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Costas Soler

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Everything posted by Costas Soler

  1. Thanks everyone! I took your advice, and used only one Barlow lens. I also used only 1 minute captures, and I think it helped a lot. I made this animation over a series of captures last night until the fog rolled in. As you can see, the quality is vastly improved. Thanks a lot!! 18066103_633290853523501_6965660471269523456_n.mp4
  2. It's a 17" CDK telescope, so the light takes a trip from the primary to the secondary, then from the secondary to the camera/eyepiece. Those two trips do add to about 3 meters, but luckily the scope can be a little smaller. It is still huge though, and requires a dome!! Here's a picture of it, with me to scale:
  3. hi! I'm using my school's 17" telescope and a Nikon D3200 to record video from Jupiter to stack. The scope I'm using is f/6.8, and I'm using two 2.5 luminos barlow lenses on it, which blow Jupiter up and I think give me around a focal ratio of f/43. The images I've included were captured with a video consisting of 1/30 second exposures at ISO 800. I'm pretty sure I'm not getting the most out of my camera and scope right now, I'm pretty sure I've seen other DSLR users get WAAAY finer detail with similar cameras on much smaller scopes. PLEASE let me know if you have any suggestions... I'll be imaging tonight again, and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!
  4. Thanks so much! I used autostakkert 2 and pipp, and here is the result for my first attempt at imaging Jupiter! Thanks a lot!
  5. Hi! I've finally been given access to my school's 17 inch telescope, which is a great tool for astrophotography. On Friday, I took about 20 minutes of video (total) from Jupiter, and I was hoping to stack this data in Registax. Unfortunately, when I try to select a 3 minute avi clip of the video, Registax simply stops working! This is agonizing, because I have really good data!! Forgive me though, I'm sure I'm making a newbie mistake, since I've really only done deep sky astrophotography using Deep Sky Stacker. I'm running Registax on Windows 10, and using a Nikon D3200 to shoot video at ISO 200 at 1/30 sec exposures. I then convert the MOV files into AVI's. I've included examples of some decent frames I captured. ANY help is appreciated!!! Thanks!!
  6. Hi! I have about 4 hours worth of data from M51. I captured my subframes with my 8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph and my Nikon D3200. About two hours of data are from 30 second exposures (some at ISO800 and others at ISO100). The rest are 4 minute exposures at ISO800 (these were captured after I bought my Orion Starshoot SSAG). In order for DSS to align these frames, I need to have different star detection thresholds for the 30 second subs and the 4minute subs. I tried doing this by using batch Stacking, but it still uses the same detection threshold for all the file lists (or so I think, since at 20% it stacks almost all the 4 minutes, but at 6-7% it only stacks one of the 30 second frames). And fyi, when stacking only the 30 second frames, there is no problem making an image. Stacking only the 4 minute subs also shows no problems. Let me know any ways you can think of to resolve this. I appreciate it!
  7. hey, sorry I had some internet troubles! Should be posted now:)
  8. Hi again! I finished what was for me the most difficult image so far - M81 and M82. I made this with 75X 4 minute exposures at ISO 800. I shot it from my site in Berkeley, so I had to deal with heavy light pollution that made catching the spiral arms the biggest challenge I've faced with imaging yet. Overall, I am pretty happy wit this image. I'm not sure if my camera (a nikon D3200) can do better given my conditions and setup (8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph, Orion SSAG, and an Orion Atlas mount). If you can think of any ways to improve let me know! Enjoy!
  9. Hi again! I finished what was for me the most difficult image so far - M81 and M82. I made this with 75X 4 minute exposures at ISO 800. I shot it from my site in Berkeley, so I had to deal with heavy light pollution that made catching the spiral arms the biggest challenge I've faced with imaging yet. Overall, I am pretty happy wit this image. I'm not sure if my camera (a nikon D3200) can do better given my conditions and setup (8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph, Orion SSAG, and an Orion Atlas mount). If you can think of any ways to improve let me know! Enjoy!
  10. Thanks so much for doing this! I never would have noticed on my own! I took the second image in the gif on July 26, 2016. Let me know if you can identify it!
  11. Cool! I think I see what you're talking about in the frame in which Neptune is farther to the bottom left. But I'm not sure if I can find it in the second frame. Do you think you could circle the potential moon(s) in both frames please? Maybe in a screenshot? That's such a great observation, and I'd love to look into it more!!!!! I really hope you can show me:)
  12. Hi! I just remembered I had made a short gif of Neptune this summer over two nights. My fast reflector has a huge field of view, so you can't really make out any detail on the planet's surface. But you can still definitely make it out, and see that Neptune did indeed wander over the time of a few nights - a planet indeed! Enjoy, and let me know what you think!
  13. Hi! I've been imaging from my new spot at UC Berkeley. The astronomy department gave me keys to the roof for astro imaging purposes, and even though it's a heavily light-polluted spot, I'm very happy with the results! Over the past week, I've been able to get some decent (by my newbie standards) shots of the Horsehead & flame nebula, as well as the Leo Triplet. The Horsehead nebula is made with 4 minute subframes at ISO 800, for about 3 hours and 8 minutes of total exposure time. The Leo Triplet is also made of 4 minute subframes at ISO 800, for a total of 2 hours and 46 minutes. I've included some closeups of the individual galaxies from the triplet as well. I did some serious layer masks on these guys, but I'm not sure if that counts as cheating!! :'D Please let me know what ways you think of for me to improve, and what you think I should keep doing! I took these with a Nikon D3200, an 8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph on Orion Atlas mount. I use an Orion SSAG on a 50mm guide scope. I'm using a 2" Astronomik CLS filter as well. Thanks, and enjoy!!! Horsehead and Flame Nebula: Leo Triplet: M 66: NGC 3628: M 65: My imaging setup atop my favorite Astronomy department
  14. I'm planning on stacking Ha frames alongside the images I took with an Astronomik CLS filter, and possibly with my Baader Oiii filter. Also great work PeterPCP. Thanks a lot!
  15. Hi everyone! And thanks again for the responses - VERY helpful! So here's the deal: I tinkered with he register settings, trying all the way from 2% to 80%, and I was getting nowhere. And the other parameters have never failed me before, and so I kept those how they were ("changing one variable at a time," as they say in my lab classes). So I went through all of my subframes ne by one, and about half of them had streaked stars! I would normally suspect I messed up the auto guiding, but I think that the problem lies with my roof. The roof of my apartment building is a bit rickety, and I think that my presence up there alongside the telescope (the whole time breathing, shifting in my chair, etc) caused vibrations that shook the scope. In all honesty, about half of the frames were not acceptable for use in a final image, so I ended up putting in only the frames in which the stars showed up as perfect circles. I tried stacking these with my stacking settings were at 46%, and it did the trick! I've attached the image below. It's waaaaay lower quality than the rest of my work, but at least it stacked this time! This is a jpeg of the original DSS output. I tried processing it a bit, but there is a really bad moonlight gradient, and not too much detail. I included this version in case it is more useful as a diagnostic tool. I think the main sources problems in my initial data were the full moon and the shaky roof. My plan to combat this on the next imaging run (this weekend if the weather holds) is to avoid shooting in moonlight (which should be a bit easier this weekend) and to set up at a better site. Luckily, my astronomy department gave me approval to set up my AP setup on their roof and image from there - a far more stable platform that even has a permanent 17" telescope dome (hope to take that out for a spin in the coming months!!!). Anyway, do you have any tips on how to get an improved version of this image besides more data and the improved site? Thanks so much, you guys are heroes!!!
  16. Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your responses So I'm trying to set the register settings to 10%, and this ends up showing several thousand stars! This is really unusual; I've used around 10% and even 2% on pictures with dimmer stars than this and ended up with good results (usually about 150 stars just like Gerry recommended). DSS is freaking me out haha. Any thoughts?
  17. Hi! I did an imaging run on the Flame/Horsehead Nebulae last night, and I got about 2 hours of data. About 20 minutes worth are with my hydrogen alpha filter. To my dismay, when I went in to stack my subframes on DSS, I get a message saying that only one out of my 52 frames will be stacked. I've been tinkering with the settings today, but I'm not sure if the problem lies with my DSS settings or with the frames. These were the first i've taken at ISO 800, so I'm worried that my stars may be a little too big/burnt out for DSS to actually recognize them as stars. Perhaps I haven't focused well enough? I think that's a distinct possibility with my hydrogen alpha frames. I did use my trusty Bahtinov mask, so I hope I didn't goof on that! Anyway, I'm including some representative subframes if you'd like to take a look. I'm taking the average for the subframes and calibration frames)
  18. Hi. I'm at school right now, but can I send you some photographs of how I connect mine when I get home tonight?
  19. Hi! I use a baader mpcc on my f/3.9 Newtonian. I get a little bit of coma around the edges as well, but almost all the objects image are small enough so that I end up cropping out the coma stars. I've used the baader mpcc for a while now, and I'm pretty happy with it so far.
  20. I'd say get an Orion Sirius mount, and a little imaging scope. I'd recommend trying that out with a little refractor. Some 80mm Orion refractors have great optical quality. If that's not exciting enough for you (don't feel bad if that's the case; it wasn't for me when I started out) I humbly recommend a 6 inch Orion Newtonian Astrograph, or a 6 inch Schmidt Cassegrain. Either would be fine on that mount in my opinion. They're not too heavy, but I probably wouldn't put anything much heavier than that on a Sirius. Most people will tell you that the learning curve on a Newtonian or a Schmidt Cassegrain is way too steep for a beginner, but I don't think it's too bad... I started out with an 8 inch Orion Newtonian Astrograph on an Orion Atlas mount, Ive had a life-changing experience learning with this setup, and I'll probably be using it for the rest of my life!:) The Newtonian Astrograph will probably be easier to learn on. It has a pretty wide field of view (what it seems you're used to) and it's pretty "fast," meaning that, while imaging, you'd typically need a shorter exposure time for this scope than you would for a "slower" scope of the same diameter (aperture). Also it is by far my personal FAVORITE telescope to use. It has the added benefit of being perfect for observing too! A Schmidt Cassegrain may be a bit of a hassle to start off with. It is a slower scope than the Newtonian, so you'd need a longer exposure time for any given image. Although it does give you what amounts to a close-up view of deep sky objects. I think an Orion Sirius mount running an Orion ED-80 refractor, an Orion Newtonian Astrograph, or a Celestron C6 is feasible and within your budget of 2000 euros. (In my opinion, I'd wait on the Schmidt Cassegrain though, but I include it as a possibility if you're very ambitious) Good luck, and here are some places where you can find the equipment I've mentioned:) http://www.telescope.com/mobile/catalog/product.cmd?productId=116276&gclid=Cj0KEQiAzZHEBRD0ivi9_pDzgYMBEiQAtvxt-P3B8CvKvfiQ5fa-J1JW26_kchkIFA2LlGKxH_HBHMgaAmr28P8HAQ http://www.telescope.com/mobileProduct/Orion-ED80-80mm-f75-Apochromatic-Refractor-Telescope/9895.uts http://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-c6-a-sct-aluminum-optical-tube-with-cg-5-dovetail-91010-xlt?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=CEL-91010-XLT&gclid=Cj0KEQiAzZHEBRD0ivi9_pDzgYMBEiQAtvxt-Exbgsc6zZSKeVXNiVp7qTRWLuPo50f5WBJTyTBWSc0aApvR8P8HAQ http://www.telescope.com/mobile/catalog/product.cmd?productId=116530&gclid=Cj0KEQiAzZHEBRD0ivi9_pDzgYMBEiQAtvxt-OeP2Rq4Teiz4QJ_ESDJrWYJd1oQB9bZuEQsBnzXk-oaAuYq8P8HAQ
  21. Hi! Thanks very much for replying! I think I'm gonna try doing another run at ISO 800. Before I do that, I was curious: why do you think that will help improve the image quality even though noise will be increased? I'm still getting a feel for photography, and I really want to understand it:). Also Marky1973 I'd love to see that tutorial!
  22. Hi! I've been into astrophotography for about 6 months now, and I really love it. I've had a chance to get some pretty decent pictures so far. However, I've been pretty displeased by some of my recent targets. I'm including one of my better images, the lagoon nebula (three hours 49 minutes of data, 3 minute subframes at ISO 400) to contrast with my not-so-good images of M1 and the Running Man Nebula. My M1 picture is from about 90 minutes of data, made with 4 minute subframes at ISO 400 as well. This one was a bit grainier than I'd normally accept. However, since it's such a tiny object to image with my f/3.9 scope, and no barlow, I was actually a little happy with this one. The image of the Running Man Nebula, is a different story. I included a jpeg of the unmodified autosaved picture that Deep Sky Stacker spits out (labelled "bobby.jpg" so I could find it easily on my desktop). No matter what I do with it, I really can't bring out much more data than you see here! In fact, when I do play with it in DSS or in photoshop, I can tease out a bit of the nebula's structure, but with it comes some horrible red noise. I don't know if this means anything, but when I try to process running man nebula, the orion nebula at the bottom of the image actually looks ok. Perhaps this is because some of the frames that cover the running man, but not M42 just have really, really bad data? Or am I making some incredibly newbie mistake and I've just had insanely good blind luck so far? Let me know how I can improve!!! Always willing to take another pass at this guy when the clouds leave! I am taking all these images with a Nikon D3200, an 8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph, an Orion Atlas mount, and using an Orion SSAG.
  23. Hi, I was about to pull the trigger on buying Backyard Nikon, when I realized that the software doesn't support bulb mode! Apparently Nikon has not released the software development kit (SDK) for the D3x00 models, so the software developers I've found simply don't have the tools to create software that can control some functions of the D3200 (grrrrr! Makes me mad too!). In my case, bulb mode is pretty much the function I use more than anything else on the camera. In fact, as I tried to find out if backyard Nikon supports my d3200, I was thinking to myself, "please, please, PLEASE let it support bulb mode! Please, if it can't control anything else, that's fine, just PLEASE LET BACKYARD NIKON SUPPORT BULB MODE!" Alas, I had no such luck. This was pretty disappointing to me, as I was really hoping to be able to control my camera from my computer rather than with an infrared remote. This is particularly important to me, because the camera won't be able to "see" the remote through the cooling box I'm building, unless I modify the box. Also, I won't be able to see the settings/images on the camera unless I modify the box further. Both these modifications involve cutting holes in the box's insulation, and installing transparent plastic windows (one so I can see the subframes and another so the camera's IR sensor can see the controller). I can definitely do this, and I expect my big peltier cooler is capable of removing any excess heat that may leak in through the windows. However, I'd rather there be no windows at all, instead having just a small sealed hole through which I can run a tether (far less heat is gonna get in through a plugged hole). Now that you (hopefully) understand my dilemma, my question is whether you know of any software that I can use to control a D3200 from either a Windows machine or a Mac. I understand there's no SDK available for software designers to build something to control bulb mode from the computer, but maybe some genius has written such a code without the SDK :D? Maybe there is software out there that supports a D3200's bulb mode that I just haven't heard of? Any information helps! And I'll be controlling my D3200 via a USB-2 tether if that helps. Thanks a lot!
  24. Hi! I am considering upgrading my imaging system for deep sky objects. I was wondering whether you thought it would be worthwhile to build a peltier cooling system for my Nikon D3200, or to just go ahead and buy a modest CCD, like the ZWO ASI120MM Monochrome (costs around 220 usd). I know that building a dslr cooler would be far less expensive, but I don't mind getting the ccd, if one like that mentioned above would provide significantly better images. hanks!
  25. Hi! I stayed up for quite a while waiting to take this picture at the beginning of October.... I've dreamed of doing this with a dedicated imaging telescope since I was a little kid, and I finally did it! This is a 2hr 33mn exposure of the Orion Nebula. I did it at ISO 400, with no darks (too lazy, but I'll do it before the next imaging night). I did this from my roof in the middle of Berkeley (my roof has a view of Oakland and San Francisco skylines, so I am in no means at a dark sky site!). I used my 8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph, an Orion SSAG, Orion Atlas Mount, an Astronomik CSL, and a Baader MPCCII. I processed this with Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop CS6. Let me know how I can improve next time, and what to keep doing! Thanks!
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