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Found 126 results

  1. Through a combination of work pressure and living in North Wales with its tendency to cloudy skies :-( I have not been able to do much astrophotography recently. Some quickly grabbed (and very pleasant) visual sessions, but nothing where I could take the time to get properly set up and collect some real data. In fact checking back my last session when I captured enough data to even play with was May 2013. Something had to be done! Nov 29th was predicted clear, no moon, I was at home and without an early start the following morning. So the best opportunity in a long time. Unfortunately, it was so long since my last session that I had forgotten a great deal and everything had changed. New laptop, new versions of most of the software I use, forgotten processign workflows and so on. It was almost like first light again. So I set up and polar aligned using my newly acquired PoleMaster. I have to say it is a great tool, and if nothing else stops you wasting an enormous amount of time. You know that bit with a portable rig where you are grovelling on your knees, cursing your creaking joints and squinting through the Dec axis to roughly point the whole thing at Polaris? Made more complicated in my case by wearing varifocal glasses so having to further tilt my head around to get the right bit of the lens looking up the axis adding creaking neck to creaking knees. Well it turns out when I started using the PoleMaster to polar align that I wasn't pointing at Polaris at all, but some totally different star! Doh! So that saved me considerable time trying to sort out polar alignment. I have to say the PoleMaster is a great tool and got me set up much faster than had been my previous experience. Probably nearly as useful for experienced astroinomers as for those who can't even recognise Polaris when they see it Then I found I could not get my guide camera to work, but after messing around for a while ended up with my Atik 314L+ as the guide camera and Canon 1000D as the imaging camera. I decided not to go for anything challenging; I just wanted a picture! So revisited M31 and M45. And here they are. About 50 mins on each. I know the focus is a bit off. I know the field isn't flat and stars are egg-sheped in the corners. I know I didn't really collect enough data. I know the processing is poor (desperately trying to remember all that ollypenrice taught me). I know that there are many much better images of the same targets in this forum. BUT I DON'T CARE!!! I'm back doing some imaging after a long break and learning how all over again, and if feels great!!
  2. Hi All Having moved to a new location in the UK with fairly dark skies, my astronomical interests have taken a turn towards imaging Deep Sky Objects. Most of my 'kit' was geared up to planetary imaging using a 6" SCT on a CG5-GT mount. The closest I had to a 'fast' short focal length refractor was a Jessops 80mm f5 job. Lousy focuser, pathetic finder, poor quality eyepieces - you get the picture! Anyway, I decided to give it a go and I coupled my unmodded Canon 450D to this 'scope. Although it was tracking and roughly polar aligned it was not guided. One of the first images I captured with this setup inspired me to move on. Earlier this year, I invested in a SkyWatcher ED80 Pro - what a fabulous little 'scope. Using this on the same CG5-GT mount only this time using the now redundant Jessops 'scope as a guidescope with an Altair GP-CAM camera and PHD2 I tried again. Guess which of these two images is the ED80 version. OK - still a lot to learn. Just acquired a EQ5 Pro mount as my CG5-GT is getting a bit long in the tooth now and I'm always conscious of the racket it makes whilst slewing (always seems so much louder in the dark!) and getting to grips with the ASCOM platform and EQMOD - should be fun me thinks :-)
  3. Hey all, first attempt at Andromeda, first post here, first image in the northern hemisphere! Moved to the netherlands for work so a bunch of fresh targets to image! Canon 7d ISO 1600 100mm at f-4.6 23*5 min subs. I think I pushed it a little far but still pretty happy with it. Constructive criticism is welcome!
  4. Anyone here seen M31 without any optical aid whatsoever, including specs, contact lenses etc. Being the most distant object visible to the naked eye, I often wonder about this. It wasnt lookin too bad through my 20*60s but still dim. There is not a chance I would see it without binos from my sky. Sometimes I can make out the Milkyway, but tonight wasnt such a night, altho the Orion Nebula looks fantastic through my binos. As does M45.
  5. You don't often see me in here thesedays I started this a while back, really to see whether I could successfully mosaic deep sky images - past efforts haven't always been totally successful. The poor weather over the past few months have greatly hampered progress, but things are now starting to move on. This version is just under 1/3rd linear size. It's been put together like this really to give me a guide as to which bits still need doing. There's a lot of work ahead...
  6. and my main camera was clicking away, I was shooting with a second camera The Milky way looking North West with M31 - Andromeda on the left Looking South towards Orion over Llyn Celyn near Bala in North Wales
  7. Sooner or later everybody tries M31... Finally decided to it is time to make a first attempt. This is the last of the images taken on our summer astro party. 1730m above sea level are very tempting to try targets with fine detail It becomes trickier than I expected. The framing is not the best one... Still can't manage to align the stacks of 1min and 2min exposures which cased a burned core and so on. But I'm happy with it so far. Maybe one day will re-process it again M31 - Andromeda Galaxy Imaging: WO ZS 110 triplet + WO FRIII 0.8x, Modified 550D, EM-200, APT (Astro Photography Tool), PHD Guiding: WO ZS 66SD, DSI 1 Pro Subs: 14x10min = 2h 40min, ISO 1600, no calibration - only dithering Processing: DSS, PS CS3 Location: Rozhen (1730m ASL), Bulgaria Hope that you like it
  8. My M31. Shot over 3 nights. Only 11 total hours. LRGB only with Astrodon filters, ZWO ASI1600MM-C camera, and the WO Redcat.
  9. Twisted Lip

    M31

    From the album: Twisted Lip's Deep Sky

    23 x 300s (+ flats, bias and darks) ISO 400 Atronomik LP clip-in Canon 1100d (un-modded) WO GTF81 on an NEQ6 Guiding with SD80 via lodestar and PHD
  10. Leveye

    Andromeda

    From the album: iOptron ZEQ25GT

    © Chris Levitan all rights reserved

  11. From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    M31 Andromeda Galaxy (Our next door neighbour). Strange to think that at some point it will collide with the Miilky Way. Taken with a full moon and low in the sky with loads of light pollution hence the bright bottom right had corner. There are also another galaxies M110 (top right) and M32(bottom middle). I only took it in monochrome as time did not permit for full colour. I need to collect a lot more data to get a better image. Hopefully higher in the sky. The astrobin link for this is: http://www.astrobin.com/237037/
  12. alan4908

    M31 core (cropped)

    From the album: Deep Sky

    Cropped view of the M31 (third attempt) image - I was quite impressed by the ability of HDR toning to enhance details.
  13. wimvb

    M31 M33 Hdr

    From the album: wvb_dso

    Wide field around Mirach Shows the relative position and size of M31 and M33. To the far left is Schedar (a-Cass). Just below it is a tiny nebula (NGC 281). 22 2 min subs, flats, darks and bias
  14. alan4908

    M31

    From the album: Deep Sky

    My second attempt at M31 and my first attempt at a pier flip. The flip didn't work so I had to discard all the subs after the flip. I quite like the end result though. Taken in September 2015 with a Trius SX26C and a SW ED80. LIGHTS: 42 x 300s; DARKS: 30; FLATS: 40; BIAS: 100. All at -20C. Processed in MAXIM DL and Photoshop CC. This is a reprocessed version where I was attempting to get better detail and colours in the dust lanes.
  15. One of the first targets I went for when getting into the AP malarkey was, naturally, M31. I thought that it might be time to revisit the scene of my earlier crime: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/256542-m31-reprocess-from-mid-september-2015/ This was taken over three nights at the end of November. The ED80 has been swapped out for a WO Star 71 (Mk I) and I used a Moravian G2-8300 in place of the Atik 383 on the earlier effort (same chip, of course). This time around I tried not to go too overboard with the stretch or with the saturation. Data: Baader Blue 36 mm: 16x300" Baader Green 36 mm: 16x300" Baader Luminance 36 mm: 61x300" Baader Red 36 mm: 16x300" Chroma Ha 3nm: 6x1200" All unbinned for a total integration time of 11 hours and 5 minutes. Thanks to @ollypenrice and to @Patrick Gilliland for some early tips on the processing of some issues with this.
  16. Finally got round to starting a proper mosaic in SGP, and putting skills in PI into practice from Warren Keller's excellent book! This is not a fully processed image by any means, just a 1st attempt at the alignment workflow for the mosaic. T: Skywatcher ED80 M: EQ6-AZGT C: AtikOne G: AtikGP F: Luminance E: 4 panes, each 6 x 300s; fov for each pane is 1.19 deg x 0.95 deg; Basic Process in PI: Calibrate Cosmic Correction Star Align Image Integration Crop ABE Star Align for Mosaic ABE Histogram Curves So, pleased with the outcome - cannot see the seam at all. Yes, the data is noisy - rejection needs tweaking and needs heaps of data, but the workflow for creating the mosaic makes sense having run through a few times tonight!
  17. I'm still very early in the learning stage and have tried before but this is the first one I'm happy to share in return for advice. 7 x 135s lights, 2 x 135s darks, 11 x bias, total 15m44s, unguided, overprocessed M31. Back garden in Southsea around midnight last night. Just as a test to see if I'm learning the right way to do things. Any pointers as to anything wrong with this (apart from the overprosessing, oresumably needed due to a relative low amount of data)?
  18. Hi guys As some of you helped me a lot with advice on equipment I wanted to share my first picture of Andromeda galaxy to see what people think. It's not guided so it was with 5 minute subs and 1 dark. Let me know your thoughts. http://www.astrobin.com/full/271950/0/?nc=user A couple more added http://www.astrobin.com/full/273168/0/ http://www.astrobin.com/full/273160/0/ Gerry
  19. Hello again, So I finally got out last night (30th July) for my first ever observation with the Skywatcher 200P I've had collecting dust for about 2 weeks now! The sky was cloud-free but with urban light pollution. I really struggled to use the standard straight finderscope - I don't know how people cope with those: I needed yoga positions Back Bend, Table Top and the Camel just to get my eye even close! I'll try it some more but I imagine I'll be purchasing a RACI finder asap!! By scanning with the main scope though I'm fairly sure I managed to find M13 at first. It didn't look quite like it does in "Left Turn at Orion" though - to get a similar-sized view of the Cluster I had the magnification set at 133x which is nearly double the view in the book for a Dobsonian under medium power (75x or 40'). I wondered whether this was more likely because the ambient light was drowning much of the size of the cluster out? It was really impressive to see nonetheless! Then I tried to find Andromeda... Which I thought I had, but it wasn't nearly as large or impressive as the book suggested. I was far more impressed with the Hercules Cluster through both viewfinders, in terms of size and clarity. Is there a chance that I hadn't in fact found Andromeda but some other Galaxy, or could it be a problem with the urban lighting/ difference in direction I was looking that made the difference?
  20. Hi all, Just another update on my progress thus far... I had some good nights recently, with rather variable results, so wanted to share, and hope to receive some feedback on my musings as to the causes of the differences. First I went high up (1600 m) on a quite clear night, with also good seeing, and I was able to take this: Then, last week, I went less high (1000 m), good clear night, but with some more light pollution, but (IMHO) with better setup: The latter image was done doing drift alignment, AND PEC on my HEQ5 SynScan. The former only with drift alignment. I also tried the M31 on the second occasion, but it was much lower than the NGC6960 (which was close to zenith) and it has terrible traces and other anomalies: I had to dump a lot of subs... :-( So, as you might see, the stars in the second image are much better, but the light was better on the first image... I am obviously still also on a steep learning curve, so that might also have contributed... Question: how much of the quality of the stars in the second image do you think is due to the mount being better balanced pointing to zenith? If this is a significant amount, that would mean that for now I should limit myself to zenith objects, to obtain quality subs..... :-/ Second question: do you think making flats would help with the obvious lighting problems on the second image? Friday maybe I'm going out again, and will have another try at the NGC6960, or maybe its sister NGC6992... There's a full moon, though.... :-/ Thanks!! Gerhard.
  21. This is my first go at M31, taken with the EF200L and an unmodded Canon 1100D on a Astrotrac. I quite enjoy this wider FOV for Andromeda, its a nice change to see it floating in space rather than squeezed diagonally into frame hopefully this time next year i will have a scope and i myself will be doing the squeezing. Exposure details: 1 hour of 120 second subs, f4, ISO 800 4 hours of 180 second subs, f4, ISO 1600 Calibration frames 200mm FL Clear skies! Callum
  22. First stargazing trip of 2013 to the California foothills. As a matter of fact - first stargazing in WAY too long. The location was Cronan Ranchabout an hour from Sacramento, CA, at an elevation around 890' MSL. Skies were clear but moisture in the airmass brought seeing down to average if not slightly less than average. Stars boiled in the eyepiece all night when not overhead. Temps were near freezing...and despite gloves my hands froze. With skyglow from Sacramento on the SW horizon up to about 30-40 degrees I tried to limit my viewing from East to overhead...with a single target to the south (more on that later). The Milky Way was visible overhead...but really only overhead with direct vision. The night had three goals - observe objects in the Deep Sky section of the February issue of sky and Telescope, observe objects in the Deep Sky section from the January issue of S&T, and observe SN2012fr. Observing was done primarily with my 10mm EP for 120x but for some targets I added a 2x Barlow to go deeper...but I found that conditions did not favor the Barlow tonight. New finds. Old friends. Missed observations. While waiting for the sky to darken I spent some time with rising Jupiter. I was approached by a hiker while setting up and got the scope centered on Jupiter - unfortunately I let him look too soon because all he saw was a 'star-like' planet. Just after he left I collimated the scope and Jupiter and 4 moons jumped out of the EP. I felt bad because he realy would have liked the view. I'm pretty sure I saw the shadow of Io as it crossed in front of the king of the planets but good viewing was spotty due to less than perfect seeing. Additionally I viewed Albireo, the Ring Nebula (M57), and Andromeda (M31). With the scope pointed high overhead I opened my first observing list of the night: NGC 752 - And - OC - mag 6.6 - easily found, lots of stars, 'golf putter' asterism nearby IC 179 - And - Gx - mag 13.2 - tough find, just a small/faint haze about 2-3x bigger than the surrounding stars, averted only NGC 266 - Psc - Gx - mag 12.6 - easily found, very faint haze patch, no bar evident Lovro 2 - And - asterism - mag 10-11 - fairly easily found asterism that looks like double question marks (R.A.: 00h22m13.1s Dec.: +24°51'40" (2000) in Andromeda) Goal #1 - complete. Next I lowered the scope to the horizon and tried to pull faint Eridanus out of murky horizon. It took time with the finder scope, but I was able to ID enough stars to get in the neighborhood of SN2012fr - a 'kite-like' asterism of mag 6-7 stars in Formax that would serve as an easy go-to spot while searching for the SN. From the kite a short hop led to 3 stars mag 9.2-10.8 and then up to a pair of stars around mag 10.5 and on to a final, faint star at mag 11.1. Within the 110x EP view was the very faint (averted) glow of SN2012fr's host galaxy (NGC1365, mag 10.6)...but no star-like SN popped out. I spent many minutes trying to tease out the Sn's faint mag 12.x light...even tried more magnification with the Barlow but that just made things even more faint so i abandoned that quickly. Despite numerous attempts, SN2012fr never exposed itself to me. Goal #2 - fail (for the night). As my third goal covered a lot of clusters in/around Monoceros/Puppis and both constellations hadn't risen high enough for viewing I slewed the scope over to Gemini. A few gems graced the EP for the next 20-30 minutes. M 35 - Gem - OC - mag 5.6 - an old friend and very easy find due to size, too many stars to fit into the EP at 110x IC 2157 - Gem - OC - mag 9.1 - a small OC that looked like a bowtie at 110x with the left half being brighter and more filled in than the right half. NGC 2129 - Gem - OC - mag 7.0 - nice little cluster, a brightish anchor with slight haziness surrounding ... dozen+ stars clearly visible At this point my laptop battery said it was dead so my star charts were gone...Mon/Pup were still too low to see the target area so I called it a night and let my frozen body warm up. Goal #3 - epic fail (but I'll be back!) Not a complete loss I guess - 3 new galaxies barely seen, 2 new clusters and a few old friends. Happy Hunting!
  23. Taken 14th/15th Sept 2013. 6 x 30 minute subs, all processing in PixInisght. Big version here: http://www.astrobin.com/full/56573/?mod=noneImaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-ProImaging cameras: Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1iMounts: Sky-Watcher NEQ6Guiding telescopes or lenses: ST80Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY 5Focal reducers: Sky-Watcher 0.85x for 80EDSoftware: PHD guiding, AstroTortilla, PixInsight, EQMod, APTFilters: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2"Dates: Sept. 14, 2013Frames: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2": 6x1800" ISO400 bin 1x1Integration: 3.0 hoursDarks: ~109Flats: ~101Bias: ~330
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