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Aussie Dave

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Posts posted by Aussie Dave

  1. I met a couple of fellow amateur astronomers last weekend and had an overnight stay about 2 hours north of Perth Western Australia. Had an great night talking about astronomy, telescopes and imaging. I  imaged a couple of planets and a couple of larger DSO's in the middle of nowhere with dark skies.

    I used my Saxon 8" Mak which I've had for quite a while now and only used it a couple of times for some visual. Collimation was slightly out and I adjusted as best I could.

    Captured in SharpCap with the ZWO ASI224MC, processed in PIPP, AutoStakkert, Registax and finished in PaintDotNet.





    • Like 13
  2. I noticed tonight a lonely Jupe video that I hadn't processed.

    Captured with the Celeston Neximage 5 Color Solar System Imager in iCap with the Celestron Nexstar 8i SCT with focal extension tubes, focal length about 2500mm.

    PIPP used to get the better 4000 frames from a 3 minute video with 20% of these stacked in Autostakkert with 1.5x drizzle. Wavelets in RegiStax and finished in PaintDotNet.


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  3. It's not often I do afocal on planetary. This was purely a test with two of the cheapest items you could buy from Ebay, an unbranded Moon and Sky Glow filter and a Celestron 10mm Kellner eyepiece. Tested in a Celestron Nexstar 8i SCT and captured with a Sony Cybershot 14mp DSC-W610 compact digital camera, handheld near the eyepiece, ISO 80, exposure -2.0, 8x zoom.

    Visually looking at Jupiter the eyepiece has light scatter and some ghosting from the bright planet and bright smaller objects but when the Moon and Sky Glow filter is fitted the view becomes better, dropping the brightness of Jupiter and giving more contrast to the gas bands, the Great Red Spot and and polar region gas cloud area edges showing well. Also there was some fainter detail starting to show on the edge of the central bands and within them on those momentary seconds of good seeing. Editing the image was easier too with more natural colour showing in the original photo without the bright planet washing everything out when not using the filter. I was quite surprised really with the filter. The Kellner eyepiece I can't really complain about either considering it's price, I just don't know why they wouldn't fully multicoat them as I'm sure they would perform much better. I'll definitely be keeping the filter.


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  4. 11 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

    I'm not convinced.

    I noticed that images open in Photoshop (grey background) appeared to have lower gamma than images in Astra Image (black background) which fits your theory. This is an identical image file with no editing.


    I took a screen grab in both programs and compared the two images, the Astra version was definitely lighter and noisier. The chap who wrote Astra couldn't explain this.

    To be honest, it drives me crazy and I wonder if PS deliberately uses a low gamma setting to make images look better! I understand i-products use strangely low gamma settings.

    G'day Neil. I'm not doubting that images opened in different image editors will look different but the issue here is the stretched look of images uploaded to a dark or black background website compared to a white or very light coloured website background, in this case especially planetary images.

    This has caught me out many times as well. I have to re-edit images just for a few websites with the black or near black background.

    The only way to test this would be to take a screen shot of an image you've uploaded to a dark background website and take a screenshot of the same image uploaded to a white background website, then cut both images out (just the planet), paste then both in to a new image and compare both side by side in an image editor. It's all to do with how your eyes and brain interprets contrasts. I guarantee both images will look exactly the same.

    Something else to consider that I've found is when I edit images during the day and upload them they look fine, then at night they looked stretched and vise versa, if I edit and upload at night they look fine and the next day they look washed out, wishy washy colours and lost contrast or is that the other way around lol :happy8:. It all just seems to be a balancing act. Dark background voodoo curse :happy3:

    I have problems reading white text on a dark or black background websites, after about 30 minutes or so of reading it stuffs my eyes up.

    [Edit] Strange, after writing this above I downloaded one of Kokatha man's Saturn images and check it in my two image editors both black and light backgrounds and it does seem stretched and a bit on the contrasty side (daytime here).

    I'm not knocking your work Kokatha man as great as they all are, much better than what I could ever achieve.

    I could be wrong and often am but I think the only way to get an explanation to this would be to ask a webmaster guru.


  5. 10 hours ago, Kokatha man said:

    ...my only concern is that there appears to be some significant stretching of the images after loading onto SGL - ie, the appear significantly brighter than they really are, which gives them a slightly washed-out appearance which is a pity... ;(

    Someone has been busy. Excellent Kokatha man, all of them. A lot of work has gone in to all that.

    In regards to the brightening of the images I've also noticed this. It's the dark background of SGF, there's no stretching involved. Your image photo editor probably has a light background so test an image editor with a black background. My final edit tweak is done in an image editor that has a black background to balance it all out before uploading here. It's the same with facebook too when you go to full screen, that's a black background as well. Optical illusion and our eye's playing tricks on us or something like that :)

    There's probably a technical term for it. I call it the dark background voodoo curse :evil7:

  6. Yes Stu and thanks, happy to finally get some better results and slightly better detail. I'm getting a good image scale with the Celestron Neximage 5 Solar System Imager but lacking more good frames. I'm tempted to get the Neximage 10.

    I'm now wondering if I should be doing some dark frames.

    Here's the bigger pic, 1.5x Drizzle with minimal editing, just some level adjustment, colour correction and light sharpening.


    • Like 1
  7. Rethinking it all again and taking note of the more experienced imagers here. This time I used 3x Drizzle in Autostakkert which I never use, I usually use 1.5x which seems to be a good balance and then reducing the size of my edited images as one of the final steps.

    Excuse me for exposing my pixels but if you stretch your head back from the screen it doesn't look too bad and I actually like the colour of these ones. I've held back on wavelets and final editing, as hard as that was.

    For a size and quality comparison I've also uploaded the 1.5x Drizzle image.


    3x Drizzle



    1.5x Drizzle, size increased to 200% to compare to 3x Drizzle, less sharpening used but it gave more detail :huh2:



    1.5x Drizzle normal size



    1.5x Drizzle normal size with more sharpening


    • Like 2
  8. Thanks all. I'll keep at it.


    On 04/04/2017 at 17:33, Mark at Beaufort said:

    Dave I checked this out further and I think Jupiter is 2022/23 and Saturn is worse at around 2026. Perhaps I should make that visit to the Southern Hemisphere.


    On 04/04/2017 at 17:47, Grotemobile said:

    Hi Dave. That is a real cracker. :thumbsup: Well done.

    Rubbish here @ the moment. Need to come

    over to sunny side. were U live.


    On 04/04/2017 at 18:59, Owmuchonomy said:

    Mark is right.  About 6 years for Jupiter and 11 years for Saturn before things improve significantly!

    Any AP folk are welcome here.

    I can't believe this. So when everyone up there gets it high in the sky it will be rubbish here for as many years before their return to good viewing? I don't like the sound of that. I'll have to get as many captures in as I can, while I can.

  9. @Grotemobile Thanks Steve. Jupiter this year hasn't been the best here, it's nice and high but conditions not good. Early morning conditions here get better in the burbs but Jupiter has passed and is much lower in the sky. I should at least give it another go when conditions improve even though it's lower. I haven't done that yet as I'm usually on to Saturn or trying my hand at DSO with a Sony a5000 which I've recently started. I'll just swing the scope around next time if I remember.

    Hope you all get better conditions soon.


    @Scooot  Cheers Richard. I like seeing the moons too. I've recently worked out how to reveal and enhance them from a stacked image. The first image was a larger ROI to get the 2 closest moons in without dropping the frame rate too much. Gotta keep that frame rate up.

    • Like 1
  10. 38 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

    Dave both Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the UK. Unfortunately the Declination is now negative so the Planets appear low in the Sky. I am not sure of the exact date when they go into a positive Declination but its around 2023 I think.

    Ye Gad! That is a Long wait. So I guess I'd better make the most of it while they're around here.


    • Like 1
  11. This 460 frame stacked image was from the same night as my previous Saturn post but Jupiter was captured a few hours earlier, conditions were not as good but some reasonable detail came through. The GRS starting to show with the smaller Oval BA further around to the left.

    Captured with the ZWO ASI224MC with a Celestron UV/IR Cutoff filter in Sharpcap and the Celestron Nexstar 8i SCT. PIPP used to get the better frames, Autostakkert to stack the best frames, wavelets in Registax and finished in PaintDotNet.


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  12. Saturn from last night. A 6 minute video was taken around 4am with the ZWO ASI224MC in SharpCap and Celestron Nexstar 8i SCT with focal extension tubes.

    PIPP used to get the best 3000 frames and arrange in quality order, stacked 600 of the best frames in Autostakkert with 1.5x Drizzle, waveletts in Registax and final edit in PaintDotNet. To reveal the moons which were not visible I bumped up levels to lighten the background, then magic wand each moon, cut them out and paste each one in to a copy of the original image. I think I have 4 of Saturn's moons which is a first for me.


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  13. I've only just got in to DSO photography recently with this being my second attempt at the Carina neb on the 24th March. I didn't need to do much with this at all in the final stacked image apart from some level adjustment and slight colour correction. I'm very pleased with this even with it's faults.

    Taken with the Sony a5000 and C8i SCT. 4 x 15 seconds, 9 x 8 seconds, ISO 6400. Each of the 13 light frames has a dark frame added from the camera. Aligned and stacked in DeepSkyStacker, final edit in PaintDotNet. I wasn't sure on the colour so I just guestimated. I did a quick search for images online in mid editing but the results shown were all using filters of some sort or another.



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