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CloudMagnet

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Everything posted by CloudMagnet

  1. Thanks Mark, I had a hard decision with how to frame this due to the small FOV at 900mm focal length, glad you like the contrast! Thanks Peter, I didn't expect it to turn out so well in 3 hours when it isn't even fully dark now. I think I will add more data to it later in the year or start a mosaic to help the FOV.
  2. I take it you are using a reflector? Its normal for bight stars like Vega to have that effect. Looking at the other stars, the focus seems OK.
  3. Hello everyone, Even though the day I took this was 40mph winds and cloud, it finally cleared up around 8pm, decided I would finally get round to doing the North America nebula for the first time- this had been on my todo list for around a year so it was about time! Total of 3 hours exposure (45x 4 min) subs ZWO ASI 071MC Pro and Skywatcher 200p and dual narrowband filter. Not really a scope suited to this target due to the sheer size but it gave a good opportunity to zoom in and focus on a nice contrast area around the wall and the gulf. This is a really beautiful part of sky- my only regret is not doing this earlier. Only thing that is stopping me now is those pesky short days. Thanks for looking, any feedback of how to process this any better would be appreciated. Not really sure if the colour balance is right
  4. I was setting up in the dark of my garden, taking out my 200p, it is quite a wide scope and I always carry it out in front of me, almost vertical as it makes it easier to mount. Inside the house had full lights on so I had no night vision when I walked outside and promptly crashed the scope into a retracted clothesline- the scope then bounced back and I headbutted it for good measure. Kind of caught me by suprise. Turns out when held out in front, the scope is wider than the clothesline pole. Gave me a good fright... but I never did it again.
  5. Good picture considering its "only" from a phone. I don't think it is really possible to improve further, perhaps with planets or the orion nebula. Really the best way for astrophotography is using a camera directly mounted to the scope (prime focus). This does introduce complexity and cost, but if it is something you enjoy, its worth looking at doing.
  6. Now managed to reprocess it with a bit more time and effort, I honestly think that a lot of the fun in this hobby is trying to extract 100% from the picture you have taken rather than settling for "it looks good so i'll stop" Not sure which one I prefer now I look at them
  7. Hello, I think this will be the last image I will be able to capture before the nights get longer again. For once, everything seemed to go well, no cloud, wind, dew or moon to contend with . Final image is a total of 36x 240s exposures totaling 2hr 24min. Taken with Skywatcher 200p scope (900mm focal length with reducer), EQ5 mount and ZWO ASI071MC Pro with Optolong L-eNhance dual narrowband filter. Guided on PHD2, stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop. I was suprised at just how much faint detail and structure showed after a relatively short exposure time. What I like most about the image is how long you can look at it and still spot some detail you missed before- lovely part of the sky. The way it turned out makes it look like the darker part in the center is a river running through the picture. Hopefully will be able to add more data later on in the year . Any feedback would be welcome!
  8. Imaging and stacking is all about increasing the signal to noise ratio. You want to maximise the useful signal and lower the noise as much as possible. For given single image lets say it has a signal of 10 and a noise of 2 (giving an SNR of 5) If you just mulitply the frames by 10, you now have a signal of 100 but noise of 20. You still have the same SNR so no improvement is made. The maths behind stacking is that you will average out the noise but still add together the signal. So you would still have a signal of 100 but might have noise of 5, so your SNR is now 20 giving a better quality image. Its probably more complex than this, but it gives you an idea of the theory behind it.
  9. I get halos around most bright stars, but it is only really noticable on magnitude 2-3 stars and brighter -I use a newtonian so this might not be so bad for you. The star colour can take some adjustment but normally processes out OK. The contrast on nebulas is a definite improvement than without a filter. I wouldn't image without one now in my Bortle 6-7 skies.
  10. I cant speak for the NGS but I have used the D2 for a while and it really is a good filter. It might be worth considering if your lighting might be changed to LED in the future (already happening in a lot of places) so it would be a good way to future proof yourself.
  11. If you were to go for the uncooled ZWO 294 MC Pro (approx £700) then you would have similar sized sensor and a lot more sensitivity to hydrogen alpha emissions. But further down the line you would probably kick yourself you didnt go for a cooled camera. The other option around this price has cooling but a smaller sensor giving a smaller FOV (183MC Pro) The other option is to modify your existing camera to increase sensitivity to Ha -similar to a dedicated camera, but this proces cant be reversed.
  12. Forgot about the 533 to be honest, gets good reviews again. Only thing to be aware of is that is has a square sensor rather than your normal rectangular sensor in your DSLR. A cooled dedicated astronomy camera has big advantages, mainly around temperature control and sensitivity to hydrogen alpha emissions (present in a lot of nebula). It is more complex to control and setup but I wouldnt go back now to DSLR imaging on my main setup after going for a cooled CMOS camera.
  13. Yep, if you are looking to upgrade, then really you do need the cooled version. That camera gets good reviews but be aware that some people report online that there are issues with taking calibration pictures and getting them to work with images. I recently moved from a unmodified DSLR to the ZWO ASI 071 and it really was a big step up in quaility. If you can do the man maths to justify the higher price, it is well worth it. The next step up after that would be the ZWO ASI 2600 if you can bear the higher price again.
  14. Im similar to Terry above. I started out a 5 inch newtonian and while it was decent for planets and open clusters- I got aperture fever and wanted to see more, so I upgraded to a skywatcher 200p. I live in Bortle 6-7 skies so when M31 showed up to be a little grey smudge and didn't look that much better than looking through binoculars that are older than me, I knew I had to try something else. So I decided to move on to astrophotography to give me the opportunity to view objects that couldnt be seen otherwise. Fast forward 9 months or so and I havent gone back to visual once. I probably will later in the summer for the planets but it just can't compete for DSO's. Light polution has put an end to that for most dim objects. Its also a nice technical challange that can be fun (when everything works) and seeing an image building up as the night goes on is a really great feeling.
  15. Probably not, but its just never felt right to me! Also worth making a note of what temperatures the picutes have been taken at (if it isnt recorded) just so you dont lose track of it.
  16. Dark frames can last for months but will lose the effectiveness the longer time goes on. Also, it wont be a good idea to take darks as the camera is heating up. This defeats the purpose as darks need to match temperature with themselves and also the temperature of your imaging night. I never though it would be a good idea to put a camera in a fridge to be honest, but if you are going down that route, then you would need to take the darks inside the fridge as well. The temperature range you take the darks over really depends on how close you want them to match with the outdoor conditions. Bear in mind that your camera might drop 5 degrees when you are just out imaging normally over a few hours. This means that the thermal noise in the first picture will be very different from the noise in the last picture later in the night. Because of this, I dont think there is much to gain by having darks for every single degree change in temp. Really that precision matters more with a cooled camera where temperature control is possible.
  17. Yep, looking at the streched version, I dont think there is too much more to get out of that. It might be worth adding a little of of sharpen to the image to give a bit more definition to the nebula. Still fantastic though.
  18. A really good start I would say, just make sure that the histrogram isn't touching the left hand side, as this means infomation is lost and only displays black. Also, I would make sure that the spacing on the reducer is correct as there is a small amount of curvature around the edges (you can tell from the star shapes). Apart from that it is a good image in my opinion. Good colours in the neubla and not overdone. I would look to try some curves streches to bring out some of the fainter background as long as you dont bring too much noise into the picture.
  19. I suppose if you are only loading in stacked picutres to Pixinsight previously, they would already have been deBayered so wouldnt throw that problem up. Otherwise, I really dont know what caused that. To fix the green colour, a quick Background neutralization should take care of that.
  20. Wow, great improvement. The background on the second picture is perfect. Once the spacing is fixed, you will have a great setup there
  21. Im not too familiar with the process, but you might need to deBayer the image first before it will show colour.
  22. Do you have more than 1 layer on the colour image? I found first you need to flatten it and save it under a new name before loading it in Pixinsight.
  23. Have you tried moving the focus in or out? Yoi might need to turn the knobs quite far before it will move into focus. Also it will sound really silly but we have all done it, make sure you have taken the cap off the front of the scope before looking through the eyepiece.
  24. This is a narrowband filter so is more suited to emission nebula targets whereas the IDAS D2 really is more for broadband targets such as galaxies. These are actully the two filters I use in my setup and I wouldnt really compare them directly- both are really great at what they do so I would recommed getting both of them- just use them for different targets.
  25. I tend to use M13 as a test bed as well strangely, easy object to find and a god test with the bright core. I would make sure your spacing is correct for your coma corrector and that will take care of the edges. Otherwise a good image with a lot of detail. Have you tried to remove the background gradients?
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