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  1. Hi all, I don’t really have a specific issue but was hoping someone might help with general advice for astrophotography. I’m using a 130pds with Canon 500D, shooting raw, on a belt driven guided Vixen-GP. Guiding is SVBony SV-106 50mm with qhy5l-ii-c. I did two test sessions - One on Monday night, one on Tuesday. Both nights were remarkably clear. (I know...hard to believe!) The first night I captured m81+m82 together, prime, with 1 minute 800 ISO images over about 90 minutes. I know that’s not a huge amount, but enough to gain some experience+confidence, I think. I learned that 1 minute at 800 probably isn’t enough but, regardless, the first subs looked usable. I noticed, after the session, that subs became darker as time went on. Shooting between around 22:00 and midnight that made some sense, as the sky was getting darker, but the subject (m81+m82) and stars got substantially darker too. I expected the backdrop would darken over time but the target+stars should remain around the same brightness. Am I wrong? The stack of these images really pleased me, though - Although the target galaxies weren’t particularly bright or well developed, the image was nice and clear and the backdrop smooth and dark. A success, from my perspective. For the second night I decided to improve by increasing the sub lengths and also decided to 2X Barlow and focus on just m82. I’m aware Barlow would make the subs much darker than at prime so I did some tests at 3 minute exposure. Not seeing a huge difference in target brightness I tried 4, 5, 6…and finally 8 minute. Surprised at how little difference there was I tested increasing ISO bit by bit too. I ended up taking 8 minute exposures at 3200 ISO, wondering why the target and stars still looked so faint. I only got around 10 subs but, this time, I noticed they became brighter as the night went on - The exact opposite of what happened the night before, shooting at the same time (22:00 to midnight) The stack this time was very disappointing - Very grainy/noisy, backdrop nowhere near as dark - Pretty much monochrome looking - It looked like something from the guide-cam but noisier! I’m stacking with DSS, took 5 or more dark frames for each session, and used the same flat frames for both sessions. I also tried stacking both sessions without flats, which didn’t account for the difference. Environment was the same both nights - Same setup position, same neighbourhoods lights (or unusual lack thereof!), no rising moon… I suppose my questions are Why would my lights get darker (background, stars, and target) as the night went on on night one? Why would my lights get lighter (background, stars, and target) as the night went on on night two? Why would night one stack perfectly but night two stack looks terrible? Safe to say 3200ISO was pushing it but the stack should still look better than any sub, no? Many thanks to anyone who read my wall o' text. First session first sub First session last sub First session stack Second session first sub Second session last sub First session stack
  2. I made the schoolboy error of not adjusting the ISO back down after finding my target. It's 52 x 120s, and my first ever 20 flats included with 20 bias, no darks. ISO 25, 600
  3. So the last week was kind and I managed another couple of sessions under the stars. The lack of dark nights has made this a labor of love indeed. I have gathered 5 hours for each Ha pane so I have managed one of my bonus goals. Total integration time so far is 17 Hours: I may not add any more data to this until the darker skies return :sad: Project status Stage 1 - Complete Stage 2 - Complete Stage 3 - Skipped Stage 4 - 0% Complete Stage 5 - Complete
  4. So I think I may be dreaming but there has been lots of clear nights here recently (and an almost whole week of clear skies forecast to come!) This has meant that I have been able to gather lots of data. I have completed gathering the HA and OIII data for stage one and two. Total time so far is 12 Hours 30 minutes total integration time. I have done a quick process of the data in a HOO palette I am quite happy so far. One side seems lighter than the other so I'll have to work on how I produce the mosaic I can't start the SII stages as I haven't purchased that filter yet so I'm going to press on with the HA and OIII and see if I can hit my bonus goals for these filters of 5 hours per mosaic pane to produce an image of 20 hours integration time in a HOO Palette Stage one - Completed Stage two - Completed
  5. AlastairW

    Melotte 15

    From the album: Messier and NGC Objects

    Melotte 15 Skwatcher 130pds ASI1600mm-c (-15) 7nm Baader Ha 10x5min lights No darks, flats or bias
  6. From the album: Messier and NGC Objects

    IC1805 Skwatcher 130pds ASI1600mm-c (-15) 7nm Baader Ha 10x5min lights No darks, flats or bias
  7. I know, 130PDS is not the best scope for planetary AP. But I just wanted to share my beginner's results. Both taken on 5th and 6 of May 2018, using 130PDS, x3 Barlow and ZWO ASi224MC. SharpCarp > Autostakert+Registrax Thanks for looking
  8. Hi guys, was away from astro imaging for a while. Once back, - decided to combat my Coma illness... Need advise as simply do not know if I can try something else. Images attached, are with 1mm spacer. Imaging train: 130PDS, SW coma corrector (0.9 reducer), T2 extender 11mm , 16.5mm M42-M48 extender, 1mm Baader Delrin spacer, 20mm ZWO FilterWheel, ZWO ASI 1600MM-pro CCD distance 6.5 = total 57mm and 56mm without 1mm Spacer. SW Coma Corrector states it needs 55mm, filters in the EFW add up around 1mm into the focal path, - ideal spot should be around 56mm. 56mm and 57mm clearly do not work... (will try 58 tonight...) how to get to the lower end ? I mean to 55mm, so I could test 55.5-56mm with Delrin spacers. Are there any 9mm T2 extenders? Further more... I am not sure if I have collimated it close enough... I flocked the scope, so had to remove focuser and both mirrors... Maybe focuser is tilted... Secondary may be slightly off.... kinda.... lots of done... raw, 120sec H sub frame_and_focus_85.fit
  9. Morning folks, I'm planning a bit of a change in my imaging setup and after much thought I need some input from others if you can. I want to upgrade my setup, currently a SW 130pds HEQ5 with a 60mm guide scope imaging with a modded 500D. I often find my imaging time limited but am planning the build of a mini obsy to make longer sessions more practical. Would mounting a SW72 ed on top of the 130pds be over kill to get an dual imaging system going and increase the data volume, both with a canon 500d and a simple finder guider, the mount should be ok with this. Or just keep the status quo and add an auto focuser for longer single scope sessions that can be more automated in keeping good focus with the lighter setup. The dual version I believe would end up having wider field images as I would probably have to add the higher resolution from the longer FL to the shorter FL images. Any 2p's worth would be appreciated I just want to achieve more productive sessions. Thanks Campbell
  10. Hi, While imaging with my Skywatcher 130 PDS I have discovered that I have some tilt in the focuser. I can see this while trying to collimate, I seem to get a shift when I change the focus. I believe that I can correct this by taking apart the focuser. Does anyone have any experience with taking apart the focuser? and how to correct the tilt? Thank you for your time and feedback. Fakhri PS I hope I posted this in the right place.
  11. Afternoon all, This is my first attempt at putting together an RGB image and I'm after some advice on imaging M101 (and RGB in general). So far I have gathered the following data of M101: Ha 20 x 900 (5 hours total exposure) RGB 24 x 300 (2 hours each filter at 1x1) This was collected on a 130pds with an Atik 314L+ With some clear skies forecast for tonight and possibly tomorrow I need to decide what data to add to the above. Would I be best off increasing the amount of RGB data or just start adding Luminance into the mix? I read somewhere that Luminance data can wash out the colour? If I was to add Luminance data to this set, would it be best to match the exposure times of the RGB as a starting point? Does anyone use a light pollution filter with LRGB exposures? I suffer from moderate light pollution and have a skywatcher LPF from when I used to image with my DSLR that I could use. What amount of Ha data should I be aiming for? Is there some guidelines on what ratios to work to on Ha,L and RGB? Is there a point where quantity of data no longer improves an image and its all about the quality instead?I'm quite patient so don't mind building an image over the course of many nights (in case its relevant to the questions). Thanks in advance! Rob
  12. My current setup is a 130pds, mounted on a HEQ5 PRO. I have been using it with an unmodified Canon DSLR which is going OK so far, but I do like the look of EAA as an option. Do you think my current rig lends itself to EAA (also considering getting an 80ED), obviously the bits that's missing is the camera. Is there a budget camera <£200, or an older model that I should look for 2nd hand. There are a few doing the rounds on ebay and .astrobuysell.com/uk/ although the 2nd hand cameras appear to be rather old. Cheers Jon
  13. Hello community, Does anyone know if I can use a Skywatcher Explorer 130pds with a Sony alpha a7iii? I'm quite new to AP... I know that I need a T-Adapter but I'm a little concerned about the potential vignetting I could get... Thanks a lot for the help! Cédric
  14. Hello all, I started a while ago a topic to show my progress on this target over a couple of years. Now I think I have a final image for this season. I will have to move soon and the clouds don't seem to let me see it again until then. Maybe if I get to travel to a dark site, but then I will go full resolution. Equipment used is a 130PDS with SW coma corrector, ASI1600MMC camera cooled to ~-15C, put on an AZ-EQ5, guided with OAG. Guiding accuracy was reported between 1.3" and 2" depending on the seeing. The window frames only allowed me to see the target for ~2.5h/night. Some nights had clouds, some not. Luminance was taken during 6 or 7 nights for a total of 156x180s frames at unity gain, through a visual CLS filter. That means 7h 48min. The visual CLS seemed to provide better results than the L (IR/UV cut) filter and the coma corrector didn't seem to add chromatic aberrations. Each RGB channel is made by ~60x60s at unity gain too. Ha, if I remember well, is just above an hour worth of 60s frames at 300 gain. I resized the images to 50% since they didn't provide more detail at full resolution due to poor seeing. Processing was done with StarTools and GIMP. Some star reduction. Red/white light pollution. If I missed other significant details that you're interested in, please tell. 16bit .png here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByhJ_xuQxcnjWHU1RWM0OVFmNG8 Or astrobin: http://www.astrobin.com/313011/ Thanks for looking and clear skies! Alex
  15. I think I'm done with the Hydrogen layer for these nebulae. I started 3 weeks ago a 4 panel mosaic with the 130PDS. I shot around 2h on each panel in 180s subs at 300 gain. And recently I thought to lower the noise in the darker areas and I shot another 7h with the Canon 300 F4 L and I combined the dark areas. I see now that I should have taken more frames with the scope as the quality of the image taken through the lens is way lower. Anyway, I still combined them a bit. The plan is to add LRGB too in the future and perhaps some O3 as well. Full resolution 16 bit .png here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByhJ_xuQxcnjNjdyMUpqSkJFYUU And, in order: the image taken with the lens, the one with the scope and the blend. Thoughts are welcomed. Clear skies, Alex
  16. Hi All, I recently upgraded to ASI mono and my Canon left to collect the dust and I am not happy about it. I spend a few hours around my scope thinking how to attach my Canon and start using it alongside ASI, which, currently will block any view from the dovetail. I think to rotate the scope in the rings, so ASI and Guiding scope will be placed at the bottom and place Cannon on the top dovetail. I am not sure if ASI or Guidescope will not hit the mount while slewing.... And not sure how to place Canon on the dovetail. Has anyone tried such a set up with Newtonian? P.S. If I will like the result, I think of Samyang lens for later...
  17. Hi guys Still waiting for some clear nights but in the mean time.what cc would u all recommend I've read a few posts and I'm still undecided . Skywatcher 0.9 ? Baader mpcc multi mkiii ? Thanks
  18. Hi all. Some of you may have noticed that I just posted a thread with M45 in it. Well, once M45 went behind my house I didn't want to waste all the time I spent setting the scope up and aligning it for the night so I managed to grab 1 hour on the double cluster, Caldwell 14. I know it's "just" a star cluster, but it's always one of my favourite observing targets and I think it's just simply beautiful to look at and, having learned some new processing techniques, I think it's got some gorgeous colours to it too! Thanks for looking Hamish / sagramore CLICK HERE for a Flickr high resolution version Caldwell 14 - The Double Cluster 2016-11-29, near Swindon, England Gear: * Skywatcher 130-PDS with 0.9x coma corrector (585 mm, f/4.5) * Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro Synscan * Canon EOS 550D (unmodified) and Skywatcher 2" LP filter * ZWO ASI120-MC guide camera * Skywatcher Startravel 80 guide scope Acquisition & Processing: * AstrophotographyTools (APT) and PHD2 guiding with dithering * 12 x 300s = total 60 minutes @ ISO 800 * Flats, library darks (7-12 C), library bias * Stacked in DeepSkyStacker and post-processed in Photoshop CC 2015 with Gradient Xterminator
  19. Hi everyone. I've not posted in a while - combination of summer, laziness, and very poor weather. However, I am back! I recently gave M45 a go. My main problem is local light pollution combined with being surrounded by tall houses, which means I only get something like 2-4 hours of visibility on a target if it ever gets in the right part of the sky. As such my first session only bagged me around 80 minutes of subs. Last night I managed to get another 100 minutes for a total of 3 hours. Coupled with this I learned a couple of new noise reduction techniques courtesy of Doug German's Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvL...DVQr1JDptAsbQg) I recommend anyone new to this and processing in Photoshop takes the time to go through his absolutely brilliant tutorials!! Anyway, here we are. I know I still pushed the noise up too high in the end, but I really wanted a hint of the dust, so I decided the tradeoff was worth it. Thanks for looking, and please do try the Flickr link to the full-resolution image as the small version here is very compressed. Hamish / sagramore CLICK HERE for Flickr link for full resolution version Messier 45 (Pleiades) 2016-11-07 and 2016-11-29, near Swindon, England Gear: * Skywatcher 130-PDS with 0.9x coma corrector (585 mm, f/4.5) * Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro Synscan * Canon EOS 550D (unmodified) and Skywatcher 2" LP filter * ZWO ASI120-MC guide camera * Skywatcher Startravel 80 guide scope Acquisition & Processing: * AstrophotographyTools (APT) and PHD2 guiding with dithering * (15 + 21) x 300s = total 180 minutes @ ISO 800 in two sessions * Flats, library darks (12-14 C and 7-12 C), library bias * Stacked in DeepSkyStacker and post-processed in Photoshop CC 2015 with Gradient Xterminator
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