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Everything posted by aparker

  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 tha
  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,
  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
  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 ey
  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!
  16. Very curious, and very well researched, as always. How much of the reddening of the cluster is due to intervening dust, versus just a superabundance of red supergiants?
  17. I've observed the same thing. Setting the max pixel displacement to a small value like 3-4 will eliminate the distortion.
  18. I have seen some decent looking Hyperstar images, although, as you say, not at the level of the best work of people using high-spec refractors. My point was simply that at long FL and typical pixel sizes, seeing limits resolution in most cases, including where I live, where seeing is rarely better than iffy. And, of course, that if light grasp is what you are after (as opposed to pristine image quality), then there's still no substitute for aperture. This is perhaps more relevant to folks doing real-time imaging, spectroscopy, and other CCD-enabled activities that aren't exactly astroph
  19. You can have a great time with a narrowband H-alpha filter this time of year. The bright nebulae in Cygnus, Sagitarius, etc are amazing in narrowband. I would also suggest giving your 65mm frac a try for some wider-field views.
  20. As far as detail on bright objects like NGC6888 goes, I think you are right. Unless you live someplace that's blessed with exceptional seeing on a regular basis, you are going to be seeing-limited at focal lengths well below that 11" SCT. For really dim objects, aperture always wins for any fixed pixel scale. A Hyperstar on that C11 would put you at roughly the same general focal length as the TV101, and would pull in an equally bright image much, much faster (albeit probably not quite as flat and crisp a field as the Televue).
  21. Great work as always, Martin. I have asked for an RGB filter set for my birthday, which fortunately comes along before next galaxy season... This is good information to have as I transition off of summer (narrowband) imaging.
  22. I think I agree with Paddy - the first image is probably closer to a balance representation of what's actually out there in terms of fluorescing gas. If you really want to do a deep dive into the delicate structure of the shell, I think a mono H-alpha-only presentation is the way to go.
  23. Great results, and welcome to the club/obsession. As a next step I'd suggest getting a Bahatinov mask (inexpensive on-line) for your C8 to get the focus really dialed in with your Lodestar. Also be sure to check the Starlight Xpress website for the latest software - now up to Starlight Live v3. Alex
  24. If you have a mono Infinity, or other mono CCD, I would suggest that the single most useful filter you can get for nebula viewing is a Hydrogen alpha filter.
  25. That is definitely in better focus than before!
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