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About ianpadley

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  1. Thanks Chris Just taking a sneaky lunchtime look. I've not had this issue on any previous shots, but if I was to enter a correction factor for pixel shape, where is this done? Capture or processing? cheers ian
  2. Greetings from the sun kissed realm of Cumbria! I've been trying to catch some Jupiter images recently, with the odd improvement here and there, mostly thanks to a lot of useful advice in SGL. Sunday was a rare clear night for a couple of hours and I grabbed this image. Now, I know Jupiter is an oblate sphere, but this is distinctly egg shaped, and not in the right axis either! It seems to be squashed to one side. Any ideas? Another question if I may, when I am applying wavelet sharpening in Registax 6, the zoomed image always looks a darn sight smoother than the working full image which seems rather pixelated, and indeed remains much like that in PS. Again, any ideas please. How DO I get that much smoother image from the zoom view; where's that hiding then? I appreciate I have an awful long way to go, but the journey is at least half the fun I think, so any advice on these points or other obvious image errors much appreciated. Working tomorrow so I tend to check in In the evening. Equipment is an undermounted C8,(yeah, I know, HEQ5 this autumn I hope) 2x Barlow, Phillips 990 webcam. These images (thanks to the excellent post last year by James F) taken in Sharpcap and then pushed through PIPP, AS!2, R6 and sometimes Photoshop Elements. Ian Capture 19_01_2014 19_40_24_pipp_g3_b3_ap22_PS.tif
  3. Thanks Nick, will give that a go. Also thinking to drag the bigger scope up the lane next good night.Ian
  4. As another post says, the season is well an truly upon us now. Taking the dog out last night I noticed it was clearing nicely after a day of torrential rain here in LA6. So, lacking time in a work week to set up the full C8 rig for photography, I picked up my grab and go gear and set off up the back lane...just getting 100m from the streetlights which plague my garden makes all the difference. The grab and go kit consists of a WO Megrez 72, Vixen mini-porta, 18mm eyepiece, 2 x barlow, RDF, red headtorch and a copy of the new TLAO book. Mostly in a Lowe-Alpine camera case with a small tripod folding stool. First up on such a lovely evening was M31. Not quite dark enough yet in this direction to get its full glory, but its been while. Hello old friend. Much darker to the south, so swing round and take a look at Lyra. Can we see M57? Yes, there it is , blinking in and out of averted vision. Wander around these environs for a while, so much to see, even just sitting back on the chair and soaking up our island galaxy with the mk. 1 eyeball. Good timing to do this, caught a very bright green meteor around 11.10pm, following the path back, pretty sure it was an early Persied. Mrs P says we can go camp on Sunday night it ifs clear. Can't wait, fingers crossed. Still in the summer triangle, I head south to pick up M27. Wow! Best I've seen it, ever possibly, its truly dark by now, and the sky is very transparent. Flip the barlow in and the enhanced contrast makes it even better. It just sort of hangs there floating amongst a sea of tiny pin-sharp stars. With averted vision, I get hints of shape and structure. Also a satellite slowly drifted through the view. Wonderful! Must go back with the DSLR and same scope on the CG4 next time its clear. Spend a long time on M27, been wanting a good look at this for a while. Whilst I'm in the neighbourhood, check a very faint M71. Rounding off, go check a few more old friends again. M13...wonderful in the barlow. M92, for some reason I always have to hunt for, but yup its still there. Take a stretch, swing back north and look at M81, M82. Super. I need to be up at 6am, and its almost midnight so start packing up...only takes 5 minutes with this rig. So, there you go, I've been at it an hour, 8 M objects, the milky way, a meteor and a complete sense of awe. Doesn't get any better than this and THEN the ISS makes a pass which I follow by eye until it is a faint red glowing chip fading into an orbital sunset. So, my season is up and running. How are you doing?
  5. 4th night of clear skies on the trot here in south Cumbria. Got the comet in the C8 last night and got the missus to take look she say 'was the best thing she's seen yet' it really was very pretty. Passing neighbours enjoyed it too, so did my outreach bit. Also M31 and 2011 L4 together in the bins, a memorable sight which I'll keep for a long time. All in all a great night. seeing was pretty good, so tried the webcam on Jupiter early on, then the comet for a while and was out until 1am wandering through the Leo galaxies itiniery from SON mag, a whole bunch of meteors (including a very bright one around midnight, north to south)...plus a little bit of Algieba which always makes me smile. Also smiling because I seem to have been struggling with collimation on my C8 since i got it last year, but with decent seeing later on I seem to have got it nailed and really enjoyed some good sharp stars...a relief as my I was starting to wonder if going back to a big newt might have been a better bet. Best of all, its a holiday week, so no work today! Like many correspondents, i was startign to get a bit jaded, but nights like this make the investment in kit and time all worth while. Might be OK tonight as well! ian
  6. I'm there with all the Ian M Banks fans on this thread, perhaps 'Use of Weapon's but the understated subtlety of 'Inversions' is a real treat provided you've read some other 'Culture' novels. Changing gear a bit, try an old but epic classic 'The City and the Stars' by Clarke. Film has to be Bladerunner, if only for THAT line by Rutger Hauers character ..'Attack ships on fire on the shoulders of Orion', I think of it most every time I am out in the winter months.
  7. Also in South Cumbria. Finally I got a decent view of Mars with my new C8. Seeing was much improved compred with recent, so much so I went back in for the lappy and webcam and tried some images..not processed yet so we'll see. Visually, I saw two distinct dark patchs and a much lighter area...would this be the Elysium area? Looks OK for a few days on and off here.
  8. Hi Folks, My previously previewed C8 arrived whilst I was away on business. Assembled on the mount this am and it looks GORGEOUS. Can't believe how smooth the focusser is , I keep having a little twiddle. Anyhow, its a lovely clear evening now, so I'll pop it outside in a while, wait for it a cool and see how Venus and Jupiter look. If my luck holds, maybe I get a good view of Mars tonight. Think I'll drink in the views visually and save imaging for another night. On the other hand I might just run a few minutes on the Philips and see how it looks. Excited! Ian
  9. Sorry to all my fellow Lakeland stargazers but I have a new C8 on order from the nice people at FLO. Might be a week or two yet, but you'll know when it arrives as experience suggests that it's arrival will herald a month of flat grey skies, not that these are exactly unusual in the NW. BTW..its really snowy here today. Had fun on mountain bikes this morning but tomorrow we break out the Nordic skis! Ian
  10. Hi folks second attempt (with more info) to find where a noise problem has crept into my jupiter images. I have been trying to improve focus and colour capture, with some success, albeit miles to go yet, but lately I get huge noise in the image when I click to the wavelet option in Registax 6. Frist up an image from November...flat colour but ok for sharpness. No issue when this was processed. The equipment was the same in all cases: Orion 130mm Newt 2X barlow and a flashed Philpps 880 webcam. Nornmally 3 mins at 10fps and stacking about 70%. Here is the capture file from November: Resolution=352x288 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=I420 Exposure=-5 Brightness=64 Contrast=38 Saturation=0 Gamma=21 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=14 So, to the latest effort. I am pleased with focus and colour, but when processing a very smooth looking stack the nosie jumps out as soon as I hit the wavelet button. I managed to some extent with the denoise facility, but I still fell there is a much cleaner image in there. The capture file is here, clearly some of the advice on this forum has been useful (thanks) Frame Divisor=76 Resolution=640x480 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=I420 Exposure=-6 Brightness=64 Contrast=32 Saturation=10 Gamma=0 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=47 The weird thing is I just tried tonight to process the avi stack from November again and it still gives a nice sharp (for me) image with much less noise than now, so it can't be something I an screwing up in regitstax. it must be in the capture, but even with the exact same settings as before, the noise is there as soon as I try to sharpen. same when with all sorts of othersettings replicated from this forum...it seems to be something more fundamental, only happens in processing on only with images since the turn of the year. This has persisted over various nights of all types of seeing. One tiny change has been a slight upgrade of Sharpcap nd thats it. I have some of the stacked FITs files here, at over 1 MB too big to post on this thread, but ready to send if anyone wants a further look. So any ideas please? Much appreciated... Ian
  11. Thanks Malc, I'll try that next time, its one setting I haven't adjusted yet. Whats normal for this sort of capture? Mind you it is was the same for all three images...
  12. Hi Folks, I've been following the forum threads and trying to improve my technique, but seem to have taken a step back last night. Seeing was was good and I swear the focus on the moons was as sharp as I have ever got. Equipment is an Orion US 130mm F7 newt, tracked CG4 mount, 3 x barlow and Philipps 880 flashed webcam. Captured in sharp cap and processed in Registax 6. I normally take around 3 minutes and stack about 2/3. Last nights image seems really noisy, I was very dissappointed: Here is the capture file: [Philips SPC 900NC PC Camera] Frame Divisor=41 Resolution=352x288 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=I420 Exposure=-7 Brightness=64 Contrast=32 Saturation=71 Gamma=0 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=62 Back in November, I seemed to get a much clearer image, albeit with more washed out colour: [Philips SPC 900NC PC Camera] Resolution=352x288 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=I420 Exposure=-5 Brightness=64 Contrast=38 Saturation=0 Gamma=21 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=14 In December I was more happy with the colour, but the seeing was less good and I struggled for good focus this time, also a little underexposed?: [Philips SPC 900NC PC Camera] Resolution=352x288 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=I420 Exposure=-7 Brightness=64 Contrast=32 Saturation=0 Gamma=0 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=46 So what went wrong last night? Too much saturation? Too much gain? can you see anything else in the files or images? The one other change I can think of is an upgrade to the latest version of Sharpcap, but surely this is OK? I'd really appreciate any advice on where to take this next, and till then, waiting for the next clear night! Thanks in advance ian
  13. Did just fine for astro stuff. Laser collimator, planisphere, Philipps 2012 month by month guide and Prof Cox's Wonders of the Universe DVD. Excellent! Also a super retro-cool Carradice saddlebag for my road bike, all we need in Cumbria now are some dry days for cycling and clear nights for observing.
  14. Several nights of frustration ended in utter joy last night. Previous night got the EQM all lined up, drives on and ready to try some imaging...waiting for it to get dark , took a peek at M44, then getting ready for some fuzzy stuff...haze rolled in, so that was that. Took best part of 30 minutes to get it all stowed away again. Out at sunset last night, was wonderfully clear, so got all set up again...EXACTLY the same happened , so geared down, went back in and read some blogs here. Popped out at 1130 just as I was thinking of turning in and it was GREAT! Clearest I've seen for ages and no moon. So I grabbed my little apo and alt-az mount and was set up for visual in 2 minutes. Using the utterly wonderful TLAO book I soon found M51. Well, nothing to shout about with 72mm of aperture, but at least I found it fom my front garden with street lights all around, so quite pleased. My other quarry was the two galaxies M81/82, which I hadn't so far got around to. Actually easy to find in hindsight and once I got on them I was blown away, even with a sub-3 inch scope. I suppose them being in a very dark part of the sky helps. Anyway, it was stunning view, I drank it in for ages and even managed a quick sketch. Went to bed very happy after some more time just sitting and watching the heavens above with naked eye. So the moral is, sometimes simple and spontaneous is the best. If I hadn't had a quick to use rig (actually mount, I DSLR image through the little apo anyway) , I may not have bothered. But I do know now where my imaging set up will point to next time out!
  15. Great report, thanks mountianman. Just back from a morning on mountainbikes by the Howgills and spotted some good potential observing sites just off the roads across the moors north of Orton. Thinking about the parking spot on the road over Nine Standards Rigg into Swaledale as well. Even here in South Cumbria we have too much glow from Morcambe, Lancaster and Kendal plus all the villages, so I'm planning to get out from time to time. M13 naked eye: imagine!
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