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redneon

Wide field Pleiades and Lovejoy from the 16th

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This is the first time I've tried any wide field stuff. I live in a very light polluted area and this was taken from my back garden. It's just taken with my 1100D and a 50mm lens mounted onto my EQ3-2. 30x10sec lights and 10x10sec darks (no other frames). Certainly nowhere near as good as others on here but I think I'm fairly happy with it for a first time wide field shot. Stacked and processed in DSS.

post-10347-0-43031700-1421666145_thumb.p

Just out of interest, how accurate would my polar alignment have to be with this set up to allow me to get, say, two or three minute exposures with little noticeable trail? I've got a single axis motor drive and I crudely polar aligned (pointed mount north, made sure the mount was level and set the latitude to 53 degrees). I thought, even with this, I should be able to get 1min exposures with little trail as I was only using a 50mm lens but I was getting trails with anything over 15sec. I can't work out whether it was maybe the wind that was blowing the mount or my polar alignment was off or something. Or perhaps it was simply because of the area of the sky I was looking at would introduce the most trail. Still, I would have thought that even crude alignment would allow me more than 15sec.

Constructive criticism most welcome. Though I doubt I'll get another chance at this now before the comet is too far away.

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I'm pretty sure you could go 2 min subs. If you get it polar aligned, DEC will be good, and the tracker will catch the RA. Experiment. If a single sub has round stars at 2mins, but the frame is light, lower you ISO. You should be at least one stop from wide open to minimize CA. BTW I love wide field and this is nice. --Jack

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Yeah, I think maybe I need to double check everything because I'm sure I could get 2mins too. Maybe I did something really stupid like having my motor drive set to southern hemisphere, as I've been known to do that before (though, I'm pretty sure I double checked it this time).

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Nice wide field, try longer exposures if you get another chance, have you got some software you can "stretch" it a bit or even a lot to see the tail at the expense of the rest of the image.

Dave

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Yeah, I did over expose the comet try and bring out some tail detail and ended up with this:

Comet Lovejoy Detail

I'm not great at post-processing yet. I tended to just play around with sliders in DSS :) I'm thinking about giving Nebulosity a try.

I did want to go for longer exposures but my polar alignment seemed to be an issue. Also, I live in a really light polluted area so there's only so far I can go, unfortunately.

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As Peter just suggested in another thread you can pick up Paint Shop Pro quite cheap, does most of what you need.

Dave

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