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First Horsehead ... DSLR (Baader Mod)

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Hi fellow SGL peeps.

I have been under the radar for a while as my work laptop was replaced and all my software was installed on it.

It has taken me about three months to re-install everything. I have decided to go down a slightly different route this time.

I have purchased a samsung netbook (2gb, atom 1.6) for capture, which I have setup with APT, EQMOD, PHD and AT.

For processing I have installed DSS, Photoshop CS5 and Image analyser on a virtual machine using virtual box (pretty cool free piece of software from Oracle.)

So setting everything up and getting it all to work has been a journey, it's amazing how many different settings their are. 

This forum came in very handy finding everything again. Luckily I have booked marked many pointer on here.

So this last Saturday all my software was installed and ready to go, the weatherman claimed that their would be some clear weather for 3 to 4 hrs.

While setting up, I struggled with my guiding, I think I got the balance all wrong, so I was playing around with it until after I did a meridian flip. 

(got the wrong east side heavy ... doh!)

Then realised that the guide scope was not aligned with the main scope. like way off.

Lined this up in a hurry as I was worried about the amount of time I had left before the moon would be up.

Lastly did some drift aligning, to try get the polar alignment better. This target was right on the equator and just about to pass the meridian.

Man talk about doing gymnastics, both mental and with the mount, trying to get this to work.

At this point I was really in a hurry to get it all going (about 3 hours of setup), which is not great considering I used to be able to get up and running in 45min. 

Finally I get a it all running and I head off to bed. 

Post my first set of stacking this morning i noticed a couple of bugbears!

Unfortunately the moon was at 56%, which caused some later images to washout abit and I had to throw away about 20 images.

In all the rush and phaffing I did not focus all that well, so my stars look as if they are hollow!

My kit has been lying under my desk for 3 months collecting dust. I really should have cleaned my reducer and lens as it had 5 or 6 blots on it, which where big enough to triumph over the dithering. As usual I never took any flats, which would really have helped with this image.

So given all the phaff ... I think it is amazing what you can do in Photoshop!


(Edit - Click on the image to see the larger version)
Let me know what you think and if you have had similar experiences!

Dark skies

Edited by Christopher Davenport
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What a rich and beautiful image! Its so yummy I feel like I've had some good dark chocolate & raspberries. Congrats on a superb photo!

And for me, really nice too because I only found Sigma Orionis a few nights ago and there she is! Lovely little grouping :)

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Thank you all, been thinking about the guiding I was getting between 1 and 3 sec guiding corrections. On a good night with my previous set up it was between 0.5 and 1sec. Is this because I was right on the merridean and equator or because my guiding system settings are wrong.

PHD2 did warn me that the calibration was quick. 6 steps for ra and 5 for dec.

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