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alexbb last won the day on September 12 2018

alexbb had the most liked content!

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About alexbb

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Romania, 45N
  1. I didn't save any notes on this one, it was only to test the performance of the scope/flattener combo. But, as I blended all the data I had available, I don't really believe it's relevant. Perhaps the old data was shot through the Esprit and filtered by Optolong narrowband filters (which I sold as the OIII filter was really reflective), the new data was through the 102ED and Astronomik 6nm filters. The flattener on the 102ED is a push-fit one. It might have been tilted a bit as other times I didn't notice any deformation on stars. OTOH, all the connections with the Esprit are threaded, but I noticed elongated stars with that too. Easily visible in this one: https://www.astrobin.com/362549/. Note: it is made of 2 panels in portrait orientation.
  2. Hello and thank you! Not sure about your user on astrobin, but I've more than a thousand recent notifications that I wasn't been able to follow yet due to many other activities. Will check them all one day. I've one example of narrowband image at hand, but I believe the data was blended with some Esprit data too. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VR3CCD_hTJYEsWAHHXXL7HbYl8CMphHO Narrowband stars are good. Broadband? Not so good, the following image was taken solely with the 102/714 ED with its dedicated 0.8x flattener. You can make an idea about the stars on the whole image. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xIM4ZSBuBLhNw9omr11uFYH8krmqXw4u I bought my Esprit 80 from FLO and it was checked by Es Reid. My copy displays some dark gap in the stars halos, but I don't see a symmetrical opposite gap. If I remember well, in the lightpath I saw a gap in the O ring holding a lens so that might be the cause. You can see at full resolution here https://www.astrobin.com/362549/ or here https://www.astrobin.com/389908/C/ Overall I'm happy with the small Esprit with regards to its broadband performance, but I'll probably use the larger ED for narrowband. Also probably, I will sell the 80 Esprit and buy the larger 100 with a good matching flattener that can deliver a corrected flat field for a 43mm sensor. Have a lovely day too and clear skies as well!
  3. I found the same with my Esprit 80. I focus manually using a Bahtinov mask. The stars in narrowband through the Esprit are A LOT softer/larger than through a recently acquired AstroProfessional 102/714 ED with FPL51 + 0.8x reducer. In fact, I didn't really check, but I believe the stars are softer in narrowband through the Esprit 80 compared to those I get through the SkyWatcher 72ED + the 0.85x reducer for 80ED.
  4. Thank you, Alan! After I connect all the cables, my habit is first to start cooling the camera. Then I proceed with the alignment, focusing, calibrating guiding, etc. By the time I finished setting up, the camera is probably cooled. Thank you, Craney! I used a few more MLT layers than usually and I also increased the parameters values higher too. It helps in making the spiral arms stand out more obviously. My 150PDS was a bit tuned. It has everything flocked, the focuser was tightened, the secondary mirror was replaced with a larger one too. I could have been more careful with the collimation/tilt, you can see to the bottom-left corner that the stars become elongated, but after the first night of lights I didn't want to mess up with the camera as that would imply to re-adjust a few things and retake the flats and it didn't actually bother me that much. Thanks! I found M31 much easier to process than M33. I didn't give M81 and M82 a real try yet as from where I live I get some nasty gradients depending where I'm pointing the scope. The IFN stands no chance to be obviously distinguished from the gradients so these have to wait until I carry the scope to somewhere dark. I do have good highlights for these 2 galaxies though.
  5. At the same astro party where I shot the Pleiades and partially Iris + the surroundings, I started gathering data for M33. For this image I used only a SkyWatcher 150PDS through which I recorded the photons on an ASI1600MMC. Curiously enough, I shot ~3.5h of luminance there under Bortle 2 skies, but a simple STF in PixInisght revealed less details than in 4h of luminance (through a LP filter) shot from home under Bortle 6-7 skies. Nevertheless, I put all the luminance together, I shot another 40mins of each RGB + 1h45min of Ha and made an image. A bit of colour only I also borrowed from an image I made 2 years ago, but in a small ratio. For full resolution: https://www.astrobin.com/yqr8xe/
  6. Yours looks smoother than mine, I really like how you brought up the dust, those hours of luminance really paid off
  7. Thank you, Alan! Indeed, there are a few dark skies around us. Some of my astrofriends went from Bucharest to somewhere in Bulgaria last week to another astrofriend. I'm from the western part of Romania so I travel to other places than they do, but my girlfriend's parents live at a village ~2.5h drive and the sky is Bortle 2 there. Good enough for imaging and being able to get inside after everything is set up is a big advantage
  8. Some excellent images you showed us, Richard! I love both this one and the Witch head! I'm never able to get results so good in such short integrations, despite traveling to dark sites for some targets.
  9. Thank you! It was more challenging than I expected. To capture, but even more to process.
  10. Thank you all so much! Thanks! It hasn't been so easy to get to some locations. Besides the required heavy gear, I doubled many of the items just to be sure I don't forget something. But, indeed, dark skies are not that far away. 2-3 or 5 hours long were the trips to get to those places.
  11. Thank you, Richard, Tristan! The time spent collecting the data is maybe less than the time spent processing. This image required a different type of processing compared to what I am used to. Now that I see it on another screen, it might accept easily a little improvement, but not sure if I can apply it on the final image or I should need to start from an intermediate step. Maybe after a while...
  12. I believe this is my longest project shot only under Bortle 1-2 skies. I shot for this image ~11h of data with a Canon 6D through and Esprit 80, 12.5h of luminance with an ASI1600 through the Skywatcher 72ED and some 1h x RGB with the mono + 72ED. 5h were from the last year, the others from the last month. The 6D and the Esprit 80 covered the whole area, but the 72ED and the smaller mono sensor only covered a part of it. Therefore, I had to plan a 2x2 mosaic and I had some tough times in aligning the scopes and realigning them after the meridian flip. Not everything went as planned so I had for one panel to travel once again to add more data. 2 mono panels have 2h of exposure, the other 2 have 3h. In the middle I added the LRGB data I had from last year. Processing was tough too, I spent a lot of time and I believe there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm pretty satisfied with this version. Not too aggressive noise reduction, stars are still there, I can call it final. In the image are present the ghost nebula and the Gyulbudaghian's variable nebula too. And a full resolution link to astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/n8y8sz/ Now off and out to real life Thanks for watching! Alex
  13. I prefer the second image, clearly, but both are very nice! There are a few things I'd do to the second image. At deconvolution, I'd tame down the highlights by increasing the deringing global bright. Maybe I would apply the deconvolution only to brighter areas. The other thing would be to sharpen the final image with some MLT. And maybe, just maybe, run some more aggressive ACDNR on chrominance. I like especially that the stars have no artifacts, a thing I fail to achieve many times mainly because I get tired/bored to edit an image for so long.
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