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Found 19 results

  1. Went out on Sunday night to try and get some OIII for the Veil Nebula Bi-Colour Mosaic I’m currently working on. It ended up being a largely frustrating night though as I was fighting a big, bright full moon (in hindsight not the smartest decision I’ve ever made in fairness, lol). Factor in just enough intermittent clouds to exacerbate the issue even more, and when it finally set behind the neighbour’s house at 03:30am I was feeling pretty glum and was about to pack up for the night when I suddenly thought, what the heck, let’s try for a quick capture of 21P! As it was fairly low to the East, I had to disconnect all the cables and carry the whole rig to the other side of the house and re-do Polar Alignment, PHD calibration and focus. I did think about not guiding, as I knew the exposures were going to be short, but it just feels wrong not to guide these days so I decided to do it anyway just for peace of mind if nothing else. So I started capturing around 04:15ish and as astro-dark was due to finish shortly after 5am I decided to just do 40 subs of 90s each using the IDAS-D1 filter (we have streetlights nearby). Went in to grab a quick 60 mins of shuteye, except I overslept and didn’t wake until 06:30, so was then in a mad rush to pack up and get ready for work! Which meant I forgot to get Flats, but thankfully I was able to re-use the master Flat from my M13 image from a few months back and it seemed to work just fine ? Processing this one was interesting to say the least. This is my first comet, so I had to do some research beforehand. These days I always do my stacking in APP, but I had to go old-school and use DSS for this one due it’s special Comet-only stacking mode. So I did 2 stacks, a regular Median one just for the stars, and a 2nd Kappa-Sigma one aligned on the Comet (and using the same reference frame as the Median stack). Some subs were badly affected by intermittent clouds, so I could only stack 33 out of the 40 subs (and tbh 33 was really pushing it, quality-wise). I processed each one separately in PS and then layered in just the comet on top using the ‘Screen’ blending mode. I actually wasn’t aware there was red nebulosity in the background until I started stretching, and it certainly would have been easier to process had it not been there, lol. As expected, I have had to use quite a bit of NR compared to my normal amount, due to the pitiful amount of exposure to work with. Hopefully it doesn’t look too bad but let me know if you think it needs more or less of anything in particular. Of course, there’s only so far you can ever go with just 49 mins of data at hand. As the capture was done in such a rush, I didn’t bother worrying about the framing. I just input the co-ordinates into SGP and let it centre on the object for me. But having now worked out where in the sky this is, and looking at the FoV, I can see that had I rotated the camera 90 degrees then the Cone Nebula would have been in the frame. I actually haven’t imaged the Cone before, so I think this winter I will make a point of imaging it in it’s own right, and then I can re-use it to make a much more interesting version of this image with a much better background. Fun times! C&C welcome as always. And thanks for looking! ? Edit: Decided to make a few changes, so here's v2:
  2. Is it possible to fit a dual-speed focuser from a Sky-Watcher Equinox Pro 80 (following on from an upgrade) to the Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED that came with a single speed focuser? Is there an adapter that can be sought for it?
  3. .... Or so it seemed there were certainly enough horses around me! The clouds decided to budge outta the way at 11ish but I was still a bit busy sorting some things out and finished up by midnight. Work the next day though so I was left with a dilemma... Well, common sense prevailed so I went out to do some astronomy! However, keeping it reasonably sensible (for a change) and rather than a standard marathon session I promised my good Wife I'd be out for only a short while. To keep things simple I packed my 80ed and camera tripod for an uber quick setup with only a couple of EPs - My 36mm Baader Aspheric and SW 22mm. This was going to end up a bit more a test really of what the 80ED can do with a little bit more darkness and more importantly further away from local LP and at least get out after the disappointment of Monday night's rubbish night where I packed up early having seen naff all due to rubbish transparency and woeful dew. I walked a bit further instead of going to my allotment which is reasonably dark and opting instead to go with my lightweight setup to Common Ground close by but at least going a little further away from light pollution. It does indeed make a difference! iPhone app SQM reader gave a reading of 20 and pretty sure I can improve on that going further out to the west (got a couple of locations earmarked that I can possibly cycle to just need to work out the logistics of carrying the scope). I entered the Common gates around 00:45 and there were quite a few horses mulling about doing whatever it is horses do at that time of night. Actually there were loads of them. I made may way through them without trying to startle them and made my way to the highest point at a reasonable distance away from them. After spending all of 1 minute setting up (gotta love a grab n go setup) - on to M101. Directly above me proved to be rather a challenge with such a setup and my 80ED focuser is starting to slip (need to tighten it up a bit) but really it is not too happy about gripping a 2" diagonal and a hefty 2" eyepiece. It was just about managing with the Baader EP but the SW 22mm was a no go (it's reasonably heaver) Perhaps for the future I'll stick to just taking my plossls and Orthos! Star hopped from Mizar following the line of bright stars 81, 83, 84 and 86 Uma directly to M101. Bang! There is was... M101: Thought this would be a challenge with the limited aperture but to be honest it showed much more clearly with the 36mm EP that I've ever seen it with the C8 in my allotment. A decent sized core surrounded by light haze. I tried my 22mm and managed to get it to hold for a little while with the thumbscrew tightening the focuser but it was still slipping if I didnt hold the whole thing up. With the 22mm (very briefly) I could make out a considerably brightening of the area and slight patchiness in contrast. It was too frustrating though to keep going so I went back to the lighter 36mm and observed it a while taking in the view before moving on to M97 and M108 M97 No filter required it was just about visible direct vision but much better with averted vision showing a small circular bit of fuzz. M108 a small fine light area the shape of it showing more easily with averted vision as an extented oblong however I could not see any detail outside of the core. M65 / M66 distinct spiral galaxy form long oblong both showing a considerably brighter central core with the 36mm. Fascinating to see them within the context of such a large FOV. With the 22mm the area outside the core was more more visible with the main core fading slightly away. NGC 3628 to make up the Leo triplet. Just visible with averted vision but a tricky customer! Long ghost like apparition that soon faded from view. Pleased to have got this one though with the 80mm frac! So my mission is to find a place where NGC 3628 is visible direct vision easily with the 80mm Close to mag 6 NELM required? I had a quick scan around Cygnus... So many stars! The Milky Way looked absolutely astounding with the wide field view of the 80mm scope and 36mm EP. I could not see the Veil with it but then I had no filter with me and it was still rather low down. Naked eye the Milky Way was just about visible although this should be better in a month or so. I spent a little while just bombing around the area of the Milky Way with a big cheesy grin on my face. Well that was it it was close 1:45am and I packed up my stuff. Not too far away I noticed I was being observed myself by 4 horses. I'd just got everything stuffed into my back pack and scope in its bag and they decided to make a bee-line for me. Good job I'd decided to pack up as possibly horses and optical equipment don't mix terribly well. Still, It was a shame to have to go on such a wondrously clear night that wasn't freezing but I think I may now make another trip further out to get even darker.
  4. Hi guys With the weather here in the UK being so bad recently, and with work commitments and other boring life stuff going on I haven't done much imaging lately, but I did finally manage to get out and grab some OIII data a couple of weeks ago to go with my old Ha data of NGC 1499 from back in September. The Ha data was from first light for the newly modded D5300 and Baader Ha filter. We have an outdoor sports facility only a couple of hundred yards from our house, and annoyingly the ridiculously bright floodlights don't turn off until after 10pm on weekdays, so even though there was no moon to contend with, I had no choice but to wait until the lights were off before I could start shooting the OIII. I thought about shooting more Ha while I waited, but in the end I decided to shoot some short subs without any filter, just to use for RGB stars. I stupidly didn't use my IDAS-D1 filter, and the scope ended up pointing almost directly at a streetlight for all the RGB subs. The result was a stack that had a simply insane gradient running through it, and which made gradient reduction on the stack impossible, as it was changing so much between subs. In the end I had to run gradient reduction on each individual RGB sub before stacking, and then run it again afterwards! Thankfully I only shot 20, so it wasn't too laborious. In the end I had something which, despite having a really ugly background, did at least have useable stars. As for the OIII, boy was the signal weak with this one. I'm used to dealing with weak OIII signals on the D5300a, but this one really took the biscuit! Thankfully J-P Metsavainio's tone-mappng technique allows one to get the sledgehammer out for such cases, so I was able to stretch it far enough to get something out of it (even if it doesn't yield any fine structural detail for the OIII). So this is 23 x 8 min Ha, and 9 x 20 min OIII subs. Calibrated with Flats and Bias, and dithered aggressively. The stars are made up of 20 x 90s subs. Everything shot at ISO 200. The usual gear was used, HEQ5 Pro Mount, SW 80ED (with FF/FR), guided with PHD2 and a Finder-Guider and Legacy QHY5. Captured with SGP, pre-processed in APP, and processed in PS. I have to say, I really like having the stars in a separate layer in PS. So much so, this is how I'm now going to process all my images from now on. It makes things so much easier being able to adjust whatever I want and not have to worry about constantly protecting the stars. I'm not actually finished processing this one, but I thought I'd post it up for now anyway, and update it later. I still haven't ran any noise reduction on it yet, so I need to do that next, but hopefully the final version will not look much different to this. I did have some fun playing with the colour on this one. I have noticed today though, that it looks quite different on my work Dell monitor compared to my cheap Korean one from home. I think it looks a bit duller today, but I'm just not sure! What do you guys think, does it need more or less of something in particular? All comments welcome, I'm always looking to learn! Cheers all!
  5. I'm selling my set tube rings fory Slywatcher 80ED on a 250 mm Geoptik Vixen dovetail. All fully working. I will split if no buyer found for the combination. £40 inc. Postage to UK mainland.
  6. Hello, I have taken my first steps into DSO Astrophotography last night. It was a bit frustrating as my Polar alignment can really do with some work. I tried to drift align, but I think I just made it worst Anyway I had to reduce my exposures to 120S from 300S and then it seemed stable enough. I captured 8xLights and 4xDarks @ ISO800, 120S, F4.75 (i.e 378mm with my 80ED, used a reducer / flattener) I have still had to crop the image down to size a bit as the corners are a little dark / odd. Stacked in Deepskystacker and then edited in Image analyser - I think I have over processed abit I really want to extract more of the nebulosity, but not sure how to. Anyway enough faff heres the image (Png has been reduced to 3rd of Size) I have two ISO1600, but they are quite washed out, not sure how to use these. 4 of the 8 iso800 lights are best contrast, so might restack with just these. Anybody have any idea on how to use the star mask in DSS? Any comments / suggestions welcome.
  7. Hello My 80ED telescope was suffering from a lot of bloated stars around the outer 1/3rd of my frames in a DSLR. So I order a new 0.6 flatterner reducer, which arrived yesterday in the post from Orion Optics in the UK. Last night was amazingly clear at my home, at 2am I could make out the milky way. This does not happen often where I live in Sussex. So it was a great night to test out the new kit, considering that it pushed my 80ED up to F4.5.It is just as well as the temperature outside was 18C and my DSLR sensor was running at 28C.This allowed me to image at ISO1250 for 120sec exposures. (I might try to go above 120sec once its starts to cool down again.)So managed to get about 90 frames of which I had to throw away 13 due to the morning light washing out the image.What do you guys think of my first attempt at a Nebula? Any advice on how to get more out is welcome.I am thinking of modding my camera, but can't pluck up the courage to open her up!Would a Ha filter help with this image, with longer exposures?For the technical minded here is a single full frame sub (25% size 80% Jpeg) taken through the reducer, with no processing (except compression and resize)Thanks for looking.
  8. From the album: Moon

    This was taken last night at about -4C in 12bit Raw format with 2000 images and a 25% stack. Debayer and Stack in AS!2 and some RGB and wavelets in Registax. Lastly I placed the moon on a black background and positioned it to make a nice desktop image. Enjoy
  9. For sale is my skywatcher 80ed..think it's the evostar version but not 100%..its native f7.5, 600mm fl, 80mm diameter..I bought this second hand about a year ago ish..fantastic scope,got me on the widefield imaging road..thoughly enjoyed it,but as I now have a William optics 80mm frac it will be taking a back seat.. I can sell it on it's own(with the case and a 9x50 finder) for £180,or £280 with the .85 focal reducer and canon t ring..plus delivery costs,I can accept paypal but obviously you will have to cover the fees..
  10. Due to a personal issue I need to sell my Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro f7.5 refractor. This scope needs no introduction to astronomers as its status is well known for both visual use & astrophotograghy. Comes with an aluminium carry case, 6x30 straight through finder, 90 degree 1.25" diagonal, but the scope allows also for 2" diagonals to be used also. Also included is a camera adapter that screws straight on to the focuser tube also. A smooth dual speed Crayford focuser allows for accurate focusing. Excellent condition, with super clear optics. Looking for £270 for the scope. If required I also have up for sale an AZ4 mount that I am selling seperately in another thread for £100, but willing to sell the scope & the AZ4 mount together as a package (great grab and go combination) for £350. Will post pictures up soon. Willing to meet up with buyer within an hour or so from Hull, or am quite regularly down in Romford area for work, so will be travelling down the A1 or M1 route on Tuesday to stay in Brentwood until Friday. Any questions please ask.
  11. I've seen a few posts with people asking about & comparing the ED80 & the ZS71 for AP. So I thought I'd post up my impressions & findings as I test these out to determine the direction for my next imaging setup. I'm hoping that the ZS71 will have better star control than my much loved ZS66, which tends to show star bloat in RGB. My last imaging session was nearly 4 months ago & whilst waiting for clear dark skies to return I've been collecting kit for next seasons rig. My plan is for a triple shooter and I've narrowed the affordable scopes down to 80ED's or ZS71's. Well, about 6 weeks ago I picked up a very clean, used ZS71 (2013), to compare with my 80ED and I just can't wait for dark skies any longer. So tonight I finally got back into the obsy and setup the 80ED & ZS71 side by side. Pier mounted NEQ6 Each is fitted with an .85x reducer/flattener. This takes the 80ED down to f6.37 and the ZS71 down to a nice f4.7 The CCD's are Atik 314L+'s and (because it's still not astronomically dark here yet) I've fitted a Baader 7nm Ha filter in the train for the first image test. I normally cool to -20c but it's warm tonight so settled for -10c Guiding is with a 50mm finder/guider (SX CoStar) & PHD Focused with Bahtinov masks NGC6888 The Crescent Nebula These are the first uncropped single 10 minute subs (taken at the same time under the same conditions) to roll out. No calibration, just an auto stretch in PixInsight. It gives you an idea of the field of view and the depth each scope allows for the same exposure time. I've probably got an hour or so's usable data with each one before the clouds have rolled in. I'll shoot some flats & bias later (I don't use darks with the 314's) & follow up with stacked versions. I think it might still be a few more weeks before I get to try RGB. 80ED ZS71
  12. I'm selling Geoptik dual vixen mounting bar with vixen dovetail. In full working order. £97 inc UK mainland postage.
  13. Hi all This is my first attempt at imaging the moon with my QH5l (Planetary Webcam) I took about 2000 raw frames at 14bit through my 80ED with a 0.5FR (to get the moon into the frame) I have stacked at 25% in AS!2 and done minimal wavelets and RGBautoalign in Registax. I have played a bit with the gamma and midtones via filters to try to even out the brightness. Rotated moon and placed against a black background and reduced the size for this forum. Any advice as how to reduce the bright spots without loosing the detail. Or is this what it is supposed to look like?
  14. I know that a QHY5 is a pimped webcam, but it is not a dslr or a CCD. So I am a bit over imaging Jupiter for now, so I turned my attention to the moon. Anyway enough waffle, with out further adduce my first attempt at lunar stacking. What do you guys think?
  15. Hi all, I am looking for an ED glass refractor, the SW 100ED, 80ED or similar models from other manufacturers. I have missed a couple on astroboot, and here . Preference would some place in the south east (I am in Kent), or posted. Cheers Jon
  16. Hello, I am looking to upgrade the focuser of my SkyWatcher 80ED to resurrect it and use, along with an extension tube, for some night sky photography, if any body has a dual speed focuser for sale to fit my refractor I will be glad to evaluate offers. Has to be willing to ship to EU Thank uyou Giovanni
  17. I love the way Charl does these shots. With coaching from him, I cranked this one out this morning. They are a bit of acquired taste, like good scotch, but I like 'em a lot. Thanks Charl! Clear Skies
  18. Any suggestions on positing this to a better section then please let me know... I have been using a 200p Dob for over a year now. I have been impressed with it and managed to take some decent pictures and web cam videos whilst nudging it around. www.mauton.co.uk To add to the mix I have a modded XBOX webcam along with a Canon1100d DSLR. I have decided that I am interested in DSO and have been thinking about upgrading to a GOTO/Tacking mount such as the HEQ5 and/or 80ED. My options are as follows, with questions on each: 1. Buy a new mount HEQ5 (not sure on exact model yet) with a 80ED Refractor. This seems to be a good entry setup for DSO's from various posts on these forums. Q. Will I be able to use by DSLR 1100D fine? or will I need anything further Q. Except for the obvious improvement with a tracking mount, how will the 80ED improve the images I can take over that of the 200p ? How does the f7.5 as opposed to the f5.91 make that much difference? 2. Sell by 200p Dob and purchase a 200p on a EQ-5 mount. It would be the same scope however I get to have a mount which can then be motor driven. Q. Would it be worth it in any way keeping the 200p and going with option 1? 3. Has anyone mounted a 200p Dob on HEQ5 mount? Then all I have to buy is the mount.... Q. How would the image quality etc be improved if I purchased the ED80 ? Many questions I know !!! - But please any that you can. Thanks
  19. I have recently bought an HEQ5 Pro mount and was planning to get a SW Evostar 80ED to sit upon it so that I can learn the basics of astrophotography. I've read here and elsewhere that this really requires the SW .85x reducer/flattener to get any decent results, and that all seems to make sense to me. Unfortunately there are none of these flatteners to be had in the UK, so I have postponed my purchase. I do have a SW Explorer 150PL, which has been a lot of fun for the last few years and I plan to rest it on the HEQ5 as soon as those clouds move away, but I don't see it as a great tool for DSO AP (although I will be trying some lunar pictures). Is there and alternative to the 80ED that would be suitable for a beginner for DSO AP? I'm lucky that my budget can be reasonably flexible (in as much as I have considered the Equinox 80ED), but I don't want to throw money at something that would be wasted on a beginner. But my impatience to get started means I'd rather not have to wait a couple of months for SW to send some more flatteners to these shores. I have a Canon 550D DSLR and a Phillips ToUcam PRO II webcam. [Hmmm. Impatience - yes, I know that is not a good trait for AP.] TIA,
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