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mftoet last won the day on April 4 2014

mftoet had the most liked content!

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About mftoet

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    Star Forming

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    Zoetermeer, Netherlands
  1. Thank you! Don't forget the Epsilon-180ED produces very tiny star images. In the image below I've combined the spot diagrams of the Epsilon-180ED with the FSQ-106 (fluorite version) and scaled them to the equal resolution. Here's a single frame (300s) straight from the camera without any processing (That is: JPEG preview / gamma stretch in the camera). Focusing was done on the LCD screen of the camera (using a magnifying glass) and a Bahtinov mask in front of the aperture. Post-processing took less than 10 minutes.
  2. Separated 725,000 light years from each other: the Little King and the Leo 1 Dwarf Galaxy. Captured from Grandpré (Northern France). Total integration time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. 5 minutes subs @ ISO 400. Takahashi Epsilon-180ED and Nikon D810a.
  3. Thank you for all the nice remarks.
  4. I've just replaced the images with slightly warmer versions.
  5. Thanks, Olly. I totally agree on this subject. Maybe I’ve missed an exit. Might need to start from scratch. It’s a nice drive though.
  6. Rogelio Bernal Andreo pointed this one out: patches of dust near the Black Eye Galaxy (M64). I found this one quite difficult to process and I'm still not sure if I'm happy with the colours... There's a large difference in brightness between M64 and the lane of dust. Usually I try to keep away from local brightness adjustments, but this time I had to process M64 separately, because otherwise it would be completely overexposed. Captured last weekend from Grandpré (Ardennes, Northern France). Total integration time of 5 hours and 40 minutes. 5 minutes subs @ ISO 400. Takahashi Epsilon-180ED and Nikon D810a.
  7. I saw my name mentioned here... Ok, here's my point of view on the subject. If you solely want to pursue deep sky astrophotography and you want to do that from your back garden or - even better - an observatory shed, go the mono astro CMOS/CCD camera route as @ollypenrice pointed out. However, many benefits of the DSLR are often overlooked: - More versatile than a dedicated CMOS/CCD camera: deep sky, nightscapes, time-lapses, star trails, solar and lunar photography, eclipses, polar light, daylight photography... - Can be used/operated stand-alone. Low power consumption. Especially beneficial for mobile astrophotographers (like me, the 'extra-ordinary' astrophotographer ?) - Modern DSLRs have low dark current; no need for cooling. - No fuss with (third party) adapters to get the sensor at the correct distance from field correctors (flatteners/reducers); just use a (wide) T-mount. I have experience with several cooled CCDs (QHY8, ST-8300, Atik 11000). Due to returning issues with Windows glitches (USB and driver errors) and sensor fogging, I switch to 100% DSLR photography around 2013. The ongoing Coca Cola - Pepsi discussion. Stick with Nikon. The cameras of these leading brands are equally matched. Today Nikon may even be ahead of Canon, but next week... who knows? The so-called 'star eating' issue is obsolete with current Nikon models. The D810a is a limited model specially designed for astrophotography. It is indeed more sensitive to H-alpha/near IR (the hot mirror filter cuts the light just past the H-alpha line). It also has some additional on-camera options, like longer built-in exposure times. You can find extended reviews by Alan Dyer and Jerry Lodriguss on the web. The D810a can be used for daytime photography. No obvious red shift. I guess only professional photographer might notice it and consider it as a concern. Even the preset white balance settings work like a charm. In principal any IR modded DSLR can still be used for daylight photography, as long as it's not a full spectrum mod (removal of the hot mirror). You do, however, have to make a custom white balance. I've switched from a Baader IR modified Canon 5D MKII to a Nikon D810a. The latter performs better (less (read) noise in the 'shadows'). Of course the Nikon D810a has newer sensor technology. I still consider the 5D MKII as a very good DSLRs for (deep sky) astrophotography. Important notice: DSLRs work best for deep sky photography when you dither between exposures. Dither a least 10, preferably 15 pixels on the main sensor. You have to calculate/make a wild guess/experiment what this means for your the dither settings of your guide cam. I dare say dithering without using dark frames works better than no dithering using (mismatched) darks. In principal, a good masterdark need at least as many darks as lights (sub-exposure), otherwise, you'll be injecting noise. You can, of course, always make of bad pixel map out of several darks for cleaning hot and cold pixels.
  8. Excellent image, Peter. Large, fast reflectors are a pleasure to work with - once properly collimated, that is.
  9. I used PixInsight to platesolve the image, plot the equatorial grid and mark IC 1454. As far as I know there isn’t an MBM catalogue that can be downloaded as a custom catalogue to render in PixInsight. The coördinates can be found online / in scientific papers, so in theory it should be possible to compile a list of MBMs (or any other object) in Excel and use that in PixInsight. For this image, I used Photoshop to designate MBM 163, 164, 165 and LBN 569. I have to further explore the possibilities of the desktop version of the Aladin Sky Atlas. I believe it has annotation functions. There are some YouTube videos out there explaining how to properly use the atlas.
  10. Thank you very much for your comments! Always much appreciated. It's nice and fun to find and try out something new on the area of deep sky astrophotography. I 'discovered' this area simply by browsing / exploring the Aladin Sky Atlas. Last February I tried out a part of this area using the digitized POSS-II data (red and blue plates). Now I can show my result and that of the 48-inch f/2.5 Oschin Schmidt Telescope side-by-side. Using the Aladin Sky Atlas, I also made an annotated version. Not sure of the other nebulous structures are catalogued. Planetary Nebula IC 1454 also happens to be in the field of view.
  11. Rarely imaged Molecular Clouds in Cepheus: MBM 163 - 166 (Magnani, Blitz & Mundy), LBN 569 (Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae) and probably others... Centre of field: RA 22h12' DEC +81°10' Exposure time: 26 hours, 30 minutes (5 min. subs) Optics: Takahashi Epsilon-180ED f/2.8 Camera: Nikon D810a (ISO 400) Mount: Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO SQM: 21.4 - 21.7 magnitude/arcsec² Location: Izon-la-Bruisse, France Date: August 6, 8, 10, 11, 13 & 17, 2018 Data reduction / pre-processing with Astro Pixel Processor, post-processing in Photoshop CC. https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-5Z9v6J4/A https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-GgxGf8N/A
  12. Thanks Olly and Sara! New trend: digging out dust around globs.
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