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About PembrokeSteve

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    Astronomy, Metal Detecting, Archaeology, History, Photography
  • Location
    Pembrokeshire, UK.
  1. PembrokeSteve

    Mars is mocking me

    Don't worry you are not the only one suffering from "Mars Anxiety Syndrome", I have got my neighbhour's conifer trees to contend with. These trees are a real pain in the neck, I can tell you! (they ruin most of my Saturn opportunities as well). The problem is that Mars is so low in the sky, and with westerly Atlantic winds and atmospheric turbulance, all put in for good measure, if you are able to get in some imaging of the red planet, you are likely to be highly disapointed when you process your hard work. Like has happened to me a lot lately. Never mind, there is always Deep Sky to turn to. Oh no!!! The moon is back again........Agh..... Agh!!! Lol Regards, Steve
  2. PembrokeSteve

    First Image using APT

    Hi, Finally got my courage up to try out APT on Thursday evening 19th July 2018. Prior to this I have been on my hands and knees, mostly on wet grass taking my shots using my hand held Canon RS60 type shutter release. Anyway APT worked fantastic! While my exposures were being taken, I was even cheekily nipping back into the house to take sips from my cup of tea! No more strains in my neck, back ache, shaky legs etc. I did my star alignment ( for some reason I find the 1 star alignment works better than a two star alignment) with my NEQ6, and then for the very FIRST time, used my Bahtinov Mask to actually get as much precise focus as possible. To do this I used the "zoom function" on APT to get a close-up view, to help me set my focus. It worked perfect. I had not been able to do this previously, before I was just looking through my Canon 450D camera eyepiece and hoping that best possible focus had been achieved. (mostly I failed on this, and wasted many evenings). Hopefully those days have gone! APT seems easy to use, and next time, I am now thinking about "Setting A Plan" in which I believe one can pre-set how many exposures you want to take for a given object. However by doing this, could it have a negative effect on heating up my camera sensor? Will I be able to set (ie) a 30 second pause between exposures, so to prevent the camera sensor warming up too much? I Cannot wait to get out again with APT. Using APT, it was so good to be able to view what my last image taken "actually looked like", ( just using the camera screen was a nightmare ), before, I was on my hands and knees on wet grass, struggling to see if the image I had captured was any good. Hopefully APT will now help me improve my Astro Imaging. Below photo - M57 The Ring Nebula. Vixen VC200L and Canon 450D, via APT. Exposure: 1600ASA. x19 1 minute subs and x1 Dark. Put through DSS and then GIMP.
  3. PembrokeSteve

    Some Moon Images from June 2018

    Hi, Also going through my backlog of lunar images from June 2018. Here are some of by best images so far. Only using the most basic Altair Astro GPCAMARO130C, but this little camera, I think, gives great results. Photos processed through Autostakkert (using x1.5 Drizzle), tweaked slightly in Registax and then GIMP. Photos 1, 2, 3 and 4, all shot with the GPCAM through my Intes-Micro MN56 Mak Newt telescope. This scope gives pin sharp views of the moon and is fast becoming my favourite imaging scope for the moon. It absorbs a x2 barlow very well, without image breakdown. Photos 5 and 6, taken again via the GPCAM, but through my largest scope, my Vixen VC200L. Again the Vixen gives stunning views (once fully cooled) and is a good telescope for Moon Imaging. Regards, Steve
  4. Hi, A few of my Saturn Images shot during the end of June 18. Saturn was very low in the sky at the time, heatwave weather, and as I shot the images it looked like the planet was bubbling in witches soup, due to the warm turbulance. Images one and two shot though my Intes-Micro MN56 Mak Newt. Images three and four shot through my Vixen VC200L. Camera: The basic Altair Astro GPCAM ARO130C AVI's run through Autostakkert, saved as Tiff's, tweaked in Registax and then GIMP.
  5. PembrokeSteve

    M51 and M101

    Very impressed by those images. Regards, Steve
  6. PembrokeSteve

    Recent Imaging Results and Queries Please

    Many thanks for taking time to give me some advice, much appreciated. Thanks, Steve
  7. Hi, I have recently processed images of a small section of the Chain Cluster in Virgo (see the image uploaded) after selecting the final choice in Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) of "Non-Embed". I am aware that for the final saving in DSS, it is recommended to opt for "Embed" and afterwards "pull out" the image details using the "Levels tool" (I am using GIMP). However when I try to process my images after selecting the DSS final "Embed" option, and via GIMP, things start to go downhill ! My finished images have reddish/pink blobs within the centre of the brighter galaxies, and stars. (see image of this problem). What causes this? I reverted to the DSS "Non Embed" option, because by doing so, it got rid of the reddish/pink blob problem. The main image that you see is from 45 (1 minute) light subs and x1 (1 min) Dark. Note: The processed images in which I encountered the reddish/pink blob problem, I had applied 45 (1 minute) light subs, x7 (1 min) Darks, x13 Flats and x13 Bias (the 1st time I have ever tried doing lights and bias frames). What I would like to know please (finding an answer to this online, seems impossible) is if one shoots say 45 Lights, then how many Darks do you need, how many Flats and how many Bias? Do I need to be shooting MORE Light subs before I even begin to think about adding Flats and Bias frames? Regards, Steve
  8. Hi, Photos of Jupiter taken last week using my Vixen VC200L telescope, using an Altair GP-CAM ARO130C Camera. I am a bit out of practice, as they are my first Jupiter pictures this year. Must admit it is now a more relaxing experience taking Jupiter photos with my new NEQ6 mount because last year I was on my hands and knees nudging the telescope by hand to shoot my Jupiter photos using my old Vixen GP Mount with no motors! All photos shot as AVIs and processed through Autostakkert, tweaked in Registax and then GIMP. Regards, Steve
  9. PembrokeSteve

    Iris Nebula - 20/04/18

    I would be very happy with that! Regards, Steve
  10. Hi, Is there some list by Month and Approximate Time available, that gives the best and most convenient stars for carrying out a " 3 star alignment". Tonight I had the experience of Arcturus and Capella coming up on my Skywatcher SynScan handset, including Vega, which for me was not yet visible. I had to skip Vega to choose another star. Then my handset gave me loads of not well known (and probably feinter) stars, which was confusing, when you have not got a clue if these stars will be visible either! Any advice here appreciated, Regards, Steve
  11. Hi, Thinking of trying to get my hands on something a little better than GIMP for my Astro Image Processing (something that supports 16 bit images). (and basically Adobe Photoshop is too expensive for me) I expect this has been discussed many times, but does anyone use Cyberlink PhotoDirector 9 (£47.99), or Serif Affinity Photo for Windows (£48.99) for their post DSS Image Processing? The reviews on the above programs are very good indeed on the internet (ie) Tech Radar I look forward to any recommendations or advice from those that might know please. Regards Steve
  12. PembrokeSteve

    Is Full Frame Better for Telescope Imaging?

    Many thanks for the advice given. Was later shocked to see how large the Canon EOS 5D actually is...it is like a built like a brick! My Orion ED80 focuser would struggle with it's weight I think. I will probably be better off sticking with my Canon 450D and getting it modified for about £90 quid. Again many thanks, Steve
  13. Hi, This cloudy weather gets one browsing at cameras and drooling over what better cameras you might possibly buy in the future (this astro imaging hobby means = you are never happy with what you have!) Anyway, I have a Canon 450D DSLR which I am very happy with, and it delivers me good image results through my Orion ED80 Refractor and Vixen VC200L VISAC telescopes. MY QUERY:- Would I notice much improvement (image quality wise) if I were to pick up a secondhand "Full Frame" DSLR (ie) say a Canon EOS 5D? Would a Canon EOS 5D be much better than a Canon 450D? Does a Full Frame camera only give a better result if doing "wide angle camera lens" shots of the milky way etc? or will a Full Frame sensor improve image quality for subs through the Telescope? Regards, Steve
  14. PembrokeSteve

    Saving Your Work Query

    Hi, How do all you Astro Imagers on this forum "SAVE" all of your precious hard earned work? So far i have bought three Toshiba mini portable hard drives to save my Astro images on. Do the majority of you also do this to safely back up your images? I have started to save my images within created folders (ie) named "Astro - Mar-2018" etc according to month and year. I then name my finalissed processed image (the image that I feel "is the best" I have processed) , as follows :- M42-02-24-2018_20.15UT_VixenVC200L_Canon450D I also keep a manual log book, cross referencing the above File Names (ie) detailing exposure information, amounts of subs, darks etc. My final image is Always saved as a seperate Tiff and a seperate JPEG. Am I on the right track here, in what I am doing? Grateful for tips and advice. Regards, Steve
  15. PembrokeSteve

    My First Deep Sky Images

    Hi, Many thanks to forum members for taking the time to give me feedback and excellent advice. Thanks again, Steve

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