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Everything posted by eshy76

  1. I have one of these - easy to install and calibration simple. Frustratingly I've yet to produce a finished image yet with this setup due to calibration issues, but I can say that my capture software (Voyager, SharpCap and NINA) have worked perfectly with the autofocuser. I used SharpCap to find first focus and since then the other capture software gets on with it. Voyager, in particular, autofocuses intensively when producing it's V-curves at speed...the last night I imaged, Voyager must have autofocused 20 times as I specified, each time churning out a V-curve within a minute and the FWHMs were in the 1.8-2.4 arc second range on an Edge 8 aimed at M81. For imaging, I think it is a great solution. What's grinding my gears about it is that as I don't have a Celestron mount, I don't think it can be used for visual, unless I control the focuser with a computer or tablet...if anyone has worked out a way to hook up some sort of simple controller either directly to the focuser or via PC, I'm all ears!
  2. My CEM25P would keel over at that point!
  3. Thank you! I was just happy to see any stars at all in PHD2 after a night moving the ASI120 up and down on the OAG stalk to no avail! The guiding seemed incredible on the smaller scope too - was getting something like 0.2-0.3 pixels...flat blue and red lines...like the best ever! But one of the things I learned in the last few days, is what the numbers in the brackets in PHD2 means...i.e. arc seconds error...and why that is more important, so the smaller guidescope magnifies the error in arcseconds, which leads to bigger pixel error on the imaging scope at such a long focal length (if I've understood correctly). I DO think it is doable, though, as my mount has always had severe DEC backlash and I was pushing the payload too...actually when I move back to using my widefield refractor, I might think about using the miniscope for guiding, as PHD2 just seemed happier, you know? It is fun to challenge the conventional wisdom sometimes, as much as it cool to learn from more experienced imagers!
  4. Thank you! It's been painful at times before getting the first image, but I've learnt an enormous amount...both mechanically and software wise, PHD2 settings, getting platesolving to work at this scale, etc. As you say, I can definitely see where the improvements will come from!
  5. And here's the makeshift rig! My poor mount!
  6. Hi everyone, I've been into astrophotography for a couple of years now and I've largely relied on one scope - the William Optics ZS73 430mm refractor...an amazing piece of kit - I'm not sure I could've picked a better first ota to get into this hobby. I've been honing my skills and have become pretty decent, unafraid to aim my trusted frac at even tiny targets, knowing we would make a decent fist of it. So, I've only gone and got aperture fever and bought a blimming Edge HD 8! Back down the learning curve I go. For once, the new kit was accompanied by clear skies, so no time to carefully build the rig...get the thing on the mount and get outside! Ouch...clear night one was spent trying to cobble together a makeshift velcroed rig from my Z73 setup (the top dovetail was in the post), clear night 2 went utterly failing to resolve a guide star with the ASI120 and ZWO OAG (the ASI290 is in the post...eventually will move onto a Celestron OAG). Two clear nights without an image was too much to bear, so on night three, I just had to get something, anything, so stopped trying to do the right things - mount a 30mm miniguide scope (all I had!) to guide 2032mm focal length? Check. Use a barbell weight to desperately try to balance the OTA? Check. Leave all the wires hanging when imaging at F10 (the reducer is in the post)? Expect my CEM25P (no upgrade for a while) to cope with all this weight? Check. Anyway, I present M63 - sorry to break the run of all the stunners in galaxy season so far, but I am so happy to get any sort of image under my belt with a bunch of new kit and at a focal length way in advance of anything I've ever tried before. Misshapen stars, botched focus and lack of integration time, sure....but one of my most satisfying shots in a weird kind of way! Something to build on! Approx 3 hours of integration time. Thanks for looking and sorry for the long post!
  7. Hi everyone! Galaxy season is fun even for a small refractor! (Although some new equipment may have been delivered recently...with no discernible effect on the weather...) Leo's Triplet is a photogenic grouping. Apart from the three main actors, I didn't expect to see a very faint pair of what looks like interacting galaxies in the far left of the image, IC 2785 and IC 2786, which are 545-555 million light years away from us! In terms of the triplet, I think I like NGC 3628 the best visually. It is 35 million light years away and another cool fact is that its stars are apparently rotating in the opposite direction to its gas! 3.6 hours of LRGB integration time shot over two nights. Full details here Thanks for looking!
  8. I think it's stunning...I particularly love the diagonal framing!
  9. Thank you for the kind words everyone - good luck @TerryMcK...would that be the 183?
  10. And the wider original field...you can see how much I cropped in!
  11. Hello again! Like most of you, I'm sure, I've gulped down the clear skies after the winter famine, but was literally caught short with my William Optics Z73 for galaxy season...no matter, just keep shooting right? Here is my M51...I'll post the quite dramatic wider field in the next post, M51 looks somewhat lonely in it. I've cropped in as close as I dare as my trusty first scope meets its limit in terms of resolving details... ...I'm really happy with it! Both my refractor and the ASI1600 keep surprising me with what they can do. 3.6 hours of integration time made up of 30 second subs. Full details here Thanks for looking as always!
  12. Thank you Marvin for the kind words - keep at it - hopefully next time you'll have better luck! For me, it's M92 which is proving surprisingly elusive...I've had a few cracks at it, but somehow each time at some point in the night (while I'm asleep), the target becomes misaligned...must be clouds throwing off the guiding or something...!
  13. Hi everyone - me again - there'll be a few more soon too... This is my second globular cluster image, after a recent M13. I really love shooting these - pretty, generally lower integration time needed and not too challenging to process! I'll post both the crop and the original wider field. CEM25P/WO Z73/ASI1600 LRGB/NINA/APP/PixInsight. 2.1 hours of integration time. Full details here Thanks for looking!
  14. Hi everyone, Bit of fun with brilliant Venus cosying up to M45. Challenging capture as the Western sky is behind my house, so I set up the Skyguider Pro in an upstairs bedroom, very roughly polar aligned using a compass and eyeballing elevation of 51 degrees as best I could. Shooting into streetlights for good measure, forcing me to shoot at f/5.6. Nice old school shoot - Skyguider Pro, Sony a6500 DSLR, Samyang 135mm lens, intervalometer. Had to cull about 40% of subs in the end due to field rotation (intra-shot!) and had to crop out a major reflection artifact. I am pretty happy with the end result given the setup! Full details here Thanks for looking!
  15. And as promised the wider field original image:
  16. Hi everyone, Well, nebula season came and went hidden behind the clouds, but the show must go on! This is my first attempt at a star cluster and it was my secondary target of the night. This is a crop of a much wider field which I will include in the next post. I would have cropped closer, but I wanted to keep the galaxy at the top of the image! Pretty happy with the result given the 430mm focal length and 1.8 hours of RGB exposure! Full details here Thanks for looking!
  17. Thank you! I'm always nervous about pushing things too far, but in this case I worked only with global saturation and contrast, as opposed to trying to bring out specific colours, so hopefully I kept everything in proportion! Amazing diversity of colour, as you say, and the surprising one for me (as someone much more focused on DSOs), was the bright blue Aristarchus crater in the top left of the image, which turned out to be a thing, rather than my initial suspicion of a post-processing glitch!
  18. Hi everyone! I will throw my own colour moon image into the mix alongside all the excellent recent images! I've taken a similar type of image of a gibbous moon previously, but this is the first time I've shot a 100% moon in this way. I really am enthralled by the true colours of our original satellite! Shot using FireCapture, stacked using AutoStakkert! and post-processed in Pixinsight. 1 minute each of AVI video for Ha, R, G and B filters. Ha used as Luminance. William Optics ZS73, iOptron CEM25P, ZWO ASI1600 MM Pro and Astrodon filters. Higher res version here. Thanks for looking!
  19. Thank you for this - I also bought a relatively cheap (as far as this hobby goes!) dehumidifier which I stick on the tripod spreader before covering...I probably don't have a good seal as you, but I did also get the Telegizmo tripod cover (definitely not cheap!) so hopefully it should all be fine! I also want to get home in time to get some hours in on a 2-panel Jellyfish nebula mosaic - good luck with yours!
  20. Thank you! Exactly like you - my kit has been under a Telegizmo cover for the last week...looks clear tonight for a few hours, just hope I don't find that spiders have made a home in my ASI1600 when I take the covers off later!
  21. Thank you! My imaging time is being severely limited by the cloudy winter...but the show must go on!
  22. Hi everyone, The Cone Nebula lies about 2700 light years from Earth and, along with the Christmas Tree Cluster, forms NGC 2264. This object lies within the Monoceros constellation and is about 7 light years long. Also visible in my image close to the Cone is the Fox Fur Nebula. A notable image for me in that I tried a new processing technique for merging my Ha data with RGB and L. I used the excellent Light Vortex tutorial on this and this method makes it much easier to bring in the Ha, without unbalancing the star colour too much I hope, compared to some of my recent images. Used my usual setup - WO Z73 + iOptron CEM25P + ZWO ASI 1600 MM Pro + Astrodon filters. Total integration time 5.2 hours. Full details here Thanks for looking!
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