Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by CKemu

  1. Rather than making a new thread, I thought I'd drop this here with the original images. Ended up playing with Star Net++ and Photoshop to remove all the stars from the image. I love the fact that your focus is now solely drawn to the nebula. Why I have only just heard of Star Net now is beyond me. But glad I have.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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".
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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!
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 92 Percent Waning Moon by Chris Kennedy, on Flickr That big old Moon is getting in the way of my deep sky work (one day M104, one day!), so decided to set my telescope up at the bar I run to allow people to check out the Moon, and after looking up, I braced the sea air and strong breeze to put together this 7000x7000 mosaic of the Moon with my LX90 8" SCT and ZWO ASI290mm. Typically the new Moon phase looks to be clouded out, might have more luck capturing every phase of the Moon and making an animation!
  18. 99 Percent Moon by Chris Kennedy, on Flickr Shot last night using my Meade LX90 8" SCT with the ZWO ASI290mm camera - was especially fresh last night with a strong cold SW wind, which made the waves on the beach 100m down the road sound very soothing as I did my best to keep warm taking 38x15s videos @ 80FPS - best 200 staked and then stitched using Microsoft ICE and then a sharpen and levels applied in PS. Been ages since I've shot the Moon, as normally I am waiting for it to go away!
  19. Thanks for that, flats I'd considered for dust etc, but removing the vertical stripes I'd not considered, need to figure out how to take a solar flat, but otherwise this does seem like a reasonable solution. I am surprised at the "intensity" of the column response every other line - seems excessive/abnormal, so still waiting upon ZWO to make a response on their support forum.
  20. Recently purchased a the 290mm through FLO and broke the astronomers curse by actually having a clear day to use it within the same week of purchase! Madness! However whilst taking it for a test run on my Coronado Solarmax II 60 (BF10) I discovered that upon stacking and normal processing the sensor displays vertical bands every other pixel, they aren't solid, but it's as if the chip is reading every other column as darker on average. This happens with or without gain, independent of number of frames stacked, or software used, attached is a "raw" image and one that's had levels and a sharpen applied. It shows faintly in the raw and obviously enhanced with the sharpen. I have also attached one that's 5x zoom, just for clarity and detail. I have checked all software/drivers, they're current and tried different USB ports with no change in results. Did a little research and found about 4/5 of the way down in the following link, the page talks about pixel response non uniformity. http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/CMOSvsCCD/index.html - But I would not have expected it to be this apparent, and so badly interfering with processing/the image. I've posted on the ZWO support forums, and await a response - but thought I'd share here for discussion and thoughts. FireCapture v2.6 Settings ------------------------------------ Observer=Chris Kennedy Location=Cornwall Scope=Coronado Solarmax II Camera=ZWO ASI290MM(80453643) Filter=L Profile=Sun Filename=Sun_112444.ser Date=150219 Start=112414.267 Mid=112444.274 End=112514.281 Start(UT)=112414.267 Mid(UT)=112444.274 End(UT)=112514.281 Duration=60.014s Date_format=ddMMyy Time_format=HHmmss LT=UT Frames captured=338 File type=SER Binning=no ROI=1936x1096 ROI(Offset)=0x0 FPS (avg.)=5 Shutter=100.0ms Gain=15 (2%) Brightness=1 (off) AutoHisto=75 (off) AutoGain=off FPS=100 (off) AutoExposure=off SoftwareGain=10 (off) USBTraffic=100 (off) Gamma=50 (off) HighSpeed=off Histogramm(min)=29 Histogramm(max)=219 Histogramm=85% Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a Limit=60 Seconds Sensor temperature=22.6°C
  21. I have a Coronado Solarmax II 60 BF10 telescope which was paired with my ASI120mm I purchased some years ago. The ASI120mm suffered from Newton Rings (fixed with a tilter) and also from horizontal interlace when imaging in H-Alpha (which ZWO never answered/resolved in numerous emails). So the ASI120mm has found use as my OAG camera for my LX90 and Esprit 100ED setups, and does a great job. Quick question, has anyone used the 178mm for solar imaging, have you experienced interlace or Newton rings, I've read some articles that suggest the camera had a global shutter resolving Newton rings, yet FLO and their website lists it as a rolling shutter which AFAIK with CMOS can cause Newton rings? Admittedly I'm not too fussed as my tilt adapter should in theory fix them - but I'd like to know what I am walking in to before making a purchase. This camera will be used with my other scopes for lunar imaging as well, so can anyone recommend alternatives to consider for a similar price point. I can't go much higher as my primary goal this year is to save for a new DSO imaging camera which will take my to a "printable" resolution. Many thanks in advance.
  22. Thank you, yeah the top image is taken with the Esprit 100 and 414EX combination. I've had the Esprit only for a relatively short period, but finding it fantastic, it's got great construction, well packaged and has performed really well with everything I've thrown at it so far. I went from the LX90 8" SCT as my main scope, to this being my deep sky set up, wider field of view, handles stronger wind conditions with excellent focus control by comparison, the LX90 I shall use for planetary nebulae and lunar/planets now. So for me the change was fairly dramatic, not sure what you'd experience/expect going from the 80 to the 100. Would be interested to see what you get out of it, not spoken to anyone with an identical setup yet.
  23. It's been months of rain and clouds down here in Cornwall, so I can honestly say I started feeling a little rusty by the time I remembered in which order to do things whilst setting up! Set up the scope and whilst a nearby street light is a bane, I decided to go for long exposure shots in wide-band RGB and picked two galaxies I've imaged before, but separately through a much longer FL telescope (Meade LX90 8"). With the Esprit 100ED and the same camera (ATIK414ex), I can "just" get them both in shot, along with some interesting background fuzzies, who's distance fascinates me, and I plan to research. This image is really no where near complete in terms of data, I manged: R 17x600s G 12x600s B 18x600s Guiding came out nice with an RMS of 0.45", so glad I discovered drift aligning through PHD2 those few years back. Want to get the data sets over 30x600s per channel, and then do a run of 20 or so H-alpha exposures in the 1200s range to pull out the star forming regions in M81 and capture the full extent of the starburst in M82, which showed up nicely in my 2017 photo with the LX90 8". Hoping we all get some excellent clear skies this ear.
  24. Yeah, tried running it through two laptops and my desktop, no difference. Sadly this is starting to seem like something out of my control, and will require me to save for some time to get a new mono camera. Annoying, but manageable, it's thankfully solar min currently.
  25. No one ever got back to me from ZWO, and no one else had any clues, past few years I have been focusing on deep sky stuff, had a few sunny days, so thought "new rig, new drivers", might be worth a go, nope, still giving me the same garbage performance, incredibly frustrating. I don't recall seeing the interlace patterns on lunar images, my image is 100% and sharpened, here's another one showing the limb, again sharpened, you can see how awful it is in terms of ruining the view of proms etc.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.