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Everything posted by Budgie1

  1. I've had another go at this data set with a slightly different processing work flow and it's brought out alot more of the dark dust in the image. This was all done in PixInsight and the work flow is as follows: Dynamic Crop of the three images to make them all the same size. Channel Combination to create a new SHO image then performed basic ABE, ColourCalibration and Background Neutralisation. Binned x2 then STF stretch followed by StarNet for star removal. On the star layer, I used the CorrectMagentaStars script and reduced the stars by 20%. Opened the original Ha layer and performed ABE, then STF stretch and StarNet. RGB Curves to get the brightness & detail I wanted before adding this layer as a Luminance layer to the SHO image using LRGBCombination. Curves to bring out the colours and detail in the darker dust. Some of the background on the left of the image was a bit purple, so applied the CorrectMagentaStars script a couple of times to correct that. 8 layer MultiscaleTransformation and a bit of UnsharpenMask. Then added the stars layer back in using PixelMath and resized the image.
  2. I did have a go with the stacking in ASIStudio and it seemed to work fine. My only issue with it is you don't have any settings you can manually set, you get what ASIStudio thinks is best. I've haven't tried it with subs which include satellite trails etc to see how well it deals with those. I know DSS can remove them and any green cast on the stacked image with the correct settings. It all really boils down to what gives the best results for you.
  3. I processed it differently using what's called the Hubble Palette to produce a false colour image. You normally see this used with narrowband images for Ha, OIII & SII but you can create it from broadband images as well. Basically you split the colour image into its three channels of R, G & B, then throw away the Blue channel because there isn't much data there. You now need to create a new Blue channel image by combining 60% of the Red channel with 40% of the Green. Then combine the channels using Red for the Red channel, Blue in the Green channel and Green in the Blue channel. Once combined again the image comes out with blue & yellow/gold instead of mostly red. I use PixInsight for processing but if you do a Google for "OSC Hubble Palette" for Astro Pixel Processor or PhotoShop you should find tutorials to do the same with them. Having said all this, I don't want to add confusion or complication into the mix and this method may be something to put into your back pocket for a rainy day, when have time to sit down and play with it.
  4. Okay, so I had a play with the Lights Only version you posted and came up with these two. Both slightly over processed to show what's there in terms of detailed data and and the vertical banding, although the banding isn't really that bad in this one. I did both standard OSC and used the Hubble Pallet as I find it shows more detail in the image. Overall I think you've got great data there and, apart from the banding, it's clean.
  5. In my case with ASI294MC, the use of the Bias frames in the stack caused a residual of amp-glow to remain in the finished image. Somehow the Bias was causing the Darks not to work correctly. Taking the Bias frames out eliminated all trace of amp-glow. I have read that it's because the Bias frames should be taken at high exposure speed (1/4000 to 1/8000) but some cooled cameras are not capable of those exposures and the result is a poor quality Bias frame. Whether this is the case or not, I don't know, maybe someone on here does. All I would say is to try stacking both with & without the Bias frames and see if there's a difference, then go with what produces the best image for your camera & setup.
  6. It's the Master-Flat that Stuart has uploaded. I agree with Olly, try restacking without the Bias frames and see if it makes a difference to the final image. With my ASI294MC Pro the images were less noisy when stacked with only Darks, Flats & Dark-Flats.
  7. Well, if you decide to try PixInsight in the future then I can highly recommend this set of tutorials by Mitch. I used these to learn the program and taking one of your own images to run through the processes alongside the videos helps you understand better what each task is doing. To start with, I would also recommend sticking with DSS to do the stacking and concentrate on the processing side of PixInsight so you get used to the software. It just reduces the curve slightly.
  8. That's talking about the 5v supply that comes through the USB ports. Some cameras will work when plugged into the a USB port only, but the cooling won't work. This is saying the 6200, 2600, 533 & 071 need more power and won't work like this, they need the 12v supply from the on-board power management (marked "DC 5.5x2.1 mm Power Output x4" in the image above the text you highlighted). The ASIAir Pro & Plus have four 12v power output sockets to supply power to the likes of the camera, mount, filter wheel & focuser. So all you need is one 12v supply to plug into the ASIAir and it can be used to supply 12v to four other devices, as long as the draw doesn't exceed the max of 6A.
  9. How long does the laptop battery last on a normal astorphotography session and could you buy a larger capacity battery for it? If you think this may be a long term hobby, another alternative is the ZWO ASIAir which runs off 12 volts and does image plans, guiding, platesolving, image storage + (if you have them fitted) electronic focusing and filter wheel control. It's also made to be outside and will fit onto your mount, so you don't need to worry about finding somewhere to shelter the laptop from dew etc. There, I managed to suggest you spend more money without mentioning a new laptop!
  10. Last year I got back into astrophotography and was using a standard DSLR, stacking in DSS and processing in Photoshop CS3. I was looking around for something better to process my images and went for the 45 day trial with PixInsight to see what I could do with it. Sure it was a learning curve, but so is PhotoShop if you've not used it before. Yes PI isn't the cheapest processing software out there, but again, the latest PS is now a monthly subscription and when I bought CS3 it was over £400, IIRC. With PixInsight, I followed a few YouTube tutorials and got a basic workflow which allowed me to process some images and I liked the results I could produce and the extra detail I could pull out of an image, when compared to PhotoShop. So, 30 days into the trail period I purchased PI and have continued that learning curve, there is just so much in there that I still haven't explored, don't understand or haven't figured out what it does. I have my standard workflow for most images + a few extras I've learned or read about from others and this allows me to do what I want and get images I'm happy with. I also have StarTools, but for some reason I just don't get on with it and I'm hardly ever happy with the results from it. I'm guessing it's just me because others won't use anything else and produce nice images with it. Anyway, as I said above, the main reason I started using PixInsight was the extra detail. Here is the first image I worked on in PixInsight, the top one is what I produced with Photoshop and below is my first attempt with PI. Both produced from the same stacked file out of DSS.
  11. I added some more detail to my original post above and you may have been typing at the time. I did have some issues with plate solving with the 135 but that was my fault because I'd forgotten to change the scope settings in the object calculator. Does it fail on both "Solve" & "Blind", or just "Solve"? When I had the wrong scope setting APT would blind solve but not close solve.
  12. If you're using All Sky Plate Solver then remember to check you have the correct index catalogues installed. Open ASPS and click on the "Indexes" heading then "Index installation wizard". This will show what's installed and you can set the focal length and get the camera data from the FITS header. For my Samyang 135mm F2 connected to the ASI294MC Pro, I needed Index-4211 through to Index-4216 Under APT Tools > Object Calculator > I have the focal length set to 135mm & Scope Dia at 77mm. I don't know whether the 5mm difference has an effect but maybe worth trying.
  13. I thought I'd have a go at something a little different (and then do it again, so this is now V2 of the image ). I started by doing a dynamic crop of the three channels and combining them as HSO before removing the stars with StarNet. Then I did a 60/40 combination of the Ha & Sii channels to produce a luminance channel then removed & discarded the stars from this image so they didn't effect the original star colour. This Luminance layer was then added to the HSO and I set about using Curves, HDRMulti and Unsharpmask to bring out the detail, lastly I used the DarkStructureEnhance script and added the original stars back in. This produced a better image and Version 1 with enhanced background nebulosity sharper dark areas, so V1 was replaced.
  14. I'll kick this one off then. Beautiful data again, didn't even bother with noise reduction on this one! So, this is an SHO rendition using PixInsight only. A slight crop, then ABE, followed by the stretch and Starnet. Worked on the stars to give a more natural look, used the CorrectMagentaStars script and then a little CloneStamp to remove some yellow centres to the larger stars. A slight star reduction and that was about it. Moved on to the nebula: Started with easing the saturation with several attempts, then enhance the blue, used CIE b* to enhance the blue & yellow then the lightness to bring out the dark dust clouds. Finally played around with UnsharpMask to bring out more detail. Then PixelMath to recombine the background & the stars and resize.
  15. I'm a bit like that with Orion, I get about 2 hours of visibility between trees to work with! For flats, I removed the camera & lens complete from the mount (making sure not to alter the focus) then I used a blank MS Word document on my desktop screen and put a couple of layers of white t-shirt over the end of the lens. Put the camera into AV mode and use the same ISO settings as you did for the light frames. Take about 20 flats to start with and see what it's like when stacked. I started using Dark frames as well but read that you can use Bias frames instead for the some DSLR's, so I tried that and didn't notice any difference from using Darks so stuck with just Flats, Dark Flats & Bias. This meant that I didn't have to spend time at the end of the session taking darks and could do the Bias frames the following day, along with the flats. Bias frames are taken with the lens cap on and at a fast exposure, somewhere around 1/4000 is fine. Again, take about 20 of them as it doesn't take very long to do. If you want to take Dark-Flats as well; These are taken at the same exposure & ISO settings as the Flats, only with the lens cap on. You can use TV Mode on the camera for this & the Bias frames. The link in my post above gives a good description of each type of frame and is what I used to get started.
  16. As your first go at a nebula you've done well. You're on target, the stars are round and you've got nebulosity. The stars look a little out of focus, so make sure to focus on a nice bright star like Vega and use the 10x zoom on the camera's live view to help. You don't say what ISO you were using but these EOS cameras seem to like ISO 800 or 1600 for most things. If the Moon is near full then you may want to cut the ISO and/or exposures a little, say 30 second exposures but lots of them. What to buy next; Maybe look at a light pollution filter for the camera, if you live in an area where LP is an issue? Overall though, keep going and the more sessions you do, the more you'll learn. And if you haven't started already, try using some calibration frames (Darks & Flats to start with) in the stack;.
  17. Not sure it this is the correct method but this is what I've tried this evening with an image of the Horse Head & Flame: Processed both RGB & Duel-band images to the stage where they are both stretched, having already used DynamicAlignment and DynamicCrop to make sure the are both aligned and the same size. Use Starnet to remove the stars in both and then used ChannelExtraction on both images. Ditch the G & B channels for the duel-band image and use PixelMath to combine the Red channel from the RGB image with the red channel from the duel-band. I used a 60/40 split like this: rgd-red*0.6xduel-red*0.4 to create an new red channel. Recombine the new red channel with the original G & B channels using LRGBCombination but use the red channel as luminance as well as red. So your LRGB will be Red, Red, Green, Blue. Now proceed with the normal processing with curves etc and finally add the original RGB stars back in with PixelMath. The first image below is the original RGB image and the second is the HaRGB image. See how you get on or see what others suggest as I'm still learning with this and my method is more of an experiment.
  18. Mark beat me to it, but I'd typed it anyway. If it's for your ZWO camera then why not use the ZWO ASIStudio software, this contains a FITS viewer and allows you to deleted the subs you don't want to use.
  19. Thanks Alan & Pierre, I've see the thread, Alan, but haven't read through it as I didn't tilt until this morning! Pierre, I'm not sure that adaptor will help because the movement is on ZWO Canon adaptor side, not the lens. The lens is tights when connected to my DSLR and I don't see the same issue on images from that camera. As I said above, once the images is processed and reduced to my normal PNG size of 1200x800 px then you can see the tilt effects, so I'm not really that worried about it. I included the info in case others have the same with that setup. Anyway, I had another go at processing it this afternoon and used the OSC Hubble Palette technique, which makes a difference and I think has brought out more nebulosity. Hope you like it.
  20. Looking at it, you can't see the tilt artefacts in the completed image due to the size reduction. I did another process of the image and took these two close ups: This is the left hand side of the image where you can see a blue hue on the top right of the stars. I think this is tilt because they all point in the same direction, no matter whether the stars are at the bottom or top of the left hand side. If it were back spacing then it would point towards or away from the centre (as I understand it). This is the right hand side of the image with nice round stars: I'm using the ZWO Canon EF to T2 adaptor and there's a little movement in the connection between the adaptor and lens so I think that may be the cause. I did think about getting the Astro Essentials adaptor which replaces the Canon mounting on the lens, but I still want the option of using the EOS camera occasionally.
  21. I always use the Search Coordinates facility for the location and manually input the focal length and pixel size. If it still fails at that then try changing the Database Server from the default of Strasbourg to one of the others, I normally use Victoria as a second option.
  22. I finally managed to get first light with Samyang 135mm connected to my ASI294MC Pro last night. There was a bit of faffing about obtaining focus with the lens & the new 32mm guide scope (still not happy with the guide scope focus but it worked). So I went for the Sadr Region for comparison with an image I took back in August with my modded EOS 1300D and Sadr had already past the meridian when I started. The ASI294MC was at -15°C, gain 120, offset 8 and fitted with L-eXtreme filter. Lens at f2.8 and I managed 1h 50m of 90s subs with the rig fixed to my HEQ5. Stacked in DSS with only darks (haven't take the flats or dark flats yet) and processed in PI. I may have reduced the stars a little too much in this one, so I may have another go at it later, and there's a little bit of tilt noticeable in the stars on the left hand side if you're pixel-peeking. So here's the image from last night and the DSLR version below (which was 51 minutes at ISO400).
  23. I used to use a blank MS Word document on my PC screen as the light source with my DSLR, but that never really worked with the ASI294MC. Sky flats seem to be work fine, so I've stuck with those. I started this season by reducing the cooling from -10 to -15°C (to reduce the dark current), gain 120 and went for offset 20. But found that offset 20 seems to give more noise on the image, so I've gone back to the ZWO default of 8. I still need to re-do my Darks for these settings though.
  24. I found with ASI294MC Pro and the L-eXtreme that if the exposure of the flats was too short then you get some strange results. But with 5.63s that shouldn't be the issue, what ADU are you aiming for? I normally aim for an ADU of 25000 and exposure of 1.5s to 3s, then replicate the Flats with Dark-Flats as well. I use APT's Flats Aid to produce my Flats and point the scope at a cloudy sky with a white t-shirt over the scope. I then add layers of t-shirt until I get the exposure and ADU I'm looking for. I've also started taking the flats with the camera cooled to the same temp as the lights, this may not have a bearing but I thought it wouldn't hurt. This is one of my last Flats taken with the ASI294MC Pro with the L-eXtreme fitted, 1.5625s exposure, 120 gain, offset 20 and sensor temp on this one was +17°C. You'll see I also have the light corners on the right hand side of the image but it doesn't seem to effect the final stack.
  25. The L-eXtreme has pulled out more detail but it has also removed the finer detail from the dust visible in the first image below the Horse Head (mid to bottom right in the image). So it's only the Ha detail that's been enhanced. I think better focus would help with the first image but when I get the chance to do this target again I think I'll reduce the exposure time to try and control the large star. These were both taken with 2 minute subs so possibly a combination of 2 and 1 minute subs may tame Alnitak. Even dropping to 1 minutes subs but lots of them may help,
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