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About AusGuy

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  1. Very impressive image of the Eskimo, especially for your first try. Being new to SharpCap, have you found the sharpening tool in the livestack's enhancement page? If not you might want to try it out - in particular the Gaussian Blur section where you can play around with the two sliders and get immediate feedback. You may find that you can extract even more on-screen detail of the Eskimo's fur hood and the shape of his face. David
  2. The night of the 18th January was as near perfect as you could want. It was only marred by having to wait until 10 o'clock for the Moon to set completely. But both clouds and dew were completely absent and the sky glow from my nearby city was quite subdued. A rare occurrence indeed. There are a couple of fairly easy diffuse nebulae visually quite close together in Carina and they made a good target for honing EAA skills with the new camera and software. NGC 3576 on the right of the image goes by the popular name of the Statue of Liberty Nebula and with a bit of faith you can just about see why
  3. Thanks Andrew, Paul. Sorry Andrew, I've now added my much loved Newt. to the original post details. David
  4. Since this is a mosaic of 12 panels I don't think that it will qualify for the EAA forums even 'though each panel was acquired by using SharpCap's live stacking feature. Reduced resolution attached. A full 5,684 x 4,107 pixels resolution version can be viewed at https://www.astrobin.com/full/374poi/C/ Vixen R200SS; ZWO ASIMC Pro; Baader MPCC, SkyWatcher EQ-AZ6 Pro. 12 panels each 28 x 4 seconds unguided exposures at gain 420. SharpCap Pro; Photoshop;
  5. Never say never Mike. Since an image of M42/M43 occupies just about as much real estate in my camera frame as this image of the Eta Carinae Nebula, its tempting to think of the two nebulae as being roughly the same size. But while M42 is about 1,500 light years away the Eta Carinae Nebula is 5 times further away at about 7,500 light years. So the Eta Carinae Nebula is much the bigger of the two. Knowing the angular dimensions of my camera frame and applying a little basic trigonometry I calculate that the part of the Eta Carinae Nebula shown in the image spans 176 light years horizontally
  6. The Eta Carinae Nebula is so big and bright that it is an easy naked eye object provided that local light pollution is not too bad. The best view of this object that I have ever had was at the eyepiece of a little 5 inch Newtonian some years ago. The sparkling display of star clusters was dazzling and the structure of the nebulosity was very well defined. Of course – no colour. Fast forward to now and a live stack of 15 second exposures easily produces all the colour that you can want albeit at the expense of star sparkle. This view of the inner part of the nebula was snapped last night before
  7. Thank you Mike. Cheers David
  8. In the early test viewing / imaging session mentioned above it quickly became apparent that SharpCap will be great for EAA outreach purposes when viewing targets that have a high dynamic range such as M42. In past public viewing sessions back in the almost forgotten days before Covid-19 when using other software I needed to use a range of different exposure lengths to show visitors the full range of detail that a camera can reveal. But with SharpCap it seems that to achieve the same result one can employ just one exposure setting and simply vary the positioning of the live-stack histogram's mi
  9. We've had nothing but overcast and rain for quite some time now so it hasn't been possible to get out and wrestle with the new (to me) ASI294MC Pro camera and so advance a much needed learning curve. In desperation I've revisited some earlier attempts with an easy target that gets pretty high in our sky. Anyway I've managed to salvage something from what I thought were rather poor results when captured. For what it is worth here's a pretty garish mosaic of two panels. Debatable as to whether it really qualifies as EAA but the SharpCap live-stack exposure lengths for M42 were only 4 seconds and
  10. Just come across this thread. Long ago when living in Kenya I bought a Mark IV mount and optical parts from the Farringdon Road shop and made up a fibreglass tube for the long focal length 8 inch mirror. Some industrial flywheels acted as counterweights. All pretty “Heath Robinson” but it worked. 1980 saw the track of a great total Solar eclipse pass over the Tsavo National Park so I lugged the mount, etc. to the park and found an old tree stump to act as a pier. The image shows the mount and the the early partial phase being projected by the extremely long and rather poor quality guiding
  11. As you probably already know, M30 is a core-collapse globular cluster located in Capricornus. At nearly -23 degrees south of the celestial equator it is readily seen here in the southern hemisphere. But it is not too far south to be invisible to northerners, as is evidenced by being included in the Messier catalogue. For EAA purposes it is nice to be able to show viewers (or at least it will be when this Covid-19 pandemic is over) that it has a sprinkling of intense blue stars that can easily be seen on-screen. And that should lead to a discussion of the apparently anomalous appearance of a gr
  12. Another view from the LMC back on 17th – the only clear night for some time before and since. It can truly be said of this region “here be giants”. The bright emission nebula NGC 1763 is commonly called the Bean Nebula, no doubt because of its curved bean-like shape. At about 280 light years in size it is eleven times the size of the Orion Nebula M42. This Hubble image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_1763#/media/File:N11_(Hubble).jpg nicely shows the star cluster emerging from its surrounding cloud of ionized hydrogen. Nearby nebulae NGC 1769 and NGC 1773 are of the same type.
  13. A break in the weather last night opened up the opportunity to revisit the LMC. Scattered early clouds meant that viewing in earnest could only begin later in the night. But that was OK because the LMC transited at about 11:30 pm giving it time to mostly climb out of the light dome over our neighbouring city. The temperature was in the high 20's C but the camera very quickly and easily cooled down to -10 C. The more I use this camera the better I like it. While waiting I had plenty of time to check polar alignment using PoleMaster and the Newt' s collimation using the Howie Glatter laser syste
  14. Thank you for your kind comments Mike, Adrian and Robertl. They are appreciated. As to weather – mostly cloudy here at nights at the moment with the odd evening cloud free – usually when the Moon is up! Not a particularly dark sky – about Bortle 4.5. It used to be better years ago but the increasing light dome from our neighbouring city is noticeably drifting us closer to Bortle 5. David
  15. A first “proper” image recording a near live view when out a few nights ago. The equipment and imaging details are : Vixen R200SS; SW AZ-EQ6 (in equatorial mode); ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled to -10C; Baader MPCC; SharpCap live stack – 4 x 60 seconds at 310 gain. PS used to remove a satellite trail and very slightly improve contrast (except for the innermost part of the Tarantula to preserve detail). For southern hemisphere viewers this is old familiar territory but probably not so much for our northern friends. The main take-away I get when dwelling here is how very large are m
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