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Found 225 results

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  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. Back in early Feb I tried imaging Markarian's Chain, but after 2 subs I encountered guiding issues (a first for me) so had to give up. So just for kicks and giggles, I decided to process them! ? So this is 2 x 10mins. With the D5300, 80ED and HEQ5-Pro. 'Stacked' (if it's even right to use that term!) in APP, and processed in PS. Then reduced to 75% for posting. Why oh why oh why..... I honestly don't even know myself ?
  6. Hi guys I'm breaking the cardinal rule here of posting late at night, right after finishing PP, so let's see what sense the dawn brings! ? I shot this in the early hrs of 29th of March. There was no moon present (i think!) and conditions were pretty good, AFAIK. This is 28 x 360s, so about 2.75 hrs in total. Taken as usual with the D5300, IDAS-D1, and SW 80ED. APP used for stacking and gradient reduction, everything else done in PS. Would have liked twice, or 3 times, the data, but it's just not happening, so i've just decided to process what i've got. Thanks for looking, and all CC welcome as always ?
  7. i am looking for a coma corrector for astrophotography, i have a skywatcher 254/1200 pds, a nikon d5100, and a skywatcher off axis guider, what would you recommend?
  8. 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?
  9. Had a quick search but not found much info, I've just 'transitioned' from DSLR to a CMOS (AA 183C pro) Used to capture with APT or Backyard Nikon, save as RAW, DSS to stack and use autosave.tif to work on in Photoshop. Whats the general consensus on CMOS ? So far trying APT or Sharpcap, saving as FITS, stacking in DSS still and using autosave.tif into Photoshop. I keep seeing fits liberator mentioned ? Opinions gratefully received.
  10. This will be a thread detailing some of the changes and additions I will be doing to my ASC/Weather Station project. This is version 2.0 as I'll be making some very big changes from the initial project and I think continuing on in the existing thread would not have made much sense. So, I still want to use an APS size sensor as after seeing the quality and light capturing capabilities of the now defunct Opticstar DS-616C XL camera and Meike lens I simply cannot go back to using a smaller lens/sensor combination. One thing is certain, I won't be paying £400 or potentially more for another APS astro sized camera so with that in mind I plan on heavily modifying a Nikon D50 DLSR and use the same lens. I chose the D50 primarily due to it having a CCD sensor (ICX453AQ) very close in specs to the one in the Opticstar (ICX413AQ) and the fact that I got a hold of a fully working body for £25. Now there's a few issues with going down the DSLR route which I plan on addressing as follows: The oversized camera body can be stripped down to bare essentials and fitted in the existing case with some moving of parts around Uncooled, the sensor is quite noisy so to cool it I plan on using the existing Opticstar enclosure with the TEC and hopefully get it purged with Argon to avoid dew formation. Also, since the box will need to be completely sealed to achieve this, there's simply not enough room inside for the main board to which the sensor connects to. The only way around this is using an 39pin 150mm long FPC extension which I managed to find and will be arriving shortly. This means I can have the sensor completely sealed with enough slack in the connection to place the mainboard anywhere I want. The D50 uses the NEF file extension as a "RAW" file format but it's not truly RAW and a heavy median filter is applied to all long exposure images to smooth out the noise. It works great for day to day shots, but in an application such as mine it'll most probably eliminate or severely affect my stars as most of them at the FL I'll be using the camera at will be a few pixels across and the Nikon median filter is very aggressive with such small features. The way around this is what's commonly known as Mode 3 on Nikons. Nikons have a additional Noise Reduction mode which takes the long exposure light first then straight after an equal length dark with the shutter closed, then applies the dark on the light and you get a further noise reduced image which again works very well, but not so much for AP. With mode 3 you essentially have the NR feature on and take an exposure but then immediately shut down the camera after the light has finished exposing. What this does is it causes the camera to dump a REAL RAW image onto the SD card without applying the median filter OR the Noise Reduction process. This obviously results in a much noisier image as expected, but all the stars will still be there and the image in this way can then be dark-subtracted and processed to my liking. I'll post some test shots I've taken to illustrate this. The D50 uses a hybrid shutter, both the CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter are used depending I think on the exposure length. If a high enough exposure is used, from what I understand, one can use exclusively the electronic shutter, but for longer exposures the shutters work in conjunction. Now I know the ICX413AQ in the Opticstar is more than capable of taking long exposures solely with its electronic shutter despite the fact that in its datasheet they recommend a mechanical shutter for proper use. So, my thinking is since the D50's sensor is similar to the ICX413AQ the only thing preventing the camera from being able to take any exposure using exclusively the electronic shutter is that its mechanical shutter is in the way and I don't think that the camera would prevent the CCD electronic global shutter itself to still open and close when required. However, this is all a theory at the moment and the only way to confirm it is to test the camera with the sensor outside when the FPC cable arrives. More on this later... In terms of capture software available, the D50 is actually very poor and I could only get digiCamControl to see and control the camera via USB. But I won't be using this as when the camera is hooked up to the PC its SD card is identified as a storage drive and the camera can be used as it would normally with the images appearing on the drive after being written to the SD! Since I'm using my VB app to process the images I would just point the app to that folder and should work. That's all I can think of for now but if and when new ones come up I'll add them here. Next I'll be describing some of the other changes planned.
  11. Hello everyone! I have recently been looking into deep-sky imaging, and related equipment. My telescope is a SW200p, and I already have an unmodded Canon EOS 1100D, but I've been thinking about moving into the world of CCD deep-sky imaging. My budget is approx. £500, and at that budget, the best I could get in terms of deep-sky CCDs is the Atik Titan (Mono). However, I was wondering whether I would get any major improvements over my DSLR, and whether it'd be the best use for my money. Here is what I know... Pros: Mono camera has capability of being used for luminance, and can use a variety of filters, as is not limited by RGB colours.I already have a filter wheel, so that is not a problem.Cooled CCD means less noiseLooks like it's a good option for fainter planets, with high sensitivity, and the potential for moderately high frameratesMore sensitive than most DSLRsCons: Much smaller number of pixels (and FOV width) than a DSLR - would need a very large mosaic for an object like M42Expensive!!Also, I couldn't help but compare it to the next models up, which happen to be twice the price (the 420L seems to be the next one up - £800!!). Would it be dramatically better to save up until next Christmas to buy something so expensive?! Any advice would be really welcomed! David
  12. So been at the this imaging malarchy for a couple of months and sometimes things just don't seem rational. Why do I get better results from 30 x 300s subs than from 15 x 600s? I suspect that it is the signal to noise ratio of the longer exposures. i.e DSLR noise increase with exposure time. But maybe I am missing something?
  13. I have struck apon a conundrum that affects us in the UK more than most, due to the shortness of our weather windows when doing DSLR AP. I just had my camera in the fridge overnight to create a set of BIAS and DARK frames at 15C sensor temperature. When I am taking 180 sec exposures over say 3hrs, to keep the sensor stable at any given temperature I need to insert delays. I have roughly calculated the deltas based on some timings, I still need to do further testing to refine these. - 30 Sec gives me a delta of + 12C - 45 Sec gives me a delta of + 10C - 60 Sec gives me a delta of + 07C So this beg the question, with our weather limiting the time for exposure, is it better to get a set of images say 60, at a range of temperature (12C - 20C) or less lights say 45 at a stable temperature 12C? I am sure there is some SNR that can help to determine when it is better to just capture lights say 20, whereas if you have the above scenario, it is better to sacrifice some lights for stable temperature and less noise.
  14. I have been reading around the subject of banding on images taken with DSLRs and the common feeling seems to be that it is largely a function of the temperature of the sensor. As the camera I use is also that family camera for daytime photos I am not in a position to rip it's guts out and start to put in cold fingers or other kinds of extreme modding (even assuming that I felt confident to take it to pieces which I am not). This just leaves me with a cold box style solution for cooling. Looking back through the search function there has not really been any discussion of cold boxes since 2012, has this approach fallen out of favour? Almost all of the tutorials use a metal box with the peltier on the outside, and using the conductive capability of the metal to dissipate the cooling, however they also use a cold-sink on the inside. If you put the peltier in a cut-out so that it is in direct contact with both the heat sink and the cold sink would that provide a better temperature gradient? Like this: Is there any benefit to having the cold sink directly in contact with the back of the camera (the plastic under the swivel out screen)? cheers, Frugal
  15. Hi, I always struggle imaging globular clusters. I have a DSLR Nikon D90 to a 750mm refractor (non apo), I can track up to 8/10 minutes without problems. Problem is that I struggle not burning globular clusters stars. I'd like to be able to get the faint stars around and still keep the color of the brightest ones in the core. I think probably multiple exposures is the solution? I need to find a good compromise between low ISO/longer exposure so that the brightest stars are not burned out (so I can keep colors and not make them just all white and bigger and reduce as well halos). Any suggestion? Thinking about M13, I never get a satisfying image out of it.
  16. 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!
  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. Hi all, heres my attempt at M45 this year. Exposure details: 60x210 seconds, f2.8, ISO 800, calibration frames, 200mm With just under 3 hours 30 minutes this has fallen far from how i wanted it to be. I planned on getting 10 hours! But with cloud forecast all week i'll settle with this till later in the year. I shot using the lens wide open and using the 3rd point focusing method, hoping to have enough light grasp to pick up some of that faint dust in the area. I picked up 7 hours over 2 nights and thats when problems started. My first imaging session was the first time i used my new dew heater, i focused and then turned the heater on which shifted the focus i think, leaving me with over 3 hours of un-stackable data! This image is made up of data from the second session, you can see that the stars appear to trail and i wanted to ask if anyone using this focusing method has ever been left with stars like those in the image? They appear to streak a little bit and look as if they are rotating around a center point. I have spoken to one other person who has experienced this. Because i have recently started using Backyard EOS, im not aware how to set up the live view so you have the 4 intersecting lines (if its even possible) so when focusing i roughly guessed where the intersecting lines would be. If i didnt have the star in the right place, could it have caused the stars to appear the way they do? Anyway, heres the image. Clear skies!
  19. 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/
  20. Here is my intended setup for widefield but for now until I get the hang of it, I will just use the mount and camera. This setup includes Canon 1100D with RDF mounted to the hotshoe, 9x50 finder modified to a guidescope, QHY5L-II as the guide camera run from a Packard Bell netbook. Lenses are Vivitar Series 1 200mm f3, Panagor 135mm f2.8, F.Zuiko MC 50mm 1.8 and a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 ultra wide lens. The whole purpose of this setup is portability due to living in a flat and I find my CG5-GT to bulky to cart around. Excuse the poor quality pics as they were taken on my phone.
  21. Hi all gazers, i am having second thoughts about getting a crayford for my C9.25 (non HD) and that is because of the 0.63 Reducer / Flattener that i am imaging with. As camera i use the Nikon D7100. According to my calculations, and what i have read on internet, the optimal distance between the reducer and the chip is 105mm, the only focuser that allows for this distance (107-ish mm) is the feathertouch with the "shorty" sct-adapter witch is 56mm, my nikon T2-flange to the chip is 50mm. The Steeltrack and moonlite is far to long (93 and 91mm) But, according to some people, i can put my FR after the focuser with good performance, but how would that effect the reducing, and flattening? are there any out there who use crayfords and reducers on their SCT's with DSLR's? If nothing seems to work, i am getting the feathertouch microtouch replacement for the stock SCT-focuser. // Daniel
  22. 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
  23. 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:
  24. So I am not quite total beginner to astro images, but I am not hurrying to get to telescope range due to various factors and I did not find similar topic on several first pages of search, so this topic might be best suitable here. I have a camera that has a possibility to track astro-images up to 5 minutes, which is enough for me to take the Milky Way shots and even some Nebulae, clusters and similar level images. I have moved to the location that is a more light polluted than the one I lived before (from http://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html : I lived close to the edge of yellow and all the dark orange, the city was light orange, now I live in the middle of red, the city is gray/white). It would be not so bad, as there are some empty fields around, so no very close light sources (same as in previous location), but the Milky Way is now directly above the city with way bigger light pollution opposed to the location where I had the MW in opposite side from the city. As nearest dark location is not for everyday drive (around an hour for a bit darker place), and even in red zone I get some recognizable images, I want to continue working on my technique and started looking to Light Pollution filters (I travel to some darker areas several times a year, but not too often). I found several 100mmx100mm filter brands, and several round ones, but I found no comparisons between them and very little to no sample images or reviews: PureNight Premium Light Pollution Reduction Filter by Lonely Speck – Lonely Speck - Lonelyspeck filter at the moment unavailable NiSi NiSi Natural Night Filter for Nighttime Light NIP-100-NGT Nisi filters Haida 100x100mm/4x4" Nanopro MC Optical Glass/ HD3702 B&H Haida filters IDAS Filters and Accessories IDAS LPS-D1 (round filter) Astronomik CLS Filter (round filter) I would prefer getting 100x100mm filter, as I can use it for multiple lenses (I have 49-86 filter thread lenses), but I could live with 77mm, if it is really worth it and possible to use with step-up/down rings. Any recommendations - is it worth to get any of these, or did I miss some good one, or any reviews? Are they worth buying? Clip-in filters are not an option because of camera brand (Pentax). Also, in the future I am considering modifying this camera after I will get a newer one (http://www.spencerscamera.com/store/store_product_detail.cfm?Product_ID=25&Category_ID=1) - any recommendations which modification type to choose and why (this is totally green part for me)? Also, will the chosen LP filter work with the modification?
  25. The struggles of a beginner learning how to use the equipment. :-) Pointed mount North and Levelled EQ6 pro mount 8:30 pm Attached wireless release, 2" nose and UHC filter to Nikon DSLR Attached scope and camera, balanced scope for camera use Collimated the telescope -took 40 minutes of messing around Waited until dark. Took the dogs for a walk around the field to pass the time Polar aligned using the mobile app and sighting against Ursa major. Rebalanced DEC for eyepiece rather than camera 3 star alignment. 1st star was way off and took ages to get it in the eyepiece Restarted 3 star alignment. - Selected a star behind a house. Restarted 3 star alignment -complete. Checked collimation using a bright star - perfect (should bloody be after 40 minutes!) Tried to fine adjust polar alignment using a method discovered online (not drift- I don't think I have the patience.) Didn't work. Restarted 3 star alignment then used the polar alignment on SynScan Took a look at Jupiter was great to look at but not what I set out to do, I want DS images... Attached camera Used live view (LV) to try to focus stars Pointed the scope at M3 and took a 2 minute exposure Tried again with a 4 minute exposure SD card failed. Lost some family pics, grrr Now I have to explain to my partner that it wasn't because of Astronomy, these things just happen. Replaced SD card Took some cautious 1 minute exposures of M90 expecting the camera to explode Pictures were faint so moved to 4 minute with a little more confidence telling myself SD card failures can just happen. Noticed star trails Located a bright star Decided to give PEC training a try. Couldn't do it with an eyepiece. Tried with the camera in LV but noticed some gradual movement in the DEC axis. Hoped PEC training would sort this. Moved onto the Spiral Galaxy Took some 2 minute exposures of the whirlpool galaxy. Wireless timer worked flawlessly. Still a little faint so up'd the ISO and took some more. More detail but more noise. Took some darks with the same settings. Packed away while the camera did its thing. Viewed the pics briefly on laptop. There was star trails (DEC axis again and blurring) Went to bed 1:30 am Summary: So what have I learned? Well DEC error was probably due to the balance of the scope being off. I never did re-balance for the camera. I've also learnt today that I should bias the balance slightly East so the gears engage better. PEC training is a waste of time without an illuminated reticule which I don't have the desire to buy. I'd rather save for a guide scope and guide camera. I've learned I can refine the polar alignment after the 3 start alignment process. I've also read on forums that perhaps I should manually move the scope to the first alignment start then continue with the usual process. I've also seen that two star may be the way forward for EQ6. So perhaps next time I'll start with a 2 star, polar align using the SynScan handset then back to 3 star with the first manual adjustment. I should also purchase a few SD cards that are dedicated for Astrophotography and upload them ASAP after the session. The Astronomik UHC Deep Sky Filter worked wonders with the images for where I live. I can now take longer exposures. Assuming I sort out DEC errors and invest in guiding rig.
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