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Finally Achieving "something" M81/M82


johankj
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Hurray, I'm well pleased.

This is my first real DSO, appart from a Andromeda disaster, and some unsuccesfull Orions.

Allots of firsts here:

-First time using the new EQ3Pro synscan in the dark (upgrade from altaz)

-First time using my new no-name ED 70mm/f6

-First time setting it up in the back yard (not the front)

-First time taking flats

So the polar scope semed pretty well aligned to the optical axis, but it was really dificult to align on Polaris as the clouds rolled in. I also printed polar 'sheets' inverted, which my scope wasn't. After a 1-star align and ignoring warnings of >45 degrees out of something, it still seemed to track and locate pretty well. Focus was a challenge, as always, specially since there were no stars nearby bright enough for the view-finder or the live-view. I opted for the simple shot-and-refocus method :(

I snapped about 5 flats and darks, and 24 lights of all 60 secs at ISO1600.

I retrospect I should have taken more darks, and eased off on the ISO.

It's also a very quick job in DSS and GIMP, cuz I just couldn't wait :)

There seems to be some lack of colour, I tried to bring it out, but I couldn't. Urgh, now it looks like I have to butcher my DSLR or upgrade to some insane single-colour-shot CCD and H-alpha filters and such niceties.

Anyways, with a bit more practice and so on, I think I can end up with something I'm pleased with.

Help, critisism, comments, etc are welcome. Good Night.

It's cropped BTW

post-16339-133877661928_thumb.jpg

Edited by johankj
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Its very good for a first DSO. There is a thread on this site where people post their first DSO images, check it out and you will appreciate what you got even more. I would recommend getting the trial of Pixinsight and take your time processing the image, you will be amazed what that program can do. One last piece of advice, use the equipment you have and learn the craft. Buying an expensive CCD wont make up for experience, you will be surprised how well a DSLR takes astrophotos. Be patient and good luck:)

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Before you resort to butchering your camera, a simple suggestion. In DSS, once the image has been stacked, once you have normalized the RGB channels, raise the saturation to between 20-25. By default saturation is 0 (if I recall correctly). This has tripped a lot of people up - including me. There is a thread somewhere on here containing some recommended settings for DSLRs in DSS. I'll try to find it.

Edited by Black Knight
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Hi!

No need to get rid of your DSLR. My philosophy is to push as much as possible out of my gear before I get better stuff .-) But that's me, I still image with my

Canon 10D and have lot's of fun :-)

Some advice to improve your images dramaticly;

- Use a focusing mask (bahatinov mask), and the Bahatinov grabber software. You'll see improvements in focus right away!

- Make sure you can run your batteries of the power grid (don't use batteries). That way you can image all night.

- Start guiding (if you're not). That will put more faint objects into your reach :-)

Edited by glennbech
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Its very good for a first DSO. There is a thread on this site where people post their first DSO images, check it out and you will appreciate what you got even more. I would recommend getting the trial of Pixinsight and take your time processing the image, you will be amazed what that program can do. One last piece of advice, use the equipment you have and learn the craft. Buying an expensive CCD wont make up for experience, you will be surprised how well a DSLR takes astrophotos. Be patient and good luck:)

Cheers :-) I'll probably give pixinsight a whirl at some point. But isn't that a PS plug-in? I don't own PS, only GIMP.

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Before you resort to butchering your camera, a simple suggestion. In DSS, once the image has been stacked, once you have normalized the RGB channels, raise the saturation to between 20-25. By default saturation is 0 (if I recall correctly). This has tripped a lot of people up - including me. There is a thread somewhere on here containing some recommended settings for DSLRs in DSS. I'll try to find it.

I did another stab at that, with those suggested settings, thanks :-) Posting image...

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Hi!

No need to get rid of your DSLR. My philosophy is to push as much as possible out of my gear before I get better stuff .-) But that's me, I still image with my

Canon 10D and have lot's of fun :-)

Some advice to improve your images dramaticly;

- Use a focusing mask (bahatinov mask), and the Bahatinov grabber software. You'll see improvements in focus right away!

- Make sure you can run your batteries of the power grid (don't use batteries). That way you can image all night.

- Start guiding (if you're not). That will put more faint objects into your reach :-)

Thanks :-)

Will look into making/getting a focus mask for this scope.

My DSLR is quite good when it comes to the battery, keeps going all night :-)

Guiding is on the road map, one of the reasons I went for the synscan, since it has the guide-port. But I probably wont get one just yet.

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In addition, modding your camera wont make much noticeable difference on galaxies since the spectrum of light they give off is very wide. Modding only improves targets that are rich in Ha (nebulas, supernova remanants and planetary nebulas).

True that. I wont upgrade before I'm certain I've gotten everything out of the DSLR. Will probably be a long time. But if I decide to get a new DSLR, the filter in the old DSLR is soo gone. :-D

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Hope you don't mind, but I've tweaked your image a bit. I applied a high pass filter to enhance contast, and made it more "black".

This is very good for a first dso. Far better than mine :-)

Wow, that's better :-) I'll try to find a high pass filter in GIMP, see if I can replicate you magic ;-)

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