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Lockie

Widefield M51

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This is data taken over four nights and only the best frames used 160x120 seconds at ISO 800 stacked in DSS with 2xDrizzle and levels and curves in PaintShop Pro.

Any processing suggestions welcome.

Thanks for looking:)

post-28797-133877754816_thumb.jpg

Edited by starfox

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Just curious: were the 160 frames the "good" shots, or all of them? What percentage of the frames did you actually use to create the stacked image ? How many darks, and flats ?

I see at least three background galaxies in the image, but I bet you can see at least one more in your original data. What would the image look like if the histogram were pulled just a little bit more to the left ? I personally like just a little darker sky, but then one might lose the subtle nebulosity of the main subject and those really dim background galaxies.

That is really a fine image, and I suspect that you will get some outstanding images in the days to come !

Jim

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That's a cracker Chris - well done!

Out of interest, was it the 350d or the 1100?

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JimStan - in total I must have had at least 11 hours data but went through the subs one by one to bin subs which trailed too much, or those with planes or satelites on:) so I guess I kept about 45% which is not bad for my non pro mount at 2 minutes sub length. I also had 66 flats but no darks because I thought 160 subs would average out the noise just as well? Thanks for your feedback I also prefer the background a bit darker but like you say I wanted to pull out the faint background galaxies and the M51 halo. I also had a bit of a battle on my hand as most of my subs had some degree of orange glow from light polution, I really need to get an LP filter:D

Chris - Thanks:) and I used my 1100D the unmodded one as I've only just got my remote timer through the post so most of my subs are with me counting the seconds on the illuminated 1100D screen which the 350D doesn't have:( now I've got my remote timer I'll be having plenty of fun with the modded cam, I might have a go at the Bubble neb next:)

Edited by starfox

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That's an amazing one starfox. Well done! Now I know I must spend more time getting data for this target. By the way, how do you take your flats? I'm still trying to work out how to do it right.

Edited by pixueto

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Thanks Pix:) I take my flats by stretching one of my baby's white babygrows over the end of the scope, then I shine an LED torch on it from a distance so the light uniformly covers the white material, then I take sub second exposures e.g. 1/50 second. your aiming to get an image that looks grey and not too bright. I take quite a few flats to get a good average.

hth

Chris:)

Edited by starfox

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Hey JimStan, I've pulled the histogram slightly left on this version like you've suggested, and I also increased the blue slightly, what do you guys think version 1 or version 2?:(

post-28797-133877755933_thumb.jpg

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Great shot starfox all that hard work has payed off for you loads of great detail in the image as well. Interesting hearing how many subs and much data you have collected on this one. I took another hours worth of 1min subs iso 1600 on this one again last night after stupidly getting an hours worth the night before but all in dam jpg format grrr so last night they were all in .raw format but the seeing was not quite as good,typical that. Any way I will be working on the data today so will be interesting to compare. Are your skys dark where you are by the way?

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Thanks QM:) I wanted to do some justice to my favourite galaxy, I'm still tempted to get some more data for it though but I can't keep on posting M51's I'll have to find another object to obsess about for a while:D any ideas? my garden faces east with views north to south.

I'm afraid I don't have the darkest skies I'm in Ipswich near the general hospital so theres quite a bit of light polution going on:(, the avatar picture next to my name was taken from my garden late at night and you can see how bright the horizon is, I'm so chuffed they turn the side street lights off after midnight now it definately makes a difference and I hope to get an LP filter soon:)

Sorry to hear about your Jpeg missap its a definate Doh!! moment I've done it myself twice a think, Right I'll go and have a look at your now:D.

Edited by starfox

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My sister lives in Ipswich and I was born there as well, lots of light pollution to contend with there for sure. Have you got a LP filter if not I would get one for sure it will really help. I am lucky to have dark skies here once the street lights go off its really dark in my back garden that backs on to a big meadow and miles of fields as well. Why not keep posting them it helps for us all to see how we are progessing. Take a look at this one it was my first attempt at M51

M51%252520master.jpg

and compare that to last nights results

M51%2520Whirlpool%2520Galaxy%252022.jpg

M51%2520close%2520up.JPG

In my mind what made the difference was first of all taking this last shot in a really dark sky with right above me with all the street lights off so seeing was brilliant plus using my laptop and Backyard EOS to focus with. All short subs of one minute iso 1600. That and processing is really what it adds up to.

Still learning and improving like yours self mate.

Edited by Quatermass

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The detail on your first one is much better than my first and your second one is a major improvement very crisp indeed, you've definately got your focus nailed. It will be interesting to see what improvements the next year will bring matey:) Heres my first and last M51:D

post-28797-133877756304_thumb.jpg

post-28797-133877756311_thumb.jpg

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Your sky is much nicer then mine very natural and its cracking shot of M51 mate. The 200p gets up close as its big telescope but when I get my focal reducer for my evostar ed80 I will be having another go at this great galaxy again. Clear skies

QM

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Thank you all for posting your comparative images - just shows how you can improve the results with practice and patience ;)

I'm hoping I may be able to get something like all your first goes. Didn't manage any subs of M51 last night - all my positioning was way off. I lined up Mars in the finder but after slewing to M51 there was no galaxy in sight. Slewed to the moon and it was way out even after centring on Mars. Soon centred that in the finder and then did a run of 100 subs on the moon to feed into Registax later. Meanwhile, I was processing 34 subs from the night before in DSS. I'll see what I've got when I check today - it looked reasonably promising. At least there's a galaxy there :)

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Hope you get your M51 Gina. It can be hard to spot at times. I like to aim the telescope in the general area and then take a quick 30 second shot to see if its showing on my picture displayed in backyard eos. If not I simply move a bit and take another. Doing that often results in M51 popping up in the corner and then I just move it into centre with my axis motor buttons. No more imaging for me till the moons gone again, but will be practising my guiding instead. ;)

Sent from my GT-S5670 using Tapatalk

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Hope you get your M51 Gina. It can be hard to spot at times. I like to aim the telescope in the general area and then take a quick 30 second shot to see if its showing on my picture displayed in backyard eos. If not I simply move a bit and take another. Doing that often results in M51 popping up in the corner and then I just move it into centre with my axis motor buttons. No more imaging for me till the moons gone again, but will be practising my guiding instead. ;)
Thanks Mark :) I've got "something" vaguely resembling M51. I'll post it in a new thread of my own.

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Thanks guys:) have you posted your M51 en51nm? I'll have a look:)

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