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Found 229 results

  1. beka

    DSLR M31

    Hi All, Having had to move to an apartment where I could not use my CPC 1100, I decided that I have to see what I could do with my NexStar SLT 102 (alt-az achromatic 102mm f6.47 refractor). Setting up on my narrow balcony was challenging and the altitude bearing was so loose that it almost moved from the weight of the Canon 700D. I could not see M31 in the estimated 3.5 magnitude sky so I did a two star alignment and used the live-view to focus on a bright star. I then took a 15 second exposure after slewing to M31 which allowed me to see that I had it in the field of view. After a few more 15 second exposures and playing with the motion controls I managed to get it centered. The resulting picture is from 39 subs of 30 seconds at ISO 1600, 9 flats. The images were stacked and stretched with Siril and then I played with the curves on Gimp, cropped and scaled. Not too unhappy.
  2. Just thought i'll bring this up as a point of discussion. Today, cooled CMOS Astro Cameras are available in plenty. QHY, ZWO and other variants of the same camera are selling for very reasonable prices. However, there was a point of time when astrophotographers used to cool down their DSLR's as a cheap OSC alternative to CCD cameras. Give a choice, I would've purchased a dedicated CMOS OSC which can cool to 40 C below ambient, but since I had a Canon 500D which I had self modded, I requested a friend Kaustav Chatterjee (an avid model railroader) to cold mod my 500D (he had cold modded his 1000D long back). This newly modded camera has a TEC12703 single peltier and cools to approximately 20 below ambient.What do you guys think?
  3. Hi all, This is 6 hours (30 x 12 min), taken with my modded Nikon D7000 @iso200 and Astronomik 12 nm Ha 2" filter on Meade LX200-ACF with reducer (=1600 mm FL @ F8). Guided with NexGuide on HEQ5 Pro. The plan was to do a Ha O3 bicolour on this target, but the O3 may be a future thing due to weather conditions. I usually remove the stars during part of my processing workflow and put them back later on, but this time I think the nebulosity and dust came out best without them. I did however try to find out which stars belong to Melotte 15 and include only those, just to portrait the Melotte 15 without anything between it and us, but I could not find that info. Processed with DSS, Starnet and PS. Ragnar
  4. So, I have gone and got myself a Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p, which has so far proved to be a very good little scope and I've had some very good results. I have now got the bug for imaging and have gone out and got myself a second hand Nikon D5100 and verious other equipment needed to do this, only to now find I can't get Prime Focus!!!!!!!! So the only way I can image is using a barlow x2 which obviously changes the F ratio from F5.5 to F11 slowing everything x2 this isn't to bad for planetary imaging but for DSO images not so good!!! After searching through lots of videos on to do this all I can find is...... I can either butcher the standard rack and pinion focuser that's fitted on it by cutting it down and rethreading it or by moving the primary up by 20-25mm, which seems a shame to do a brand new scope still under warranty! The only other option I have come up with is changing the focuser to a Skywatcher Low Profile Dual Speed Focuser For Newtonian Reflectors. Could anyone out there shed any light on this before I spend another £130 on the new focuser. Thanks
  5. We are running a session at my local society on transits and occultations. One station will focus on exoplanet transits, and we'd like to build a very simple model to demonstrate this. We have a star (light source) and an orbiting "planet" but I need to work out how to detect the changes in light intensity and display this on a laptop, like a classical transit photometry trace below (taken from https://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/tess/primary-science.html). Is there a way to take a feed from a DSLR through the USB output to do this, else I could get an adapter for my ZWO and put an EOS lens on the front of that. I really do want a light intensity vs time trace in real time on the laptop. This model will be run in a darkened room. Thanks for any comments. James
  6. I was looking to get into astrophotography with my 10 inch dobson and for start would like to buy something affordable. Cameras can be used or new. Thanks in advance!
  7. Hiya, have absolutely no idea where to begin finding a camera for Astrophotography. And by that I mean - I know I want a canon but am unsure which to buy. It will be a second hand one. Does it need to be full frame ? Can any and all models be modified ? Is a higher pixel count the way to go ? What are the important things to look for in a DSLR ? any help would be great. Thanks Neil
  8. I know DSLRs are more for “official” AP imaging and I should probably stick with my trusty ASI224 or maybe think about a 294 or similar sensors but....as probably many, I have a DSLR sitting at home not doing much. Can I do EAA with it? Today is quite easy to have 24Mp in relativity cheap bodies so why not to use it somehow? Small pixels..I know, but maybe going for wide field and bright objects with fast lenses it may still work and give something interesting. Anyone tried? Any experience? What I really like of EAA is the ability to do everything while observing and without the need to come back for long processing sessions. I have searched around a bit but I can’t find a stacking software like Sharpcap for DSLR doing live viewing as well as stacking. I think I could somehow save each frame in a folder and then stack them with DSS (if I got the name right) but can I then control remotely the camera, exposition and have live preview when slewing around? Just interested to know if anyone know more about this or more in general discuss about DSLR and EAA. Flavio
  9. Marci

    Milky Way Widefield

    From the album: Marci’s Astropix

    7x20s@ISO1600 (EOS1000D FSM) with 18-55mm kit lens
  10. From the album: Marci’s Astropix

    2hrs with EOS650D at 18Mp shooting visual colour range (240s subs @ ISO800), 1.5hrs with EOS1000D Full-spectrum-modified (no narrowband filters) at 10Mp (120s subs @ ISO800 as core blows out VERY easily in full spectrum). 5x dark frames and 20x bias frames for the EOS1000D session. No flats. Stacked in DSS 64bit with 2x drizzle, processed in Photoshop CC 2018 (very little needed doing to it to be honest, just pull the saturation up a bit to bring the colour out). This is a heavy crop hence the apparent low resolution of the final image. This was the last outing for the EOS650D before I killed it, hence no darks / bias applied to the subs from that camera - it died in process of taking it off mount to shoot darks etc whilst I packed everything else away.

    © M Coyles

  11. badgers

    Lunar Mosaic

    From the album: Badgers - Astrophotos

    A half moon mosaic taken using a Canon 40D and a 2x Barlow via the EOS movie record program

    © Anton Enright

  12. Hi, I'm totally New to this hobby and i'm having trouble understanding something in stellarium. I have ordered (not recieved) a Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS, which has a 25mm eyepiece 50degrees FOV as a default. I also have a Nikon D810. I wanted to get an idea of what my field of view would be with the 25mm eyepiece (30x on 750mm focal length), and also what it would be With my Nikon D810 mounted shooting prime Focus - no eyepieces. What surprised me was that it wasnt much difference between the frame and size of the object i get with 30x magnification (25mm eyepiece), and what i get with the Nikon D810 mounted. I dont get this. What magnification do i get With my DSLR mounted with no eyepiece?
  13. Hi All, So I am new to astrophotography and was looking for some advice on what to buy, mainly the mount as I don't have a huge budget. I am currently using a SkyWatcher 102mm Telescope (500mm Focal Length) with a Canon 550d along with a EQ2 mount, so no motors as of yet. Any advice on what mounts to get would be great. Thanks
  14. 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:
  15. Hi all! Few days ago i tried imaging a deep sky object for the first time, so i tried m13 as an easy first target, I used took 7 lights, out of witch i selected 3 for stacking, and used 5 darks. DSS only selected 1 frame out of the 3 and stacked that. The result wasn't that good but then again....it's the first time i'm doing this. Settings were iso 6400, 15 second exposure, auto WB. I have also been having this problem, when my telescope slews to a target, it's always to the left of the frame and that was a bummer since i had to crop my picture. Please give me your advice and feedback, Clear skies!
  16. Hi, Some old data from last November; before my camera was modded. The original image was processed with DSS and GIMP, the new version with DSS and StarTools. I'm still quite noobish when processing with StarTools. but its a really fun program to learn. On this image I forgot to desaturate the sky background to remove the LP colour glow--when I do a reprocess I will do that. I'm hoping that there will be some clear skies around November-December this year to get some better quality data. The streaky noise is caused by the rather noisy CMOS and no dithering--I didn't start using APT until the New Year. The gradient is caused by the secondary being not quite centred under the camera up/down the tube. Around 1 hour of 2-3 min subs, ISO 800 EQ5 and 130P-DS, guided with PHD2 & 50mm finder/guider EOS 1000d and MPCC Mk 4 + Cheap LP filter Old: (GIMP) New: (StarTools--Still a lot of work needed) John
  17. Hi all! Last night i went out to a friend's place on the outskirts of the city to image jupiter with my 8 incher and my DSLR. Atmospheric conditions were average-ish, just enough to push the scope to F20. I used backyardEOS in planetary mode to control the camera and captured jupiter 2 times about 45 minutes apart with 1700 Frame videos. In one of the images the great red spot is visible and in the other it's not. Please give me your honest feedback and advice, Clear skies!
  18. 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:
  19. 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!
  20. This one is a composite from two of my telescopes : Meade LX200-ACF, FL 1600mm, F7.8 (with reducer) 55x10 min = 9h10m @ iso 800 TS Imaging Star 71, FL 350mm, F5 186x200 sek + 4x300 sek = 10h40m @ iso 400 The two images are aligned with Registar and blended together in PS. The small APO is attached to the CW bar so I can image with both scopes simultaneously. I previously posted the LX200 closeup image here : Ragnar
  21. I finally got a decent image of M1, last year all I managed was a blurry fawn blob that looked like something out of the pocket of a duffelcoat.
  22. A lot of people have asked me about the iso setting and what is going on inside the DSLR camera. I have tried to do a simple tutorial about this on my homepage: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/tutorials/tutorial-iso-dslr/tutorial-iso-dslr.html Now when DSLR cameras get better and better it's not that big advantages to use high iso setting. On earlier high noise readout cameras you could raise the signal above the readoutnoise by using a high iso setting (but depends on the camera if the amplifier was good enough), but in the same time you lower the dynamic range. With a better new camera you can lower the iso setting and stretch the data in your imageprocessing software and still have the same (or almost) low signal details. And with that get a higher dynamic range (don't saturate or clip the high levels). With my new Canon 6D I normally use iso800 but also iso 400. Modern Nikon cameras with Sony sensors are even better. Normally you can read about isoless cameras, that's the ones that can take advantage of lover iso setting. Depends on the object what to prefer. One important thing to know, the iso setting doesn't change how many photos the camera detect, just how the camera read out the sensor. Hope I clearify and not confuse with my tutorial. /Lars
  23. Hi to all you members on SGL. I am a novice with 3 months experience with a SW200P dob, having started initially with a pair of Oregon 15 x 70 Bins on a tripod mount. I have referenced some good books and spent some time with Stellarium and I am encouraged by my new learnt ability to navigate the night sky with the 200p. I have connected my Nikon D600 (24mp full frame) DSLR to the scope and produced some satisfying photos of the moon, however I am interested in imaging some DSO's. ( I have caught the bug with no cure in sight!) I intend to get a tracking mount such as a SW HEQ5 Pro Synscan, but for now would like to purchase a wide field refractor and produce some wide field imaging with a basic mount, I understand that subs of around 30 sec can be produced with mediocre results initially until I get a better mount. Also it would be nice to have a grab and go scope which is more convenient than the big DOB. Also this would give me some images to experiment with the software such as DSS and Registax 6. So, I have been researching three achromatic telescopes, The Skywatcher ST80 and ST102 (both come with kit mounts ranging from AZ3 to EQ1 and the Bresser Messier AR-102/600 (which looks stylish and has the Hex focus) However, despite spending somewhere in the region of 4-5 hours so far researching for reviews on the BM102, nothing has been forthcoming>? I am aware of the issues of CA with these small tube Achromats, however the plan is to Purchase one of the three now, save for the HEQ5 mount, then at a later stage use the scope purchased now as a guide scope and but a better APO doublet or triplet scope for the main tube. So, having laid the table so to speak, which of the three would you advice and why please, I have been told by two companies stocking the BM102/600 that mechanically it is far superior to the two Skywatchers, but I am concerned that I cannot find ANY reviews on this OTA for its optical quality ?. I am aware that Synta make a few of these 80 and 100mm scopes for different suppliers but I am let to believe that the BM is a separate manufacturer. Any advice or better still hearing from someone who owns the Bresser Messier AR-102/600 would be amazing, so thank you for reading this long post and thank you in advance of your reply. Regards Graham Side note:- I have a VERY heavy duty pan tilt Manfrotto tripod which I previously used to support my Sinar 5x4 Large format bellows camera so its very steady and has a pan tilt head already fitted, I intend to mount the new scope on this as an AZ to begin with.
  24. As some camera telephoto lenses have smallish f ratio & length, how suitable are they optically for imaging. I am thinking more of fixed fl than zooms. Cameras with spot metering would be ideal theoretically for brighter objects.
  25. beka

    DSLR M22

    Hi Again, Continuing my foray into astrophotography and processing - m22 with my CPC 1100 at f10, Canon 700D, 9 flats and 11 x 30'' lights, stacked in Siril. Curve adjusted, cropped (heavily because image de-rotation effects on the edges) sharpened and scaled in Gimp. Hope you like :-) All the best
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