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About endless-sky

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    Star Forming

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    Padova, Italy

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  1. Thank you for the kind comment, Lee! Glad you liked it, too! And thanks to everyone that liked the images!
  2. After a 20 year long hiatus - my last astrophoto was captured with a film camera in 1997 - at the beginning of 2020 I decided it was time to start again. So, January 25th 2020 I brought home my used Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro and I immediately started taking photos. Obviously, my first target was M42 in Orion. This was my first digital astrophotography. 31 subframes, 30s each, taken at ISO800 with my unmodified Nikon D90, Nikkor 70-300mm at 300mm f/6.3 - January 28th, 2020, home front yard, Bortle 5/6 sky, no guiding, no filters. A grand total of 15.5 minutes... A couple of week
  3. Thank you, Lee! As long as I succeed sometime in the future, it doesn't matter how many times I fail until then. I'll keep trying!
  4. Thank you, Martin. Yes, they do look kinda nice, but I would like to tone them down and reduce them just a bit. I am not a fan of a completely starless image, but I do love when people manage to get the "narrowband effect" on their star sizes.
  5. Lee, I tried this method and while it works great on the stars, reducing the stretch and their size, I don't really like what it does to the "part of the image I care more about". Let me explain. If I check the "Rescale result", the stars are blended in nicely, but the main nebulosity loses a lot of stretching and gets toned down. It's almost like the nebulosity matches the stretch of the stars, which - with the main goal of rendering it as clear, bright and apparent as possible - defeats the purpose. If I don't rescale the result, the stars are still somewhat smaller, but their core look
  6. Fantastic guide, Lee! Thank you very much! I'll definitely give it a try tomorrow. If you managed to get such a good result on a JPEG, I should be able to get something decent with the original data. Thanks!
  7. Thank you very much, Giorgio! I tried, but then I don't really know how to work the stars back in, with different levels of stretching. I would like to see a detailed tutorial or guide. It's one of the steps that would definitely improve my post-processing, if I knew how to do it.
  8. Thank you for the kind comments, Lee! Much appreciated!
  9. I would like to share my fourth image. With my "lucky week" of imaging, along with M33, I managed to finish also this project. This is my longest integration to date. These are IC 405 and IC 410, also known as the Flaming Star Nebula and the Tadpole Nebula, respectively, taken over 7 nights, under my Bortle 5/6 home sky. Total integration time: 18h 29m 00s. Here are the acquisition details: Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro Telescope: Tecnosky 80/480 APO FPL53 Triplet OWL Series Camera: D5300 astromodified Reducer/flattener: Tecnosky 4 elements, 0.8x Guid
  10. Well, good to know, thank you! I'll definitely try it. Yes, good tip on the rotator screw, I noticed as well that if I do it too tight, it introduces tilting to the image. I have always turned it with my fingers, without forcing it, just enough that it doesn't come loose on its own.
  11. Thank you! I must admit that I have never spotted it naked eye, but I took a look at it with my C8, from home. I would definitely like to see it - and Andromeda - just with my eyes!
  12. Thank you, Giorgio! I thought the backfocus was supposed to be 55mm and I have been struggling to get it right. But then I saw on the website of teleskop-service in Germany that the backfocus for their 4 elements reducer is actually 61mm. Mine looks a lot similar to that one, despite it being a different brand. You saying that it needs to be 61mm also confirms the theory. Next Full Moon I will give it a try increasing it to 61mm and see things get better, thanks!
  13. Thank you! I am mainly interested in nebulae, since right now I have neither the mount nor the scope to capture small galaxies. But M33 is fairly large and I gave it a try anyway. One hour here, one hour there (that's why it took me so long to finish it), while I was waiting for other targets to be high enough in the sky to begin imaging them. However, I was particularly pleased and had a wonderful feeling when I started seeing H-alpha regions (nebulae) appearing in the galaxy itself, as I was post-processing it. It is amazing that I can capture nebulae that are on a galaxy 2.9 milli
  14. I would like to share my third image. I finally had a "lucky week", since my last session, December 18th. I managed 5 clear nights out of the past 6 (has to be a record, at least for me and my area) and I was able to finish a couple of projects I had started long ago and start a few new ones. This is M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, taken over 10 nights, under my Bortle 5/6 home sky. Total integration time: 10h 14m 00s. Here are the acquisition details: Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro Telescope: Tecnosky 80/480 APO FPL53 Triplet OWL Series Camera: D5300
  15. Thank you, Mark, for the thorough explanation! I'll give a try to those PixelMath expressions on my next post-processing. The L-Pro is a relatively "mild" filter, but yes, there are pictures of color checker cards taken with and without and there is indeed some noticeable difference. All my images of emission nebulae are red instead of pink, so I guess "true colors" are out of the window...
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