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About mikey2000

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Interests
    DSLR and mirrorless 'terrestrial' photography, space, telescopes and now astrophotograpy
  • Location
    Leighton Buzzard UK

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  1. Yep, M51 is here again. It's conveniently high in the sky in the UK. I had a brief opportunity to get 12x1mins each of R G and B plus 26x1mins of L. I compared this to my dslr/eq3 version last year and I can see the difference that a large pot of cash makes. (plus a bit of PP practice). I think 99% of the difference is mount and camera. For 10000% less cash,I could visit hubble.com but where's the funin that? I'm quite pleased with these results! I wonder if it is worth adding some Ha as the moon is becoming somewhat prominent here over the next week or two. Will adding Ha improve things in M51? 2018 version on eq6R and ZWO1600MM-Pro LRGB in Pixinsight 2017 Sony A6000 on EQ3Pro. DSS and Startools
  2. mikey2000

    NGC 6946 The Fireworks Galaxy

    There are certainly some fireworks in this pic! I've not aimed at this target before - is it really that busy over in that patch of sky? The photo has an 'orange feel' to it. I suppose it could be in a hotspot for reddish stars but at the same time, I noticed Startools did tend to push things to towards the warmer colours. Did you notice that the white/blue larger stars have patchy/part colour?
  3. For a 'quick process' that looks very good! Maybe it's my eyes but there are a lot of starts that I think should be whitey/bluey but look a bit magenta here
  4. mikey2000

    M100- blow dryer

    Certainly that's a faint target if it's still quite 'discreet' after 4 hours.... I have considered pointing my rig at that same patch of space to see what it can see, mainly based on the amusing 'blowdrier' name. It's good fun hunting for the friends in this image. I'm always amazed by how many little faint fuzzies there are out there...
  5. mikey2000

    Ready to give up.

    Another +1 for platesolving. AstroTortilla was good but now I mostly use the Goto++ platesolving routine built into APT. I can go and put the kettle on and by the time I'm back, the target is dead-centre in the frame. Nice. However, for those nights when I fancy a bit of good old visual astronomy, I hardly even bother with polar alignment. Star hopping is fun! (But not with a camera...) regarding eqmod cables - I tried with a serial/usb cable via the Synscan Handset but found it a bit flaky. the full EQDirect USB-to-mount cable is far more stable. The proper cable was more expensive than the serial/usb version but well worth the extra money. (Over the last 12 months, I have definitely learned that in AP, it's worth spending the larger sum of money, just once. I'm losing count of how much cheap/plan-B stuff I have replaced with the real McCoy. Buy once, cry once is my new motto)
  6. mikey2000

    is my data good enough

    If you don't have Darks, Flats, Bias files etc, you can just skip to the registration/alignment and then stacking steps. You can also throw "dark flats" into the mix to further confuse the issue :-) With a cooled sensor, you can make a library of these reference frames and re-use them over and over again. I think maybe it's best to reshoot flat files every now and then (to better remove new dust marks on the sensor/optics) but I haven't bothered yet. I took a look at the data and it looks good to me. All you need is more of them. I also started with the Light Vortex tutorials. It all seems impossibly complicated at first but it starts to get easier with practice. Here is a my set of steps that I follow (although I still need to refer to the tutorials to get the right settings in each tool....) calibrate (darks, flats etc) CosmeticCorrection SubFrame Selector Script (as described in the tutorials) registration LocalNormalisation Integration Repeat for all 3 R G B and L Crop DynamicBackgroundExtraction on all stacks RGB Combine PhotometricColourCalibrate RGB NoiseReduction (Usually MultiscaleMedianTransform) MaskedStretch then maybe HistogramTransformation Combine RGB and Lum more NR? Colour Tweak? HDR/LocalHistogram Save! good luck... There are plenty of very knowledgeable PixInsight people around here. I've been given lots of help and great advice.
  7. mikey2000

    The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    I was snapping away at M13 as well, last night. With a half moon high in the sky, it seems silly to to go for faint stuff. That said, I couldn't resist a quick 45mins on the leo triplet and M51, as sort of exploratory mini-sessions to see how the half moon affects my new(ish) camera. Sadly, I'm not on EQ3 any more either but I will also stay tuned to this thread evermore. Emil - that's a vrey nice PHD graph! I'm looking forward to seeing some results. I saw in your profile that you are in Bushey - Max LP Factor!!! Do you go further away for imaging sessions?
  8. mikey2000

    is my data good enough

    I can't get the link to work. Can you repost it please. I'm still learning Pix Insight and it's been 100% cloudy since forever here, so any new data would be most welcome :-)
  9. mikey2000

    Synthetic luminance

    Interesting topic! I'm going to add a little 'how to do this in Pixinsight' sort of question.... So, I have a set of calibrated and registered R, G, B and L subs, all 60s long, all at the same gain and binning. Can I somehow make a synlum using the R G and B subs and combine with the L subs for a hopefully smoother/better SNR L integration? Whats the optimum way of doing this in Pixinsight?
  10. mikey2000

    PHD2 logs eq3 pro

    My EQ3 pro synscan had exactly the same 19-20second periodic error. The only way I found to flatten it out was to use 0.5s guide exposures. I also found that a little bit of polar mis-alignment helped the Dec guiding by forcing a little drift and so allowing uni-directional guiding in Dec. On the scatter graph, PHD2 could then get most hits inside the 2" circle and a decent concentration in the 1" circle.
  11. mikey2000

    What a b"£$%y stupid hobby.

    I feel this pain too! The best bit of March just went with only two clear nights (that didn't last more than a few hours anyway) and I think I've almost forgotten how to set all the kit up. I've got into the habit of turning on the controller laptop at some stage in the afternoon so Microsoft can have their wicked way. I suffered too many times with seemingly hours-long update/reboor sessions....
  12. mikey2000

    Guide scope difference

    Also, the mini guidescope is 130mm focal length and F4. So it's quite 'bright' anyway and 130mm gives quite a wide field of view. I've never struggled to find a decent star to guide. No tube rings or other fiddly stuff - it just clamps easily into the finderscope holder. Simple and easy!
  13. mikey2000

    Guide scope difference

    If it's any help, I was feeling curious recently and tried my guide camera (QHY5L-iiC) fitted directly into my main 150PDS imaging scope . I was wondering if it was worth upgrading to a big/bright guidesceop. I compared the guiding results to those I normally get using my QHY mini guidescope (same as yours) and saw practically no difference. So, I'm happy to carry on using this small and lightweight guidescope - it's very practical. So the difference in focal length/aperture made no difference really. I soon realised I didn't need to spend any more on guidescopes for my 150PDS for my setup
  14. mikey2000

    Camera orientation

    Yep, that's what I meant - a spacing issue. (with my coma corrector). It seems to be very very sensitive to the last fraction of a mm. I think my focus tube might be a little tilted too as it's worse in one side/corner than the other. That's for a different topic. Olly - the geometry of camera orientation vs star spikes etc is definitely a bit mind bending! I think I follow what you mean now. I'll have a go the RA/DEC alignment method for camera vs slewing. Does this always end up with the camera in the exact same rotation in the focus tube? I'm in the habit of re-using master flat files so I'd prefer not to have to keep re-building the master flat for different camera orientation.
  15. mikey2000

    March 20, 2018: Some quick luna with earthshine

    For me, pic 1 is good enough as it is.

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