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Found 37 results

  1. Astrobug

    M13

    From the album: Astrobug

    Newton CFF 200 F5, Avalon Linear, 450d, 120 x 120 sec
  2. Having spent some time using my Nikon D90 on a fixed tripod to take wide field images, last night I moved on and took the image below using my DSLR, William Optics Z61 combined with the field flatter on a polar aligned AVX mount. Using APT to sight and frame the cluster, I then switched to an intervalometer so I could capture 2 minute subs. Overall there are 37 lights combined with 5 darks and 10 flats, then stacked in DSS and processed through Photoshop. Would welcome any feedback. Cheers, John
  3. 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.
  4. Hi Guys/Girls I had a chance to get out in the garden last evening, had a go at capturing NGC 7023 - Iris Nebula, only managed to get 12 good shots, 240sec x 12, combined in Photoshop with Mean Stacking. The dew was super heavy and currently I do not have any dew heaters (next purchase) so lost the battle after around 2 hours. One interesting point is I captured these shots with the long exposure noise reduction switched on with the Sony A7Rii, so each shot took 8 mins to take and save, but as a result the noise levels were next to zero at 800 ISO, and at the end of the day the noise is always our enemy. I need to try a real pro level 'cooled' astro camera just to see how much better it could be, as the Sony A7Rii is just stellar ! I am very happy with the final shot, taken with my Skywatcher 100 ED Pro Esprit Scope on my NEQ6 mount, Skywatcher ED50 Guide Scope and Altair Astro ASI130mm camera, PHD2 of course. The sky was nice and clear with low light pollution, as around 5 miles from major town. I do not take darks or flats or use Deep Sky Stacker, and I do not use filters, plus the camera has not been modified, so I am always delighted with the results I get from my set-up, as I have a deep level of respect for the hard work that most Astrophotographers go through to get the incredible images that we see here in Stargazers. I have read that some people believe that the Sony Alpha cameras have a tendency to 'eat the stars' and not show everything captured, to be honest, I always used a Canon 60Da for many years for my astrophotography, until one day I though, what if my Sony A7Rii could be used, the first time I did this I released that it was time to sell the Canon 60Da, the 'Remote' (free) Sony software is almost as good as BackYardEOS, but the cameras are a decade apart in performance, the noise levels on the Sony are at least 4 maybe even 5 stops better than the Canon, that is the Sony A7Rii at 3200 iso equal to the Canon 60Da at 200 iso, so at 800 iso it is just so impressive. As you can see from the picture only 12 frames, stacked in Photoshop (Mean). Open to comments and welcome a discussion/debate, thanks Jamie
  5. 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
  6. 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):
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. Gerry Casa Christiana

    M101 First Attempt

    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
  11. 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.
  12. DeepSkyMan

    Miracles do Happen

    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
  13. Coachella Valley Astronomy

    Rosette Nebula

    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
  14. 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/
  15. rocketandroll

    Rosette directsave01 mod09 copy2b TWEAK

    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.
  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. 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
  18. MeyGray3833

    NGC35332

    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.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  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 all, After beeing a bit away from the forum due to technical problems here goes some new images made with my TEC cooled Canon 350D (self modded). The most recent image is the Iris nebula, in this night I had some dewing problems in the sensor with moisture forming betwen the CMOS sensor itself and Baader filter, even with the heating system that I made connected the dew didn't go away...so another brainstorming arose...and I made an insulated box from a Tupperware and put the camera inside together with a big dissecant bag, first tests are promissing, hi haven't had a single issue so far, let's see during the soaking winter nights Well...enough speech, here goes the images: Best wishes,
  23. Yamez

    Baader Filters

    Hi everyone, i was looking for narrow-band filters and i came across the Baader UHC and the Baader OIII. I was reading up about these filters and it says they're "stackable". I wasn't to sure what this meant so i came here to ask. Does this mean that you can physically put a filter on top of another filter and if so would it be advisable with these two filters (Baader UHC and the Baader OIII)?. My telescope is a Skywatcher 130p Synscan GoTo if anyone needs to know. Thanks
  24. Chris Wales

    Leo Triplet and Sombrero

    Managed to get out for a quick session this week targeting the Leo Triplet of M65 (Bottom right), M66 (top right), and NGC 3628 (bottom left). This was taken with an Atltair 72 ED (piggybacked on a Meade LX90 with counter weights) with 0.8 FR, SXVH9 camera, just 15 x 15 L exposures. Then I shifted the SXVH9 to the Meade for M104 with 15 x 15 L and 5 x 5 R/G/B binned x 2 as support. Capture and stacking, stretching using Nebulosity with layers and finishing in Photoshop. Both were goto but unguided (not enough time) Learning :-), Chris
  25. Good evening dear members. Could you please help me choose a telescope: I would like to be able to see nebulae, galaxy, star clusters for example, and surely Jupiter, Saturn, To start first: I can spend 400-500£, I understand this is not much, but for now I am ready to get started. My wish is to photograph as well, but in a distant future, like 2-3 years from now, because when I look at my mother's pictures I understand -this is what I would like to do. Obviously the outcome will be different if I choose for viewing or for photography. I was advised a Dobsonian will be good for viewing DSOs, and a refractor for photography. What about reflector telescopes? I have found one Bresser reflector telescope (Bresser Messier AR-152S/760), is it any good? If I will find a decent telescope what upgrades will I need (lenses)? Your help is very much appreciated. PS: I live in Haslemere, Surrey, the sky is not as polluted as in London, where I used to live. Lovelight.
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