazed when I crop an image and it still looks OK. I was never able to do that with the 127 Mak and a DSLR. When I saw how small the object was going to be in the frame I nearly went on to another target but I'm so glad I stuck with it. Good luck with your capture of M1 ?
  5. The Crab Nebula (also known as M1, NGC 1952 or Taurus A). This is quite an improvement on the last attempt at imaging M1 about two years ago. This time it was possible to bring out some of the filaments that make this object so interesting - this despite using a much shorter focal length making the object appear significantly smaller. The image is cropped rather radically to show more details in the nebula so the stars appear bigger than I would prefer, but on the original they look fine. 040 x 300 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 050 x dark frames 040 x flat frames 100 x bias frames Binning 1x1 Total integration time = 3 hours and 20 minutes Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, and Photoshop Equipment Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  6. This is my third attempt at imaging M33, the previous two attempts weren't too bad but were either a bit too noisy or a bit too faint so this time it was given plenty of longer exposures with a dedicated astronomy camera and a better polar alignment. The resulting image is much more satisfying. Conditions were pretty good for this part of London, a nice clear night with just a few high wispy clouds, no wind and no Moon. However it was quite humid and the seeing could have been better. The only problem was the light source used to make flat frames needs some adjustment as the processed image had a massive gradient which was hard to remove without messing up other parts of the picture. To get around this I used a master flat from a previous session. 042 x 300 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 050 x dark frames 045 x flat frames 100 x bias/offset frames Binning 1x1 Total integration time = 3 hours 30 minutes Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Polar Alignment with SharpCap Pro Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks and Photoshop
  7. Another night with not enough time to image a faint object so we decided to target M52, an open star cluster in Cassiopeia. I didn't expect to be able to resolve the hydrogen gas clouds in the vicinity of the object with less than an hour and a half of exposure, but much to my surprise the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) came out nicely and the two objects together make a much more interesting picture. 017 x 300 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 030 x dark frames 040 x flat frames 100 x bias/offset frames Binning 1x1 Total integration time = 1 hours and 25 minutes Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, and Photoshop Equipment Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  8. After a couple of days of clear nights and the forecast looking good for another it seemed like a good idea to go to a place with darker skies than London and try a more challenging target. Alas, the run of good weather came to an end and upon arrival at Kelvedon Common in Essex the sky was murky with only Ursa Major bright and easily visible...so revisiting M101 made sense. The poor conditions meant that even with 6 minute exposures the galaxy was only just visible on the subs so I was pleasantly surprised at how the resulting image came out. 004 x 180 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 014 x 360 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 074 x dark frames 030 x flat frames 100 x bias/offset frames Total integration time = 1 hour and 36 minutes Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, and Photoshop Equipment Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  9. The Leo Triplet - a target that I needed to image again as previous efforts haven't really done it justice. This is the most successful attempt so far, largely thanks to the ZWO ASI1600MC Pro camera and by giving it plenty of exposure with not too much gain making for a smoother background and bringing out dust lanes and other details in the galaxies. 014 x 090 second exposures at 161 Gain cooled to -20°C 081 x 090 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 010 x 120 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C 016 x 180 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C Total integration time = three hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds 149 x dark frames 116 x flat frames 200 x bias/offset frames Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, and Photoshop Equipment Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Mount: Skywatcher EQ5 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Imaging Cameera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector Light pollution filter
  10. Yes, I thought hard about going for the mono version but my budget couldn't stretch that far and I don't think I'm quite ready for narrowband imaging just yet (definitely something for the future though)
  11. It's been a while since I posted anything here so here is my latest image. I'm starting the new year with a new camera (Zwo ASI 1600 MC) and I'm learning how to use it so I've been experimenting with different exposure times and gain settings (in this shot I mixed various exposures at Unity Gain with some at maximum gain to see what came out). I'm pretty pleased with the result but this was really just an experiment - in future I'll have a better idea as to what settings to use in order to reduce noise even further - but wow, what a difference from using a DSLR. Now, if the weather would only improve...
  12. Hi, thanks for the nice compliment. I have not yet returned to this target but I will eventually. I now have a ZWO ASI 1600 MC camera which when used with the 150mm Newt and the EQ5 should make a huge difference. So I am revisiting many old targets...starting with bright, well-known targets as I learn more about the camera
  13. The full Harvest Moon was so bright that the sky wasn't dark enough to capture galaxies and nebulae so the best option on the first clear night for weeks was to return to this old favourite. The previous attempt at imaging this cluster was done with a 400mm lens and the result was pretty good but I wanted to see how the 150mm Newtonian handled it and I quite like how so many of the fainter stars came out. However it always looks much prettier through the eyepiece. 32 x 75 second exposures at 400 ISO (40 minutes integration time). 64 x dark frames 31 x flat frames 21 x bias/offset frames (subtracted from flat frames only) Captured with APT Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop Equipment: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS Skywatcher EQ5 Mount Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR
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