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About TakMan

  • Rank
    Proto Star

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Design, Photography, Foreign Travel, walking, astro (of course!)

    Motor Racing - used to be the coordinator for the BRSCC Fiat Racing Challenge.

    Trick/Stunt kiting (Benson 'Gemini')

    Console Gaming (mostly PS4 - Project Cars 1/2 (Fanatec CSW-V2 etc) and XBOX) plus a retro collection: Neo•Geo AES, Vectrex, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, XBOX, Jaguar, Virtual Boy, N64(US), Gamecube(US), Wii, etc, etc
  • Location
    Midlands 52° N
  1. 7 sightings over the last week... some better than others, but each observation offering something slightly different. Caught the crescent moon as well, so thrown these in here. Have loads of data to enjoy processing over the next few weeks, but here are a few that I've sorted so far (in edition to my two recent posts). Will add to this thread as I sort... Damian Crescent Moon D7000 + BORG90FL + 1.08x multi flattener 9.55pm 24th June 2020 Shot through tree branches to add a frame and some atmosphere over a straight shot. NLCs 24th June 2020 11.52pm D3 + 24-70 6sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 Had hoped to get a shot of the moon embedded in the NLCs, but not to be... Plough, Pole Star and NLCs 25th June 2020 11.11pm D3 + 24-70 5sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 A lovely subtle display, camera virtually pointing straight up. Not quite in focus. Reminded me of a Coronal Northern Lights display... NLCs 25th June 2020 11.14pm D3 + 24-70 4sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 NLCs 25th June 2020 11.39pm D3 + 24-70 5sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 The shot I had wanted to capture in my head the night before... NLCs 28th June 2020 3.23am D3 + 24-70 0.8sec f/2.8 44mm ISO200
  2. Don’t think think so, will check later for you... I’ve been chasing them both in the evening and morning and it’s all become a bit of a blur! Did see them (very faint and low against the horizon) last night whilst photographing the crescent moon...
  3. This mornings display was far more subtle than the previous day, but actually made for a nice shot. Very high up and in a lovely fan shape which I’ve not seen before and my NLC sightings are now into double figures. Composed at a jaunty angle to anchor the image with the tree and provide some scale, dodge the street lights and capture the brightest segment. They must have extended right up towards the zenith... Nikon D3 FX (full frame), Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, tripod mounted, cable release and mirror lock function. Processed in Adobe Lightroom. Taken from north Lichfield (Staffordshire). Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.6 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, 3.33am Got a few more (all basically the same to check through) and need to work out the stars/constellation (Cassiopeia), above right at some stage.... off now to do some more NLC hunting! Damian
  4. No worries.., Looks like a few chances this week, so fingers crossed for you! D
  5. Yes, the timings were there! Usually they are lower, especially the ‘after sunset’ ones, but I’ve often found that the pre-dawn NLCs are actually higher up. This morning I used the 14-24mm lens, angled up... so some of the clouds would have been reaching up to the zenith. If you were observing Jupiter and Saturn riding low in the South then all you needed to do was spin around and look up 45 degrees!
  6. Timings are provided with each shot Kerry. Nothing last night (sunset), probably due to a bank of cloud on the horizon around 11.00-11.50pm (when I’d walked to my usual site for photography - see last years link). But, I woke (a bit late) this morning around 3.15am and there was a nice subtle display, in a high up fan effect, so I did image them... will process them later and add to a new thread... D
  7. Wasn't prepared gear wise, so made do photographing from home and trying to shield the lens from the street lights... ended up concentrating on close up shots. ‘Trusty’ or should that be crusty, old Nikon D3 FX (full frame), Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and Nikon D7000 DX with Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII, tripod mounted, cable release and mirror lock function. Processed in Adobe Lightroom, just trying out some different colour palettes. Taken from north Lichfield (Staffordshire). Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 1.3 sec, f/3.2, 62mm, 2.46am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 1.3 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 2.50am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.53am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.55am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.57am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1.3sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.58am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.12am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.12am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.13am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.8 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 3.17am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.6 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 3.18am A link back to same sort of time last year. might even be clear again tonight... Damian
  8. Thanks for your thoughts on this. P stands for packed, not progressive. Plus it's the Mono8 data that is showing the vertical lines, Mono12/12P is fine... Here is the info from Basler:
  9. Sorry for the delay in posting, this has put us out of sequence now! I missed the opportunity to see how it had progressed yesterday and missed out on getting some great images after seeing the results on here! Still plenty of data to go through, but I'm pleased with this... perhaps my best solar image to date. Was very lucky with the superb seeing around 8.56am. Took my usual 6000-9000us exposures (which should allow me to process the solar surface and prom in one exposure), but as the seeing was so stable, I tried a 18000us exposure and went just for the prom. Best 400 frames from 1661. TSA102s > Baader 2" UV/IR on the TV diagonal > Quark Chromo > Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174m). Captured in Basler's Pylon software as separate Mono12P (packed).tif files on a MacBook Pro as it doesn't allow saving out as a movie file)! Processed in AS!2 and ImPPG (via Wine), then PS CC2017 Two colour variations: I've tried making a rough 'scale image' using this chaps resource (it was linked to a week ago or so): https://sites.google.com/site/astroblue1/astronomie/brico-utiles And now onto my issue. As some of you who've read my previous posts will be aware, SGL member Vlaiv has been helping me sort the optimum gain and offset for this Sony 174 based camera (all new to me being a CCD based deep sky imager). We started with Mono12P as it offered increased bit depth but faster capture rates (32fps more), over 'standard' Mono12. Then I switched to Mono8, to sort the best settings. In Mono8, I’m getting very obvious vertical lines in the Dark/Master Dark Flames. They are also apparent in the master BIAS frames (that we used to measure the correct gain/offset), the flats/master flats and also the dark ‘void of space’ areas in the lights and in the final image. We have no idea why. I've changed cables, exposure settings, computer ports. Until James who writes OACapture supports the camera, I can’t test to see if it is perhaps a software issue… They are not (or no where near as obvious) in the Mono12 or 12P data...? Before anyone asks, Mono12P isn’t something that most software would recognise, but the Basler software obviously sorts and saves the .tif files in a standard way, so that AutoStakkert, Photoshop, etc can open. Does anyone have any ideas...? Have any other 174 chip camera users seen these vertical lines (see screen grabs below)..? For reference, the settings we came up with are: Mono8 - Gain 30.5 Db / Offset (Black level Dn) 15 Mono12/12P - Gain 18.5Db / Offset (Black level Dn) 40 ----- Mono12P master dark_stretched in Ps Mono8 master dark_stretched in Ps - see vertical lines Mono8 master flat 2000ms_stretched in Ps - again you can see stronger vertical lines in the Mono8 over the Mono12P... Mono12P master flat 11000ms_stretched in Ps Regards, Damian
  10. Super images - prom has come out really well, especially the tall, fainter one!
  11. Very quick look at the solar data from earlier this morning. There’s a nice active region rotating into view, jolly decent of it to be next to a prom - two for the price of one! This was taken at 9.49am in Mono8 (rather than12p), 550 frames stacked from 4125 images, taken over 25seconds @165FPS - 2000us exposure. Dark and flat calibrated (need to look at this also). Was looking on SGL and as others have said, seeing was horrendous and I think I missed the best time by about an hour or so... hopefully got some better data to look through and fingers crossed another chance tomorrow... TSA102s > Baader 2" UV/IR on the TV diagonal > Quark Chromo > Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174m). Captured in Basler's Pylon software as separate Mono8.tif files on a MacBook Pro. Processed in AS!2 and ImPPG (via Wine), then PS CC2017 So, a quick bodge for now! The GONG image from the same period for ref. D
  12. Very nice... know what you mean about the seeing! Had a quick go, but now have mother to look after, so it’ll be later when I get to review the data... left the gear out in case I get back sooner than expected... perhaps conditions will have improved- best of luck with your endeavours! Looks like you’ve sorted that noise issue, what was the cause..? D
  13. Experimenting with processing, learning and re-learning. Wringing the neck out of the (same) data.... making slow progress. This time processed twice - once with the flat to remove the dust motes on the solar surface and then without for the prom/space. Mashed back together in Photoshop. Tried a variation on the colour palette as I'm still looking for my own 'look'. Have not even opened the other data sets, perhaps tomorrow, once I've completed my Mono8 gain/offset experiments for Vlaiv to work out the optimal settings for the camera! As 'tooth_dr' said above, a massive learning curve this solar imaging lark! Good fun though and keeps the ole brain cells ticking over... Alexandra is another who has been helping out and answering my odd queries, a big thanks to her also . I know she is not a fan of the 'inverted tone curve', so I'm keeping away from that... for now! I still have this dark line between the spicules/edge and the surface which bugs me greatly!!! D
  14. Hi all... Any clever Mac OS X users out there that have successfully ‘wrapped’ the later, 64bit version of AutoStakkert (AS!3)? I managed to sort the 32bit versions of AS!2, RegiStax and ImPPG, but can’t sort this software. I’ve read there were issues with the 64 bit version of Wine and a conflict with OS X. If there’s anyone that can help (ie supply a wrapped version for me), I’d be most grateful... especially as I’m really getting into this lucky imaging solar/lunar lark! Thanks in advance, Damian
  15. Thanks for the responses, advice, etc. Michael, I'm confused..."Flats don't correct accurately in areas where the signal is saturated." My issue is that the flats are overcorrecting in the dark areas of the light frames, but successfully removing the dust in the lighter (sun surface area), fine - see here... Alexandra - Hi ! Yes, "when you have such a close up with huge lights and darks it will compensate in the opposite direction.", yep, that's the issue! Also, "do you have two images here and doing a composite?", no this is a stack of a single set of exposures. But I see what you're saying. Process TWICE, once with the flats to remove the dust on the solar surface and then again WITHOUT the flat for the prominence and the black 'space'. I'm off to try that in a mo! "Why are you still using ASK2? ASK3 has been around for ages is is much better" - because I'm on a Mac and running AS!2 (32bit) in Wine (emulation), and haven't worked out how to 'wrap' AS!3 into the newer Wine package as it's 64bit ! If any Mac folks can lend a hand, please pm me. "looks like you got round the dust bunny situation anyway", yep, like you said - fudged after, I'd like to not have to! Thanks for the praise and all your help and advise. I'm hoping when the D-ERF filter comes and I switch over to the TEC140, I'll see another positive jump in my images On another note, I've just successfully removed most of the dust this morning using these sensor swabs, so things should be better next time out! And lastly, I should send a shout out to Vlaiv, who has been unbelievable with his help and advise helping me get the best out of this new camera. The amount of time this total stranger has helped a fellow amateur astronomer out is just crazy - I'm, indebted to him - 'thank you V'! I'm amazed he hasn't told me to 'sod off'! Damian
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