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About feilimb

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    Angling, Software, Astronomy, Film
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    Cork, Ireland
  1. Capturing 'Darks' the next day

    It is a pretty amazing piece of free software and has really good support via its own forum. I have found it a bit finicky at times though, sometimes leading to frustrating sessions - but I guess you can have that with other competing tools also. The ability to run it entirely on a Raspberry Pi 3 (running Ubuntu Mate) makes it very appealing and portable.
  2. Capturing 'Darks' the next day

    Thanks spillage, I have actually been using the guiding software which comes built into Ekos/Indi (guide module is described here: http://indilib.org/about/ekos/guide-module.html). The software is running on a Raspberry Pi 3 which is connected directly to the HEQ5 mount (as well as the DSLR, and guiding camera - QHY5LII Mono). I think it is possible to run PHD2 on the Raspberry Pi also and use it as an alternative to the one built into 'Ekos' but I haven't managed to figure that out yet.
  3. Capturing 'Darks' the next day

    Thanks for the tips, interesting about the temperature of the sensor as opposed to ambient temperature. I had a look using the 'FITS Header' utility within PixInsight at some of my light frames to see if any temperature was recorded, but there does not appear to be any (it's a fairly old Canon 450D). I guess I'll just experiment and try to eventually build up darks library. I have been trying to dither between frames, but my auto-guiding software keeps failing saying 'lost track of guide star' so I have just gone without dither for the last few sessions.
  4. Just a quick question on the capturing of darks as I have only recently started using calibration frames. If I don't get a chance to capture darks on the same night as imaging the lights, could I do the following in theory on the next day: If the outside temperature is similar to the previous night when lights were captured: set up the DSLR body outside (not attached to telescope) with clip in cover over the lens adapter part of DSLR (or does it need to be attached to telescope?) capture 'N' dark frames of the same exposure length, and ISO speed as the lights from previous night It seems like the most important thing is that the ambient temperature is similar to the previous night, and capturing darks the next day has the benefit of being able to take them even if the weather is poor (with some rain I could put the camera in a shed which has no insulation and would be similar temperature to outside). Another mad thought - could the camera even be placed inside the refrigerator for the capturing of darks, or maybe this would be too cold.
  5. binning

    It may be the process called Resample in Pixinsight.
  6. @Sunnieboy Here is that link I mentioned for the DSS settings I ended up using in case it is useful: https://www.star-watcher.ch/image-processing/deepskystacker-settings/
  7. Actually after taking all of my 3.5minute exposures, when I then took the 30s exposures I couldn't get over how much was actually in the 30s ones. In a way the 30s exposures seem to have a good balance between not being too blown out in the middle but still having good detail in the nebula - I'm guessing the main advantage to going with longer exposures (for M42) is for capturing the fainter detail towards the 'suburbs' of the nebula and the faint nebulosity around the accompanying 'running man nebula'. To capture the 'Trapezium' (the 4 stars in the center of the Orion nebula), I finally took 10 x 10s exposures - but after looking at them properly a day later I could see that was actually too long and they still kind of blow out. It looks like to have captured those 4 central stars properly I should have used something like 3-5s exposures. We ended up having snow showers yesterday evening, which finally cleared to immaculate skies and frosty conditions by 11pm... but with work in the morning I didn't manage to start the next project yet @Sunnieboy by the way there is one more link I did not post above, which gave the DSS stacking settings posted on a blog, when I used those settings myself the stacked image finally started to look right. I'll see if I can dig up the link later on.
  8. Good stuff I hope some of the links are useful. I found David Aldrich's tutorial on YouTube very good and he has another one about 45 minutes long on his general workflow process for DSLR image processing, it is also well worth a watch (and rewatch..!). Looks like clear skies here in the south of Ireland tonight, so I'm hoping to start my next project - I'm not sure yet what the target will be, maybe the whirlpool galaxy, or maybe something a little larger..
  9. I recently obtained a SW ED80 DS Pro second hand via this forum and got a chance to give it first light recently. I have been dabbling with the DSLR (unmodified Canon 450D) and my Celestron 8" SCT up to now but never got around to taking flat frames or dark frames until this week. About a week ago I captured about 90 minutes of 3.5 minute subs (plus darks and flats) on M42 in my first attempt at this target. I took 10 x 30s exposures, and 10x10s exposures also in case I managed to use them for the core area. Over the past week I have gone through a bit of a learning curve with PixInsight, using tutorials from Harry's Astro Shed (http://harrysastroshed.com/pixinsight/pixinsight video html/pixinsighthomenewbie.html ) to learn some of the basics, David Alrich (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB0_g58CQBY ) to learn how to do some HDR composition for combining different exposure lengths for the core of M42. I also had a look at Trapped Photo's tutorial but got lost about 1/3 of the way down (http://trappedphotons.com/blog/?p=642 ). I also found this tutorial from 'Eor Equis' very useful as my final stacked image in DSS kept coming out totally green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mqHpcbzlBU. The 4 images below show what were the final results I achieved on 4 different nights, with the last image incorporating the shorter exposures and HDR composition to see more detail in the core. It has been a good learning curve anyhow and I'm looking forward to starting to capture some more targets, it will be hard to avoid shooting M31 on my next clear sky..
  10. Hi, if the WO star diagonal is still available I will go for it at the £68 revised price.
  11. HorseHead

    Hi Stu well done on the image it looks great. Can I ask did you have any filters in the Canon DSLR or whether the camera itself was modified for astrophotography? The reason I ask is last night I had my first attempt at the horsehead myself - I shot a single 5 minute light frame at ISO800 (on my Canon 450D). I know obviously I would need more than one light frame, but I figured a noisy horsehead should be visible in a single frame, however when I opened it in PixInight and stretched the image there was no sign whatsoever of the nebula. I started wondering if my exposure was too short at 5 minutes or why I couldn't see anything..
  12. Here is my first attempt at M42 - the image is made up from lights and calibration frames achieved over 2 nights. All lights were 3.5 minutes @ ISO800, with a total of ~87 minutes integration. I used a SW ED80 DS Pro (recently got this 2nd hand through the forum) and a Canon 450d unmodified. Next thing is to try to blend in some shorter duration exposures for the core area which is of course over saturated in this version
  13. @lux eterna Many thanks for the suggestions, the very basic one of estimating 15 degrees per hour in RA is a great tip in terms of where the scope can move to safely from a starting point. Your setup and cable management look really well in the photo - out of interest is the bubble wrap surrounding your OTA for some kind of insulation / dew control, or just for protection when transporting? @LightBucket Thanks, I hadn't realised there are mount limits in the software, I will take a look but after seeing the software send my scope to the entirely wrong place in the past I'm not sure how much confidence I have in it. Maybe I should check the firmware version on my HEQ5 and ensure I have the most up to date.
  14. Just wondering if anyone has tips on avoiding possible collisions between a telescope & DSLR mounted on a HEQ5, and the legs of the tripod? On a couple of occasions now this has come very close to happening for me, sometimes due to software error when I instructed my (aligned) mount to slew to a target and a slew brought the telescope to a completely different area of the sky. If I am inside the house and issuing slewing commands remotely, there is no way of keeping an eye on the scope to ensure it is slewing to the correct area. Is the safest thing here to always be by the mount and if one sees the scope or camera starting to get dangerously close to the tripod legs to just kill the power to the mount? Surely there must be a better way of handling this.. does anyone know if the EQMod software, or mount itself has a safety mechanism built in to stop a slew operation if it encounters something 'blocking' the slew, or is there a danger of motors / camera being damaged?