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Let's see your 1st DSOs

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New imagers often worry about posting their first deep sky pictures but they shouldn't, we all had to start at some time. I thought it would be interesting to record our first fumbling efforts. So let

Here is my first ever DSO. It is 17 exposures of 5 seconds manually tracking by hand for each exposure as i dont have motors for my mount yet.  Stacked in DSS and edited in PS Elements to drown out th

My first DSO, M31 photographed last night when if finally was clear skies for a long time. Captured with a Canon 7D and a Samyang 135mm F2. Using a Sky Watcher Star Adventurer Pro. 40x  1 minute expos

Posted Images

My first DSO was M51 taken on 22 March 2012.

Canon EOS 5D MKII (unmodded), Meade LX200 Classic 16", autoguided with PHD/QHY5, 600s exposure @ ISO 1600.

No editing other than darkframe.

Taken at my astronomy clubs observatory at Hågår, Norway


Edited by Xplode
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Well last night (10/06/12) was my first ever attempts at astrophotography. I upgraded my scope earlier this year to the ED80 with the hope of one day having a dabble at taking a few pics. After a few months of visual the clear skies last night signalled the time to take the plunge. I borrowed my girlfriends unmodded Canon 1000D as I don't yet own a camera of my own. All pictures are single 30sec exposures at ISO1600. Some are pretty faint and it took me ages to get the focus right. I ended up staying out until 4.30am! Overall though I'm pleased with what I captured. Trouble is I enjoyed it so much I think this may be a the start of a slippery slope to a very empty pocket . . . . .

Dumbell Nebula:








Ring Nebula:


I was so happy after last night that when the skies were clear today I just had to have another go (Sorry I know its not a DSO!):


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They're pretty good for single subs. Get a nice collection of each and stack them and you'll be well away. Great start - well done :)

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here are a few photos I took when I first started out in AP last season - it has been a steep learning curve, heavily hindered by a large dose of cloudy nights, but well pleased with M27 and M104

Really looking forward to August/September...


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Nice attempts, just need more and longer images. In fact they very much mirror my very first images taken with a DSLR and Explorer 200 on a motorised EQ5.

And yesss.... a verrryyyy slippery slope indeeeed my son.......

Next you will want a guide scope and a guide camera.

After that you will want a CCD...

Then you will want a FieldFlattener and/or Reducer

If you got a colour CCD you might want to get a Mono with filterwheel... and set of LRGB filters...

Then you want to get some Narrowband filters (HA/OIII/SII)

Then you might think you want some dew heaters for those cold nights...

And for that interfering Girlfriend (if applicable), you might want to invest in a 3D 52inch LCD TV and 3D blue ray player to keep her quite and out of the way..

Then if it becomes too much trouble you might want to invest in an observatory....

Then to overcome the boredom of listening to the wirring sound of the motor, you want to kit out the observatory with a sofa and TV and a fridge for beers(if applicable)

And for those really long imaging sessions, to save you the trouble of having to go back into the house you might want to invest bed in your observatory


So you see my Son a slippery and very expensive slope indeed.......

Edited by Farooq
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Yep, that's about right though not necessarily in that order. :D After starting with a "toy" 130mm Newt and crappy mount the first thing I got was a good mount (already knew I wanted to do imaging). Next was an ED80 scope, DSLR dedicated to AP, obsy, focal reducer and a few other bits and bobs along the way. I have a home made filter wheel half built with a view to mono CCD camera and lots of filters viz. LRGB, NB, later.

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Thanks for the comments :grin: ! I don't know if my technical will go as far as making a filter wheel, but I will eventually get my camera modded and buy a better guidescope - the finderscope has a very short focal length so PHD takes forever to calibrate. Beyond that I think I'm in fantasy land ;)

Rather than an obsy, I own a campervan, which I use to escape from the city to the dark skies.

Yep, longer exposures, more of them... thanks for the advice

Now looking forward to September. Any advice on taking photos of M31?


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  • 4 weeks later...

So yesterday it was not a bad night, and when I set everything up I made one of my first decent images.

Decent in a way that its decent for me..lol

Since I am having a bit of tracking issues, I did not do very long exposures, 15/30 subs with 90-150 sec exposure with only some dark frames.

Because of that there was significant vignetting, but I tried to polish it a bit.






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At least you managed to get out and do some imaging :) And pretty good for a quick go :) Not seen any stars for ages here in the UK :( And last night was really extreme rain causing a lot of flooding in the region with many towns and villages cut off by floods. We had a stream of flood water running through our sheds in spite of most of it being carried away in a drainage ditch. The small strip of land between ditch and sheds was enough catchment area to completely overload the drains :( No real damage done fortunately.

Posted from "Drowned Devon" :(

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Yes it was a nice night, only the moon was like a big search light..lol

And for only a handful of subs I aint complaining.. ;)

Weather is changing here also by the moment, but at-least no floods. This night its going to be bad here they say, guess we'll have to wait and see.

Hope its dry in Devon tonight ;)



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  • 2 weeks later...

PS I think I did a couple before this one but unfortunately the pictures have been lost.

Managed to find an earlier photo , but its of the moon , 4th Jan 1990 - 1/15 th of a sec Kodak 400 ASA film.

Sorry to make you sound old JCM but I wasnt even born then! Haha.

Still yet to photograph anything yet, telescope comes next Thrusday though :)


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I guess this would be officially my first DSO (besides some random pictures of stars). I hope it reflects how dark the skies are here in Sweden at this time of the year, considering it was taken at ISO 200 (30s) iirc:


I'll return with my first processed image when the skies actually go dark here.

*edit* It is, of course, M31 if you didn't guess from the detailed image :D

Edited by olander08
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This is my first attempt at AP. 17 and a bit minutes at M31 with a few darks thrown in. I would have got more subs but dew and mist stopped play.

This image was using a NEQ6/80ED and relying on a decent polar alignment as I don't have an autoguiding set-up

I have no idea how to post-process this (apart from playing with curves) but will read a few guides on how to best use GIMP and maybe draw out more detail. If anybody has any tips on how to improve this I would be very grateful indeed.



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My first DSO was M13. Probably not classified as a true DSO but I think as this was my first attempt at M13, It's not a bad start! A little out of focus but I'm very pleased! ;-D


Of course M13 is a true DSO! Beware though, once the dark side grabs you, it's a slippery and expensive slope! Well done :)

Edited by Black Knight
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This hot spell has yielded some nice clear skies over my garden so I thought I'd seize the opportunity and finally christen my camera.

Andromeda: 114 x 5 second subs at ISO 800 (Canon 600D). Stacked in DSS, no flats, no darks, and with the colour eventually removed because I don't really know what I'm doing.

Tracked but unguided, with minimal attempt at polar alignment, I only had an hour or so and didn't want to risk a load of trails (hence the silly amount of tiny subs). You can see the extent of the drift by the dark bands at the top and left edges.

There's a million things wrong with it but it is my first intentional DSO, and I wanted to join in.


Edited by Andrew-77
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