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Found 70 results

  1. This is maybe my 3rd attempt at a galaxy and I am trying to figure out the best way of doing it since I live in a red zone of London suburbs. I took this over 2 nights (well, 1.5 really, as my guiding wasn't working and plate solver wouldn't comply after meridian flip...) with my 8" EdgeHD SCT with 0.7x reducer and Atik 490X. Around 20 Luminance subs at 10 mins each (1x1) and around 15 RGB subs at 5 mins each, but binned 2x2. I use Astrodon filters but also have an LP filter permanently in my image train. Question: should I only use RGB and create a synthetic L channel, given LP, or continue trying with the actual luminance? Gradients are horrible with luminance but RGB doesn't have as much detail (only red filter seems to be more sensitive). My stars are all over the place (colours pop out everywhere, in the wrong way), how can I control this better? Also, as I wrote, the red filter seems to have much more detail than the rest and when I add all the channels into PS, the red colour just overpowers everything (and in general, how can I keep the star colours as they are and not have the red and blue go crazy - I am not sure the name for it, but it looks like chromatic aberration on steroids). Any other general tips would be great... Thank in advance. GFA PS: I cheated with the core: just changed the temperature to make it look a bit more glowy; for some reason, I barely had any yellow colour from the data...I will post stacked images, if of interest.
  2. Hey guys So with no new data at hand (or on the horizon it would seem) i decided to go back and re-process my short stack of M81 & M82, being the glutton for punishment that i am! The last time i re-processed this was about a year ago, so i was curious to see if i could get any more out of it. It's hideously low on data (nothing new there!), this is just 9 x 600s of colour (with an IDAS-D1) together with 7 x 1200s of Ha (which i only used to Lighten the Reds in the Ha jets of M82 and the small spiral regions of M81). AstroPixelProcessor used for stacking and gradient reduction, and PS for everything else. I mistakenly shot the colour at ISO 800, instead of the usual 200 i always use. A mistake i imagine every DSLR user has made before! And i have to say i really noticed it during processing. There was noticeably less colour in the stars. That being said, i was still able to bring out more colour in the core of M81 this time. And i think M82 looks a bit better as well, it was definitely over-sharpened before. I really love these targets, but they just make me wish i had more reach! CS! Here is the original thread: And here's the new one, including a cropped version:
  3. Hi guys! I've finally decided it's time to stop playing with the data from my AG12 first light and come up with a final result from the processing. The AG12 from Orion Optics UK is a carbon fibre newtonian astrograph. With 300mm aperture, and a blazing fast focal ratio of f/3.8, it really gives an interesting match to my QSI 583, landing at an image-scale of 0.98 arcsec/pixel, and still superfast so no need to bin(yuck) the camera to achieve the desired pixelscale and speed. This gives me really high resolution and still a relatively wide field of view compared to other rigs sporting this resolution. Unfortunately I wasn't able to drive out to the obsy & give the scope the collimation and ccd/corrector-distance tuning needed due to a knee-injury, but it performed quite fine even though the ccd/corrector spacing was off with 4-5mm (!) One of my main goals with this image was to try to lure out the überfaint IFN (Integrated Flux Nebulae) lurking in the background between these two famous galaxies (sidenote: the IFN is in our galaxy). I found it very difficult to reach a natural balance between mega-stretched background IFN and more realistic stretch of the galaxies, so I ended up with two versions, one where I held back on the background to give the whole image the kind of look I prefer in images, and one version where I stretched away, the disney-version. And of course, annotated versions of 'em both. The Scope: Orion Optics AG12 Aperture: 12" Focal lenght: 1140mm Focal ratio: f/3.8 Imaging scale: 0.98" / pixel together with my QSI 583 The Mount: 10 Micron GM 2000 HPS All subs unguided The Camera: QSI 583 wsg (with 8-position filterwheel upgrade) Filters: Astrodon The Subs (unguided): Lum: 41 * 5 min RGB: 11 * 5 min each channel Ha: 12 * 10 min Click images for full-res version: Click images for full-res version: And the annotated ones: Hope you enjoyed the first look, I can't wait to try the scope out with the correct tuning! Best Regards Jonas Grinde
  4. I am slowly getting things together for my dual rig. Hopefully, St Williams of Optics will one day grant me an audience and deign to send me a second of his scopes (the 'offering' has certainly been made). But there is enough to be getting on with, making sure the mount, computers and so on all work. I thought I may as well point at something interesting whilst doing this, and it had been a while since I tried M81 and M82. I managed to get 4 hours 10 minutes of Lum (which I was reasonably happy with). I managed 1 hour each of Red and Green. I would have had 1 hour of Blue too, if Sequence Generator Pro hadn't taken umbrage at the clock change last weekend. So I only got 50 minutes of Blue. I may try to double the integration on the colours at some point, but this will have to do for now. I wondered if with 250 minutes Lum, I might be able to see some of that IFN stuff that everyone seems to get in their images. I got a bit of it. I did push it harder, but the image started to fall apart. I hope this is a reasonable balance. This is a WO Star 71 and a Moravian G2-8300 mounted on a Skywatecher EQ6-R (which, according to PHD2, is performing much better than I expected it to). Only 7 hours total exposure through the WO Star 71. I pinched some Ha from a larger scale mosaic I am trying with my Esprit 120. That is 5 hours each over two panels. So I suppose I should call it 12 hours total integration. Oh - SSE? I have been posting a few images from Deep Sky West, but this is from my home observatory which I have taken to calling 'Shallow Sky East'.
  5. M81 and M82; a pair of interacting galaxies I love coming back to. Each time I image them I manage to get more detail to come through and I think this is the most successful shot of them so far. As always the image could use a little more exposure than the two hours it was given but more subs can always be added. This is another test for the EQ5 mount and despite a few lingering guiding issues there is a noticeable improvement 16 x 8 minute exposures at 400 ISO 27 x dark frames 20 x flat frames 21 x bias/offset frames (subtracted from flat frames only) Captured with APT and digiCamControl Guided with PHD2 Processed in Nebulosity, PixInsight LE, and Photoshop Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Skywatcher EQ5 Mount Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR
  6. It looked promising most of the day yesterday, though the clouds did start to roll in during the afternoon, and I set up the scope as soon as it got dark. I managed to find M81 and M82 from a pre-planned star hop but then the clouds came in fairly thickly before I could get the camera ready. I was about to give up and pack everything away when there was a protracted gap in the clouds. With Mrs WaveSoarer's help we got the focus as best we could with a few test shots and we then took a bunch of 30 s subs. I also rattled off a number of dark images with the same camera settings but with the main OTA cover in place. The first image is the first quick run through that Mrs WaveSoarer performed in DSS. We're not sure what the artefacts are in the bright stars but this was caused by something that happened in DSS as the subs themselves are fine. The image is also badly vignetted, as have all our previous attempts at other DSOs so far. Anyway, this evening to try to sort this out with some flats and so I set up the scope upstairs and pointed it at an illuminated white, featureless, wall. I also stretched a white T-shirt over the OTA opening and Mrs WaveSoarer set the exposure time so that the pixels reached half saturation. The camera was in the same orientation and the focuser was in approximately the right place. We took a number of these flats and then reprocessed. The difference is quite startling, as can be appreciated from the second image. Mrs WaveSoarer processed this in DSS in the same way but now the artefacts in the bright stars have gone (not sure why). We still struggle with the focusing and I'll be ordering a Bahtinov mask to make a better job of this.It was a little breezy last night which wouldn't have helped (and made viewing Jupiter later at high magnification quite tricky). We also made a bit of an error in having the ISO set to high at 1600 rather than 800. We made sure that the darks and flats were also set at 1600 for the final image but we'll try again at some point with 800 which should be less noisy. If you look closely you'll see a very faint set of wispy lines that traverse the image. I've noticed something similar before with dark subtraction and I'd be grateful for any comments. Still, quite pleased that we managed to get useable flats and thanks to Gina for encouraging us to get started with this and those of you who've given suggestions on how to capture them.
  7. Depending on your point of view this was either a late night or an early morning stargazing trip. After a few hours of sleep my alarm woke me at 12:30am and I headed to the listed Bortle 1 skies just south of Tonopah, Nv, USA (map). When I went to bed the conditions were iffy due to a weather system that was pushing through - but when I woke up the satellite showed clear-enough conditions to warrant getting dressed and giving it a go. I arrived at my desired location and proceeded to setup the scope. The challenge of the night was going to be the temperature which was hovering around 9F (-12C)...I was dressed in sweater, jacket, ski jacket, jeans, ski pants, ear muffs, a hat that covered head and neck, ski gloves, and two hand warmers. Brrrr. Old Friends. New Observations. Missed Objects. The Milky Way was visible...but not impressive as I've seen from many other dark locations - a clear sign that transparency wasn't at its best...some of that upper level moisture must be hanging around. M31 was below the horizon but I'm sure it would have still been naked eye. The Beehive Cluster (M44) and suprisingly M67 (averted) were both visible naked eye. I didn't really go into the night with any set plan on what to observe...I wanted to ID SN2012ht, try to observe the Horsehead Nebula, maybe check on a few old friends under DARK SKIES, and not freeze to death...pretty simple. After spending some time in/around Orion I realized that my eyepiece was going to be a limiting factor as it was frosting over about every 30 minutes...requiring a defrosting back in the car. Anyway - M42/M43 looked brilliant as usual. The Flame Nebula was just about as visible as I've ever seen it. But tried as I might...the Horsehead eluded me. The jump from Alnitak to the Flame Nebula to HD37903 which is obvious with the surrounding nebulosity. And then to HD37805 which had much less nebulosity in the area. Knowing the Horsehead is w/in the FOV at 110x I started searching but the faint nebulosity that defines the area of the Horsehead wasn't visible. I'd come back numerous times tonight. Moving over to Sn2012ht the jump inside Leo was easier than expected. I found the right star field in my 110x EP FOV and quickly identified Sn2012ht shining around mag 12.x (it's listed at 12.8 and I'd buy that). Two nearby stars at mag 9.9 and 13.1 were both easily visible and the SN was a pinprick of light (like a very compact star...which sounds funny to say) a touch brighter than the 13.1 nearby star. Victory - SN #8 logged! The host galaxy was NOT visible...and with it listed at mag 15.x that's no suprise...but 'companion?' galaxy NGC 3447a (mag 13.1) was just visible. I went back to the Horsehead...was able to get faint nebulosity on and off...but never positively IDed the Horsehead Nebula. Over the next 90 minutes I spent time with some old friends: M81 - the core was strong and both spiral arms were faintly visible...the lower arm in my EP stood out a littel better than the other. M82 - shinging as a bright cigar...the dust lane just visible across the center and an unevenness along the central area...hints at more structure present. M51/NGC5159 - both galaxies showed up well and the spiral arms of M51 were visible...not the best views i've had of the arms...but they were present. The arms did not reach all the way to NGC5159. M101 - one of my best views of this large galaxy - spiral structure was faintly visible and the core stood out better than I'd ever seen it. At this point my feet ached from the cold seeping through my shoes, my EP was icing up too often, and my laptop was difficult to use with thick gloves...so I packed up and headed to the warmth of my car and hotel. I'd love to come back here when conditions allow for more comfortable viewing. It's dark! Overall - several old friends visited, one new galaxy, and one new supernova...worth some frostnip I guess. Happy hunting!
  8. Y'day another try on an old favorite of mine, M81 and M82. These are 17 subs (I lost atleast 10 subs because of wind..)of 240s ISO 800 with some flats, bias. I used dithering and no darks. This has been my best shot of M81, my first M82 had a bit more color. Still I am very happy how this turned out. I needed some decent images with my rigg to get my enthousiasm a bit back
  9. Hey guys Having been inspired by everyone else's fine images of M81 & M82 recently, i decided to go back and re-process my shallow stack of the same objects. I shot this back in early Feb, and at the time only decided to swing the wee 80mm scope around to it after my main target for the night (the Rosette Nebula) had disappeared behind the neighbour's house, so i wasn't able to go deep on it. I haven't bothered to return to it since, but i was never fully satisfied with the processing on it (even though it can obviously only be taken so far, given the short FL and exposure) so i decided to have another go (plus the weather's been crap recently!). I'm much happier with the star colours and background now (at least to my eye) and i seem to have eeked out a bit more detail in the galaxies themselves, especially in the jets of M82, where i was able to stretch the Ha data a lot more before blending together a mix of it and the Red channel from the RGB data. Although in hindsight i may have gone too far with the sharpening in M82. Be interested to hear what you guys think. If i was going to add more data to this, i would definitely prioritise the RGB over the Ha (i think i need a much bigger scope to properly shoot Ha on this). Oh yes, and try to remember to shoot at ISO 200 next time, and not 800! lol. Here's the new version: And here's the original: And finally, here's a crop of the new version, just to display the galaxies a bit bigger:
  10. Data captured on the 8th March 2018 from light polluted Birmingham. Telescope used : SW 80ED DS Pro Mount: EQ5 pro - guided Camera: Canon 200D with clip in CLS filter 12x270s with flats, darks and bias applied. Stacked in Deep sky stacker and processed in StarTools
  11. Taken at Taurus Hill Observatory 5th of February with 16" f/8 SCT and SBIG STT8300M on Paramount ME mark I. L 6x600s, R 1x600s, G 1x600s, B 1x600s = total exposure time 1.5 hours. Clouds rolled in faster than expected, but this came out OK after all. Seeing wasnt really good, so its bit blurry.
  12. It's been a while since I posted anything here so here is my latest image. I'm starting the new year with a new camera (Zwo ASI 1600 MC) and I'm learning how to use it so I've been experimenting with different exposure times and gain settings (in this shot I mixed various exposures at Unity Gain with some at maximum gain to see what came out). I'm pretty pleased with the result but this was really just an experiment - in future I'll have a better idea as to what settings to use in order to reduce noise even further - but wow, what a difference from using a DSLR. Now, if the weather would only improve...
  13. alan4908

    M81

    My first attempt at M81 with my new imaging set up (SW Esprit 150 on a 10micron GM1000HPS). The combination of the scope and the camera (Trius 814) yields 0.7 arc seconds per pixel which seems to work well on this object. I'm also very impressed by the unguided tracking accuracy of the 10micron mount which often gives me rounder stars than when I guide with my SW ED 80 on a NEQ6 (imaging at 1.4 arc seconds/pixel). Anyway, the following is an LRGB image, processed in PI and PS and represents just over 12 hours integration time. There are quite a few background fuzzies in the image for distant galaxy hunters..... Alan LIGHTS: L:26, R:15. G:18, B:15 x 600s. BIAS:100, DARKS:30, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  14. Hi all Recently purchased an illuminated eyepiece reticle to try out manual tracking of Nikon dslr with 200mm lens f4 piggybacked to a Bresser Skylux on an EQ3-2. Took about 20 x 40-60 sec exposures whilst slowly turning the RA. Was too cold to take much more! Stacked in DSS with darks and cropped x 4 First attempt at DSOs and very pleased to have caught four galaxies M81, M82, 3077 and 2976 I think? Pleased that I will be purchasing a motorised EQ5 soon though!!
  15. From the album: DoctorD's Photos

    102MAK with F3.3 reducer and Baader Moon & Skyglow filter at 90s exposure
  16. A new camera, means a lot of testing and seizing every possible clear night at your disposal. I used the first nights with my "ZWO ASI183MM-Pro" shooting hydrogen alpha, but now I wanted to test it on a broadband target. And what better test-subject than good old Bode's Galaxy/Nebula, for this image size! Upon processing the 3,6 hours worth of luminance data, I then realized that I missed the color in the image. So I went digging for the last images I shot of M81, which was with a Nikon D5200 sometime last year. I aligned the images and set the old image to color, and got this as my final result. I must say though, that I've probably gone through 20 different renditions of this one, as I kept trying to improve it, and finding a new favorite image But here is the last one I came up with, together with the separate luminance data and the 2017 M81 image Upon further investigation, I've noticed some dust-motes that has snuck into the image... Guess I need to figure out how to do flats.. They were never really necessary when shooting with the DSLR as noise would be too high anyway if you stretched it this much. Shot with: ???? Skywatcher 150PDS ZWO ASI 183MM-Pro (Nikon D5200) Celestron Advanced VX Mount Explore Scientific Coma Corrector Baader Neodymium Filter 213 Minutes Luminance (4 Minute + 8 Minute Subs) 136 Minutes of Color DSLR (2 Minute Subs) Combined Image (5.816 hour data) Luminance Data (3.6 hour data - ZWO ASI 183MM-Pro) DSLR Image (2.26 hour data - Nikon D5200) Any advice or thought are accepted with open arms! One thing I know myself, is that I need to improve my mounts PEC data-set, to improve my guiding. It worked very well when I first did it, but that is like 1,5 years ago now.
  17. I obtained my first telescope (ED80DS Pro with NEQ6) in October 2016 and experimented with some success with an unmodified 70D, slowly getting to grips with EQ-suite, CdC, DeepSkyStacker and BackyardEoS whilst taking a large number of varying quality images of M31, M33 and M42. In November I bought an Atik 414ex osc and have been on a real journey of discovery. Having finally got to grips with PHD guiding, Sequence Generator Pro and dithering, and spent hours experimenting with Photoshop and various pieces of trial image processing software here is my first result that I feel reasonably satisfied with. To the expert eye I am sure it has a wealth of shortcomings so any constructive comments would be very much appreciated. The image comprises 62x120s high-dither lights with fifty darks, flats and bias frames (all at -10 degrees C), and what feels like 2x62 hours of time spent processing! I will take this opportunity to thank so many on this forum who have unknowingly helped me make progress over the past four months. I have read many, many posts on a vast range of topics and learnt more than my brain could cope with. Thank you to all for sharing so much. Equipment: ED80DS Pro with 0.85 f/r, focussing unit and USB interface, NEQ6, IR/UV filter, Atik 414ex osc Software: Sequence Generator Pro, Cdc, EQ Suite, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CS6
  18. alan4908

    m81

    Having followed my normal processing routine I ended up with this LRGB image of M81 which incorporates an Ha blend on the Luminescence and Red channels and represents about 16 hours of data. M81 So far so good I thought...... however, having read that some Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN) should also surround this region, I decided to follow a process for boosting faint, large scale, data that is just above the noise floor - this (Pixinsight) procedure is detailed by Rogelio Bernal Andreo in the book "Lessons from the Masters". I decided to blend the result with the original since the IFN (aka "fog") seemed a little excessive. M81 with IFN One caveat to the above image: although I'm fortunate to image from a site with minimal light pollution and I attempted to take great care whilst applying Pixinsight's DBE function, may I ask the more experienced imagers out there how you go about confirming that suspected IFN within an image is real and not simply a byproduct of light pollution, noise, scattered light etc ? Alan LIGHTS: L27; R: 14: G:20;B 13 x 600s; Ha: 8 x 1800s. DARKS:30; BIAS: 100; FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  19. Well, I've not posted an image for so long, I had to get my access card re-validated to even get in here!! Inspired by Peter Shah's STONKING image, I've started my own project. Here is the first batch of Ha data: Scope: ED80 + Skywatcher 0.85 f/r Camera: Atik One 6.0 Filter: Baader 7nm Ha Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Software: SGP for acquisition, PHD2 for guiding, Pixinsight for processing Subs: 20 * 900 seconds Processing consisted of flat/dark/bias calibration, histogram stretch, dbe, acdnr and a gentle de-convolution. I had to re-learn PI so this is by no means a finished article!
  20. M81 or Bode's Galaxy on the left and M82 or Cigar Galaxy on the right. Two favourite targets that are fun to image. Every year I try to get more detail out of these galaxies and this is the most detail I've managed to squeeze out so far with more of the disk of M81 showing and hint of dust bands. There are 40 minutes of exposure here (I wanted more but cloud and guiding issues curtailed the number if images taken - still, I can always add to it. These two galaxies are both about 12 million light years away from Earth and can be found in the constellation of Ursa Major. 5 x 8 minute exposures at 400 ISO 10 x dark frames 21 x bias/offset frames Guided with PHD Processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT GoTo AltAz mount with homemade wedge Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR
  21. After the deluge of yesterday, it was actually quite a pleasant day here in Oxfordshire and I was in high-hopes for this evening. It did get a bit cloudier as the day wore on but there were sufficient gaps to encourage me to get the scope set up. I was determined to view M81 and M82 for the first time and I had planned a star-hop from a survey of the region with my SW finder hand-held a few weeks ago. After a trickier star hop than I'd hoped, as most of the target stars I was planning to use were behind our house, I managed to picked out the general region in the finder. Just a hint of a pair of smudges of light were also visible. I used my 20 mm EP and I found that I'd managed to centre up on M81 straight off. After some tweaking of RA and DEC I found M82 and had both objects comfortably in the field of view. I switched on the dual axis controller and I then started the scope tracking. Mrs WaveSoarer and I then got the Nikon SLR set up, which seemed to be a magnet for a large expanse of thin cloud. I was very frustrated, particularly as the view through the EP was quite something. The clouds eventually cleared and I managed to rattle off a few light subs and darks. The breeze wasn't the best for imaging as I noticed later when I started viewing Jupiter with my 5 mm EP. The seeing was good but the breeze vibrated the OTA fairly frequently. I must say that I was astonished by the level of detail that could be seen on this pair of galaxies. Both objects were an awful lot brighter than I was expecting them to be. Very satisfying and well worth returning to, again and again, and spending a lot of time just soaking in the view. I expect that they will take some additional magnification to pull out extra detail. I also had the chance to try out my new pair of 10 X 50 binoculars, thanks Mrs WaveSoarer, for their first light. I was absolutely thrilled and they provide a significantly better view than I used to get by using my SW finder scope hand-held. I viewed Jupiter first of all and it was easy to pick out the four moons, which I find very difficult with the finder unless it's attached to the scope and stable. A great start. I then star-hopped to M33, The Triangulum galaxy, and this was very obvious - though just as a faint grey smudge. It was then on to M31, The Andromeda Galaxy, which was its usual delightful self, though it was straight overhead which made it difficult to view from a standing position. I then revisited M81 and M82 and it was just about possible to see them both with averted vision. A promising first use of the Opticron binoculars and I'll look forward to using them at home and on our travels. They are light, which suits Mrs WaveSoarer, have a rubber coating that makes them both easy to grip and relatively water tight.
  22. From the album: SW 150PDS - DSLR 600D / Atik Titan/Atik 314L1+/Atik Infinity

    Taken with Atik Infinity Camera 30 mins duration, preprocessed in AstroArt and Star Tools, processed in Photoshop.

    © B G Wadham

  23. From the album: DSO, Nebula, Galaxies, Comets etc

    M81 Bode's Galaxy, M82 Cigar Galaxy and NGC 3077 imaged on 30.09.2016 Canon 100D DSLR and William Optics FLT-110 on NEQ6 Pro Synscan

    © vicky050373

  24. From the album: DSO, Nebula, Galaxies, Comets etc

    M81 Bode's Galaxy, M82 Cigar Galaxy and NGC 3077 imaged on 30.09.2016 Canon 100D DSLR and William Optics FLT-110 on NEQ6 Pro Synscan

    © vicky050373

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