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About CloudMagnet

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    Middlesbrough, UK
  1. I use the IDAS D2 filter and it gives a green tint to the picture. I normally adjust the sliders in DSS before saving the image so that each channel is layered into of each other to keep a natural tone.
  2. Good start, it can be intimidating at first as there is so much to take in just to even get a quick image. It will soon become adictive and every clear night will be spent lugging heavy equipment around in the freezing cold
  3. Thats really curious to see white if you are looking a a black sky, could there be a reflection from inside the house that could cause this? Also, ensure that the eyepiece is placed as far into the focus tube as it will go as this is the best place to get focus and use the low powered one like the 20mm. It is also worth checking the collimation if you feel up to it, look online for tips but it could be that something has been knocked out of alignment during delivery and it needs to be set right.
  4. Agree with the IDAS D2 2", works great for LED polution. The first link you posted is advised for modified cameras so that might not be the best unless you plan to modifiy the camera in the future. Just to give a comparison, the first image below is without a filter and the second is with the IDAS D2. Both are 30 sec exposure looking almost directly at an LED steetlamp. Please forgive the poor focus on the first image :)
  5. Looks like it, if the focus was off the other night by not using the mask, the stars will show as bigger in your images. So when you layer them together, you get that effect of a two-tone star. One way to check is to stack the each nights images separately and the effect should disappear- this rules out any other issues.
  6. As above, the second picture looks like the wind. As someone that used to image with a single motor drive on the EQ5, you will get drift on your exposures as the motor just simply turns at a set speed and doesn't make any adjustments for drift. You could check to make sure that your clutch that connects your motor to the RA axis is tight as if this slips slightly it will cause issues. Also make sure that the motor is firmly attached to the mount, the gears are meshed together fully and the scope is well balanced. Otherwise, it could just be the limit of your setup and looking at upgrading to guiding will (almost) remove this issue. Your last picture is basically the best I could get out of my EQ5+RA motor combination. I know this would be a big investment, but for me it is worth it in the long run to guide and have no drift.
  7. Wow, I basically took the same image on Saturday as well. Not as good as yours though
  8. Fantasic for such a few amount of images and very smooth. Make sure to take flats as well- these will help remove any vignetting around the edges and can be done fairly quickly.
  9. Also is worth bearing in mind the long exposure you use, the long it will take to produce your dark images as well. If you use 20 darks for example, this will take a lot longer if you are using 5 minute exposures compared to 30 seconds which will eat into your imaging time as well.
  10. I'm just happy to have a clear night at all to be honest . It is still worth it, particularly if the target is far away from the moon. It is also a good time to practice with new equipment or work on new techniques, so no night should go to waste
  11. DSS stacks images by looking for stars and matching them up in each picture to layer them over each other. So if the exposure is low you wont have enough stars in the picture for this to work. Also, I assume that you are not using tracking given the low exposure you are using? If the stars are not round then DSS won't be able to detect them. When you have checked all your pictures, use the advanced setting "star detection threshold". Clicking on compute will show you how many stars DSS is finding. You want at least a few dozen to make sure there is enough stars.
  12. Have you used flats? If you have might be worth checking if they are the source of that effect. If you haven't noticed this before it might not be equipment related, but possibly a side effect of the image processing. It might be worth taking one of the raw images and stretching it to see if you can find any hints there.
  13. Backfocus is bascially a measure of where your camera needs to be to be in focus when you take a picture. If you use a Barlow, it has the effect of increasing your focal length. This in turn means that your focal point moves further away from your telescope which if normally fine for DSLR cameras as the focus tube can easiy move backwards enough for this. If you remove the Barlow, your focal point moves closer to the telescope and this could mean that your focal point lies so close to the secondary mirror that your focus tube physically can't move the camera close enough to focus. My Canon 450d has about 15mm of backfocus left without using a Barlow so this is not an issue for me. If you look at the PDS versions, they are designed to overcome any backfocus limitation, but having not used these versions, I cant say how they would be for visual work.
  14. I wouldn't recommed the EQ2 for any major photography. Given your budget, I would give the EQ5 a go as a HEQ5 will set you back a lot unless you look at used as an option. You will find that astrophotography will quickly drain your account by the time you have invested in motor drives/GOTO upgrade, a camera and other accessories. You are doing the right thing asking for advice upfront. For your question for the planetary imaging, you will only get very small images with DSLR cameras. If you know the specs of the camera, you can use this simulator to get an idea of the image size that you will get for a certain scope/camera combination. https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/
  15. I currently use the Skywatcher 200p with an EQ5 mount and image with a Canon 450d. It does the job and you can get some good pictures with it, but I would advise for starting out to keep the focal length of the telescope short as this will really help with the long exposures that you will use for deep sky stuff. The mount is also really important for stability so keeping to a lightweight scope such as the 130p may be a better idea unless you go for the 200p and a HEQ5 at least.
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