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Everything posted by CloudMagnet

  1. It's a bit Russian Roulette by the sound of it, even Clear outside is reporting tomorrow night as 0% cloud from 8-11pm, but a 15% chance of rain? Not sure I want to risk going out to be honest... Also keep reminding myself that my next hobby must not be weather dependant.
  2. Yes, you have the right idea. In terms of the best temperature to use the camera at for imaging, the lower the temperature, the lower the noise level. However, you do get diminishing returns normally at around -10c. You normally will be able to find a graph for your camera from the manufacturer that shows the effect of temperature on the noise/dark current levels. I usually image at around -10/-15c as this gives a low enough noise level and also means I can build a dark library for different exposure lengths, at these temps I can do this indoors without over-stressing the cooling system on the camera so saves a lot of time on imaging nights. Nothing to stop you going to a lower temperature, but you also dont want to run the cooling at near 100% capacity means if the ambient temperature increases, your cooling system will not be able to maintain the temperature and your subs will start coming out at different noise levels. You might already be doing this, but always make sure to use any warming and cooling aids your software was. You don't want to cool or warm the camera too quick as you can risk thermal shock to the sensor so the software can ensure that the temperature is adjusted at a steady pace.
  3. Wow, well worth putting the time into this, should really rename it the Bowtie Nebula seeing it like that!
  4. I would be suprised if that caused a problem. Even if you are the same pier side over multiple nights, it wouldn't be uncommon for the images to be a few degrees off anyway The software is clever enough to figure it out. Its similar to platesolving in a way.
  5. Feel like trading places? My total imaging time since the start of July this year comes to about 15hrs I think. Last winter, I went from the start of November to the end of February without a single clear night, I think I might be cursed in the North East.
  6. Agreed, there is a much deeper discussion to be had about the benefits of integration time and when you enter diminishing returns. It's not a simple black and white answer to the "best" way. It often comes down to an individual's equipment as you say and also their opinion on when they feel it is not worth pursuing an image any further. I could put 20 hrs into a single picture, but it would take me 6 months with the UK skies. I personally find it much better to instead take 4 hours on 5 different targets, even though those images might be lower quality. Someone with 100 clear nights a year would probably put 20hrs on a target quite easily.
  7. The "red" image was just done in photoshop whereas the Hubble style was done in Pixinsight, I basically followed this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVb1_Nqcs5I The colours can be temperamental- it can take a fair amount of playing around with the curves and saturation in each channel to get the most out of it. They can look quite washed out when you start out.
  8. There was a thread on there a few months ago looking at a comparison on the Iris nebula on integration time and it seemed to be that once you reached 10 hrs, the level of improvement afterwards really tailed off and you couldn't see much difference. I think that once you get about 10hrs, you should really look at adding only the best quality data rather than just pure amount of time to get the best results. Otherwise, adding in data that is lower quality won’t improve the final image as your noise level will already be so low anyway.
  9. For me with limited imaging time, the ease of setting up OSC with my L-eNhance filter is the best way. Mono might give better results (up for debate) but I prefer not to worry about different filters, flats etc... and just do everything at once. It is also possible to create Hubble Palate images or your traditional "red" nebula shots. I wouldn't say that mono is the future as OSC with the dual/tri filters are definitely comparable with Mono images- and you have the flexibility to process your images in different ways. The moon still will have an effect on dual narrowband filters, but nothing as major as shooting broadband, I wouldnt worry about this too much unless you are looking to get APOD or similar. This is one of my recent images, done with ZWO 071 MC Pro with L-eNhance as a two panel mosaic with about 5hrs total exposure. Processed as Hubble style and "normal" colours for comparison
  10. Its worth doing more, but becomes diminishing returns. I take 25 each of darks and flats and never really had a problem with them not properly correcting in the stacked image. I suppose you would see an improvement doing 50+ but I suspect that the gains would be marginal and you would see much bigger benefits elsewhere like dithering more often, lower camera temperature etc...
  11. And we were worried about starlink this whole time! Love the detail you can see in the exhaust plumes.
  12. I had a similar train of thought when adding dew protection with my Newtonian. I decided to try the dew shield first as a cheap and simple solution and if that didn't work, then try the complex/expensive route of a heater with battery. I have had no dew problems at all even in 95% relative humidity just using an unheated shield. I would give that a try first as it might be enough and then saves the hassle/expense of a heater setup.
  13. After waiting 3 months since ordering my new EQ6-R mount, I finally got a good chance to use it after weeks of cloud that arrive after any major purchase. Decided to go with the Soul nebula as a 2 panel mosaic split down the middle. Managed to get 40x 4min exposures on the first panel and 31x 4min on the second one for a total of nearly 5 hours- all done in one night This was also my first attempt using Pixinsight and turning a OSC (ZWO ASI 071) image with the L-eNhance dual narrowband filter into Hubble Palette style so think that it turned out well. Any comments welcome on improving the processing!
  14. I would say it is worth it, makes a huge difference to noice levels. A good option it has is preview slider where you can compare the old and denoised image side by side. Done by the "view button" on the top right. It also lets you compare the results of the diffrent algorithms at once as well with the "comparision view". Here is an example of how it worked on one of my images:
  15. Yes, definitely an EQ5. It does have an inbuilt polar scope as well, you just need to remove two covers (with the red arrows below) You also will need to rotate the DEC axis 90 degrees from the home position to be able to use it,
  16. I do this with two ZWO cameras, USB cable runs from guidecam (120MM) to USB port on main imaging camera (071MC Pro), then USB from imaging camera to laptop. Only things I would be careful with is making sure that your software is trying to connect to the right camera. I had an issue where PHD2 was connecting to my imaging camera and APT was trying to cool my guidecam. Gave me a bit of a panic when it disabled my cooling the main camera and watching the temperature spike for a couple of minutes while I figured out what happened was not fun. Easily fixed by making sure the right option was ticked on connect equipment on PHD2 and shift clicking on connect camera on APT.
  17. Often gets overlooked it seems. Nice easy target for visual and photography, visible most of the year and bright. I have only imaged it on occasion and not for much time in fairness, this is my humble attempt from a couple of years back:
  18. Sounds you are in a similar place to me right now. I'm using an EQ5 with a Skywatcher 200p so guiding with it is difficult to get any kind of consistency with the motor upgrade kit (not GOTO). I've just got bored of dealing with the problems that brings due to the weight of the scope, so ordered an EQ6-R. Been waiting around 6 weeks for delivery. When did you order yours? Just to get an idea of how long I could expect before arriving .
  19. Its a good way to do it, one step at a time. When I used a DSLR to image with, I started with just tracking first, then added in guiding and controlling the camera using APT later. Really helped ease moving to a dedicated camera at a later date. Better I think than learning everything at once.
  20. Yeah, it will help a lot. Setting up dithering would normally done using another imaging program such as Astrophotography Tool or Sequence Generator Pro. They will work with PHD2 to synchronise the dithering between exposures. It wont solve the problem entirely, that would only happen with a cooled dedicated astronomy camera, but you should see a big improvement in noise levels.
  21. It is just the camera noise I would say. If you stretch the dark frame you will see the same pattern there as below. Not dithering is one of the reasons why this will show as you are constantly adding that noise pattern onto the same pixels of your final image. Dithering will shift that pattern around so when your stacking lines them up again, the pattern will cancel out. Camera temperature will also play a big part. The warm temperatures of the summer, combined with a reasonably long exposure you are working at wouldn't surprise me if the sensor was reaching 30 Celsius, darks will only do so much, the noise will still be there.
  22. Both are good cameras so I don't think you would go wrong with either. From reading reviews, the 2600 is the better camera overall but has the bigger price to match. I had the same decision when I moved to a dedicated astrocam, using my Skywatcher 200p means my setup is very similar to yours and I ended up going the a third option, the ZWO 071MC Pro. Never really regretted it as it's a good halfway mark between the other two. Some have reported in the past that the 294 has difficulties with calibrating so leaves artifacts on images and I didn't want the smaller pixel size as you suggested with the 2600. Something to consider -if you are also going down the mono route, then I would also look at the ZWO 1600 Pro, has been used for a good few years now and is fairly popular.
  23. Dithering is still worth doing, not only will it take away any chance of walking noise, but you can also only drizzle effectively with dithered subs as well. Haven't really noticed any difference between bias and no bias, so these are not as important.
  24. The setting circles just need to be aligned with the RA/DEC axis as well. Easily done by using a spirit level. As shown in this video:
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