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About CKemu

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    Star Forming

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  1. Lovely image, it's been my target for the past few nights! Impressed you managed to keep the core with 4 minute subs, or did you have shorter subs to?
  2. I use a couple of tricks: 1) I have about a 25-30% overlap, to ensure that Photoshop's photomerge or Microsofts' Image Composite Editor (ICE) can stitch. 2) If using PS, I make sure it's set to "reposition", so it doesn't distort the image in any way, and blending is set to on. 3) Each panel I "calibrate", so if P1 is my reference, then when I stack P2, I check that the same points between images (normally background space near a recognizable star formation) have the same grey value, so if P1 reads 44,44,44 then the same region in the overlap on P2 should also read 44,44,44 - or very close, if not, I go back to DSS, darken/brighten accordingly and resave the image. I also recommend if you are doing a colour image, build your colour composites after the above process, and then stitch the colour raw images together, this helps with overall alignment.
  3. Six hours later and I managed to grab two more panels to give me the running man, this is by far the largest image I have produced (in terms of x*y dimensions). Perhaps to balance the image a bit better, I should do a run that fills out the space at the top. Though that may be a decade from now with how the weather goes.
  4. It has been six months since I last used the telescope! Urghh that sentence is heart wrenching, but between the awful wet weather, running a bar (this time of year, it's only open evenings) and moving house - I simply haven't had chance. It was hard enough remembering how to configure the telescope, and my guiding was "SLOPPY", 0.8"-1.2" for long periods, and then periods of 2"-3", so those stars aren't perfect - but honestly the sheer joy of getting back out there and imaging overrides the usual stress about perfection, and went with whatever came my way. My new location is more "in town", it's not bad, but it's not as good as the empty beach I used to image from, that and my Southern window is smaller, so I expect to image more "Northern" objects over the next year or so. Anyhow this is my first serious crack at M42, it was one of the first things I ever looked at, and had a bash at imaging, but despite it being the ever popular winter target, I've never really bothered with it in the time since,. This image is made from four panels, imaged over three nights. Each panel being 12 x 300 s in R, G, B with no flats/bias or other faff, just straight up, 12 hours of data, stacked in DSS, and combined/stitched in Photoshop, and tonight might be clear to, so going to slew left and capture in that direction. I left the core blown out, I did shoot short exposures for the trapezium, but I confess, I like it blown out, it gives it a proper sense of brightness to me. Thank you for looking, if it happens to be clear tonight, I shall post my results from that in this thread.
  5. Thanks for that. I use the NEQ6 with PHD2 and the ASI120mm as a OAG gives me a range of 0.58" on good nights and with stronger wind conditions, I get up to 1.2", I average around 0.7", so that's within threshold. I just ran it through https://astronomy.tools/calculators/ccd_suitability to, and that gives me a Green in "OK" and "poor" seeing, and reasonable in "Good".
  6. Hi! So currently running an ATIK 414ex with my Esprit 100ED and Meade LX90 8", and mostly keeping my deep sky work to the Esprit. The ATIK 414ex has a resolution of 1392x1040 with 6.45um pixels, and it's a great camera, but I've had interest in making DSO images that are of a more printable resolution, and 1.44mp isn't really going to cut it. Now my budget won't stretch far, but I am looking at the ATIK 490ex, 3380x2704 resolution with 3.69um pixels (9.1mp, which is closer to something printable). I am curious as to how the small pixel size will effect overall resolution, I get the overall gist that shorter FL's do better with smaller pixels..but looking for the hive mind to help me out here. How will image quality be affected with the Esprit, would it be worth holding on to the 414ex for the Meade 8" setup? Any help and thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
  7. First time seeing and then imaging this object. Given the weather I decided to try and do the RGB in one night, so this is made from 180s x 60 (20 per channel). One thing I didn't take in to consideration, was shooting the blue when it got in to the muck on the horizon, so the data there got a little fuzzier. Wind was also a factor for once, I've found with the Esprit that wind speeds can be quite high and tracking isn't too bad, but every now and then (couple of minutes apart), I'd get a good 30mph gust. I am still trying to find methods for star reduction, this has had a "minimum" filter applied to the tars to reduce some of the stretch/bloat, and whilst smaller stars would be nice, I kind of enjoy the overall brightness and richness of the star field, it's extremely rare I shoot this directly in to the Milky Way.. Otherwise, very little processing, just a stretch and pretty much done.
  8. Messier 13 imaged with my Esprit 100ED and ATIK414ex using Baader RGB filters (30x240s in each channel). I have Bortle class 4 skies here, but I also have neighbours who love two VERY bright halogen lights, a street lamp and of course the Moon was about last night and the night before. NGC6207 and IC4617 are clearly visable, despite the insane distance involved with IC4617, which is very pleasing, as I've only ever tackled this object with my LX90 8" SCT. I am also enjoying "find the galaxies", and noticed a small cluster of them mid right, not looked them up yet, but always a thrill to capture more than you bargained for.
  9. Your first galaxy is a cracking shot! Brilliant given the sky conditions and one to be proud of! Nice work, here's to many more galaxies and clear skies!
  10. HaRGB - 20x720s in each channel. Shot between the 24th and 29th with technical gremlins, haze and my neighbours constantly on halogen lights and work. Was rather pleasant shooting this as I got to see a fair number of shooting stars, the space station and that pesky Moon rise later and later over the water. Shot with my Skywatcher 100ED, ATIK414ex, Baader HaRGB filters on the NEQ6, guiding done through ASI120mm camera, off-axis though PHD2 with an RMS of 0.7-0.9". Thanks for looking!
  11. Well lets just say my focus was a little off with the green channel, because...well not actually sure, this normally works fine, they're parfocal(ish) and I've never had this issue before, I shot in order of R,G,B - R,B in focus, G not...so pass on that. Also my neighbourhood has gained two new citizens and they love their new shiny outdoor lights illuminating their garden. Those gradients are grim!
  12. 1: I shall have to check my guiding set up, it's off-axis using PHD2/ASI120mm for the camera. From my calculations I have a roughly 2.41" per pixel scale on the ATIK414ex and my RMS last night was 0.58-0.70", which being less than half I would say that is well within bounds, but there was a few rough patches, possibly caused by breeze or in one case a dog. Guiding updates where every 500ms - perhaps to short? Seeing interfering with the guide. Graph looks a little rough, RA being noisy, with DEC showing more "pattern", though equally nothing that stands out over the entire duration of the guide. 2: No flattener, as I was under the impression my 414ex has a small sensor and wouldn't really be affected by the scopes edge distortion. 3: Possibly, it's something I shall have to investigate, M101 is pretty high, so will have to try various targets at different angles. Thank you for your help, really appreciated, this "passion", keeps throwing new things at me to get obsessive about. Five years ago, I would have been supremely happy with this result and not questioned a thing!
  13. This is a "RAW" stack of 6*720s images in the R channel using my Esprit 100ED and ATIK414ex, taken between 21:40 and 23:00 before the Moon started to blot the sky out. Hoping with several clear night forecast to build upon this with a set of 20 in each channel. I'm not entirely sure what to make of the stars though, in this project and a few others the stars aren't "smooth", not sure if it's me being OCD about tiny details, or an actual problem. When shooting with my LX90 8" and this camera/filter config, the stars where smooth gradients, however with the smaller stars in this image, there are dints, or brightness changes seemingly in random places on the star. Any ideas regarding this would be handy!
  14. Lunar Phases by Chris Kennedy, on Flickr Click image to see the video, and watch full screen for some of those details to pop. Over several mornings I've shot large mosaics of the Moon, with steadily decreasing seeing conditions. Despite breaking my body clock and surviving on naps, this has been a worthwhile endevour as I've always wanted to show libration, wasn't sure I'd manage it with so few data points, but happily this 4K video (well stop frame animation) shows the wobble nicely and the ever changing surface details. All shot through my LX90 8" SCT with the ZWO ASI290mm camera at prime focus, the largest image needed 42 panels, the smallest 24. Each panel was made from a 15 second video, taking the best 200 frames to stack, mosaic stitched in Microsoft ICE and then ported to Photoshop for a sharpen and levels tweak. Frames dropped in to Premiere Pro and looped for the final sequence.
  15. 73 Percent Moon (Waning) by Chris Kennedy, on Flickr Shot this through mist and pretty poor conditions around 3:30am this morning (had to let it get past some trees), worth it and really enjoying watching some of the craters transform as the shadows grow ever longer. Managed three nights, so had to put together a GIF, admittedly it's not very smooth as you've got a 99.4 waxing Moon, a 92% waning Moon and a 73% waning Moon all in the mix.
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