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About mikeonnet

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    Kent, UK
  1. So.... Although I don't own either of those two telescopes you mentioned and neither the AVX mount, but I do have the Celestron Advanced GT mount with an Evostar 80 ED refactor and find it more than adequate for AP, just make sure the mount is polar aligned or you will run into guiding issues. I think the mount you have will be more than capable with a 80mm scope. One the subject of refractors, have you considered 2nd hand? There is a Explore Scientific ED 80mm on ebay at the moment (Mint Condition is says) and although you haven't mentioned about camera's for imaging & guiding but maybe the pennies saved can assist with the additional kit for AP as auto guiding is a must.
  2. Hi Jon, as bobro pointed out, ensure you have the lastest version of Gimp installed 2.10.8 for 16/32bit support but I'm assuming you have tried adjusting the Colours > Levels within Gimp for the Black point and Midtone sliders. You should see a histogram spike in there and by sliding the Midpoint slider to the left slightly should brighten the image but use fine adjustments. Make sure the "Preview" box is ticked also so you can see the adjustments on the image as you adjust the sliders.
  3. Not sure what software your using but you could also try Platesolving. I use APT (astro Photography Tool) and use the Pointcraft button to platesolve. I takes a short exposure and by compairing the stars in the image it knows how far off the target is, then it slews the scope to within a few pixels of the intended target. I never knew about this until recently but it's absolutley amazing.
  4. Thank you all for your replies. I now have the comets database imported and thank you too Pierre, very useful website links (sorry I didn;t mean to hijack this thread). I had a quick go last night on a static tripod with a 200mm lens on my DSLR with 30 second exposures and I can see 46P but even at those short exposures, there is a lot of star trailing. I will try next time on the Goto mount but the forecast is not looking good for a while now but at least I managed to image a greenish fuzzy blur as my first comet image ?. Thanks again everyone.
  5. Maybe a silly question but how do you find out about which comets are passing? I'm guessing the answer is research but I often use the website dso-browser.com but this doens't mention about comets, only DSO's and planets. I wasn't aware of this comet and have never taken an image of one yet either but if it's currently around the Pleiades region, that's an ideal location from my back garden at the moment. Thanks.
  6. Thank you all. As you pointed out Geof, Neptune was to the bottom right of Mars, I should have flipped the image. To the other Geoff, yes you are correct. I used the ED80 with the Neximage camera attached. I took 1000 frames x2, one run with fairly low gain and 1/360 exposures and for Neptune i increased to full gain with 1/2sec exposures, stacked 50 frames of each and then layered them. I didn't adjust colours or anything else.
  7. Nothing to go "Wow" about with my image, but just though I'd share my planetary image of Mars & Neptune taken tonight in the same FOV. I only just managed to capture Neptune at the top of the frame but got it nontheless. Glad to have some clear sky for a change and it's been a while imaging planets instead of attempting DSO's and failing miserably most of the time ?
  8. Thank you for your replies. I shall try various gain settings along with the darks etc and shall see what happens for the next clear skies. As the saying goes, it seems like im trying to run before I can walk with mono imaging. Thanks again.
  9. Thanks Louise. Yes, regarding the camera I know it has a small sensor and narrow FOV but for small DSO's I thought it would be suitable to use. Regarding gain, I had this set to "Unity Gain". I cant remeber the exact gain level (110 rings a bell) without connecting the camera again. The subs all came out very dark with just a handful of stars showing and no nebulosity showing until DSS has stacked them all. Would this be normal for Ha? - I just assumed as it was Ha, the subs will appear virtually dark until streched. I have a lot to learn with mono imaging.... These were 300 seconds each sub. Lastly, the preview above do not have any calibration files attached to be honest. I did take Flats but the output file was the same. I guess it would help with vignetting when streched but I didnt take Darks as I had the sensor set to minus 10c. but I will try next time with Darks, Flats etc. It just seems I'm getting far better results with my humble Canon DSLR (not modded) espcially as I took over 2 hours of exposure time with just the Ha filter alone - although the Moon was close but again, I though Ha would block the light from the moon. I shall keep trying and experimenting but I do not want to upgrade to an ASI1600mm for instance and have the same issues, just a bigger image and I cannot afford one anyway!! ? Mike
  10. Hi all, Assistance needed please. Having recently purchased a mono camera (Zwo 290mm cooled), with LRGB & Ha filters, I tried it out the other day on the Cocoon nebula. The LRGB filters seem fine, however, the results from the Ha filter are dismal. I have attached 2x images (both from the same subs) which were 300 second, total (2hr 10min) exposures in Ha. The 1st image was using DSS "Average" stacking mode which is blotcy and the 2nd "Auto Adaptive" method that DSS suggests to stack with, I have no idea what's going on. You can see it appears I have amp glow? in the corners but I cannot see this 'Glow' on the RGB subs, although I used 180 second, 2x2 binning for the RGB subs. Any idea's / suggestions please?
  11. Hi Keithc, Not sure if these links will help but might be useful as well; https://astronomy.tools/calculators/ccd https://astronomy.tools/calculators/ccd_suitability Plus other tools found under the same Tab.
  12. If its any consolation, ive just had a frustrating 2 days just gone with poor polar alignment and imaged nothing (apart from star trails). I just purchased the sharpcap pro licence for a tenner which has the polar alignment tool and got me aligned within minutes. I have yet to see what the phd guiding graph will be like though as the clouds rolled in straight after getting the mount aligned. However, you mentioned your guide cam is not showing anything so this is obviously an issue. Check the gain settings / exposure time but maybe try the software that came with the camera (again something like sharpcap) to ensure its working.
  13. Very interesting... I have been using 1 counterweight right near the end of the shaft to try and keep the whole rig as light as possible, taking into account the Max payload wieght should be halfed (at least) for AP etc. Now after reading this, I have just added the extra counterweight with both weights near the top of the shaft to obtain balance and with the clutch released, it does feel much easier to turn with my hands, even though more weight has been added. Angular velocity (or I would have said - Centre of gravity ?) does make sense. I just need to give it a go now and hopefully my PHD graph will be much more stable with less subs ruined. One downside though is it's going to be even heaver to carry back indoors now.... Thanks all.
  14. Only 4x 20 second light exposures and 1st attempt at the Milky Way - Wow! They are lovely images. I'm assuming the bright object is Jupiter but I'm curious to know what the orange glow is on the horizon (far right), in the 2nd image or is it a town along the coastline?
  15. The biggest battle regarding AP is of course the clouds & weather. I think we have all had frustrating sessions and many wasted hours BUT when you do nail that DSO you have captured all by yourself, it is so pleasing & rewarding that this by far outweighs the disastrous sessions and keeps me wanting more. I recently purchased a ZWO mono camera with a HA filter, and to this date, I have managed to take.......... Nothing......... because of the weather. I have also still got to find out how long my exposures need to be with LRGB & HA compared to the DSLR i used. You could try running different imaging plans as in run 20x subs @ 3 mins and another plan @ 5mins etc and see the difference. I could never get past 3 - 4 minute subs on the DSLR due to the light pollution but I'm hoping the HA will make a difference when I get a chance. Anyway, Good luck and enjoy.....
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