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10 minutes that knocked my socks off


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Hello,

I took delivery of an Atik 460EX today, and after a fair bit of tinkering with a fellow SGL member's old filter wheel, a OVL OAG, and the odd spacer here and there the kit was ready. Oh, not quite, I had to swap the focusers of the SW's as I only have one good motorized one, so the little SW80 ED was souped up with it.

Then the dreadful term 'Ascom" kept popping up. I just don't quite know what magic Ascom does or indeed what files I need, but after yet more digital fiddling about Nebulosity happily communicated with both the camera and the filter wheel, AND it all came to focus - the Lodestar too.

So, still rather bewildered I rolled my quarter tonne obsy out on the balcony, cables still in a spidery mess...

The OAG sits in front of the filterwheel, but I was still surprised how many guide stars presented themselves - albeit some with odd shapes, but that may be due to the prism sitting too far out. I don't really know.

Then I focused manually through the 3nm Astrodon Ha filter, using 5 second subs, and it proved no more difficult than focusing the OSC.

So, back in, draw the curtains and press capture in Nebulosity.

What followed knocked my socks off.

I never thought it would be THAT big a difference!

You mono Jedis may chuckle at this but for me it was beyond my wildest expectations.

Below is a comparison between 10 minutes mono and over 5 hours OSC on a Ha rich target. I think I'll remember this first light's very first sub just as long as I will remember seeing Saturn the first time through a telescope.

/Jesper

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Lovely stuff.

I know how you feel. I picked up a second hand SX-H9 last month, pointed it at NGC7000 (which had never been more than a couple of red whips in my DSLR) and 10 minuted later - WOOOOOWWW!

I never really did get the hang of the DSLR. I have an enormous amount of respect for people who can make it work, but the mis-matched darks and all that colour noise just made me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil. :eek:

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I'm still up, enjoying a nice first light.

Processing Ha data will be a task to learn properly one rainy week - or weeks, no make that years. So below is really just a taster of the sensitivity of this camera - even through serious LP. It's an absolute joy!

No calibration frames have been applied yet - I don't have them ready.

I went for the Eagle since it's my favourite target, the Crescent because it's what started my craving for a mono, and the Western Veil as it proved incredibly difficult for me to process the OSC data of it, despite some 13 hours... Capture was 2h30m, 1h10m and 1h10m respectively using 10 minute subs. All in one quite productive night.

After that I have swung up to the Elephant's trunk - something entirely new. Collecting subs at the moment, but these last ones I'll sleep through I think...

The data is experimental at the moment, I want to see what it brings from different regions, that's why I'm all over the heavens in case you wonder.

Thanks for looking,

/Jesper

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Just to round the thread off I thought I'd post the last target of the night too. I've seen some remarkable images of the Elephant's Trunk in IC1396 and that made me curious what could be pulled out.

I managed 1 h 10 only, before it was time to pack up. But promising starts on four targets, and that red tin can has won me over completely :smiley: .

Thanks all for your kind comments. I have a lot to learn now about what to do with this type of data!

/Jesper

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Wonderful :) Yes, those Atik cameras really are "out of this world" :) I thought the 314L+ was great until I stretched my plastic and went for the 460EX :) Stunning! :) I'm still paying for it :D

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