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Question Mark Nebula in SHO with my tiny 40mm refractor!
Adam J posted a topic in Imaging - Deep SkyFirstly thanks for taking a look! I don’t have much time to image these days due to real life commitments and it’s been quite a while since I have done a longer integration as opposed to just pottering around. So I figured it was about time that I posted something in the DSO imaging section. Original: New V2: Looking through Astrobin content the question mark nebula as a whole is not one of the most imaged targets, most people focusing on the bright core as opposed to the whole object. This is most likely due to the short focal lengths required for all but the largest sensors normally meaning a lens as opposed to a telescope. This was shot at only 180mm with an Askar FMA180 40mm triplet refractor (the original version not the V2). I am a big fan of this little scope, its good for LRGB imaging but produces especially sharp images for its image scale in SHO. Also F4.5 is fast for a refractor and fast enough for me. I have tried to control the pallet in such a way as to show the three separate channels as three dominant colours within the final processed image as opposed to pushing it towards a duel gold and blue that most seem to favour in SHO. I have said it before but I am a big believer in three filters = three colours, or why did you bother shooting SII. One of the things I like about this little scope is just how nice and flat the field is to the corners of my ASI1600MM Pro sensor making for an idea portable / grab and go imaging setup. That’s something that is important to me these days as since I moved house and lost the observatory in the process I have not had time to setup my Esprit 100 and heavy AZEQ6 GTI, this rig being much more practical in my current situation, I can pick it up in one hand. This is also the first completed image that I have shot using my StarAdventurer GTI that I got back in August 2022. The biggest advantage over my previous AZ GTI setup being the ability to dither the mount without causing issues due to excessive backlash. This is ideal for a light weight travel setup and makes for a system that can just consistently produce excellent quality subs all night long without much supervision once properly setup. This image consists of a total integration of 29 hours pretty evenly spread across each of my 5nm Astrodon SHO filters in 300second subs at gain 200 offset 50. Calibrated by Darks, Flats and Dark Flats. Stars have been removed using Starnet V2 and reintroduced in a HOO pallet to approximate RGB coloration. Care has to be taken with this process as Starnet is given to taking some of the brighter or rounder nebula elements along with the stars and so these have to be reintegrated selectively with each SHO channel to prevent details from being lost. This is especially true of the very small and very round planetary nebula PK119+6.1 that is absent from virtually all images of this target that I have seen recently, most likely as people are inadvertently letting their star removal software of choice cut it away during processing. I am also pretty happy with the amount of detail that I got in some of the smaller objects present within the feild especially the Little Rosetta and so have provided some focused crops below to show them off. Some I think might say that I could have reduced the stars further (and I could have done) but I am of the thinking that stars should not be processed totally out of images as they tell their own little story, in this case the presence of two open clusters one primarily of blue stars and one dominated by older red giant stars. I also enjoy how the star density increases down towards the bottom of the image. Stacking took place in APP, Star removal in Starnet++ v2, processing in Photoshop CS2, Noise reduction in Topaz Labs DeNoise AI (with the lightest touch possible using the Low Light Algorithm). This is the first imagin to incorporate a few new processing techniques I have been thinking about for a while. Hopefully not pushed it too far. Image is at about 4 arc seconds per pixel with a FWHM of 1.4 pixels and I think it stands up quite well to actual size / full resolution viewing, something that is always a goal for me in my imaging. Below: NGC7822 Below: PK119+6.1, easily removed by Starnet++ v2 or Star Exterminator. Below: SH2-170, the little rosetta, and planetary nebula PK118+2.1, also easily removed by Starnet++ v2 or Star Exterminator. Below: Open cluser NGC7762. Below: Can't find a designation for this but would have thought it warrents one, any help? Hope you enjoy and once again thanks for looking. All feedback welcome. Adam J P.s With luck my next significant image will be less than 12 months away this time and taken from the top of Mt Teide using the same setup.
A wonderful target high near Cepheus, but also very small (probably one I'll have to do again sometime at 1000mm). I wanted to capture it in widefield and narrowband so the Samyang 135mm was put up to the task. I had actually started this at the end of August and had to wait nearly two months to get the opportunity to image it again, luckily it was a long and clear night so managed to do the remaining S2 and O3 bands during the same session... but when it came to doing the flats for the last S2 session... Absolutely soaked in dew! Fearful I looked at the lens of the Samyang and sure enough it was clouded over. So would I have to throw away a load of subs? Well in the end I didn't and the stack turned out okay-ish, if you look at the different stacks the S2 is clearly soft. A bit of post processing magic, and this is the result. Think it's my best effort yet and another one taken down by the Samyang 135mm:
So, having started one project last year which is yet to be completed I decided to start a new one, and what better target than IC1396 the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, but in widefield so can capture the whole thing. Utilising the excellent Samyang 135mm paired with Baader F2 filters I think this has turned out quite well, a little muted but it's my first attempt at manually processing the colours of SHO and taming the greens down to get the yellow/orange/cyan colour. Another plus I got to see some of the Perseid's at the same time.
Christmas Eve Imaging Session
dazza1639 posted a topic in Imaging - Deep Sky
Hi guys So we had a completely clear night last Thursday and, as luck would have it, i was actually off work all week, so i was able to take full advantage. Well, mostly, as you'll soon find out. As it turned out this was a night that almost went completely awry. The first thing that i messed up was i forgot the external battery that keeps the D5300 powered all night. I only noticed this after driving the 45 min trip back to the family home where i do my imaging. Doh! Luckily though, i dipped into my big bag of astro stuff and found the 2 old camera batteries and charger that i used to use. By my reckoning it was last December when i last used them, so i was amazed to find they still had quite a bit of charge in them! So i was able to charge one while i used the other. Unfortunately though it meant i had to keep going out to the scope every 2-3 hrs to change battery, but tbh i was just relieved that i didn't have to drive home and lose another 90 mins of dark sky time. The next thing to grumble was the guider. For some bizarre reason, i could not see Polaris in the Fov in Sharpcap. I could barely see anything at all tbh so even though Sharpcap told me it was able to platesolve i was very dubious. And then when i came to do the Sharpcap PA routine, the adjustments were jumping around all over the place. It took me about 25 mins to PA instead of the usual 5, and i really thought the guiding was going to be a nightmare, but what do you know, it turned out to be actually really good. It even dipped below 0.5" at times. Go figure! Due to the floodlights of the sports facility (which is rather conveniently only about 100 yards away from the house) i was forced to start with Ha subs, then once they were turned off at 10pm, i switched to Oiii, as i knew the moon was coming up around 00:30 so i needed to take advantage of the darkest part of the night. I figured i'd go for about 3 hrs of Oiii, knowing that with the final filter change back to Ha again, i should end up with about 4-5 hrs of Ha in total. Well, after doing the last filter change and going back in to grab a nap for a couple of hrs, when i woke up and checked Team Viewer i noticed that the sequence had unexpectedly ended. Went out and saw that the 7 Ahr LifePo4 battery i use for the mount had died. I also noticed that the lens of the Finder-Guider had completely dewed up. As it turned out, the dew strip for it had failed so i've had to order a new one. I've also ordered a PSU to power the HEQ5-Pro from the mains, so fingers crossed i shouldn't have to worry about mount power over the winter now. All in all this was a bit of a pain of a night, as i normally only shoot 1 filter per night. Sometimes in the longer winter nights i might do 2, but i've never done 3 before. It's a real hassle too, as i need to shoot flats, change filter, re-frame and re-focus. All of which can take upwards of 30 mins. Hmmphh. So long story short i didn't end up with as much Ha as i wanted for this, which has meant it's been trickier to process than i would have liked. I should probably have just waited and done another night of Ha, but with all the hassle i have to go through to get any imaging done these days (drive, setup, tear down and pack away, drive home, sleep deprivation) i will always just try and use what i've got and move on to the next target. The Mean ADU level was quite low on this one, probably because the target is quite small and only occupies the centre of the frame. I've probably been lucky up to now, by mostly shooting larger targets, so i was disappointed with the low ADU levels, which are scraping the bottom of the barrel for me in terms of getting away from the noise floor. So i upped my exposures a bit, pushing as high as 25 mins, which is the nighest i've ever gone with the HEQ5-Pro. It seemed to still handle it quite well, although it didn't improve the Mean ADU level anywhere near enough. Full capture details: 3 x 1200s, 2 x 1380s, and 4 x 1500s of Ha 9 x 1200s of Oiii. 11 x 480s of RGB (with an IDAS-D1). Used for the stars and sky background only. 7 Hrs 54 Mins in Total. All shot with a Nikon D5300, SW 80ED, and an HEQ5-Pro. The RGB data was shot over a year ago from inner city Belfast (Red Zone) while i was testing out the new Rowan belt mod. It was just a test shot to check the guiding, so the 8 min subs were far, far too long in reality, hence a lot of the medium and bright stars are clipped. But i have to say, the IDAS-D1 together with APP did a nice job of cleaning it right up and making it at least useable (well, by my standards at least!). So on to processing. I've been playing with this for several nights now, and i just can't look at it anymore! i think this is the best i can manage with the limited data i have. It's been enjoyable and yet frustrating at the same time, lol. As usual, this has been stacked in APP and processed in PS. I used the tone-mapping method of processing, and created a synthesised Sii from a 50/50 blend of the Ha and Oiii. I then combined them in the classic Hubble Palette SHO. Obviously, not having any real Sii means i can never get the full range of tonal variations throughout. I'm also not completely happy with the colours if i'm being honest (especially the blue). That was the part i struggled with the most on this one. I've also attached below a quick and dirty HaRGB version, which took me all of about 30 mins to process (in total contrast to the SHO version, which i won't say how long it took!). As always, constructive criticism welcomed with open arms! Ok time for me to stop rambling on now ? Edit - Forgot to say, I resized the sSHO version down to 75% of the original (it's not worthy of 100% viewing).
NGC3324 and NGC3293 SHO
MeyGray3833 posted a topic in Imaging - Deep SkyFinally completed my SHO version. There is some purple in the image I cannot figure out how to get rid of and I'm sick of playing with it. Hints and tips on how to get rid of it welcome, I'm using PixInsight. https://pbase.com/grahammeyer/image/169136922 Scroll to the bottom for size options and details. Thanks for looking!
IC 1396 narrowband
widotje posted a topic in Imaging - Deep Sky
Far from perfect, but many firsts for me, a first proper test of the ZWO1600 and Samyang 135mm lens combo with Baader narrowband filters. About an hour each Ha, Oiii and Sii last night at f2, no calibration frames. For some reason Astroart rejected some of the subs, don't yet know why, need to investigate, guiding seemed OK all the way. I'll reprocess later more carefully, as I notice even have some satellite trails in this one.
peabrain posted a gallery image in Member's Album
From the album: AT the beginningFirst veil HA+OIII combining narrowband data attempt. about 2-2,5hrs pr filter