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So I had a free day yesterday and decided to sort out my equipment and update my astro laptop software packages. I downloaded the latest Stellarium and managed to get it to sync with APT. I installed my Xmas present from my sweetheart (Optolong L-eNhance filter) how did she know it's what I wanted??? I recently installed the free trial version of Pixinsight on my main laptop so after watching a few YouTube videos decided to get some Dark and Bias frames to create some masters ready for my next session.
The weather was good yesterday and it stayed clear here as the sun started to set, so I set everything up outside hoping the apps were wrong and it wouldn't get cloudy. As it got darker I launched Sharpcap and completed a polar allingment, I used Stellarium and APT to slew to Vega and checked the focus was good. I then used Goto++ in APT to slew to NGC 7380 (Wizard Nebula), I set PHD2 off guiding and then I had my first issue; my laptop would not connect to my Lyn Astro dew controller so I manually set the temperature to quite low as it wasn't too damp at that time. So I started capturing 5 minute subs went inside and remoted into my astro laptop from my main laptop to check how it was going, all appeared good.
I recently set up a Rpi NAS at home so I'm able to transfer data to it and then to my other laptop on the go, so after I'd got a few subs I opened them in PI to check the quality, they looked ok to me. after about an hour PHD2 started binging a lost star warning so I went outside and the clouds were starting to cover the sky, I then took loads of flat frames using my main laptop, Notepad and 3 sheets of white paper and decided to take some more darks in case it cleared. I then set about trying to process the 9 subs I'd managed to capture with the 200 flat frames the master bias and dark frames I'd created earlier. Despite the lack of subs I'm quite pleased with the result, I have done a quick Histogram stretch, and the knowledge I have gained, I'm definately going to purchase PI when I can afford it.
So this morning I thought I'd sort out the issue with the connection to the Lynx Astro dew controller, you won't believe it, my Astro Laptop will not turn on, it's been playing up for a while I suspect the battery has died. So just when I thought I was getting on top of this frustrating hobby I get another spanner in the works. So do I gamble and order a new battery then discover it is the laptop that has failed, do I set up another old laptop I have and hope it will be ok, do I set up my Rpi3 with Indigo or do I buy a mini PC as I know my way around windows?
Anyway here's the calibrated stacked image as it is in PI with a quick stretch.
Hi, this is my first time using my new Esprit 100ED, my first time processing using Pixinsight, and it's my first image using a Mono + filters.
I loved them, can't wait to try on more targets.
here's the result:
SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED
SkyWatcher EvoGuide 50ED Guidescope
Imaging cam ZWO ASI1600MM Cool Pro
ZWO LRGB+NB 36mm filters
Guiding cam ZWO ASI290MM Mini
Seeing was avarage
Location was in a Green Zone
Had a quick search but not found much info, I've just 'transitioned' from DSLR to a CMOS (AA 183C pro)
Used to capture with APT or Backyard Nikon, save as RAW, DSS to stack and use autosave.tif to work on in Photoshop. Whats the general consensus on CMOS ?
So far trying APT or Sharpcap, saving as FITS, stacking in DSS still and using autosave.tif into Photoshop. I keep seeing fits liberator mentioned ?
Opinions gratefully received.
Presenting my first attempt at Bi colour imaging. This is the Rosette Nebula (NGC2244), which is located in the constellation of Monoceros.
Telescope: Orion 80ED
Mount: Sky Watcher HEQ5PRO
Camera: QHY9s Mono
Filter wheel: QHYFW2
Filters: Baader 7nm Ha, 8.5nm OIII
Exposure: 300sX30Ha, 300sX22 OIII captured on the nights of 1st and 8th January 2019
Stacked in Deep sky stacker, proceed in Pixinsight, finished in Photoshop
I've been spending some time processing over cloudy christmas and realised the thing I find most daunting, difficult and annoying is creating star masks. So my question is - is there a way of creating star masks (in Pixinsight preferably, but open to other ways!) which is (a) always accurate (b) relatively quick (c) repeatable?
I've worked through LVA tutorials and looked at David Ault's technique. I also have the Bracken book to go through. Main techniques seem to be:
1. Stretch extracted lightness, clip low, bring down highlights, then use Star Mask process - very inconsistent results I get with this approach
2. Similar to above, but use MMT/MLT to remove nebulosity to create support image, then use different star scale Star Masks to capture all stars and then use pixelmath to put them all onto one image - very time consuming I find, also lots of noise setting fiddling
I am very interested to see how people go about this and whether there are any neat tips and tricks to help the process! Thanks!