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Found 174 results

  1. Hi folks, This is one of those questions that over the last year, I am still not that sure on the best set up of my imaging train for planetary imaging using a CPC1100. In my train is first the visual back, X2 Barlow (or powermate 2.5), manual 5 filter wheel, ADC and then the ASI290MC camera. So they say the further the ADC is from the sensor the more adjustment it has but do you have the filter wheel in front of the ADC and camera or the ADC then the filter wheel next to the camera?.
  2. Just sending a query out there to anyone who has experience imaging at public sites on Dartmoor? Looking to learn about good locations, how this is received by the National Park authority (if imaging through the night) etc...
  3. HI All, I have nikon d3200 , is it good for astrophotography? i tried with 18-140mm lens but the shots are too much white not good..do i need to upgrade to d3400 or d5300 or d5600?
  4. I have already posted my first astrophotographic session report in the telescope review thread: Tecnosky 80/480 APO FPL53 Triplet OWL Series - Review. But since that is more of a general review/diary of my experience with the new telescope, I feel some of the issues I am having are being buried and they will probably get more visibility if I post them - in a more synthetic version - in a dedicated thread. So, a few nights ago (October, the 5th) I took out my new telescope for its first light. All the photos have been taken with the 0.8x flattener/reducer and the Optolong L-Pro 2" filter attached to the reducer. The camera is an astromodified Nikon D5300. The only processing the following pictures have consists in this: - AutomaticBackgroundExtractor - ColorCalibration - Stretch Here we have a 90s shot of M31. And here's a mosaic generated with the AberrationInspector script. What I do like: - tightest, smallest, roundest stars I have gotten since I started doing astrophotography at the end of January. Obviously comparing it to what I have been achieving with a kit 70-300mm zoom lens, these can't be anything else but better by orders of magnitude What I don't like: - star shape not consistent in all areas of the image - residual chromatic aberration, especially on stars that are not round: there's clearly some red and blue edges visible I didn't expect this from an apochromatic refractor, but maybe it's just because the stars are kinda "smeared", so not all light is focused at the same spot? I don't see this around the center of the image (or, at least, the problem is less pronounced). Maybe I have some tilting in my imaging train/sensor? I have been doing some reasoning about it and it seems like a combination of tilting and/or backfocus spacing. According to the following image about backfocus spacing: if the stars are elongated radially, the sensor is too close, if they are elongated tangentially, the sensor is too far. But to me it seems I have a little bit of both: in the top right corner, for example, the stars look radially elongated, in the bottom right, they look tangentially elongated. Top left they look tangentially elongated, bottom left also, but a little less. Seems like there has to be some tilting as well, otherwise they would all have a symmetric shape on all corners, correct? How do I determine - is there even a way - if the issue is due to tilting only, backfocus only, or the combination of the two? Is there a sure proof way of checking for tilting? Like, rotating the camera and taking pictures with, say, the camera at 0°, 90°, 270° and 360°? If there's tilting, the pattern of the star shapes should follow the camera, correct? I also tried splitting the channels in R, G, and B components, doing a star alignment of the blue and red channels with the green as a reference, and recombining the channels. The blue and red edges become a lot less evident, which is good, but obviously the star shapes remain the same. In my Telescopius gallery you can also find two other images, Capella and Capella Mosaic showing pretty much the same issues. Also, one issue with the guide camera: ZWO ASI 224MC. When attached to the guide scope (Artesky UltraGuide 60mm f/4), I can't seem to get a "sharp" focus, I even tried on the Moon, and the best I got was a soft lunar disc, with some major features visible, mainly by change of color/brightness (the maria, for example), but no details. The image still seemed blurred/bloated. Is it because of lack of IR blocking filter? I tried the same camera attached to the main refractor, with the L-Pro filter (which blocks UV and IR, as well) and I could focus perfectly. Do I need an IR block filter for guiding or even if the stars appear a little soft, the camera guides just fine? Matteo
  5. I have been waiting for this telescope for almost five months. Since May, 19th, to be precise. The day I went to the TS Italia store and saw for the first time the SLD model, model now discontinued. I even missed the last available piece just for a few days, once I finally placed my order, June, 25th. It was to be replaced by a newer model, available at the end of the Summer. Boy, am I glad I did miss it. The wait was definitely worth it. The new and improved model is simply beautiful. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on the Tecnosky website a few weeks ago, when they posted the product sheet. But in person, it's even more beautiful. So, the people from the store emailed me Friday, October the 2nd, telling me that it was finally available for pickup. I read the message only a whole hour later and it was soon going to be closing time. I started calling at 4:30 PM and I finally managed to get my phone call through at around 5:05 PM. The store closes at 6:00 PM and doesn't reopen until Monday. And it's 40 minutes away from where I live. I made it there in 35. There was no way I was going to have to wait till Monday, knowing my scope was only a few minutes away. So, here's the pre-unboxing picture: - top left, brown box, behind: Vixen clamp for guide-scope - top right, white box: 60mm f/4 guide-scope - top left, white boxes: T2 Nikon ring, 30mm spacer, adjustable spacer - center, behind white boxes: Optolong L-Pro 2" filter - right of filter: spacers mounted and already calibrated for 55mm backfocus, for eventual use of the ZWO ASI 224MC camera with the refractor - top right, Bahtinov mask - underneath the white boxes, top left: Losmandy bar to attach telescope to my NEQ6 Losmandy saddle - big box underneath all of the above: Tecnosky 80mm f/6 FPL-53 OWL Triplet, with carrying case and 0.8x 4 elements flattener/reducer - ZWO black case: ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera / planetary camera - front left: Talisker 57° North and two glasses (don't mind the shape of the glasses, they are the closest to Whisky suitable glasses that I currently own...) ready for me and my wife to celebrate the end of the wait - front right: box for the aforementioned Whisky I actually waited for yesterday (Saturday, the 3rd) for the unboxing, because I wanted my best friend Omar to be present and help me with filming and taking pictures. We have been friends since we went to kindergarten and we always have had astronomy as a common interest. It just so happens, to my immense surprise, that my telescope is actually SN. 0001, so I own the first telescope ever produced of this new series. The certificate is also very promising, with a Strehl ratio of 0.974 and a Ronchi test that seems very well behaved. I like a little less the red edges on the lenses, but I guess only time and a proper visual - and astrophotographic - session will be able to tell. Obviously the "new equipment curse" didn't help, but we got almost a whole hour with clear sky patches and obviously I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I quickly setup with the bare minimum necessities for a visual observation and me, my wife and my best friend Omar - who helped with the staging, recording and directing of the unboxing event - took a quick look at the Moon, Saturn, Mars, M31 and Perseus Double Cluster. I can definitely understand now, even if the seeing wasn't perfect, and my eyepieces didn't offer enough magnification (25mm and 10mm give me 80x and 200x, with my C8, but with a native focal length of 480mm, even with a Barlow 2x, we could only achieve about 38x and 96x, respectively), what people mean when they say that an apochromatic refractor brings out the objects from the background sky. The contrast was stunning, the stars were absolute points, pinpoint, small and sharp (with my C8 they always have kind of a "blob" feeling), the contrast on the Moon was fantastic and I could see many details, despite it being almost full, and only at 48-96x. I think it passed the visual test with honors. I was also very happy to be able to see the Double Cluster all in the same field of view for the first time. Saturn was well defined, could clearly make out the rings - don't recall, in all the excitement, rush and cycling between me, my wife and my friend, if I saw the Cassini division, but I'll definitely try again next clear sky night. Mars was also beautiful, could clearly see its rusty red color, the polar cap and some darker, black features on the surface. I really can say it's a beautiful telescope, very well made and machined. The attention to details is really of another level, the paint finish is very nice and matte. Also very lovely all the different red and black anodized surfaces, they really give it a nice finish and personality. The focuser is also the best I have ever had on a telescope. Very smooth, precise, with no backlash. Coming from a C8 where every touch of the focuser throws off the image all over the place and the backlash is quite significant, I really appreciated how easy it was to fine tune focusing with a proper focuser, especially with the 10:1 focusing knob. I can't wait to be able to take the first pictures of some star field, to check if even photographically the telescope lives up to my expectations. I hope to get pinpoint stars corner to corner and that the backfocus won't be something too hard to make perfect. Here's some accessories. Optolong L-Pro 2" filter, Bahtinov mask, Losmandy dovetail to replace the Vixen one the telescope comes with, Nikon T2 ring and spacers to use the ASI 224MC with the correct backfocus directly on the telescope, instead of a guide-camera. Here's the 60mm f/4 guide-scome, with Vixen clamp. And the ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera. Here's the mandatory celebration beer, at Corte dell'Orso (the Bear's Courtyard). It's a Belgian sour beer, lambic style. Oudbeitje by Hanssens Artisanaal, with added strawberries. A very nice beer, sour, tart and fruity. Could definitely taste the strawberries. Cheers! Here's a couple of pictures of the full setup, with everything mounted on my Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro. The setup is in its astrophotographic configuration: mount, telescope, guide-scope, guide-camera, filter, flattener/reducer and at the end the Nikon D5300 astromodified. All controlled by Astroberry on my Raspberry Pi 4 4GB, conveniently mounted on a bar across the two telescope rings. And finally a close up of the rig.
  6. Having previously got some reasonable images by mounting a smart phone to the eyepiece. I thought I would try for a more sophisticated set up. So last night I tried to get some pictures of the moon using a Canon Eos D450 connected to a Skywatcher 130p Newtonian via a T2 connection on the eyepiece holder. As the camera has automatic focusing built into the lens I thought I would have to adjust the focuser on the eyepiece holder to manually get a sharp image. Basically the telescope acting as a manually focused lens for the camera. But no joy, I just got a bright light which seemed to fill the camera view finder. I tried various settings on the camera, adjusting ISO and aperture etc, I also had some extention rings for the camera lens so tired fitting those to extend the focal length but no better. I sure there are many palms being slapped against foreheads reading this but as you can tell I have no idea, although I do have some of the gear. Any pointers and/or advise would be gratefully received.
  7. Hi, I would like to share with you an article written by me on high-resolution solar imaging in different wavelengths. Glad that the European Physics Journal (EPJ) Web of Conferences published it. You can read it at: https://www.epj-conferences.org/articles/epjconf/abs/2020/16/epjconf_seaan2020_01002/epjconf_seaan2020_01002.html You can see the different layers of the Sun in high-resolution images using different setups. Best regards. Alfred
  8. 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.
  9. Hi there! I am seeking for advice from you good people. I want to create a setup for stargazing which is fully automated. Ideally every process like scope calibration, guiding, tracking, focusing and taking photos should be done through WiFi, preferably from an iPad tablet. Planetary imaging is the main purpose. I don't really care about deep space imaging. I want the whole setup to be rather cheap, small and light, at the expense of imaging quality. I am a total noob (used to play with an ETX-70 lots of years ago), but I really need the functionality I have described above. I am thinking of using the bellow components and kindly request that you correct/add to the list: 1) AstroFi 102 2) A ZWO camera suitable for planetary imaging (any ideas for less than or equal to $250) 3) An auto focuser and motor drive (any ideas) 4) Smth like an ASi air device? Is a guider necessary for planetary imaging, by the way? Do you think I am in the right path? I still have not been able to really comprehend the full picture. Is what I am asking for doable? Thank you very much in advance!
  10. I think I need help with my Photoshop settings. I've been processing my photos and been very unhappy/depressed with the results. I then realized that they looked a lot better on my phone than on my PC screen. I did some testing and I discovered that Photoshop (CS4 - both 32bit and 64bit) and the basic Windows viewer [the two things I've been using all this time to look at my images] are displaying poorer quality views of my images than other viewers or programs. (see attached images) I think I just noticed this because I just got a CMOS OSC camera and was expecting a lot better than it seemed I was getting. Do I have something set wrong in Photoshop? I really don't want to spend the money to get Pixinsight just right now (and the time to learn it) but I need to be able to see what the image really looks like while I'm processing it. At first I thought the problem was with my monitor, but since I do see the correct image with some programs I've concluded that the issue must be with Photoshop itself. However, I have no idea at all how to fix it. I've uploaded two views of an early processing stage of an Andromeda photograph. This one shows the image as seen in Gimp, Irfan View, Windows Paint, on-line, the new Windows "Photos" or on other laptops, phones, etc. This one shows the image as seen in Photoshop or in the Windows Photo Viewer or Photo Gallery on my PC. (I used screen capture to get this but it is accurate for what I see). As you can see above, the image I'm seeing in Photoshop has problems. The main problem I notice is that the gradients of color do not flow smoothly but are concentric areas of flat color. No depth or subtlety. Can this be fixed and if so what do I need to adjust in Photoshop or my PC? I'm using Photoshop CS4 and this effect shows up in both the 32bit and 64 bit versions. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks and Clear Skies Everyone Taylor Blanchard
  11. Probably an old discussion but lets review it with some measurements: The dark noise should only have a small influence on the total noise of the final image. Most noise is generated by the sky background. Under good conditions SQM = 20.4, I measure using my ASI1600MM-Cool the following noise (standard deviation) in a dark and in a light for an area where no stars are visible (local measurement using ASTAP): Dark 1 x 200sec, σ = 15 (range 0..65535) Light 1 x 200sec, σ = 130 The noise in the dark is roughly 12% of the light, which seems acceptable to me. That would argue for about the same amount of darks as lights. With a worse SQM, you can probably do 2.5 times less darks for each (magnitude) step. So under light polluted sky you can do with much less darks than lights. If you are going to photograph with the H-alpha filter, it will be super dark. In a single H-alpha (7nm) light I measure a σ = 25r. Of these, 15 are self-noise and 10 of the incoming light. In good conditions and using an H-alpha filter, this is an argument to make much more darks than lights Above for a monochrome camera. To measure with an OSC (color) sensor I think it is better to first split the 4 Bayer pixels into 4 files and then measure them separately. Some measurements with my ASI1600MM-Cool, monochrome: DARKS noise: 1 x 200 seconds, σ = 16 1 x 200 seconds - master dark, σ = 15 4 x 200 seconds combined - master dark, σ = 6.8 This is approximately 15 / square root (4) 41 x 200 seconds combined, σ = 5 90 x 200 seconds combined, σ = 3.8 This is a limit value that arises mainly from unevenness of the pixels. The noise will be smaller, approximately 15 / square root (90) is 1.6 STACKED LIGHTS noise (lights corrected with darks and flats): 11x200 seconds, σ = 70 (measured at a star free area, standard deviation in 0..65535 range, sky conditions could have been different) 18x200 seconds, σ = 36 18x200 seconds, σ = 40 40x200 seconds, σ = 26 42x200 seconds, σ = 30 44x200 seconds, σ = 25 58x200 seconds, σ = 20 95x200 seconds, σ = 16 Apparently the light noise decreases considerably while stacking more lights and I reach σ values up to 16 a 20. You do not want to stack these images with a single dark having a σ = 15. If you want to keep the dark noise added below 10% of σ = 16 then you need 100 darks because they give: 15 / square root (100) = 1.5 noise. So this confirms for a good suburban site (SQM=20.4) you will need about the same amount (or more) darks then lights. For a more light polluted area you can take less darks since the noise from the skybackground will be abundant. For H-alpha work you better take more darks then lights. Han
  12. Finally I processed the Comet Neowise captured from Bangalore. Simple Set-up: Canon80D, Sigma 70-300 DG APOII @100mm F/4. ISO2000, 50x5s Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker Processed in Pixinsight. Lots of noise as I wanted to pull out both tails
  13. Which one should I get I am little bit confused please help me out
  14. which webcam is best for planetary imaging under 25 USD . If you have experience of any webcam for planetary work please help me out
  15. should I modify a logitech Webcam for planetary imaging or get that svbony 105 planetary camera. I don't know the image quality svbony camera . If the Svbony camera is better than a modified Webcam please tell me
  16. I just got into observing and would love to be able to take a picture of what I'm seeing. I got an old Nikon D60 from 2012? laying here still working perfectly with multiple lenses. I did some research and found I should buy some kind of T-ring as an adapter between the telescope and camera. Is this the only thing I need to take an image ? Thanks in advance!
  17. Hi everyone, I am new to astrophotography and of course started by taking a photo of the moon (as attached) using my Canon EOS500D camera - 1/250 exposure time, 800ISO. I used my celestron 127EQ telescope with a adapter for the camera of course. I used no eyepiece. However, i find that it is slightly blurred, and upon taking pictures of nearby stars, i also found them to be blurred, even with a high exposure time. am i doing anything wrong at all or is this simply because of my setup? Many thanks IMG_3243.CR2
  18. Hello I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion that might help me My imaging set up is an RC reflector with an FLI proline 16803 camera and 50mm Astrodon filters (LRGB + 5nm narrow band) I have had a string of issues...everything from my mount had mechanical problems to my telescope had issues with the mirror cell to some family distractions...but at long last I seem to have everything working with the exception of the Astrodon Ha filter. Attached are representative 30minute subframes of the horse head and Pacman nebulae in Ha, SII, and OIII. I get similar results with different objects although for bright, broad spectrum targets like M42, I will get data from the Ha filter (much as the stars shine thru on the HH and Pacman) although even that data does not comport with other imager’s Ha images of those objects. The LRGB performance appears to be normal. My hypothesis is that this Ha filter is defective, perhaps not centered on 656.3nm I have contacted Astrodon and exchanged a couple of emails with Cary Chleborad seeking some help. At first he claimed there was no issue because with enough manipulation some data could be extracted from the Ha. Later, when confronted with the other narrowband frames and the obvious difference to the Ha, at first he ghosted me, but when I said I would ask other imagers for help, he responded with a new position stating that because of the way the filters are made and their robust quality processes, it is impossible for the filter to be defective and therefore something else must be at issue. He does not offer a suggestion of what might be the problem, nor is he interested in having me send the filter back for evaluation. Frankly, I’m more than disappointed given the premium I paid for Astrodon filters All that aside, and taking Cary’s position at face value, does anyone have an idea of what might cause this behavior other than the filter? In a perfect world, does anyone live in the Austin, Texas area who would be willing to try my filter one night and see what they get with their equipment? The attached link is to the raw, uncalibrated files right off the camera. I think a simple blink process in PixInsight will show what I’m talking about. I’m a little at my wits end, please help! https://www.dropbox.com/sh/60mvhzb717hdhnl/AACcAMkQdDsJuk1RU10PXvgja?dl=0
  19. Hi folks, I've been seeing tear drop shape stars with the EdgeHd 8 and ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera, so I verified the collimation. I'm using a celestron x0.7 reducer. Does collimation needs to be checked with an eyepiece or with the camera and with or without reducer? I'm asking since I verified my collimation yesterday and couldn't see the concentric rings with the complete imaging train (ASI294MC, OAG, and x0.7 reducer). It was only showing the inner shadow and outer circle. I than replaced the AS294MC with my guide cam (ASI120) which has a much smaller sensor and could see many rings. While, to my view, it seems to be collimated, it's strange that I can't see the rings with the main imaging cam. Any thoughts? Here's how I left the collimation after some adjustments with the guide cam. Kind regards, Jairo
  20. I'm brand new to the forum and new to Astro. I've been loving it since January and learnt a huge amount by myself with the help of forums like these. I recently purchased an iOptron 10" RC truss. 3" focuser with a 2" compression. I have been using a WO FLT 132 before this which is little more forgiving. I have attached a couple of pictures from my first attempts. I am not using a field flattener at this point. (just getting used to collimating and setting up). Camera ZWO ASI 6200 MC cooled camera. The images below are composed of 50 x 5 minute subs stacked in pixinsight with basic image processing. I'm using PHD II and a WO guidestar 61 and ASI 120 for guiding on a CEM60EC mount. Drift alignment in PHD 2. Any ideas as to the main causes of egg shaped stars? Could this be sensor tilt? crappy guiding? Focus also looks off? Any help appreciated please
  21. Hi guys, So on Tuesday night I spent the evening imaging the moon with my Celestron 9.25 SCT and DSLR as shown below and am happy with the images I collated (I only took images as I did intend to take capture video but I got carried away and time was getting on). I have approx 350 jpeg (and the equivalent in raw) images and have used the Microsoft image composite editor to stitch the frames together without editing them first etc but I wonder if I'm going the images an injustice? I'm not ready to pay for editing software as I know there is a lot of very good free downloads out there and I'm asking for recommendations. Should I be processing the frames before/after stitching and what software would you recommend? Please offer any advice you have. I will post the resulting image once I'm happy with the outcome Thanks in advance!
  22. Hi guys, So on Tuesday night I spent the evening imaging the moon with my Celestron 9.25 SCT and DSLR as shown below and am happy with the images I collated (I only took images as I did intend to take capture video but I got carried away and time was getting on). I have approx 350 jpeg (and the equivalent in raw) images and have used the Microsoft image composite editor to stitch the frames together without editing them first etc but I wonder if I'm going the images an injustice? I'm not ready to pay for editing software as I know there is a lot of very good free downloads out there and I'm asking for recommendations. Should I be processing the frames before/after stitching and what software would you recommend? Please offer any advice you have. I will post the resulting image once I'm happy with the outcome Thanks in advance,
  23. Hi I feel as though I see a steady stream of images along the lines of “I just held my phone up to the eyepiece”. Now either I’m absolutely missing something (which is definitely possible) or there is considerably more luck/effort in those images than inferred. I have an iPhone, and seem to have two significant problems using it to grab any kind of useful image. And no, I’m not expecting it to rival a dedicated imaging rig. Firstly, alignment is very difficult. And secondly, focus seems to be impossible. I have one of the Celestron NexYZ phone mounts, which is less steady than I expected but I can eventually get the camera aligned with the eyepiece. But I’ve never managed to get focus. I’ve tried the default camera app as well a dedicated one with more manual control. I’m failing. Overall this is not a significant impediment to my observing. But it would be great to be able to get some reference shots to go with my observing notes. Does anyone have any tips?
  24. Hey all, I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values). Processing Tutorial Video (18 minutes): https://youtu.be/RJvJEoVS0oU RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zjeoux7YPZpGjlRGtX6fH7CH2PhB-dzv Video for Acquisition, Focus, Flat Calibration and Exposure (20 minutes): (Please let me know if any links do not work) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Results from today using this work flow method. Colored: B&W: SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions): Equipment for today: 100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4") Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF) PST etalon + BF10mm ASI290MM SSM (for fun, no automation) Very best,
  25. New to forum help needed. I have had this problem a couple of times now over the last few weeks. I hope someone can help. I am seeing a black band at the bottom of some of my imaged. They are all 10min light frames. At first I thought it was my filter wheel out of position but it seems to be on every other image. I used the same setup the night before with no issues. I'm using a Explorer scienific Apochromatic 102. ZWO Optical ASI 120mm-S (CMOS). ZWO Electronic Filter Wheel 1.25inch with R,G,B filters and ASIAIR Any ideas would be helpfull.
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