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SteveL

Saturday night - visitor plus imaging (M33)

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(I`ll get to the imaging bit at the end of this message, honest!)

Saturday night, my wife had one of her friends round that she hasnt seen for a long time. Had a nice roast dinner (while the scope was out cooling!).

After the meal, I went outside... and they followed. Now, we all take a lok of "whats up there" for granted, and we know why+how things are what they are, but every now and then, I get asked questions that make me gobsmacked by how little non-astro people know about whats up there. Questions and discussions on Saturday night included:


  • [li]"When will that star" (points at Vega) "turn into a shooting star?" :shock:[/li]
    [li]"What do you mean, the stars stay bright all the time? Surely they go out during the day"[/li]
    [li]"You mean you get to see different things in the sky over the course of a year?"[/li]
    [li]"Is that what the telescope is looking at now?" (Pointing to my PC Wallpaper image of Rob Gendler's M31 mosaic)[/li]

It was the first "shooting star" question that threw me, but allowed me to set my level of reply to a suitably beginner level. I answered the questions with a straight face (man, that was hard!), and she absorbed all the answers and started asking more questions based on my replies. For someone who has never looked through a scope before, who then spent 20 continuous minutes looking at M13, I was quite impressed. The whole issue of "looking back in time" threw her completely. We did the usual tour of objects (M13, M27, M57, M31, etc) before I notice the sat pics were hinting at some cloud cover coming in and runing the evening. Her visual accuity was being hampered by the vast amount of wine she and my wife were consuming, so I called time on the visual side of the evening (they went upstairs to start drinking even more), and started imaging.

First stop... NGC6543 Cat Eye... 1 x 10min sub... mist rolled in, up to about 30-45 degrees, so had to choose something else higher up.

Second stop... M33... another one of those objects I`ve been after for a while, but hasnt been visible at a decent hour over the top of the house. Managed to get 3 x 10mins before the clouds rolled over completely and I had to pack up for the night.

Processing the images today, I`m happy with what I got, if only for the reason that I know the replacement Meade 6.3 FR is now working. The image is noisy, I know I need more subs, I know I probably need longer subs, and I really need to have one clear night playing with filters to work out which one to use to remove the light pollution that just kills the detail in the middle of my images. So, I call this a recon mission for M33, and as such, I`m happy with it...

OTA: NS8GPS @ f/6.3

Guiding: WO66 + DSI-C + PHD

Image: QHY8, 3 x 600s, (Gain 50 Offset 120)

Process: DeepSkyStacker, PSCS2

m33_20071013.jpg

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Looking very good Steve , the core is very well detailed, colour is nice as well , the outer limbs could do with a bit more , but as you said just atester on this difficult Galaxy, and thats a super start mate , looking good ,looks to be getting to grips with it now, we are all i for atreat with the winter objects from you .

Rog :D

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I did notice some really bright Ha regions, even in this noisey image. Might try some Ha(RGB) on this when the time comes.

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Excellent start on that one Steve. Your set up frames it very nicely

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Nice image, and the story made me laugh out loud!

I've never been able to find M33 from my back garden, not sure why. I assumed it wasn't dark enough, but then I saw M81 for the first time last week, and I believe that's slightly fainter?

Any pointers or tips?

TIA

Trev

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Another special Steve, you really are getting the best ot of that camera.

Ron.

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Very nice detail Steve,and in just 30 min's :shock:.

Thanks all for your comments on this WIP image..... and Mike, just checked my stacking options, and this only used 2 of the 3 images, so this is just 20 mins! Yes, i`m shocked too...

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Hi Steve, nice report and great shot. I have chickened out on M33 to date. 10 min subs and needs longer :shock:. I can only but dream of such exposure times. One day I'll get a guiding setup... :D

Vega

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