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Found 42 results

  1. Hi, I wan't to tell you about a relatively new open source imaging suite that I have been using for around 7-8 months now. Night time imaging n' astronomy or in short NINA! The new website is really quite informative, so check it out here: https://nighttime-imaging.eu/ As a software developer and IT professional I was blown away by this application these guys were creating, when I first stumbled upon it last year. It is a really feature rich application as the very long feature list below will show, and it is absolutely free! I was immediately drawn to the very simple but still quite information rich UI that was presented to me when I tried it the first time. Isbeorn (the developer), Dark Archon (massive contributor) and Quickload (big contributor) have really created something impressive here, and it is constantly being improved upon. It is quite normal to see these guys working on the next cool feature in the middle of the night As it is a "hobby project" and Open Source, and these guys don't have every model of every camera available - sometimes there can be glitches with new equipment, but it is usually sorted out in quick fashion. But this is where we "mere mortals" can help improve this amazing piece of software, by using it and providing feedback and logs (in case of errrors) via. Discord or the Issue tracker on bitbucket. In return for this you get a very comprehensive piece of astro imaging software for absolutely nothing! If anyone needs any help in settings this up, don't hesitate to write in this thread and I will try to help, or jump on Discord and join the "support" channel. I recommend taking the latest beta version, pretty much always, as it has the latest fixes and is generally stable. List of main features as grabbed from the webpage and personal experience (I surely missed some): Equipment control ASCOM Cameras Mounts Filter wheels Focusers Rotators Native camera drivers for Atik ZWO QHYCCD Altair Astro cameras Canon Nikon Touptek Can run multiple camera's and supports syncronized dithering (early version, but tested in the field!) Image analysis Image statistics Auto stretch Full image star detection with HFR calculation (used for autofocus as well) Exposure time recommendation Sequencing Multitarget sequence lists (image multiple targets automatically) Automatic mosaic capture as defined in framing assistant Light, Bias, Dark, DarkFlat, Flat frames of various exposure lengths and gain/iso Automatic filter change Autofocus using full image HFR calculations over time number of exposures Temperature change Automatic centering and rotation of targets using platesolving Save as raw (dslr), fits, xisf, etc. Customizeable filename pattern Automatic meridian flip Can automatically flip and recenter target after flip has been completed Sky atlas Sky atlas with more than 10.000 objects. Filtering on type, magnitude, size, altitude and more Altitude chars showing showing altitude over time for your location Framing assistant Can pull data from various skyserveys, to make framing and planning easier You can see a preview of your fov based on camera and scope details Mosaic planning mode Shows your mosaic tilesin the framing wizard Set desired overlap percentage Offline skymap shows gridlines and all sky atlas DSO's, constellations and coordinates ("Cartes du Ciel'ish") Sleek and customizable UI Imaging tab can be customized to show all the information you could possibly want to see image (duh! ;)) Statistics HFR history PHD2 graph and statistics Mount information Camera information Filter wheel information Platesolve information Weather data and more.. Quick switch between light and dark scheme Customizable colorschemes Flats wizard Set a desired ADU and tolerance for flats Simple mode or multimode where flats are captured for each filter Set minimum and maximum exposure time Guide to help you get the desired flats Can automatically capture matching darkflats Other cool features PHD2 integration with Dithering Weather data from OpenWeatherMap API List of bright focus stars for use with Bahtinov mask, clik and slew to it Polar alignment tools Configuration profiles, so different setups can be used A word about open source: The project is open source, this means that all source code is readily available from bitbucket, and anyone is free to contribute code. The developer is Isbeorn (Stefan) and as the repository manager he decides when and if a submission (pull request) is deemed good enough to enter a release..! There are a couple of other main contributors who do a lot of work, and put in a lot of their free time to this project. You are free to ask for features and request support and people are generally very helpful and quick to implement something if it is a good idea. BUT as this is a hobby project for these people, don't expect the same of them as you would of a company from whom you buy a product, IT IS UNFAIR! A word about Discord: Discord is a free chat (text and voice) platform that anyone can create a server on. Discord as a whole is not run by the people behind N.I.N.A., only the NINA server, and as such is not moderated by the developers.
  2. I was wondering what images of dso I could get with this setup. How and how much would my images improve if I added in a decent file flattened and what would happen if I exceeded the maximum telescope magnification with Barlow lens.
  3. badgers

    M57 ring nebula

    From the album: Badgers - Astrophotos

    M57 The Ring Nebula 50 minutes Luminance in 10 min subs 25 minutes each of RGB in 5 min subs Atik 460ex
  4. Hi, i..m on Stargazers Lounge for long time ago, but now i have a new scope at last!!! The scope is a Skywatcher classic200p dobsonian, and i received it just one month ago. I.m really happy with it. For now, i.m using the stock eyepieces that come with the scope, a 25mm and 10mm super plossl 52. Yesterday i was received a Celestron Omni barlow, and that expands my magnification range. I posted some pics with my set. Congratulations to Stargazers lounge team, this is one of the best sites to learn about astronomy and equipment. Besf regards to everybody
  5. Check this out ! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-36678394 The good professor talks about how the image was put together on the BBC video at the link. Awesome Space Ranger.
  6. Well, miracles do happen, just spent an evening with the bins under my first half decent local clear skies of 2017. Bagged the following objects in two stints M81, M82, M92, M13, M3, M42, M45, M31, then later on between 23:00 and 00:30, Jupiter, M44, M51, Leo triplet (very faint with averted vision), M53, NGC5053 and a whole host of very faint unidentifiable smudges in the coma and Virgo regions. Most pleased about M51 and the Leo triplet, first time I've managed to see these with the 15x85 binoculars?
  7. Hello all Just thought I would share my first go at M101. Hope it's ok! http://www.astrobin.com/full/289155/0/ Kind regards Gerry
  8. Had great skies last night - first decent clear night of the Autumn season, so made the most of it with a first try at the Dumbbell Nebula: (Skywatcher 200p, EQ5 GoTo unguided, Canon 450D @ISO 800, 16 x 120s subs, 8 darks, 8 bias, processed in DeepSkyStacker + GIMP) Taking the subs went smoothly enough, but I struggled with the post processing. The stacking went fine, but I was finding it very hard to get the colours to look right in GIMP. I was messing around with levels, contrast, colour enhance. In the end the only thing that gave half decent results was doing a colour enhance, then adjusting 'colour temperature'. That seemed to restore some sanity. I feel like there's a lot of decent data in there, but it's hard to coax it out. Any tips for bringing out decent colours for the Dumbbell Nebula? I'll have another crack in GIMP tonight!
  9. I got some cracking single exposure shots of Deep Sky objects today after a decent polar alignment. The culmination of everything I’ve learnt so far; a lot of reading and practice. I was totally blown away by the colours in the Orion Nebula which looks like a grey whisp in the eyepiece. 30 seconds of the DSLR sensor sucking in photons made a big difference. All taken using ISO 200 (apart from the double cluster) and 30 second exposures. My questions: Most of the stars are smudged, I tried my best with alignment, is there anything else I can do to minimise this?Are the settings ok? I noticed more detail but also more light pollution using ISO 400 in the double cluster.Will the shots get better and less smudged when I start stacking?Thanks in advance. P.S. The full size shots can be found on my blog - http://astromartian.wordpress.com/
  10. How do you top a night where you observed two quasars and one supernova? You go to a darker location and focus almost exclusively on quasars in the magnitude 13-14 range. On the night of June 14 I drove almost 80 minutes north of Las Vegas to the Paranaugat wildlife Refuge arriving after sunset but well before true darkness set in. A quiet location but for the highway I used to get there - I didn't realize how much traffic this highway received after dark - not a five minute period went by without cars/trucks speeding by washing over my viewing location with their headlights - I got really good at keep my eyes closed to protect my night vision. And it was dark - this was my first Bortle 1 location with the horizon being completely black except for due south where the light dome of Las Vegas glowed dimly on the horizon up to about 10 degrees. The Milky Way was brilliant. Air temperatures dropped from the mid-90s (F) to the mid-80s (F) and winds dropped to nearly nothing in the hour after sunset. Despite being such a dark location my views of galaxies were never 'crisp' - I've had far better galaxy views from other locations (that are less dark) so there must have been a good bit of moisture in the airmass up high. Stars were clear with beautiful spikes coming from the bright ones. Several 'visibility test targets' were jumped through as I was waiting for twighlight to fade. The Hercules Cluster (M15), Alberio, and M92 all old friends revisited. My normal test targets - M65, M66, NGC 3628 - were briefly observed a few times over the course of the night but never impressed (which was disappointing). First hunt of the night was MKN 501 - a mag 14.5 quasar an unknown distance away. I hopped down from Eta Her and found a "V" asterism of roughly mag 8 stars that pointed right to the target area. After camping on a mag 12.6 star I was able to see the faintest galactic haze around a 'star' at the right location - that's the target with the 'star' being the quasar shining bright in the galactic core. Quasar find #5! Staying in Hercules I went hunting for B3 1715+425 - a mag 13.3 quasar listed at 2.1 Gly distant. I found the start of this hunt a challenge as I started star hopping from Iota Her - which was a challenge to find as it's not an overly bright star and doesn't stand out in the finder scope. I could clearly see it naked eye but had difficulty translating that to the finder scope. I eventually did find Iota and star hopped up to the area via a line of mag 5 - 6 stars to M92. I hopped to the correct location, positively identified the mag 8.4 star that was my 'base camp' for this hunt...then could clearly make out the mag 13 and 13.4 stars nearby but the quasar was nowhere to be seen...it was supposed to be sitting between the mag 8.4 and mag 13 stars...but nothing was there. Upped the magnification from 120x to 240x but it didn't help. No joy on this target. I'm thinking my star chart program must have been off in either magnitude of the target or location...because mag 13 targets were easily seen this night. Next I swung the scope over to Draco and PG 1634+706 (A Sky & Telescope target this month) - a mag 14.7 quasar listed 7.6 Gly away (but this month's Sky & Telescope said the distance is most likely incorrect due to time/space expansion). I star hopped over from Pherkhad in Ursa Minor to a grouping of mag 6-8 stars and then down to the target area. Positively IDing the quasar was not that difficult tonight as there isn't much else in the immediate vicinity...but a series of mag 12-14 stars ring the area and were all visible. The quasar stood out as a compact star-like body. Quasar #6! Next down to the tail of Draco for MKN 180 - a mag 14.5 target an unknown distance away. The star hop from the tip of the tail (Gianifar) wasn't too difficult...and I made a postive ID based off where the faint stars were in relation to one another...the quasar formed the corner of a parallelogram with 3 other stars - but it was faint. This was about the faintest target of the night and averted only. Quasar #7. Next moving up Draco's body to PG 1351+640 - a mag 14.3 quasar listed 1.1 Gly distant. A pretty easy star hop and a line of mag 10 stars pointed right to the averted-only quasar. It was faint but there were stars a little further away that were more faint. Quasar #8!! A little further up the body and star hopping over from Ursa Minor led to 3C 305.0 - a mag 13.7 quasar listed at 550 Mly distance. The star hop was the biggest challenge here as so many faint stars were visible it was tough for me to keep track of which star I was really looking at. After about 10 minutes of hunting/checking/moving/hunting/checking/verifying I finally made it to the correct target location and could see a faint star-like object in the faintest of haze - that's the target. Several mag 14.x stars were clearly visibile in the vicinity. Averted vision brought out the most of the haze...but the target was not difficult in these conditions. Mark that as #9!!! Final ultra deep target of the night was IRAS 17371+5615 - a mag 14.0 target listed at 960 Mly. Another challenging star hop trying to pin down faint stars in the head of Draco...eventually did it and camped out on a mag 10.3 star where the quasar was out on a ring of mag 14.x stars in the same EP view. I was able to pin down each of the mag 14 stars with the target quasar being #3 in the line. This was a faint target...but it was there. An even 10 quasars logged! Time to view a few more old friends - M101 with darkness showing between faint farms, M51 which was the only stunning galaxy of the night with the arms showing about as clearly as I've ever seen them, M63 with the bright core and expansive dim glow, and M94 was just a bright core. Then down to NGC 4618 and NGC 4625 - both of which were little more than faint smears. 4618 was clearly brighter and the core stood out well. I finished up my CVn tour with the Cocoon galaxy and companion NGC 4485 - the Cocoon had a bright core and appeared maybe "quarter-on" facing...4485 was non-discript. Their proximity lends itself to interaction but I couldn't see any through the EP. A great, dark night. Very pleased with the very faint targets I was able to pin down. 6 new quasars observed (+1 more missed) and 3 new galaxies. I'm all smiles (well I am now after a decent sleep). Happy hunting.
  11. The Rosette Nebula taken in Cathedral City, CA I've wanted to image the Rosette nebula for some time now, but with my Celestron 6se telescope it was not really feasible due to the large focal length of the scope. The Rosette nebula is huge! I decided to give it a try with my new Orion ST80, and I could not be happier with how it turned out. It is certainly not a Hubble image, but I did the best I could under light polluted skies, and man does it look beautiful. 5 hours total exposure time Canon 450d Orion ST80 Orion Skyglow filter Celestron AVX mount Stacked in DSS Edited it CS6 and LR http://coachella-astronomy-astrophotography.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-rosette-nebula.html
  12. Aenima

    Comet Catalina

    From the album: The next step.

    Was really chuffed to catch this comet, especially with the two tails. This i believe is the 5th comet i've caught 'on film' as it were. Along with Panstarrs - ISON - Jacques, and Lovejoy (forgot the numerical names). Equipment: ED80 - / 350D -/ EQ6 -/ CLS clip
  13. From the album: Astrophotography-2012

    This is my image of the Rosette nebula imaged from Christchurch park in Ipswich town centre in January 2012. The image was actually taken during a live event organised by Orwell Astronomical Society to tie in with the BBC's Stargazing Live event. Despite some unpleasant light polution and 100+ people milling about and asking questions whilst the image was being shot, it has come out really quite well. The image was a total of 32 X 6 minute exposures, 3hrs 12 minutes total + matching darks and flats imaged with my Eos 500D, WO Megrez72 and HEQ5 guided with PHD/EQmod with the SX Lodestar and ST80 guide scope. The image was taken on the Monday night, processed on the Tuesday morning, submitted to the BBC the Tuesday afternoon and was featured on the final Stargazing Live show on the Wednesday.
  14. Hello, this is my first attempt on NGC 7635 with my skywatcher 250pds on an NEQ6 synscan mount. These are 7min subs stacked to a total exposure of 5 hours taken with my unmodified canon 700d and a skytech cls filter. No coma corrector was used as I haven't gotten one yet. I'm just wondering how I could make my images look clearer when zoomed in and improve them overall as I can see the image gets more blurry when I zoom in onto the bubble, should I use a higher magnification? Do I need to take more darks to get rid of the redness around the image ? Or perhaps I stretched the image too much in Photoshop? I used 10 darks, 60 bias and 60 flat frames. Update: I have now further processed my image with greater care and got a much better result. Thanks Greg
  15. Greetings everyone. Few months ago I wrote a post about a small refractor to mount on a Star Adventurer, but I'm now considering fast tele lens like the Nikon 80-200 f2.8. My question is: what is the best tele lens to get pictures of Andromeda galaxy, Orion, Soul, Hearth nebula and stuff like these? If I'd pick a 70-200 f2.8 lens, can I plug a teleconverter 2x to get better crop without losing details? I've attached a picture taken with my Nikon D3300 and 18-105 kit lens, as you can see it's quite small (forget about the quality, it was also quite foggy back then). Thanks in advance.
  16. jimao22

    IC 63

    Hi, Last night I made 22 exposures 10 min each to Ghost Nebula (IC 63) using Ha filter (Baader 7nm). The weather was perfect and the mount worked as a dream, best tracking i had ever. Acquisition, guiding, stacking, calibrating in MaximDL, focusing in FocusMax and final processing (levels, curves, unsharp mask, reduce noise) with Photoshop PS2. Set-up used - MN190 on EQ6/EQMOD, ATIK 314L+ mono plus True-Tech filter wheel, guided by finder-guider with SSAG, motofocuser controlled by SELETEK.
  17. Astrobug


    From the album: Astrobug

    Newton CFF 200 F5, Avalon Linear, 450d, 120 x 120 sec
  18. Beautiful clear night in Denmark on Sunday night, so got out there in the cold for a few hours: (Skywatcher 200p, EQ5 goto mount unguided, Canon 450D, [42 x 120s subs @ iso 800, 16 x darks, 16 x flats, 16 x flat darks], DeepSkyStacker + Gimp for levels adjustment) Polar alignment was a bit off, so some trailing. But I feel it's much better than my first attempt below (didn't do flats, so horrible vignetting, and focus was off, though alignment was better):
  19. Well, I was finally able to put the newly repaired Sphinx through its paces over the weekend, Saturday night turned out a bit of a bust weather wise, however it gave me the advantage of already being set up for the following evening which was a completely different story. Sunday...? Transparency not all that great, (perhaps NELM variable 3 to 5) and with a half moon shining, not ideal conditions for deep sky observing, however was still able to bag a few old favourites, including M53, M13, M92 and M51, M81 & 82. Then spent the next two hours exploring some galaxies in Canes Venatici, Coma And Virgo. Managed to pick up M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy, NGC 4565 - The Needle Galaxy, M64 - The Blackeye Galaxy, M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy, NGC 4631 - The Whale Galaxy, NGC 4559, M84 and M86 from Markarians Chain, The Leo Triplet and M87 - Virgo A, plus a whole host of other NGCs. Not much in the way of detail, (mainly due to variable conditions), they pretty much all lived up to their names as ‘faint fuzzies’, but nonetheless a most rewarding couple of hours. The Sphinx performed spectacularly, with each goto resulting in the target well within the FOV. The most gratifying aspect of the evening was the integration of the Avalon X-Guider into the ensemble, getting the main scope and finder dialled in is just so much easier now. Also the laser pointer performed its function perfectly as well, that being to improve efficiency of initial star alignment. All in all a most enjoyable two hours or so of observing. Date: 2018 03 25 22:00 to 00:00 Wind: None NELM: Variable 3 to 5 Seeing: II Antoniadi Restrictions: 1/2 Moon to SW Scope: C8 EdgeHD with modified longer focal length due to 2” Crayford and Diagonal. Aperture: 200mm FL: Approx 3200mm FR: F16 Eyepiece: 22mm T4 Nagler: Mag: 3200/22 = 145 AFOV: 82 Deg TFOV: 34’ Exit Pupil: 22/16 = 1.3mm
  20. After a recent stuff up with my software that I have since cleared up (ooops ) I was itching to get some sky time. I managed 25x60sec frames in Luminance of open cluster NGC3532 after a bit of testing and realigning which I was able to mix with some older RGB that I had from a previous effort. Hope you find it interesting. Cheers.
  21. The Wishing Well Cluster ( NGC 3532 ) in the constellation Carina ( click on image to see full size / best resolution ) This large bright open cluster, when seen through a small telescope, looks like a collection of brightly gleaming silver coins shimmering at the bottom of a wishing well and hence the name. First recorded in 1752 by Nicolas Lacaille, NGC 3532 contains around 120 stars superimposed on the expanse of the Milkyway and is visible with the naked eye from lower latitudes. Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay Details: Co-ordinates: ~ RA 11h 6.4m, Dec -58 deg 50.5' Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount Orion Short Tube 80mm guide scope & auto guider - PHD2 Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector Hutech IDAS D1 Light Pollution Filter Nikon D5300 (unmodified) Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90 36 subs ranging from 30 sec 300 sec ISO 200 Pixinsight & Photoshop 10th April 2016
  22. Hi there, I currently have access to a Skywatcher 200p and am loving it although imaging is a bit tricky with it for deep sky objects. However I will be losing access to it later this year. This obviously means I need to reach into my pockets and buy something for myself. My main aim is to photograph the Messier list of objects which means I need some sort of tracking scope setup. My question is which one...? I'm not looking to break the bank so preferably something under £1000 but if that isn't possible then I could go a little bit higher... Portability would be useful but not an absolute must. I currently have a DSLR so that would need to be able to be fitted to it as I can't quite justify buying one of the proper sky cameras at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Simon
  23. Hi everyone! I was lucky enough to get a clear night last night, and have the first chance to test out my new Explorer 200p. Some of you may remember me posting a topic about how people lift such heavy things, and I got a huge amount of replies. In the end, I decided to split the scope into four parts: 1. Tube 2. Counterweights - to lighten the load as I move the mount 3, Accessory tray - So I could fold the tripod legs in 4. Mount + Tripod In the end, it took me about 15-20 minutes to set everything up, then I had to wait about 20 minutes for the sky to darken. In that time, I looked for an iridium flare, which the iflares app predicted. In the end, it never happened (Though I saw one at Magnitude 0 later on). Because it was nowhere near dark, I just pointed the scope at Vega. After that, I took a look at Albireo, looking as colourful as ever. I then looked for the double-double, but I struggled to split it - possibly because of seeing. After that, it became sufficiently dark to start DSO hunting. My first target was the Ring Nebula. I'd seen it with my old 150, but it was quite hard to spot. With the 200p, it jumped out at me! I added more zoom, and the nebula filter, and the ring shape was clear as day! My next target was M13, an old favourite. It was easy to see, with a somewhat mottled surface at low zoom, but when I cranked up the power, the stars were easy to see - much more so than in my old 150. After that, I looked at the Andromeda galaxy. It was a lot lower down, in hazy sky, so it looked little more than a hazy blob. Hopefully, it should be better when it's better placed in the autumn. Finally, I found the dumbbell. It was easy to see at low power, without the filter, but when I zoomed in, and added in the filter, it showed some good detail. However, even with all this, the dumbbell shape was still quite subtle. Still, even in photos, it's not as contrasty as the Ring. After that, it was getting on for eleven, and if I was up any later, my parents would kill me (not literally of course), so I came in. It took me about half an hour to bring my scope back in, and in that time, I let a couple of large moths in. Overall, it was certainly a good first observing session with my new scope! Thanks everyone for the advice you've given me with carrying my scope, as well as other things! David
  24. A quick sketch from the 1st September (sorry - date is wrong on the image). M15 was still fairly low in the east but the central condensation of stars really stood out, even in a 5.5inch scope. The bright field star intruding on the edge of the image was distracting. If I had a tracking mount I'd have banished it permanently! A lot of the extended GC was on the threshold of vision and the resolved stars faded in and out. M15 will always have a special place for me as it was the first GC i ever saw Thanks for looking. Jack
  25. From the album: DSOs

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