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Everything posted by GordonH

  1. Hi 'squeaky' Your second crack using just curves definitely looks better than the first although the main nebula area is starting to look affected by the extra stretching. As you say I am sure there are better ways of getting the fainter detail to show, I will have another go at processing this when time allows Best wishes Gordon
  2. It is possible to extract more detail out of the data but at the expense of introducing noticeable artefacts from using sharpening and other filters,this results in an over processed image which i try to avoid, just as a guide to what i did to my data, levels on the individual channels to equalise the histograms, colour combine, combination of levels and curves and selective colour adjustments, thats it, no sharpening, noise reduction or software filters. Best wishes Gordon
  3. Hi I managed to get some SII data last night to go with the other two channels from a week or so ago, there was a large patch of cloud that interupted the session for half an hour or so but luckily no more for the rest of the evening. This was taken with a FSQ106ED at f5, ML8300 and 5nm Ha, OIII and SII filters on a Paramount ME, auto guiding was taken care of by a lodestar and OAG using dithering. Exposures are 6x30 minutes Ha, 8x30 minutes OIII and 9x30 minutes SII. These were then mapped using the wavelength ordered palette of SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B The full size image can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/145300616/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  4. Hi Since I got back off holiday in May it has been clouded over or raining or both for two months where I live so this is my first image in over two months. This is of NGC6992 and was taken over two nights with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 and FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME. Exposures are 6x30 minutes Ha and 8x30 minutes OIII. I used a lodestar and OAG with dithering for guiding. I am hoping to add some SII but at the moment the cloud and rain has come back so further developments may take a week or so. I have tried this a number of times over the last few years with various scopes, cameras and exposure times, both wih and without guiding, these can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison. I have enclosed a link to the full size image http://www.pbase.com...122050/original Thanks for looking and clear skies Best wishes Gordon
  5. Thanks to some comments on a couple of other forums about the star registration being off and some odd bi-colour fringing on some of the stars, I decided to have a go at using Registar (I had relied on the align tool in Maxim before), I reprocessed the image and put it at the following link M53 and NGC5053 in RGB photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com The original version is the one before it for comparison, the colour fringing on the original image is more noticable in the corners and at full resolution. I will be using this program in future and might even do some reprocessing on previos images Best wishes Gordon
  6. Hi Thanks to some clear nights and a newish moon I was able to tackle some RGB and this pairing of M53 and NGC5053 fits very nicely in the FOV of my FSQ106ED and ML8300. Exposures are 30x5 minutes for each filter. NGC5053 is a much looser cluster with less stars than M53 and although classified as a globular looks more like a tight open cluster A full resolution image can be found at the following link M53 & NGC5053 photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  7. Hi Despite the sabotaging attempts by the MET office I just managed to scrape together 5x30 minute sub frames of SII data to go with the Ha and OIII data that I got over the last few weeks, I was hoping for at least 8 sub frames but clouds came over and it started raining just as I had focused and twice I had to stop the imaging run mid frame because of clouds, finally the oak tree stopped the session completely (probably a god send as the subject is getting a bit low in the sky at this point. Because of the shortage of data this was a bit of a pig to process and the way I went about it was to give weightings of 1:0.5:1.5 for SII:Ha:OIII respectively in Maxim DL when I colour combined as I've found that this gives a cleaner result than just boosting the OIII and SII channels. Processing is mainly levels and curves with some contrast adjustments and colour balancing to get an aesthetically acceptable result. As with all my images at the moment the exposures were taken with the FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 and Paramount ME with auto guiding taken care of by a lodestar and OAG The Ha, Ha and OIII mix and this image cane be seen on the home page of my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page as well as previous efforts in the image gallery. I have included a larger image at the following link but It is not full size due to the amount of noise from a shortage of data NGC2264 - Cone and Fox Fur nebulae in HST palette photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com I am hoping to get some more OIII and SII data but with the way the weather is going it may be later this year. After tonight I have come to the conclusion that light pollution and moonlight are not the astrophotographers worse enemy, it is the MET office (weather forecasters)....they don't seem to understand what "clear skies" mean Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  8. Hi I managed to get some OIII data to add to the Ha that I shot just over a week ago. The moon was fairly bright and although it willbe a bit further away on the next clear night it will also be brighter so its swings and roundabouts as to whether it was right to shoot OIII or SII last night. I managed to get 9x30 minutes with the ML8300 and FSQ106ED before the big oak tree came into play. The Ha channel can be seen in the image gallery at Imaging The Heavens - Home Page A full size version of this can be seen at the following link, excuse the noisy image but it still isn't finished yet NGC2264 - Cone and Fox fur nebulae (Ha and OIII) photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  9. Hi This is a work in progress and I will be adding OIII and SII when work and weather allow. This was taken last night when there was a window of clear sky for a few hours. It is 8x30 minutes with a 5nm Ha filter, FSQ106ED and ML8300 on a Paramount ME. Auto guiding was via Lodestar and OAG using dithering. Only a combination of levels and curves were used in the processing, sky conditions weer fairly good apart from one break for clouds passing over head. I have tried this subject several times over the last few years with mixed success but have never got as far as doing all three channels, previous efforts can be seen in the image gallery on my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page A full size version of this can be seen at the following link NGC2264 - Cone and Fox fur nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com I will post further progress as it happens Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  10. Obviously there is a huge price difference in the example I gave but the principle is fairly similar so I don't think it is out of context (people are free to disagree if they wish). As this is an open forum for members and any comments that I used from another thread as an example were not in any way private or confidential then people should be free to comment on them. At least I have made my comments regarding this topic in a civil and polite manner, unlike the insulting and rude manner portrayed in the comments quoted above Best wishes Gordon
  11. Irrespective of whether I help out on Widescreen's stand or not I am still entitled to express my view as I see it from both sides, both as an attendee which I have done and as an assistant on one of the stands and from the comments I have heard and read I still stand by what I said As you can see from my comment, I didn't say that internet companies have 'low' overheads, I said they had less and if you have an internet company that doesn't need premises in an expensive location or a number of staff to run a shop then their overheads will be lower than an equivalent business with a shop and staff to run it Best wishes Gordon
  12. I'm glad you mentioned David Nagler, both he and Sandra are great people, they were at Astrofest last year and at Kelling and it is a long way to come over for such events but they both said they thoroughly enjoyed it, even David commented to me that he had a really interesting time talking (via writing) with some people from the 'deaf astronomers and that he found that and the networking in general very rewarding. My last night at Kelling last year was very memorable and consisted of going out for a meal with David, Sandra, Simon and his family and then after going back to David's chalet and sharing a whole bottle of malt with him and then we went out observing till 4am with a Televue 127, my Nagler 31, Ethos 17 and numerous other TV eye pieces.....what a night and a great guy Best wishes Gordon
  13. I'm not saying that everyone complains or moans, but, there is a small percentage who do and it's the same sort of gripes every year. I'm not just making reference to moans about Simon because he is a friend of mine, there was also criticism made about Bernard (a well respected trader) because he wasn't prepared to split a package to sell a small part of it. If you go to the motor show and you see a Ferrari Scaglietti and you like the gear stick knob you wouldn't expect the sales person to take it off and sell it to you without the car so why should it be any different for Astrofest, ok so Bernard may not have had the individual part with him but I'm sure he could have got it sent quickly. Traders spend a lot of time deciding and planning what to bring to best represent what they do and they can't bring everything. There is a lot of hard work and effort made by all the traders and organizers in putting together Astrofest. I also saw comments about disappointment at not being as many traders, this is because of cost but it is also clear in the magazines and website long before the event who is going to be there so people know what to expect before they get there. Without quoting directly there was also a comment about the number of universities present and something to the effect of 'why so many and who wants a degree anyway' as previously mentioned here, Astrofest is not just a trade show, it is about Astronomy and there are people who want to learn and consider getting a degree. On a last note following Olly's comment about wanting a stand but not being able to afford the expense, that is a real shame because that would be a worth while stand Best wishes Gordon
  14. I have been to Astrofest for the past 5 years and have enjoyed it every time, I think it is a great place to meet fellow astronomers and network with people. I have always helped out on the Widescreen Centre stand but I would like to stress that I do not work for Simon, I am a friend and very satisfied customer of his shop. I have read comments from people about how expensive they think he is and about wanting more discount from him and other dealers at the show. Ok, to the un educated, non business people the prices may seem high but do they bother to take into account the cost of renting premises for a business, hiring staff, insurance, the cost of stands at shows, etc. Would these same people be prepared to have their income reduced so other people could buy things at a rock bottom price? I suspect not. There will always be price variations for the same products depending on the level of service and after care offered as well as whether you go to a shop where you can see the goods in the flesh or if you buy cheaper on the internet where you can't. Companies on the internet have less overheads so can offer the goods at cheaper prices, that is a fact of life nowadays. Also from the moans and groans I have seen in some of threads about Astrofest I have come to the conclusion that there are some people who go there just so they can find something to complain about. As with the title of this thread, there are some people you just can't please Best wishes Gordon
  15. How can you describe the Wide screen stand as minimal, I was helping out there on both days and they had about as much variety if not more than other retailers
  16. Hi I managed to get some OIII and SII data to add to the Ha that I got a week or so ago. Both the OIII and SII are far weaker than the Ha but both have different structures to contribute to the final image. This was taken over three nights in January and February with the Takahashi FSQ106ED f5, FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME auto guided by a Lodestar and OAG using dithering. 5nm narrow band filters were used Exposure details are as follows Ha - 10x30 minutes OIII - 6x30 minutes SII - 7x30 minutes I will be adding more OIII and SII when it is next clear as these two channels are quite noisy still due to the extra stretching required. This is a crop of the final image to show the main detail. Somebody on another forum said they couldn't see the monkeys head so for their benefit, the head is in profile and the monkey is looking toward the left! The Ha channel and another much earlier image can be seen in the image gallery on my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page A full size image can be seen at the following link NGC2174 - Monkey Head Nebula in HST palette photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  17. Hi This is a work in progress and is the Ha data taken last night, it is 10x30 minutes Ha taken with the FSQ106ED at f5 and FLI ML8300, autoguiding was done by a lodestar and OAG using dithering on a Paramount ME. This is a crop of the main image to show the detail of the nebula. I have only ever shot one sub frame of this before over 3 years ago when I was trying a 20 minute unguided sub frame, this can be seen on the nebulae page of the image gallery on my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page for comparison. I am hoping to add some OIII and SII later this week. A full size version of this crop can be seen at the following link NGC2174 - Monkey Head Nebula in Ha photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com It definitely looks like a monkeys head in profile! Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  18. Hi This is the first full narrow band image that I have done with my new ML8300 camera as weather hasn't been playing ball lately. It is of IC443 taken in the wavelength ordered palette of SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B (commonly known as the HST palette). It was taken over three nights with 10x30 minutes for SII, 11x30 minutes for Ha and 9x30 minutes for OIII. We have had a lot of problems with freezing fog recently and the seeing conditions were very hit and miss on all three nights with the FWHM number varying between 1.3 and 2.4 from one minute to the next, it made focusing quite interesting! Taken with Takahashi FSQ106ED f5 and FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME with auto guiding by a lodestar and OAG using dithering. I may add some more OIII data as this was very weak and needed to be pushed more aggressively in the processing so there is a bit of noise in the image but overall I'm fairly pleased with the results. I added the difraction spike on after for extra effect, the ML8300 and FSQ combination often gives smaller difraction spikes (?due to the microlenses on the chip) I have had a few goes at this subject over the last few years with different scope/camera combinations, these can be seen on my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page for comparison. There is a full size version at the following link IC443 - Jelly Fish Nebula in HST palette photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  19. Just another point, I notice from your thread that you used a luminance channel made up of 100% Ha and a lesser mix of OIII and SII. The problem with this is that all you will do is enhance the already dominant Ha channel at the expense of drastically suppressing the already weak OIII and SII channels. With narrow band imaging there is no use or need for a luminance channel. Think of it this way, when doing RGB imaging and adding a luminance channel you don't make a mix of the red green and blue filtered data to make the luminance channel, you use a clear filter instead so why make a luminance channel by combining data from the other three channels, it defeats the object of imaging with narrow band filters in the first place. Unfortunately with narrow band imaging there are no short cuts in getting a good image, you have to put the imaging time in and get plenty of data I don't mean to be critical of what is a much improved image but this is how I learnt and I've been doing narrow band imaging for 4 years now and I've found that the best results come from putting the time in at the scope Best wishes Gordon
  20. That is much better, but you will need more sub frames, a lot more. For narrow band imaging think in the region of at least 4 Hours per filter, more is better as you will be able to push the processing further without introducing noise, try to avoid the temptation of using noise reduction filters as they introduce nasty artefacts which can ruin your image Best wishes Gordon
  21. It may be the method of processing you are using that causes your image to look over exposed. You certainly won't get an over exposed image using more than 10 minutes with narrow band, check all the recent narrowband images on my website Imaging The Heavens - Home Page and also elsewhere on the internet and you will find that a lot of images use sub frames in excess of 10 minutes as routine, make sure you don't bin the sub frames to get the best quality and ensure you calibrate all the sub frames before stacking Best wishes Gordon
  22. Hi Samir Don't be too hard on yourself, we have all been there and that is part of the learning process. Narrow band imaging requires one very important skill that nobody can teach you, you either have it or you don't and that is patience. Think in the region of only doing one filter per night and you will be heading in the right direction, also i would recommend longer sub frames if you can (I use 30 minute subs with an f5 system and aim for at least 6-8 hours of data per filter), as you quite rightly noticed there was little if any nebulosity with the OIII filter, this will be the same with SII in a lot of cases except for the odd exception like M1. You will likely need more sub frames for OIII and SII as those two channels will need more pushing in the processing to get the data to show. Keep at it and you will find that perseverence will pay off Best wishes Gordon
  23. Hi I don't normally do star clusters especially the open clusters as I don't personally find them "interesting enough" (with the exception of M45 and the double cluster where there is something else of interest in the FOV) but on the odd occasion when weather and light pollution is too bad and the right combination of subjects come into view I give them a go as in the case of this image of M35 and NGC2158 which are two very contrasting open clusters that are totally unrelated to each other. M35 is a relatively young cluster made up of bluish stars while NGC2158 is about 10x older and made up of reddish stars and is also 4x further away than M35. They appear nicely in the FOV of the FSQ106ED and ML8300. Exposure time is 12x5 minutes each for RGB which took me all night to do with continual interuptions for cloud and occasional rain Here is a link to the full size image M35 and NGC2158 - "An unlikely double cluster" photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  24. Hi Guys Thanks for the comments, I saw the new Tak CCA at NEAF last year in New York and it looks impressive but at a cost, I estimate that it will be over £14,500 here which is a lot for a 10" RC. It does have a built in electronic focuser which I believe is a moveable secondry but I wonder about collimation and how good it will be say, compared with an Atlas. Only time will tell Best wishes Gordon
  25. Hi I have managed to put together an LRGB image of M45 using some old luminance date that I took with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36 that I took a couple of years ago along with some LRGB data that I took in October and November with the FSQ106ED and ML8300, during this second session my Paramount stopped working and I'm waiting for confirmation from Bisque as to whether I need a new adapter panel board before ordering one. This has been a very up and down two weeks for me as I lost my beloved boy Hunter (German short haired pointer) to advanced lymphoma and we have since got a new addition to the family 'Floyd', a GSP puppy who is keeping us busy. The details for the image are as follows BRC-250 and H36 data --- 20x5 minutes luminance taken in November 2009 FSQ106ED and ML8300 data --- 15x10 minutes luminance and 12x10 each for RGB taken in October/November 2011 I decided to combine as I wanted a bit more luminance and I think the difraction spikes from the BRC-250 add impact to the image, but this is a personal thing Here is a link to the full size image M45 - Pleiades Star Cluster photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
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