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aparker

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About aparker

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    Star Forming

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  1. Very nice work! Really emphasizes what can be done with conventional camera lenses. Got to give that a go one of these days.
  2. It actually makes a lot of sense that it looks better in H-alpha. A significant part of the problem with pushing the FR really hard may be chromatic aberration (inherent to some degree in any refractive system), so you eliminate that by using only one wavelength.
  3. Thanks for the feedback - I may give it a try just as acquisition control for the ASI (if I get the ASI)...
  4. Yes, that is indeed a problem. From my browsing of the CN forums when the ASI1600 launched, any software to run the camera, even for AP on a Windows machine, was a pretty dicey proposition. Seems like the rush to get new hardware out tends to leave software development behind. I've been thinking about testing out AstroLive USB. They guy who writes it seems to have a deal with ZWO such that it is free for folks who purchase ZWO cameras. It also has a 30 day free trial offer, and will also work with SX cameras, and importantly for me has a native Mac implementation. My major concern is that I have to find a 30 day period when I'm pretty sure I can get out 2-3 times to test it, which is not easy to do.
  5. For the final word on Hyperstar, just give the guys at Starizona a call. They are super-helpful and will be happy to make sure you get your scope set up right (they are the manufacturer so should have the correct information).
  6. Thanks Rob. At least for the "summer classics" in Cygnus and adjacent regions of the Milky Way, the FOV with the Ultrastar just isn't going to frame to whole subject (it is about 1 by 1.3 degrees). This would include the Veil, the N.A. Nebula, M31, The Heart and Soul Nebulae, California Nebula, etc. Even come winter, that FOV will be crowding the Rosette and will clip the outer bits of M42. Conversely, a micro-4/3 sensor like in the ZWO ASI1600 would afford a 2 by 2.6 degree field (with smaller pixels as well), and would handily capture all of those objects, save the entirety of the Veil, in a single frame. With a bigger chip, 400mm is a great FL - that's why all the serious AP guys love their 70mm APO refractors. I still like the Cassegrain-focus 1260mm too, for small galaxies, and would actually love to have something in-between around 800mm as well. Alex
  7. Bad column of pixels in the my Ultrastar. A defect it did not have when I bought it but has developed over time. If I was using dark subtraction it would be less visible.
  8. And the two bits of the Veil quickly pasted together in GIMP. Should learn how to do this better.
  9. Finally, back to unfiltered starlight, for another try at a galaxy cluster, around NGC507 in Pegasus: With 60 sec subs you can see a lot of galaxies, but the stars are so big as to lessen the impact. Finally, left a stack of three minute subs on M33 running while I wrote the preceding. This is 6x60 plus 9x180. Yes I am guiding for the 60 and 180 sec subs. Overall an entertaining three hours of EAA with the new toy. Definitely adds a lot of potential to the basic C8, especially for narrowband viewing of emission nebulae. But I need a bigger sensor :-)
  10. Adding the H-alpha filter requires a substantial change in focus. Fortunately the Bahatinov mask makes this quick and precise. First up, and two-part tour of the Western part of the Veil, NGC6995: Up to 60 sec subs now, with the narrowband filter. Here is a section of IC1848, the Soul nebula: Again, bigger sensor required here...
  11. Got the HS for my C8 almost a month ago, but weather and work have kept me from really exploring its potential until now. I tried it out on both galaxy and nebula targets, the latter with an H-alpha filter (I got the filter-drawer option on the HS, me being a committed mono camera kind of guy and all). First up was a small spiral gx, NGC6946 in Cygnus. Nicknamed the Fireworks Galaxy for the plurality of supernovae that have happened there in recent decades: Two minutes worth of 10 sec subs. Lots of stars in Cygnus... Next a quick look at globular cluster M71, shortened to 5 sec exposures to try and keep the stars under control: Then on to the Deer Lick group (NGC7331). My general feeling is that the short FL (400mm) is not ideal for a lot of these smaller galaxies. It seems attractive to try and frame them, or get lots of galaxies in one shot, but the surrounding stars are so bright relative to GX that they tend to wash things out, at least near the plane of the Milky Way. So how about a big galaxy instead? That's but 5 minutes total of exposures. But I need a bigger sensor, even at 400mm. I'm thinking about one of the new ZWO micro-4/3 cooled CMOS jobs. Mono, natch. Next post, we'll shift to the H-alpha filter.
  12. Nice Crescent. I'm impressed with how flat the field is given the aggressive focal reduction you are using. I used to have a cheap 0.5X FR but gave up on it because of the coma it produced.
  13. Errol, great looking captures - H alpha is amazingly enabling for urban EAA. FWIW, I was never able to get the saved darks to work in SLL either. With the latest version you can use bad pixel removal instead, which is independent of exposure time and works as well or better than darks.
  14. Be cognizant that you may be a long way away from focus, depending on how you are trying to attach the Lodestar to the telescope (e.g. into the star diagonal). If you are placing the camera into a 1-1/4" compression fitting (i.e. an eyepiece holder), the fastest way to find approximate focus may be moving the camera manually in and out without tightening the holder. I'd suggest putting an eyepiece in the scope, centering a bright star like Vega, then swapping in the camera, with the thought in mind that the chip plane of the camera should wind up at the same place as the field stop of the eyepiece. Slide the camera back and forth with the SLL software set to frame and focus mode with very short exposure, like 0.1 sec, so you can see what changes in real time. You will quickly find the point of approximate focus. Now clamp the camera in place and use the focus knob to fine tune. Good luck!
  15. Sara, Aethetics of the actual object aside, this is the best Crescent Nebula I have seen anyone do. For me, a big part of why AP is fun is beceause it enables us to see with greater clarity what's actually out there in the universe. You have done that spectacularly with the oxygen shell around the fluffy inner hydrogen nebulosity. I have never seen an image that shows it enveloping the inner nebula so clearly and three dimensionally. Congratulations!
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