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lux eterna

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About lux eterna

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    Star Forming

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  1. You are depending on three things: Polar Alignment, Star alignment and cone error. When you have done the PA, you can estimate how good it was by doing a quick drift alignment procedure. Then if you do the three star alignment, I think the mount will calculate the cone error and compensate for it in software (it will be stored even with power off). This is a good thing to do if you do not eliminate the cone error mechanically. (If you are just going to one single position during the session, you can just do a one star alignment on a nearby star, and the goto will be very accurate). Ragnar
  2. My planning workflow includes "armchair framing" using Stellarium. I can see exactly what will fit on the sensor and how many degees of rotation I need, and usually I do the rotation in advance. The scale is a picture I found with Google, then edited it in PS and printed on paper. I had to experiment a bit to make the scale ends meet nicely. Ragnar
  3. The puck rotating position can be anywhere, what matters is that the main scope is pointing north. With a dual setup, the puck can be 90 degree off from north. Ragnar
  4. The puck pointing position does not matter. But you should prepare the mount home position and also align the polar scope. Here is a good starting point. Ragnar
  5. Hi Andy, Besides the date format pitfall, you have the possibility to mistake some other star for being Polaris (I have done both). But that would probably not generate such a huge error (45 degrees out in RA), just wanted to mention it. If the sky is dark, it can be tricky to identify Polaris in the polar scope. Another idea: Have you done the polar scope alignment procedure (very important) ? Ragnar
  6. Hei Sqren, A couple of years ago I gave my HEQ5 Pro the Rowan belt mod, and recently I did the RA overhaul. I never replaced the big bearings, just the two small ones, and I did not touch the DEC department at all. For lubrication I used ("Biltema 36-1861 ") chain lube for bike chains which is very sticky. It works very well now. I would say that with the symptoms you describe, the most important parts to focus on are 1) the two small worm bearings (just a small axial tension after you put in the new ones), 2) the worm belt pulley (do the belt tooths engage perfectly over the whole circumference ?) and 3) too little backlash may cause intermittent binding when temperature falls. Also, the taper bearings - I only tensioned them by hand (without adrenaline =:) Ragnar
  7. You have a great image there, with both details and still a natural look. Could you just mention some hints on what you found most useful in the dust development workflow ? Ragnar
  8. My way of doing that is this: Stack and process a new image with priority for the stars (moderate stretching, good colours and sizes etc). With the starless layer as the bottom layer, put the new one on top and change the star layer´s blending mode to lighten. Then, to make it blend in nicely, create a curves or levels layer (above the star layer) with a clipping mask (so it only affects the star layer). Then tune the adjustment layer until the stars look natural. Ragnar
  9. Wonderful images, impressive processing (I like top one best). I am curious about the dithering & autofocus issues. I guess the operations may not be completed when the next exposure starts, but why would such a thing happen ? I know nothing about SGPro, but if it has control of all actions - how can it fail ? Ragnar
  10. Thanks Dave for the compliments, much appreciated ! My HEQ5 is like going on steroids... I have built an Arduino accessory that removes most of the PE in the RA stepper motor (the stepper itself has a fast, 0.6 seconds, PE) which makes life easier for the autoguider. Will make a write-up of it when time allows. Ragnar
  11. I much like the careful processing. Ragnar
  12. I like the conservative stretching - a very nice image. Ragnar
  13. Thanks Michael ! No I will not do a full mosaic, I think I may proceed with M33 instead. Ragnar
  14. I wanted to see what a closer look at M31 would be like, so I let my (cooled) Nikon D7000 spend 77 x 10 min during two nights staring at it. Meade LX200-ACF plus reducer is some 1600 mm FL and F8 so really not much exposure for the darkest areas, but I think the core came out pretty well, and also the Ha regions. Guided with NexGuide on a HEQ5 Pro - I just gave it an overhaul and new worm axis bearings. Happy to see it performs well after the surgery (thanks to http://www.astro-baby.com). Ragnar
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