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Found 140 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. Guys, I have an order in for a Starizona Hyperstar for my 8” EdgeHD. What sub-1k camera would you pair with this kit? Also what is the learning curve involved, bear in mind I have no imaging experience? I have been looking at the Altair Astro Hypercam Pro TEC 183c, which seems to be getting some favourable comments. My intention is to use an INDI based platform, probably a StellarMate for image and focuser control. Paul.
  3. Hey everyone! I’m after some pretty wide-field DSOs that can be captured with an unmodified DSLR without too much struggle (apart from the Orion Nebula.) I can push my exposures up to around 3 minutes with no major star trailing but that’s about as far as I can go. Also I’m in the Southern Hemisphere so don’t have the luxury of choosing between many relatively bright Messier objects. Your suggestions are much appreciated!
  4. Hi everyone, One and a half clear nights for me early in the year and I focused on M45. As a naked eye visible target, I think subconsciously I never gave M45 the concentration it deserves, thinking I could always catch it another time. Anyway, despite lusting after the Horsehead, I kept my refractor pointed at the seven sisters in new moon skies and the result is below. I actually found it pretty hard to process...the seven sisters themselves were pretty well behaved, but I couldn't decide what to do with the background. I know this is a dusty region so I did not want to put DBE samples everywhere. But at the end the background seems a bit smudgy after tweaking curves - I'm not sure whether to darken the background or leave it as is. 3.4 hours of LRGB integration. Full details on Astrobin. Thanks for looking!
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Hello. I am using a Orion xt8 reflector telescope. I am wondering what optic / eyepiece set up I should be using for a mix of DSO and planets. I have a couple pictures which I have taken with honestly my cell phone on one of those (Omi cellphone adaptors for telescope) and they pictures don't come out to bad... but I am looking for something that I can actually put into the eye piece that will give decent looking pictures, or even one that I can hook up to my computer and look through it live. Price really is not the biggest issue but not really looking for something over $400. I know there might not be such a thing as I am describing. most of these pictures were taken with a 2x barlow and a 20mm The ones of mars I just took with a 5x barlo and the same 20mm. and I am unsure what this star formation I took a picture of is but It looked pretty cool and I am glad that I was able to take a picture of it.. But just looking for some help choosing what camera would be best. (Obviously using the phone camera the objects appear so bright and there is no way to pull the actual detail of the planet into focus for me) But any help would be great :) Thank you for any feedback you have and I cant wait to become more active on this forum!
  8. I now have a number of options for imaging this coming season. FOV ranges available with various scopes and lenses :- 1000mm FL MN190 Pro Mak-Newt 400mm FL Esprit 80ED Pro plus 2 x ST80 105mm (and others) Ex Asahi Pentax camera lenses 2.5mm fisheye for all sky My fields of view range from all sky through NB with 3 cameras and 3 lenses widefield to 400mm triple scopes and cameras to 1000mm single 190MN Mak-Newt. I have the following cameras :- 3x Atik 460EX ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool ZWO ASI178MM - currently on all sky camera ZWO ASI185MC And mounts :- EQ8 main mount in observatory NEQ6 with Skywatcher Pillar Mount currently uncovered. The all sky camera is mounted on an aluminium tube mast attached to the side of the warm room. ============================================== Now to the nitty-gritty - The main limitation as to what I can use will be the mounts. If I can get my head round it I could have two imaging sessions running at the same time plus the all sky camera. I currently have 4 projects on the books :- All sky camera - currently in progress Triple widefield narrow band imaging rig - on hold Triple 400mm narrow band imaging rig - also on hold Changing to Linux OS for imaging with Raspberry Pi - investigating I'm also keen to try the ASI1200MM-Cool camera which may not need guiding and thus could save a fair bit of hassle. I'm thinking of trying it with the MN190 or maybe the Esprit 80ED but I guess the wider aperture camera lenses would mean shorter exposures and no guiding. What occurs to me is that I'm trying to do far too much at a time and that I must concentrate on one or two things and leave the others until later (if at all). I have the NEQ6 mount on it's tripod in my living room so I can experiment with controlling that without going outside. Once I have things working I can hump the mount out onto the Pillar for an imaging session. I also have the PoleMaster PA alignment camera already attached to the NEQ6 which I can try once I put the NEQ6 outside.
  9. astronomer2002

    StarlightXpress Frame Store

    I have an old StarlightXpress Frame store that hasn't been used for years. After the order from "on-high" to de-clutter I was going to take it to the skip along with other old astro stuff, but thought I'd just check to see if it was working. It appears to work fine so if any use can be found for it I would rather donate it to someone than take it to the skip. For those not familiar with the SX original Framestore it is self contained and only needed a PC to save images. To do that there was rudimentary software and a card to insert into the PC. Of course, being the late 1990's it was designed for use with Windows 98. To save images would require an old desktop with Windowa 98 or maybe Windows 2000 on it. However, for taking short or long exposure images and displaying them on a screen no PC is needed. I did use it at a star party to do just that. Showing a group of people objects they couldn't see well, if at all, through the scope directly collected quite a crowd. In the spirit of reducing landfill, if it can be of any use to anyone who is prepared to collect it from Maidenhead I will happily give it away. I attach images of the setup taken last week. Ian B
  10. Last night I got outside early to grab a chance to observe 3 major planets: Jupiter - could make out little in the twilight with the 127mm Mak. Saturn - seeing still poor - I imaged it but the result is not worth showing. Mars later on was better - its apparent size has shrunk, but this was the first time this year I have had a result with Syrtis Major facing the Earth. Syrtis Major, the bright area of Hellas and the south polar cap can all be made out in the image. Altitude of Mars was about 11deg - note that the southerly declination is decreasing as it moves North - quite significant if it is roof skimming as here. Imaged with C8 SE, ASI120MC, ADC, processed in Registax6.
  11. Hi All, I purchased a GSO 6" f/4 Newtonian "Astrograph" late last year and eventually found that stars on one corner were egg shaped while taking images. I narrowed it down to improper centering of secondary mirror from the factory and resulting tilt. Long story short, after numerous iterations, I used the Advanced Newtonian collimation technique by Astro Shed guy and ended up with the below pic of the optics. Does it look ok or do I need to do more? I will be checking with a Howie this weekend too.
  12. I am in the process of setting up an astrophotography and imaging group just outside Filey in North Yorkshire. Having recently taken delivery of an observatory together with a fixed pier and currently awaiting a quote for the concrete plinth. I am hoping to break ground next month with the observatory being "functional" by the Summer. Please note this will NOT be a visual astronomy group as such and instead, will primarily be for astrophotography with the intent of learning and sharing techniques together. Lots of work ahead and this post is more of a "feeler" to discover nearby interest. I met a wonderful chap in Bridlington around 3 years ago having bought a dual saddle from him but sadly, cannot remember his name or exact location as a hard drive crash meant I lost all contact details. It is knowing someone like this relatively close by who could assist with the "little things" like EQMod, oversee the pier placement (before I cement the bolts in incorrectly), drift alignment .... ie someone who has already been through the initial stages. My end goal will be one of fully remoting the observatory and this may even progress to remote sessions over the internet. I do like a good challenge I will be charting progress in a blog on my homepage. Best wishes, Steve ps with huge thanks to York Astronomical Society for their help and advise getting me this far
  13. JohnSadlerAstro

    How Can I Improve? 📷

    Hi, I've been into astrophotography for several years now, but I can't seem to make much improvement between images. Looking at the images in the Deep-Sky section with clean, white galaxies and perfect smooth backgrounds has got me thinking about what I'm doing wrong. I know I can achieve better images with the setup I've got, and I really want to improve in time for the summer nebulae. Is there any advice anyone can give? This is a diagram of my setup. My 1000d is modded. I use PHD drift align, and with that running my guiding is to within 2 seconds. I use APT for dithering and image collection, DSS for stacking, and GIMP 16-Bit for processing. A quick note at this point -- ive heard lots about StarTools and other programs, what is the best choice program which wont cost a few hundred pounds? Collimation has always been a bit of a difficult one for me, I've tried using both a Cheshire and a laser, but I never seem to get properly coma or gradient free images. These are the kind of results I'm getting--the main issues I can see are horrible backgrounds (dithering doesn't seem to be able to remove the dark frame scratches) and really grimy colour, but there is also coma and gradient/vignette which refuses to be corrected by flats. (I take my flats through some white fabric pointing at notepad open on my laptop.) A big issue for me has always been imaging time--where I live the council turns off the lights each night at midnight. For some reason, although I will often have the setup running from midnight until 3 in the morning, everything seems to go wrong after an hour. For example, the guiding crashes, or a glow appears in the images and wont go away, or hundreds of aircraft seem to pass overhead and streak everything . As the setup became more and more complicated, it began to take more and more time to set up: last imaging session it took 2.5 hours from opening the garage door to starting the first proper exposure. This makes everything far more difficult and time-consuming. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how I can solve these issues, or just improve my imaging in general? Thanks for looking John
  14. All set up to go with the sole aim of getting some Saturn images! To start off it was Jupes again to get some imaging done... The GRS superbly placed and looking Redder than a lidl tomato (subliminal advertising) After capturing some film it was time to properly align using Polaris and that wonderful on ya knees polar scope method!!! Boom!! three calibration stars and 'GoTo' whatever you wish for! Cygnus time - Check sheets and then give up and go and fetch Sissy Haas bible... 20 lovely doubles, not rushed just enjoyed and studied hard... working with my Starwave f/11 102 and for those difficult ones a 6.5 Meade HD and even with the 2.5 Revelation Barlow gave interesting views... 200x the recommended max mag on that Starwave, I squeezed more than that out of her. The stars looked round and colourful the companions sometimes hard to spot... But there's a great deal of satisfaction when you see them close by. I made some star symbol notes in the book when a true double of beauty made me smile, my top few were: Σ 2668 Superb 26 Gyg lovely 17 Cyg 19 Cyg Bright Red Ψ Cyg Σ 2687 Sharp 49 Cyg Faint 48 Cyg Wide H IV 113 Spot on (why did I write that?) 61 Cyg Nice Also - Σ 2760, 59 Cyg, 52 Cyg, O Σ 410, Σ 2705, Σ 2588, S 726, Σ 2578, 16 Cyg, δ Cyg So that's my haul for the night... By the time I had finished those it was 01:30 and cloud had covered what was left of Saturn. The great thing about that session was that I didn't have those long whiney scope movements around the sky, it was all within the constellation. I expect my neighbours with open windows were also grateful. Love that 102 f/11 Starwave scope.... A lot of the comments in Sissy Haas recommend a 150mm for some of the hits I made with my 102 so I'm happy... to get the colour is special as well... Not sure my alignment was that great because after entering RA & Dec the doubles were not always centered which resulted in me having to move towards the nearest double looking star a lot of the times. Didn't get -19 Cyg or T Cyg although I tried... Oh and on editing my images I notice I bagged both Europa and Io.... shame Jupiter disappeared behind next doors roof before the shadow made a transit! I've had to lighten one image to show the moons so beware you professionals
  15. Hey! I'm new here and I'm looking for advice to improve my planetary imaging. I've been using a Sky-Watcher 8" dobsonian telescope with a Celestron Neximage 5 Solar System Imager and RegiStaxs to process the videos I take. So far I've received decent images but they look faint and have little to no detail. Here are recent pictures of Jupiter and Mars I took. Any advice?
  16. Can't make my mind up on whether or not to buy a newt for ZWO imaging. The Skywatcher pds range seem to be modified slightly for prime focus imaging (is this just a DSLR photography thing?) Every imager I have ever met seems to use the smaller newts like the 130 or 150 pds... Someone said that there's less possibility of the tube being bothered by the wind for one reason? I realise that aperture is king when visual observing (yes I also realise that quality is as important) not so sure on imaging? I found a reasonably priced used 130p but doesn't have dual focuser which I am used to on my scopes, so I'm tempted to just go for it... However as once having access to a 200p I used to love using that scope for visual... Not sure and I am procrastinating over this one so much I think I'm going to need therapy!!! I have resorted to trying a poll for the first time Not sure how that works either, but every day is a school day folks! P.S I am reading every photon counts but it's taking some time
  17. Well, I have captured Saturn for the first time and it’s a rush, but unfortunately, the universe conspired against me tonight. The full moon was about 40 degrees away, it was hazy making stars look like they were boiling, and squadrons of mosquitoes attacked with Kamikaze like zeal!. I slapped myself silly but they eventually ran me out of my backyard, cursing all the way inside. Hopefully next time seeing will be better and I’ll spray myself with repellent, and boy do i need to get my focus correct, i need a mask.
  18. Hi I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI120MC-S webcam from FLO. I wanted to try it the other night so I decided to get some test images for the moon. I was using Sharpcap for this. I manged to get the video and was using Autostakkert to stack it. On the final stacked image I can see that there are some strange vertical lines. I have attached a picture of that. There is also a zoomed in image of a region and I can see some small squares almost resembling the pixels on the sensor. Below are my capture settings as given by SharpCap. [ZWO ASI120MC-S] Debayer Preview=On Pan=0 Tilt=0 Output Format=AVI files (*.avi) Binning=1 Capture Area=1280x960 Colour Space=RAW8 Temperature=19.2 High Speed Mode=Off Overclock=0 Turbo USB=86(Auto) Flip=Both Frame Rate Limit=60 fps Gain=50(Auto) Exposure=0.001993 Timestamp Frames=Off White Bal (B)=95 White Bal (R)=52 Brightness=0 Auto Exp Max Gain=50 Auto Exp Max Exp M S=30000 Auto Exp Target Brightness=100 Mono Bin=Off Apply Flat=None Subtract Dark=None #Black Point Display Black Point=0 #MidTone Point Display MidTone Point=0.5 #White Point Display White Point=1 TimeStamp=2018-06-25T23:13:22.6772909Z SharpCapVersion=3.1.5214.0 For Autostakkert (v2.6.8 ) I was not doing anything fancy. Pressed analyze and then used 50% of the frames to stack. Used 200 as the AP size. Also, had the drizzle as 1.5x My camera was mounted to a skywatcher 200pds and HEQ5 mount. I am failing to understand what is going wrong here. Is the camera a problem or stacking is an issue ? Please let me know if there is any more information that you need. Thanks and Regards, Yogesh moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15.tif moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15_ZOOM.tif
  19. Thanks for the previous advice folks... So moving on from my first two outings with the ZWO i decided to have a go at Jupiter (see attached) Now before you comment I realise that this is a pretty poor image in lots of ways, however, the purpose of showing it, is that hopefully I'll be able to put another side by side in a fews years showing some progress and understanding regarding imaging? I downloaded several imaging programs yesterday following advice for which I'm grateful. Now some programs look a lot more complicated than others so I ended up using Sharpcam and Registrax3 for my image... I will look at the others when I have more time I promise... Today, I'm reflecting on yet more new terminology I hear of... I think I get Gain and Exposure, even darks I understand... But wavelets, Align points and load flatfield are new terms that sound like the devils work to me... I must just reiterate that the purpose of my ZWO purchase was to do live laptop based observation, or Electronically Assisted Astronomy, but I am really keen to use the instrument to part of it's full potential, hence my venture into technically challenging world One thing I did learn of a YouTube clip yesterday was to change the image size before capturing which has resulted in me actually being able to see a finished image which at least can be recognised as Jupiter! Here's an additional Question - Most people recommend Fast scopes for imaging... I see a fair few people use 130, 150 Newts... Skywatcher do a new pds Newt model which they state has the secondary mirror slightly closer to the primary which helps Astrophotography. Why wouldn't (other than cost) would you buy the 200 version? this would be more bang for ya buck yes/No? It's a big post, but it's a huge subject........ P.S Where's the Astro imaging school??
  20. Hey everyone, I searched the forum on this topic and was surprised to see that it wasn't being discussed! (at least not that I could find). I'll be using Skysafari pro to track its path, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find it... ... but then what's the best technique to image it? - Webcam? - DSRL in video mode? - Long exposure (guided)? What settings should we aim at? (ISO, exposure, etc) Anyone who hunted similar objects in the past who want to share their experience would be highly appreciated! Thanks Andrea
  21. Hi there, I have a DMK21AU04.AS mono camera which I wanted to start using for planetary imaging & I was wondering which filter I would need. I already have a IR pass filter but I was wondered if a IR/UV cut filter would be better? Any advice is appreciated. Cheers, Jeff
  22. I currently have a Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking mount. I am looking at options to improve my accurate exposure time. My first option is autoguiding. What is an effective autoguiding solution for the Star Adventurer? Or am I better off completely upgrading to a Celestron Advanced VX without an autoguiding solution?
  23. Gerry Casa Christiana

    Skewed stars help

    Hello all Im just started in imaging and I have to say I'm pleased with the first result BUT on closer inspection I see I have slightly oblong stars. So people know what I've got and done here it is http://www.astrobin.com/full/271950/0/?nc=user I have a baader coma corrector that I'm using set to 55mm from canon sensor and I have tried short exposures and I notice that it's still there in short exposures. Could it be collimation? It's the only thing I didn't do that evening. I would appreciate your input! Thanks Gerry
  24. Another planetary imaging session, this time with the C8 and the ASI120MC camera. This was the first time I tried to image these with the C8 so something of a 'test'. The log shows that I spent 25 minutes of valuable time in taking the rig down after imaging Jupiter and setting it up in a different position to image the other two planets. Next time I'll put it in a different position that will avoid having to move it. The altitude of Jupiter was about 20 deg, and the other two at around a roof-skimming 10 deg. Unsurprisingly (or otherwise) the results seem a bit better than with the 127mm Mak. In particular, I could easily see the Great Red Spot in the laptop live view. I feel a bit disappointed that Jupiter did not sharpen up more in processing. Here are three of the processed images (processed in Registax6 and should be the noninverted & nonflipped view). Again, not the world's best, but... I focused the camera on Spica. Mars has processed up quite sharp and, again, distinctly non-round (88% phase). But any tips on focussing? there are some apps in Smartcap, or maybe I should get a Bahinov (sp?) mask. I also recorded some .ser video which won't load into Registax for some reason- have to look into why.
  25. Jonathan Rees

    Help - Full Sun Disk

    Help! With the eclipse approaching, I am trying to get a full sun disk with my Celestron NexImage Solar System Imager through my Celestron NexStar 5se telescope. I am a teacher and can't take off what will be the first day of school. However, I can live stream the eclipse for the school. The problem is, my camera only gives me a view of (roughly) 25-ish % of the sun. I have a focal reducer (.5), though it is a cheap one. I tried using it with the camera, but I couldn't tell a difference. Do I need an eyepiece extension? Whatever I do, I need to do as cheap as possible--makes for a happier marriage. Incidentally, I am very much considering upgrading to the Meade Instruments 07545 LX f/6.3 Focal Reducer and Field Flattener, but I'm not sure if it will help if I'm not using it correctly (I'm not even sure a focal reducer will help at all to make the sun smaller). Technical stuff you might need to know: Camera: 1280x720 resolution, 3.0 micron square pixel size, sensor size is 3.86mm x 2.18 mm Telescope: Schmidt-Cassegrain, 125 mm aperture, apparent field of view 1 inch, focal length is 1250 mm I appreciate any help you can offer! I'm fairly tech savy, but pretty much every place I've visited speaks in a technical vernacular that's above my experience.
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