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The Lazy Astronomer

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  1. We've all been there - my first attempt at flats were so bad they, if anything, introduced more dust motes. I find it helps if I think of astrophotography as one long, continuous string of mistakes which occasionally produces a passable image
  2. The histogram peak for flats should be about half way between the white and black points. If you think they're not good, you can go back and reshoot them if you haven't disturbed the imaging train (or changed focus position).
  3. I think what alacant was getting at is that it doesn't seem like the flats have been applied in the stacked image. The fact that there is clear vignetting shows either the flats were not used during the stacking process or they are not correcting the image properly.
  4. Currently using a very small, light scope (seriously over-mounted) on an EQ6R Pro, so am just about able to move the whole lot in one go. Routine is: caps on, unplug power and data cables from mount and camera, move whole setup straight from the garden into the dining room (which is quite poorly insulated, so tends to be a fair bit colder than the rest of the house), then do a second trip for the cables and laptop.
  5. Glad you got it sorted. NINA is a fantastic piece of software once you get all configured.
  6. With the skies clear and me currently lacking in narrowband filters to do deep sky work, I thought I'd have a go at one of those over-saturated colour images of the moon. So, in went the planetary camera and out came this: Two panel mosaic taken with ZWO 290MM + RGB filters @ approx. 500mm focal length, best 25% of 3000 frames for each panel in all colour channels. Stacked in AS!3, stitched together with MS ICE, then processed with Startools and GIMP, red channel used as luminance. Quite pleased with it for a first attempt, what do people think?
  7. Check out the specs for your camera, ZWO usually state their cameras can be cooled to 30 - 40C below ambient temp, once you set the target, it should hold that temperature indefinitely (provided adequete power and as long as the set point isn't outside of its maximum cooling capacity in relation to the ambient temperature). Also, don't worry too much about cooling massively - the noise reductions are quite insignificant. Check out this talk from Dr Robin Glover for some very helpful info on CMOS imaging:
  8. From Wikipedia: Flexible Image Transport System is an open standard defining a digital file format useful for storage, transmission and processing of data: formatted as multi-dimensional arrays, or tables. FITS is the most commonly used digital file format in astronomy As mentioned above, all the astro stacking programs will handle FITS files. I think all astro-specific post-processing software will also handle them, so you can output your stack as FITS as well. The newer versions of GIMP can open FITS, Photoshop requires an extra piece of software. Plenty of freely available FITS v
  9. Hi and welcome. The requirements for visual and photography are quite wildly different. For visual use, you'd ideally want a large aperture - dobs are usually recommended as you get the largest aperture for your money. But for starting with photography the preferred option is a small refracter (say 60 - 80mm). An EQ type mount is also needed for long exposures, and these are not exactly beginner friendly (not to say they are difficult to use, but they do need a careful set up to get the best out of them). If you already have a DSLR, then you could buy a camera tracking mount and try
  10. Are you able to take an image normally (i.e. in the imaging tab and not via the plate solver)? Do you have the auto stretch on?
  11. Welcome! Excellent choice of planet - Jupiter's my favourite too ☺
  12. In my experience, the difference is significant. The L3 greatly reduced bloating in L and B channels. I was out earlier with my planetary camera and took a couple of single 20 second subs of a random area near Polaris: one with the ZWO luminance filter and one with the L3 filter, pictures attached. I had to stretch them a bit, because the difference wasn't really visible in the linear data, and to be honest the difference still doesn't look massive, but the halo is definitely larger with the ZWO filter (much more obvious if you download and flick between them) - if l was smarter, I'd
  13. 4(!!!) Clear nights in a row, and over the weekend (so no worries about being up late), but a big fat bright moon spoiling the fun
  14. Until someone more knowledgeable comes along with an actual answer, I'll provide my theory... Looks like it could be a stacking artifact to me, caused by the fact that your individual subs do not have the same framing (you can see the stars are in different positions within in the frame in the stacked image and the single sub)
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