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blackparticle

M51 with a Mak150 - WIP but just had to post the result so far.. :)

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Mak 150 with SXVF-M8C and a Meade f-0.3x focal reducer (working at approx f-0.6x) on a NEQ6.

Only 15 subs totalling 3hrs 45mins ranging from 10 mins to 25 mins so it's stiil a bit noisy and it looks like my dark files need re-doing so the camera is chugging away on those now. I did shoot an extra hours worth of data in 5 min subs for the core but DSS wouldn't register them because it couldn't find enough stars. Hrrmphh..

Anyway, after spending 5 nights with a DSLR and an Equinox 66 in June on this for a somewhat small and blurred result this just blew me away so I had to post it up. :)

Tonight is looking good as well so I covered up the scope with a tarp and an old tent and can't wait to bag some more photons on this.

And I take it all back about Maks being pants for imaging DSO's!! :)

Alan

c68a3a9836397879ca727a43849595cd-d4i7qfd.jpg

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Have you tried adaptive stacking?

Currently the core is burning out, and scaling the stacking using adaptive stacking could help you. Then you can bring out the detail with just some curves.

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I used the Entropy stacking for this although with only 15 subs its probably not doing its job correctly as its picking up too much noise from the 2x25 min subs. I might have to stack the 5 min subs I got for the core in Nebulosity and throw them back into the mix.

Once I've got the new darks done (which is going to take all day I reckon) I'll have another go at it but I imagine it will be night-time again by then. Oh well.. I can sleep on Tuesday. :)

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And I take it all back about Maks being pants for imaging DSO's!!
Heheh... But nice to see the "Cinderella" (seen, but never heard!) of the MAK family doing such sterling stuff. And, if you can "easily" afford a MAK127 and don't quite want to go the "whole hog" with the [iMO] more specialist MAK180... :) Edited by Macavity

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Awesome! The colours and details are inspiring. What FL does that work out at, out of interest?

Did you try the "Edit stars mode" with your shorter subs, after registering? Sometimes DSS finds some stars it's not sure about but you can turn them on by manually clicking on them in this mode.

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I've not tried that Lewis. I'll give it a go to see if it can pick them up. According to the star count I'm only missing 1 star for it to stack them.

As for the FL.. I reckon its somewhere around the 1m mark although it's hard to tell for sure. I did a daylight test with the cam connected directly to the reducer and that gave something around f0.75x but I've put a filter wheel in between so it's pushed it down further. I don't think it's dropped it down as far as f0.5x as it feels like I'm working at something more difficult than f/6 on the scope.

The SCT reducer isn't perfect for the Mak. At this reduction I get about 60% usage out of the chip. Beyond the frame of this image the stars quickly turn into smears but it's certainly doing the biz for these smaller objects.

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I spent the first part of tonight battling against NGC 2146 which prepared me for another session on this.

Weirdly, as soon as the moon set, the wind died, the clouds vanished and my PHD graph went into cardiac arrest and totally flat-lined.

I managed to double my sub count.. Now up to 31.. consisting of -

7 x 5 mins

6 x 10 mins

7 x 15 mins

7 x 20 mins

2 x 25 mins

2 x 30 mins

1 x 45 mins << Yeah.. I couldn't quite believe it either !! :)

Running total is now 8hrs 5mins and I'm still classing this as a work in progress. As I did 5 nights the first time around I'm quite prepared to go the whole hog on this. :)

I tried the adaptive method of stacking but I think I prefer the entropy method. The adaptive was smoother but entropy brings out more of the dust clouds. To get it working properly I'm going to require a lot more of those longer subs. I'm more than happy with the improvement and progress so far though.

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Great shot of the Whirlpool Alan. Well done! I really like this galaxy and you've captured it well, the detail and contrast in the spiral arms are really good! Well done. :)

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Very nice, and getting better as you add more data....keep banging away at it, the results so far are well worth it :)

Rob

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It's been ages since I got out with the scope. Circumstances dictated a house move so apart from being offline and in a state of chaos, I missed the best of the winter darkness while everything was boxed up. On the plus side, my new location out in rural Devon doesn't have the glare of Basingstoke ruining my northern skyline (But does have a pub across the road :D )

As a result, 15min subs now show at least a 3x - 4x score improvement in DSS and even surpassed my previous best score on the 45min sub by at least 50%.

Total exposure time now is 15hrs 45mins. I've added in another 25 x 15min subs and a couple 20/25mins although I felt my polar alignment wasn't perfect after nudging the mount while trying to protect everything from a freak momentary blizzard. So I stuck at 15mins for this session as they were all looking quite sharp.

I couldn't decide on which stacking method was giving the best results so did an entropy, adaptive average and median kappa-sigma and stacked the 3 results together.

After seeing how the image has progressed and is now hinting at previously hidden detail I reckon I'll stick with this for at least another session.

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Edited by blackparticle
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Love it, 15hrs plus. Great work. You can see the colour sat getting better and the noise decreasong as you add more data.

With all those different exps you must have a few gigs worth of darks for this!

Tom.

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Darks.. um.. I used my 10min set and let DSS auto-compensate. The SX camera has such a low dark current anyway that all they are there for is help with hot-pixel and bias removal. :D

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Outstanding work with your equipment... am amazed!

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I wish people would stop posting pictures of M51 ONLY JOKING im mad because because ive looked for this everytime ive took my scope out and not seen it yet and im jealous.

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very nice and when core/darks sorted will be much better. I like it :-)

Velvet

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Good.. but a mask could help restore the saturated stars perhaps?

Great core detail!

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