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JGM1971

The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!

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1 hour ago, The Admiral said:

 

I think I'd rather buy a focal reducer! I'm not good with late nights. But it's a possibility.

Ian

When I see other mosiac work like on the 130P-ds thread the images are not taken on the same night but built from many sessions.

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13 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

When I see other mosiac work like on the 130P-ds thread the images are not taken on the same night but built from many sessions.

I accept that, but there are limits to my tenacity and endurance :icon_biggrin:

Ian

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I'm so tired after staying out until 1:00 and even then I almost stayed out longer. I'd just finished a sequence of subs and noticed both Saturn and Mars had cleared the tops of the local buildings. I was so tempted to set up the SCT and take some video but I know I had to be up by 6:00.

The evening started taking some test shots of M13 at different exposures and ISO settings to see how far I could push it. I could only get to 60 seconds but M13 was quite high (about 55 degrees above the horizon) so I moved to M56 which was only 20 degrees above the horizon. I did manage to get a single shot of 90 seconds though only at ISO 400 because of the light pollution. Given how many bad subs I got, and even the one "good" sub still showed rotation, I think 60 seconds is probably my limit and 45 seconds is a good working limit as that gives me almost 100% good subs.

Here's the single sub, processed in Lightroom.

large.572b7b4759954_M5631subs.jpg

I then stayed on M56 just to see what I could get and managed 31 x 45 subs at ISO 1600. Again, I've not bothered with any calibration files. I need to get back into that habit soon. Here's the finished M56 after processing in Photoshop and Lightroom.

large.572b7bd58aeae_M5690secondsinglesubexample.jpg

Do you know what? I'm not entirely convinced I've got these the right way around! The second image is actually the single shot (the satellite trail gives it away) :)

I then moved onto NGC7000, the North America Nebula. I'd previously taken 30 subs the week before but I'd either lost focus or dew blurred the images. I did manage to stack them and I could make out the nebula but the light pollution at such a low altitude made it look terrible. Still, I wanted another try. Here's a new set of 43 x 45 second subs at ISO 1600. It's very noisy and I've had to hit the pollution with a fairly crude bat (dehaze in Lightroom). I am going to download a trial of the Gradiant Xterminator plug in for Photoshop to see if it will help me. At some stage I will have to invest in a Light Pollution filter.

In honour of Steve, I aimed for a Kenyan blend in my light pollution but in the end decided to cheat and make it a little more red. It's not a great image but I'm pleased I can see the nebula and hold out hope that when it rises higher I'll start to get better subs.

large.572b7c3b4ce95_NGC7000NorthAmericaNebula43subs.jpg

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They look good Ken. I think you are right, the 1st one has more star colour and a cleaner background, but forgive me, where is this satellite trail in the 2nd one?

These predominantly northern nebulae aren't well placed for me at the moment, at least not at a respectible hour. Give it a month or two and I shall be able to see them towards the east before midnight.

Ian

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3 minutes ago, The Admiral said:

They look good Ken. I think you are right, the 1st one has more star colour and a cleaner background, but forgive me, where is this satellite trail in the 2nd one?

About a third down from the bottom going from side to side. It's feint but easy to see in the full image. I can also see the planetary nebula, NGC 6765, in the hires image. Unfortunately I think it's lost in the lower resolution image I loaded into the gallery.

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6 minutes ago, Filroden said:

About a third down from the bottom going from side to side. It's feint but easy to see in the full image. I can also see the planetary nebula, NGC 6765, in the hires image. Unfortunately I think it's lost in the lower resolution image I loaded into the gallery.

Found it! But I wouldn't have spotted it if you hadn't mentioned it.

Ian

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Nice images Ken, I paticularly like the nebula, there's a lot of potential there. I wonder if lots of short exposures would work, 20 seconds or so. The keep rate also goes up to nearly 100%.

90 seconds is a good one, I tried to get just 5 x 60 second to add to my 30s and gave up after 10 attempts. My mount was lazy last night though. 

Nige 

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Hi Ken,

Thanks so much for your post. I like your image of M56 and with NGC 7000 it shows what is possible from 45 second exposures, well done as a proof of concept for us all to try. Your Kenyan blend was a good choice btw :-) It's one of the troubles with Alt-Az imaging-you need a low enough object to work with field rotation but that means you image through the worst of the atmosphere. Nonetheless were getting decent results from modest equipment.

Cheers,
Steve

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9 minutes ago, Nigel G said:

Nice images Ken, I paticularly like the nebula, there's a lot of potential there. I wonder if lots of short exposures would work, 20 seconds or so. The keep rate also goes up to nearly 100%.

I got 43 subs out of 45 taken at 45 seconds. With the wide field of view and the low altitude it was only the occasional slip of my mount's tracking that caused any issues. It was similar for M56. I don't think I rejected a single image.

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there are hints of the Pelican in the North America shot. Is your camera astro-modded?

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8 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

there are hints of the Pelican in the North America shot. Is your camera astro-modded?

No. Just a standard EOS60d.

Edited by Filroden
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6 hours ago, Filroden said:

I'm so tired after staying out until 1:00 and even then I almost stayed out longer. I'd just finished a sequence of subs and noticed both Saturn and Mars had cleared the tops of the local buildings. I was so tempted to set up the SCT and take some video but I know I had to be up by 6:00.

The evening started taking some test shots of M13 at different exposures and ISO settings to see how far I could push it. I could only get to 60 seconds but M13 was quite high (about 55 degrees above the horizon) so I moved to M56 which was only 20 degrees above the horizon. I did manage to get a single shot of 90 seconds though only at ISO 400 because of the light pollution. Given how many bad subs I got, and even the one "good" sub still showed rotation, I think 60 seconds is probably my limit and 45 seconds is a good working limit as that gives me almost 100% good subs.

Here's the single sub, processed in Lightroom.

large.572b7b4759954_M5631subs.jpg

I then stayed on M56 just to see what I could get and managed 31 x 45 subs at ISO 1600. Again, I've not bothered with any calibration files. I need to get back into that habit soon. Here's the finished M56 after processing in Photoshop and Lightroom.

large.572b7bd58aeae_M5690secondsinglesubexample.jpg

Do you know what? I'm not entirely convinced I've got these the right way around! The second image is actually the single shot (the satellite trail gives it away) :)

I then moved onto NGC7000, the North America Nebula. I'd previously taken 30 subs the week before but I'd either lost focus or dew blurred the images. I did manage to stack them and I could make out the nebula but the light pollution at such a low altitude made it look terrible. Still, I wanted another try. Here's a new set of 43 x 45 second subs at ISO 1600. It's very noisy and I've had to hit the pollution with a fairly crude bat (dehaze in Lightroom). I am going to download a trial of the Gradiant Xterminator plug in for Photoshop to see if it will help me. At some stage I will have to invest in a Light Pollution filter.

In honour of Steve, I aimed for a Kenyan blend in my light pollution but in the end decided to cheat and make it a little more red. It's not a great image but I'm pleased I can see the nebula and hold out hope that when it rises higher I'll start to get better subs.

large.572b7c3b4ce95_NGC7000NorthAmericaNebula43subs.jpg

Is the North America nebula bright? I haven't tried it, but would I be able to get some good detail out of it in about 1.5 hours of data? That is especially beautiful... Amazing job! Also what is the focal length of your scope?

Edited by Herzy

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1 hour ago, Herzy said:

Is the North America nebula bright? I haven't tried it, but would I be able to get some good detail out of it in about 1.5 hours of data? That is especially beautiful... Amazing job! Also what is the focal length of your scope?

Against other nebulae, it's quite bright, it's possible to get good detail in short subs, with the right gear.
To try and give you an idea here is a stack of just 7 x 30sec subs of this region.
The subs are from an unmodded Canon 6D with a 50mm lens.

Notice the NA nebula is much brighter than IC1396, lower left and quite a bit brighter than the Veil, middle right.

 

6dha.jpg

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1 hour ago, wxsatuser said:

Against other nebulae, it's quite bright, it's possible to get good detail in short subs, with the right gear.
To try and give you an idea here is a stack of just 7 x 30sec subs of this region.
The subs are from an unmodded Canon 6D with a 50mm lens.

Notice the NA nebula is much brighter than IC1396, lower left and quite a bit brighter than the Veil, middle right.

 

6dha.jpg

Jesus Christ that is a lot of stars... You must have much darker skies then me. Maybe it's just that yours is a relatively wide field of view, but I doubt that my images would look anything like that. (I have skies that are 6 on the bortle scale) That image is beautiful! I think I will give nebula this a go the next clear night I get.

Edited by Herzy

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44 minutes ago, Herzy said:

Jesus Christ that is a lot of stars... You must have much darker skies then me. Maybe it's just that yours is a relatively wide field of view, but I doubt that my images would look anything like that. (I have skies that are 6 on the bortle scale) That image is beautiful! I think I will give nebula this a go the next clear night I get.

My skies are not to good and I use LP filters, that stack was taken with a full frame Astronomik CLS clip filter in the 6D.

On the LP front, bad nights include a local football club that has floodlights less than 100metres away, lights up the whole are area.
Plus to the west there are two schools and a leisure centre with massive floodlights/security lights.
We have 6 streetlights within 100 metres and more nearby, it's an AP nightmare.
It's better after midnight when most of these lights are out.

To give you an idea what our street looks like, here is a shot from the front garden.
Two of the streetlights are on view and you can just see the Plough in the murk looking north.
There are three other streetlights to the back of the camera, I image from the back of the house
where there is some shielding from the light.

streetlights.jpg

 

 

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Herzy you have bought an eq mount an advanced VX which has totally different capabilities to what can be managed with an altaz mount on this thread. Which mount are you using to image?

Edited by happy-kat

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4 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Herzy you have bought an eq mount an advanced VX which has totally different capabilities to what can be managed with an altaz mount on this thread. Which mount are you using to image?

That's what I'm using. I was simply congratulating others for their amazing results and looking for targets to image.

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Guys, I have been thinking a bit, Do I get a refractor?  I think a refractor would improve my imaging as my 150p scope is not really ideal for photography. My 200p would be fine on a eq5 , that's in a year or 2. Or do I get a better reflector designed for imaging. Any suggestions?  Reflector or refractor and which one below £200 I know it's not the right thread to post this question but it's for an alt az mount and I thought this the best place to ask.

Nige.

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Hi Nige,

Regarding getting a refractor it's really what you feel you can 'put up with' in terms of CA and field curvature with cheaper OTA's. I have the f/4.9 102mm Startravel from SkyWatcher, it came with the mount and was a snip from FLO at £289. You can get the 80mm Startravel but same issues. StarTools will help moderate the purple halo caused by the doublet optics, see my images. Now I know I like imaging I'm saving up for a 'better' refractor which will give me sharper stars, I'm contemplating the f/5 Espirit 80ED Pro with the field flattener but it will cost a fair bit and is a heavy beast that should just be carried by my existing mount. There were a lot of others I considered and discounted along the way. Have a look in FLO. Can't advise on a reflector, sorry.

Cheers,
Steve

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I don't see anything missing in the 150p images. (but I am only a fellow member browsing and enjoying other member's images I'm not anyone with any experience).

Or identify what it is you want more off, is it a wider field of view, etc.

What might improve the practical side what about a better focuser unit. Lee fitted a single speed GSO one to his Discovery 150p.

You can pick up an ST80 or similar second hand for under £100. But that £100 could go towards a small corrected refractor. My simple take on looking at all the great images is size does not matter and just adds weight and ups the mount needs and pushes you off AltAz. Will your 200p on an EQ5 really be any better then what you are currently doing, probably not given the weight and possible thrown away subs from wind/wobble etc. There is an excelent blog thread by a member Qualia (heck hope someone corrects the name) on imaging with a 200p on an EQ5 and all the mods done to maximise what they managed to keep and not bin... but they moved on from that and got a bigger mount.

If you haven't yet and going done the EQ road then have you read Making Every Proton Count.

Edit: think I got the member name wrong currently ttrying to find the information.

Got the Q right member is Quatermass

link to a thread here

 

 

Edited by happy-kat
removed the bit I couldn't then find a post about it
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32 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

What might improve the practical side what about a better focuser unit. Lee fitted a single speed GSO one to his Discovery 150p.

But he has only used a webcam on his so far, so we dont know if the GSO would get prime focus for a DSLR  like wot Nige has*, so may also need modifications with a hacksaw !!?

( *and like wot I would want,,, having started out thinking I want only a visual portable setup like the Discovery, but  have been so impressed by the results in this NoEQ topic that it will be all you folks fault if I now go imaging iyswim lol! )

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I have read making every photon count,  and I want to get everything I can out of my current mount I possibly can without spending silly money, a year or 2 or more I might get an eq, IF I get an eq it will be a 5 pro which will take any scopes I have. 

refractors seem to get better results on the exposure times, and every bit as good if not better images, I would like a slightly wider field of view to be honest.

I  know nothing about refractors and a little bit about reflectors. In a few months I maybe able to double the budget. 

I'm in no rush to buy, just starting to get people's options on different scopes ☺☺

Nige.

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I thought the GSO unit looked shorter to start with then the kit focuser. Perhaps Lee could measure how long it is above the tube.

This is a thread I wss after.

link here

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4 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

I thought the GSO unit looked shorter to start with then the kit focuser.

Yes I thought so too,  , , @LeeRich

Edited by SilverAstro

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