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Found 106 results

  1. Like the lunatic that I am, I decided to get the scope out last week during that storm that was passing through. The skies were clear and there was no moon about, so I figured why not! Only problem was the 17-20 mph winds, lol. I got 2 hrs of subs but had to throw away half of them due to guiding problems more so than the wind, amazingly. This was the 2nd time in a row i'd had Dec guiding problems, and that's after about 2 years of not having a single problem guiding. After the 1st hr of wasted subs, I turned off Fast Switching in Dec and chose to only Dither in RA, and the Dec problems mostly went away, at least to allow me to capture 1 hr of 'still dodgy but just about useable' subs. Once M42 disappeared behind the neighbour's roof, I then re-calibrated on the Celestial Equator (Dec 0) and when I switched to the Pinwheel Galaxy I was able to guide as normal again (with Fast Switching and Dithering in both RA and Dec both turned on again) and didn't lose any subs, despite the wind, so I've decided that from now on I won't be calibrating at the target itself, i'm always going to do it at Dec 0. I decided to throw this in with another 1 hr of subs (plus 10 x 30s for the core) that I took back in Jan 2017 (has it really been that long?!). That hr also had issues, with some weird streaking in the lower left that I could never work out what caused it. The D5300 hadn't been modified at that stage either. So I fired it all in to APP and decided to stack it anyway, and give it a quick process. Then chose to crank it up to 11 on the colour front, just for laughs. It won't be going on the wall anytime soon, lol, but I suppose it came out a bit better than I was expecting, all things considered. 20 x 360s with an IDAS-D1 D5300, 80ED, HEQ5-Pro. Stacked in APP, processed in PS. CS! edit - I forgot to downscale it - so no pixel peeping allowed
  2. Between the clouds, moon, neighbour's roof, nearby floodlights, and all the usual general life stuff, i've simply not been able to get any meaningful data on the HH (or Orion for that matter either) for the last 2 years! To say it's been my nemesis would be an understatement. At this rate i'll be glad to have that box ticked proper before i hit 50 So when we had a few hrs of clear sky (and no moon) a couple of weeks back i knew i had to give it a go. I luckily managed 9 x 7mins before it disappeared behind the neighbour's roof. I also have 5 subs of Ha (90 mins in total) from last March, although it wasn't of great quality (there was a nearly full moon right beside it, plus the neighbour's fire smoke was billowing up through the Fov ). I've been waiting patiently for more clear skies to add to this, but that 's not working out too well, lol. I really shouldn't be processing this, but all work and no imaging makes Ciaran a dull boy, so here goes nothin... 9 x 7mins with an IDAS-D1 4 x 1200s and 1 x 900s of Ha ~2.7 hrs in Total Stacked in APP and processed in PS. Lots of heavy lifting needed in PS, and i've reduced it to 50% in size as well. For now, at least, this will have to do. There's a lot of good HH's about so hopefully this one's not too hideous! I'll post what the 2 raw stacks looked like below as well, just for kicks. Here's the 9 x 7 mins raw stack (with DDP stretch): And here's the ~90min Ha raw stack:
  3. Leo Triplet (M65, M66, and NGC 3628), The Leo Triplet is a small group of galaxies about 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. large version at astrobin https://www.astrobin.com/391520/ Date: 4th January and 2nd February 2019 Mount: Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro Telescope: Orion 10" f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Camera: Nikon D5300 self modded full spectrum Total exposure: ~3 hours Subs : 300sx36, Flats, Bias, Darks ISO: 400 Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Guide Cam: ASI120MM Filter: Optolong UV/IR cut Corrector: Baader MPCC Mark III Coma Corrector Capturing: digiCamControl Guiding: PHD2 Stacking: Deep Sky Stacker Processing: Pixinsight/Photoshop Location: Ridiyagama, Sri Lanka thank you and clear skies.
  4. I wasn't going to share this, but what the heck. The winter of discontent continues, so i guess even this little data has to constitute an image these days. After what seemed like an age of night after night of clouds, we had a rare few hrs of clear skies one night last week. So i managed to grab a whopping 9 x 7 mins of the Horsehead Nebula before it disappeared behind the neighbor's house. I then needed something else to aim for, so i brought up the Leo Triplet Sequence in SGP and managed to nab about 2.75 hrs in total, before the clouds returned. It really, really needs double, if not triple this amount, so i wasn't really intending on processing this tbh. I was really just messing about in APP and PS testing several things out, so there was no proper workflow being adhered to. I took an Auto DDP stretch out of APP and quickly processed it in PS, without much care. I noticed it was lacking in colour, so i thought this would actually be a good candidate to try out some ArcSinh Colour-Preserving stretches, so i took another linear stack and used Mark Shelley's excellent PS method for doing the colour-preserving stretches. Lo and behold, i ended up with a stack that was very rich in colour, so much so in fact that the sky background had also mottled up pretty bad. So i used a mask to only apply the rich colours to the stars and galaxies of the original image, and it made a HUGE difference. It was only at this stage that i suddenly thought i might as well actually go ahead and make an image out of it. I really want to stretch it more, but it just can't take it. There's just not enough data, end of story. In fact i may have already stretched it too far as it is. The background is a tad lower than i would have liked as well, but it was needed to help suppress the noise. I've ran quite a bit of NR too, more than i'm usually comfortable with, and it's still noisy. I know what the answer to that is of course, more data! (not likely). I do quite like the colours though Feedback welcome. 24 x 420s (2.75 hrs) 80ED (x0.85), D5300, HEQ5-Pro, IDAS-D1. Resized to 66% to help hide some of the warts!
  5. Update: 3rd June Re-processed to remove slight magenta tint caused by the non-uniform removal of light pollution by the DBE process ( it was being fooled by the very bright image centre ). The globular star cluster Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) A full size image can be found here. original below ..... A newly captured ( May 2018 ) image of the great southern globular star cluster, Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus - ( please click / tap image to see larger and sharper ) A full size ( ~ 6000 x 4000 ) image can be found here ....... This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the colours of the stars, including in the core. Image details: Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( up is North ) Focal ............. 1375.99 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 20.9" x 38' 55.1" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 45.065 Dec: -47 28 27.26 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher Eq8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)\ Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2018 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  6. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax ………………………. ( edit - star chart added ) The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) - Chart ( please click/tap on image see larger and sharper version ) A full size ( 6200 x 4407px ) image can be downloaded from here. ………………………. Details: Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837 when he discovered this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 240 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies. ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1375mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 3, 7 & 8 Dec 2018 ) 7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at unity gain ( ISO 250). 140 x 240s + 10 each @ 4s to 120s total around 9.7 hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat , master dark Integration in 7 sets HDR combination Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday">www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday</a> Image Plate Solution =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... -0.003 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 37" x 38' 55" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 36 Dec: -36 08 27 ===================================
  7. Hi guys After processing the Eastern & Wastern Veils separately a couple of months back, I've finally got round to doing the mosaic that was always the end goal (hence the framing of each panel). I'm not sure why I waited so long to do it, I think deep-down I was secretly dreading it really, as this is my first mosaic so I wasn't really sure how it would go. So this is just 2 panels, and each one has 5 hrs of Ha (15 x 1200s), with 3 hrs 20 mins of Oiii in one (10 x 1200s) and 3 hrs 40 mins of Oiii (11 x 1200s) in the other. So 17 hrs in total. APP was used for stacking, gradient reduction, and the mosaic creation. PS used for everything else. Ha assigned to Red, Oiii to Blue, and Green was synthesized from one of Carboni's actions. I've tried to push it as far as I dare to, did I over-do it do you think? I've resized it down to 66% to help hide some of the noise, and being a mosaic it's still plenty big. I might even end up bringing it down to 50%, we'll see. C&C welcome as always. I tend to finish my images very late at night, so I can sometimes fall into the trap of not seeing the image as clearly as I should! So feel free to be as harsh as you like
  8. Hi guys So we had a completely clear night last Thursday and, as luck would have it, i was actually off work all week, so i was able to take full advantage. Well, mostly, as you'll soon find out. As it turned out this was a night that almost went completely awry. The first thing that i messed up was i forgot the external battery that keeps the D5300 powered all night. I only noticed this after driving the 45 min trip back to the family home where i do my imaging. Doh! Luckily though, i dipped into my big bag of astro stuff and found the 2 old camera batteries and charger that i used to use. By my reckoning it was last December when i last used them, so i was amazed to find they still had quite a bit of charge in them! So i was able to charge one while i used the other. Unfortunately though it meant i had to keep going out to the scope every 2-3 hrs to change battery, but tbh i was just relieved that i didn't have to drive home and lose another 90 mins of dark sky time. The next thing to grumble was the guider. For some bizarre reason, i could not see Polaris in the Fov in Sharpcap. I could barely see anything at all tbh so even though Sharpcap told me it was able to platesolve i was very dubious. And then when i came to do the Sharpcap PA routine, the adjustments were jumping around all over the place. It took me about 25 mins to PA instead of the usual 5, and i really thought the guiding was going to be a nightmare, but what do you know, it turned out to be actually really good. It even dipped below 0.5" at times. Go figure! Due to the floodlights of the sports facility (which is rather conveniently only about 100 yards away from the house) i was forced to start with Ha subs, then once they were turned off at 10pm, i switched to Oiii, as i knew the moon was coming up around 00:30 so i needed to take advantage of the darkest part of the night. I figured i'd go for about 3 hrs of Oiii, knowing that with the final filter change back to Ha again, i should end up with about 4-5 hrs of Ha in total. Well, after doing the last filter change and going back in to grab a nap for a couple of hrs, when i woke up and checked Team Viewer i noticed that the sequence had unexpectedly ended. Went out and saw that the 7 Ahr LifePo4 battery i use for the mount had died. I also noticed that the lens of the Finder-Guider had completely dewed up. As it turned out, the dew strip for it had failed so i've had to order a new one. I've also ordered a PSU to power the HEQ5-Pro from the mains, so fingers crossed i shouldn't have to worry about mount power over the winter now. All in all this was a bit of a pain of a night, as i normally only shoot 1 filter per night. Sometimes in the longer winter nights i might do 2, but i've never done 3 before. It's a real hassle too, as i need to shoot flats, change filter, re-frame and re-focus. All of which can take upwards of 30 mins. Hmmphh. So long story short i didn't end up with as much Ha as i wanted for this, which has meant it's been trickier to process than i would have liked. I should probably have just waited and done another night of Ha, but with all the hassle i have to go through to get any imaging done these days (drive, setup, tear down and pack away, drive home, sleep deprivation) i will always just try and use what i've got and move on to the next target. The Mean ADU level was quite low on this one, probably because the target is quite small and only occupies the centre of the frame. I've probably been lucky up to now, by mostly shooting larger targets, so i was disappointed with the low ADU levels, which are scraping the bottom of the barrel for me in terms of getting away from the noise floor. So i upped my exposures a bit, pushing as high as 25 mins, which is the nighest i've ever gone with the HEQ5-Pro. It seemed to still handle it quite well, although it didn't improve the Mean ADU level anywhere near enough. Full capture details: 3 x 1200s, 2 x 1380s, and 4 x 1500s of Ha 9 x 1200s of Oiii. 11 x 480s of RGB (with an IDAS-D1). Used for the stars and sky background only. 7 Hrs 54 Mins in Total. All shot with a Nikon D5300, SW 80ED, and an HEQ5-Pro. The RGB data was shot over a year ago from inner city Belfast (Red Zone) while i was testing out the new Rowan belt mod. It was just a test shot to check the guiding, so the 8 min subs were far, far too long in reality, hence a lot of the medium and bright stars are clipped. But i have to say, the IDAS-D1 together with APP did a nice job of cleaning it right up and making it at least useable (well, by my standards at least!). So on to processing. I've been playing with this for several nights now, and i just can't look at it anymore! i think this is the best i can manage with the limited data i have. It's been enjoyable and yet frustrating at the same time, lol. As usual, this has been stacked in APP and processed in PS. I used the tone-mapping method of processing, and created a synthesised Sii from a 50/50 blend of the Ha and Oiii. I then combined them in the classic Hubble Palette SHO. Obviously, not having any real Sii means i can never get the full range of tonal variations throughout. I'm also not completely happy with the colours if i'm being honest (especially the blue). That was the part i struggled with the most on this one. I've also attached below a quick and dirty HaRGB version, which took me all of about 30 mins to process (in total contrast to the SHO version, which i won't say how long it took!). As always, constructive criticism welcomed with open arms! Ok time for me to stop rambling on now Edit - Forgot to say, I resized the sSHO version down to 75% of the original (it's not worthy of 100% viewing).
  9. In an earlier post I examined the noise in single dark frames over a range of exposure times. My conclusion was that the Nikon D7500 was a lower noise camera than the D5300. This was also backed up by an examination of master bias frames that again strongly favoured the D7500. However ... The first image I attempted to produce with the D7500 exhibited very strong streaks in the noise. I had been in the habit of not using dark subtraction with the D5300 as it has very low thermal pattern noise. Accordingly, I again only used bias and flat frame calibration in the workflow that produced the above images. Whilst the streaks are due to patterns in the noise being spread across the image due to errors in the application of dithering during tracking, it did indicate that the D7500 did have significant thermal pattern noise. I found this surprising because the noise in individual frames ( when looked at in isolation ) seems to be completely random. I thought that perhaps my memory had failed me and maybe the D5300 has the same level of pattern noise but my memory was being tricked. That is, all my recent images with the D5300 were taken at lowish air temperatures ( ~5 deg or so ) whereas the image above was captured on warm nights ( low 20s ) and so maybe the D5300 would be just as bad at higher temperatures. To test this I produced bias corrected master darks for both the D7500 and D5300 from images all taken at around 20 deg or just over. The images below have all been stretched using the same screenTransferFunction applied to the Pixinsight histogram tool. The results are striking ... D5300 master dark ( 47 subs, bias corrected ) - red channel: D7500 master dark ( 281 subs, bias corrected ) - red channel: D5300 master dark 100% centre crop - red channel: D7500 master dark 100% centre crop - red channel: And the histograms of the full size images ( red channels ) ... D5300 master dark ( red channel ) histogram: D7500 master dark ( red channel ) histogram: The Pixinsight statistics tool calculates the following: D5300: mean 2.3, standard deviation 9.3 D7500: mean 7.5, standard deviation 20.8 ------------- Analysis: The images and histograms clearly show that the D7500 has higher pattern noise than the D5300. In particular, from the histograms, 0.1% ( 6,286 ) of D5300 pixels are more than 44 ADU whereas, for the D7500 this figure is 27 times as great at 2.7% ( 141,305 pixels ). Furthermore, the master dark for the D5300 was only produced using 47 images -v- 281 for the D7500 so I would expect that this difference would be even higher with more D5300 frames. On the other hand, whilst not shown in the histograms above, my D5300 does have more 'very hot' pixels than the D7500 ( 579 pixels greater than 400 ADU -v- 10 pixels greater than 400 ADU ). However, these hot pixels are very easily removed via dithering during tracking and sigma clipping when integrating. The very large number of warm pixels however are very difficult to remove as dithering just places different warm pixels on top of each other. I went back and examined the 'random' noise seen in the individual D7500 dark frames ... and yes they do look random when seen individually, however, when flicking between a number of frames it is clear that the 'random' pattern is repeated in each frame! Conclusion: My D7500 has very significant thermal pattern noise, albeit randomly distributed in a fixed pattern. ............ Next steps (?) - I could use in dark subtraction during calibration to reduce the impact of pattern noise - however, as my camera is not cooled and the night's temperatures are constantly changing, any master dark will not closely align to the actual thermal pattern noise and as such dark subtraction may help but will not solve the problem - Using in-camera dark subtraction ( Nikon's long exposure noise reduction feature ) would almost completely remove the pattern noise from each frame. However, due to the extra random noise being introduced by subtracting another noisy dark frame from each light frame, as well as the reduction in total light frames by 2, the resultant images will suffer from higher levels of random noise. So whilst this would be an improvement with respect to the pattern noise, it is not a complete solution. - Third option, sell the D7500 and go back to using the D5300 ...
  10. 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:
  11. The Cat's Paw Nebula ( NGC 6334 ) in Scorpius updated ( slight tweak to colour balance, a little brighter and tad more contrast ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here ) ...... original: ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here ) ……………………... Also known as the Bear Claw Nebula, NGC 6334 is an emission nebula near the scorpion's tail in the Scorpius constellation. Image details: Image centre ...... RA: 17 20 08.185 Dec: -35 52 30.91 Field of view ..... 57' 37.8" x 38' 51.8" Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( North is up ) Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( July 2018 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. 168 x 4 min frames plus ~10 frames each for the shorter exposures Processing: Calibration: bias, dark and flat Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight July 2018
  12. Bright Nebula NGC 6188 and open cluster NGC 6193 in Ara Magnitude +5.19, RA 16h 41m 42s, Dec -48deg 48' 46" Approx. 3800 light years away Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount (on concrete pier) Orion 80mm f5 guide scope and auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, UHC-S 'nebula' filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. UHC-S - 32 x 180 sec ISO800 (14bit NEF, Long Exp. NR on). Pixinsight and photoshop 7 July 15 (processed 29 August 15) Other images: photo.net/photos/MikeODay 500px.com/mikeoday
  13. Hi, Request: Can someone with a Nikon D5300 upload a couple of RAW Dark frames, preferably of 120secs or longer duration, and if possible with the approximate ambient temperature when shot?? Reason: I am considdering finding a used Nikon D5300 for astrophotography instead of my wifes D7100. The consensus around the web is that the D7100 and it's Toshiba sensor has really bad dark current noise, particurlarly when doing longer subs. This fits nicely with the results im getting after having cranked up the sub length, it is REALLY bad. I would like to compare the darks of my D7100 to those of a D5300 as it is supposedly one of the best "entry level" DSLR's when it comes to sensitivity and low noise. Thank you in advance.
  14. Hey guys Having been inspired by everyone else's fine images of M81 & M82 recently, i decided to go back and re-process my shallow stack of the same objects. I shot this back in early Feb, and at the time only decided to swing the wee 80mm scope around to it after my main target for the night (the Rosette Nebula) had disappeared behind the neighbour's house, so i wasn't able to go deep on it. I haven't bothered to return to it since, but i was never fully satisfied with the processing on it (even though it can obviously only be taken so far, given the short FL and exposure) so i decided to have another go (plus the weather's been crap recently!). I'm much happier with the star colours and background now (at least to my eye) and i seem to have eeked out a bit more detail in the galaxies themselves, especially in the jets of M82, where i was able to stretch the Ha data a lot more before blending together a mix of it and the Red channel from the RGB data. Although in hindsight i may have gone too far with the sharpening in M82. Be interested to hear what you guys think. If i was going to add more data to this, i would definitely prioritise the RGB over the Ha (i think i need a much bigger scope to properly shoot Ha on this). Oh yes, and try to remember to shoot at ISO 200 next time, and not 800! lol. Here's the new version: And here's the original: And finally, here's a crop of the new version, just to display the galaxies a bit bigger:
  15. From the album: Mike's Images

    Blue Moon - 31st July 2015 Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian ("full moon" dust cap in place). Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount Orion 80mm f5 guide scope and auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, UHC-S 'nebula' filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). ISO200, 14bit NEF, Long Exp. NR off. 487 sub exposures @ 1/50th Subs taken over 45min period covering Full Moon @ 10:42 UT (8.42pm local time). Processed using Registax and Photoshop

    © Copyright Mike O'Day 2015 - all rights reserved

  16. Finally managed to add some proper Ha to the previous version (which was a noisy mess of a thing!), so this is now: 7 x 600s and 14 x 900s (4 hrs 40 mins) of Ha 17 x 900s (4 hrs 15 mins) of OIII SII synthesized using a blend of 60% of Ha and 40% of OIII Nikon D5300a 2" Baader filters Skywatcher 80ED Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro 50 Bias and 30 Flats Guided with PHD2 and a finder-guider (QHY5) Captured with SGP Pre-processed in APP Post-processed in PS The extra Ha data has made a massive difference. So this one was much easier to process. Still not completely happy with the colours, I may tweak them a bit at a later date. But for now I think I'm pretty much done with this target, time to move on to a new one methinks! C&C welcome as always. Clear skies! https://flic.kr/p/GBb38M
  17. The Eagle Nebula Messier 16 ansd Open Cluster NGC 6611 in the constellation Serpens. ( click on image to see larger ) M16 is around 7,000 light years distant from Earth in the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm of our Milkyway galaxy and may be part of a larger structure that extends to and includes the Omega Nebula ( M17 ) in Sagittarius. Details: Eagle Nebula - Messier 16 ( IC 4703 ), Open Clusters - NGC 6611 and Trumpler 32. RA ~ 18h 19'm45s Dec ~ -13deg 46' 20" Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount.Orion 80mm f5 guide scope and auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, UHC-S 'nebula' filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. ISO800, 14bit NEF, Long Exp. NR on. 35 x 180sec (1/3 before & 2/3 after zenith) 17 July 2015. PixInsight re-processed 21 Aug 2016.. Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay
  18. A new target for me - the Running Chicken Nebula sits about halfway between the Southern Cross and the Eta Carina Nebula. IC2948 Running Chicken Nebula in Centaurus ( bright star is Lambda Cenauri) (RA 11h 39.6m - Dec -63deg 37.2'). Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT (on Pier) Orion auto guider - PHD2 (RA only - Dec ungiuded). Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, UHC-S (Nebula) filter, Nikon D5300 (unmodified), Long Exp Noise Reduction on, 14bit NEF, 13 x 300 sec ISO 200. PixInsight & Photoshop 28 March 15
  19. Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus Details: Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus 19 May 2018 Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7\ Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... North is up Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 43' 27.2" x 28' 54.2" Image center ...... RA: 13 04 51.790 Dec: -49 30 37.17 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 19 May 2018 ): 10 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/2th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 41 x 240sec + ~8 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 10 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  20. Update 16th June: I could not wait to tell people that I was just notified that my image of Omega Centauri will be published as a future NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day ( APOD ) - my first ever I will update the thread when they publish. ................................. A deep look at Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) This image is an attempt to look deeply into the the Omega Centauri globular cluster by using HDR techniques to record as many faint stars as I can whilst retaining colour and detail in the bright stars, including at the core ... ............. Reprocessed to bring out more faint stars and to produce a smother transition between brightness levels. New version ( 12 June 2017 ): Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see lager and sharper ) .......... Old version: Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see full size and sharper ) Image details: from www.nova.astrometry.net: Size: 58.6 x 39 arcmins, Centre: 13h 26 min 50.4 sec, -47deg 28' 39.1''. Orientation: up is -89.9 East of North ( ie. E^ N> ). Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). No filter Long Exposure noise reduction off Location:. Blue Mountains, Australia. Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture: 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing:. Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination. Pixinsight May 2017
  21. Reprocessed to try to better balance the colours ... (previous version: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/239687-eta-carinae-nebula/ )
  22. Conditions have been very poor down in Sydney for the last month (rain, clouds or 'darn' moon every night ) so no new images but at least I have plenty of time for lots of reprocessing ... This one was captured back at the beginning of the year and I'm still playing with it. Here I have been trying to get to grips with the HDR composition function in PixInsight. It is built up from four sets of around 20 images each at 4sec, 8sec, 30sec and 120sec all at ISO800 with my unmodified Nikon D5300. And this is the previous attempt. I think I prefer the composition, colours and contrast of the new version.
  23. Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo NGC 6744 is a Milky Way like barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Pavo. Visible only from lower latitudes, the light we see now left this galaxy around 30 million years ago. Details: Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo. Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount. Orion 80mm f5 guide scope and auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector, no filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. ISO800, 14bit NEF, Long Exp. NR on. 44 x 120sec 4th Sept 2016 Processed in PixInsight and finished off in Photoshop. Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay
  24. Hello fellow gazers... I started shooting this one back on Feb 20, when i grabbed 11 x 1200s of Ha subs. 4 of the 11 were not of great quality, due to some light intermittent clouds, but i included them anyway in the stack (such is the trust i place in APP's 'Quality' algorithm). Then on March 3 i finally got another clear night, so while i waited for the sports facilities floodlights to switch off, i grabbed a short set of 20 x 90s RGB subs (just the D5300 with no filter) so i could use them for RGB stars. Then afterwards managed to grab 12 x 1200s of OIII subs. It's been a busy month (house move coming up) so i've only just got around to looking at it now. Processing this one has been a challenge. I wanted to push it hard, to show up some of the nebulosity that sits between the two nebulae, which meant the sky background became an utter pain to deal with. It was noisier than i would like, and still is, hence the need to use more noise reduction than i would normally. Having the stars in a separate layer is great, makes processing so much simpler. It has also improved my workflow i think, as i now tend to end up with an image that has 3 layers, Luminance, Colour, and Stars, rather than a single layer (which i sometimes would, due to laziness!). So now it's easier to go back and fix something later if i decide i don't like it. Full details: 11 x 1200s Ha (2" Baader mounted) 12 x 1200s OIII (2" Baader mounted) 20 x 90s RGB (for stars only) Nikon D5300 (modded) SW 80ED w FF/FR HEQ5-Pro Captured with SGP, pre-processed in APP, post-processed in PS. Ha assigned to Red, OIII to Blue, and Green was synthesized using one of Noel Carboni's actions in PS. I probably spent a good 10 hrs processing this one. Mostly due to trying to create a starless Ha image that was as clean as possible (which was a major PITA i must say!). Also, while the OIII signal was stronger than i was expecting for the tadpole nebula, it was unbelievably weak in the Flaming Star nebula. All i could get, after extreme stretching, was a small blob around the central section, so i gave up on the idea of using Annie's 'Hubble Palette Creation' Action and just went with a Bi-Colour approach. I might try the Hubble Palette just on the tadpoles at a later date, it should take to it much better. This one felt like a struggle, so i'd be grateful for any C&C, no matter how harsh. I think i have a tendency to go 'too far' in my processing, and i might well have done so here. Let me know what you think! Cheers!
  25. The Silver Coin Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation - updated. 24th March 2017: New version that was reprocessed ( again ) to improve colour balance ... original version below ( colours are a little too yellow ) ( click on image to see full size ) The Silver Coin Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation ( aka the Silver Dollar or Sculptor Galaxy ). Caroline Herschel in 1783 was the first to recordthis bright ‘nebula’ in an area of the southern sky that Nicolas de Lacaille had called the “Apparatus Sculptoris” or “the sculptor’s studio”. Whilst relatively close to us compared to the billions of far more distant galaxies in the Universe, the great size of the “Sculptor Galaxy” and the huge distances involved are still hard to comprehend. To put this into some perspective, the light that is just now reaching one edge of the great disc left the opposite edge when the Earth was in the grip of last great Ice Age 70,000 years ago and the light we now see has been travelling towards us for over 11 million years. Details: NGC 253 - "Silver Coin" or "Sculptor" galaxy. RA 00 48 23, DEC -25 11 52. Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian telescope. Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount. Orion Short Tube 80mm guide scope & auto guider - PHD2. Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector & no filter. Nikon D5300 (unmodified). Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90. 20 x 180 sec ISO 800, long exp noise reduction on. Pixinsight & Photoshop. 4th November 2016 updated version 17 March 2017
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