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California Nebula - My first ever CCD image (Atik 460EX)


Fordos Moon
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Thanks to all of you who have advised me over the last few weeks which included which CCD to buy, filters, some PHD2 difficulties and how to combine Ha and RGB images! All of which are nw overcome, now just the fun of learning how to process over again stepping up from DSLR imaging.

I've read a ton of stuff, and at last produced an image of sorts from one session 3 nights ago.

Next time I will worry about framing and more subs but main aim was to get the new Atik up and running.

Any advice welcome, for now my image which comprised 7x1200 second Ha and 6x300 second RGB. ED80 scope guided by piggybacked ST80/ASI120MM.

post-26268-0-41460900-1423558560_thumb.j

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If you want a critique, then it appears that the stars are slightly elongated from bottom left to right (tracking/tilt?) and that you can probably do some more noise reduction on the nebula areas themselves and the background looks either tight up or clipping the histogram and what are perfect Newtonian diffraction spikes doing in an ED80 image (!), but I am loathe to cast stones from a very fragile glass house :) and this is a very nice image and a cracking first effort in my opinion and I hope mine is as good.

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Matt I agree with all your points! I didn't do as much work as I have done in the past with my DSLR images as I was more concerned with learning the process and too excited to get something out! The background is very tight! The spikes are cos I sell my work through a little side business and my customers love them so I put them in :-) Thanks again I appreciate your time to comment!

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That is some pretty awesome first light. I am chomping at the bit to get one of those cameras.   Did you grab any darks with this image?  How does the noise compare to the DSLR?

Hi Jeff. Thanks I am super-excited to own it now. I didn't grab any darks at all having read a couple of statements on here they were not needed so will await anyone telling me they are required. The image came out better than anything I imaged with my DSLR (including darks) that's for sure! So I guess noise is minimal. I cooled the camera to minus 10 degrees.

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Getting this far at stage one is quite an acheivement. Well done. As a processing principle I would exclude stars from any sharpening routine you run. You have some slight dark halos and distortions at the bottom which strike me as being software-induced. I never sharpen stars but always exclude them.

Olly

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Getting this far at stage one is quite an acheivement. Well done. As a processing principle I would exclude stars from any sharpening routine you run. You have some slight dark halos and distortions at the bottom which strike me as being software-induced. I never sharpen stars but always exclude them.

Olly

Thanks Olly, coming from you that makes my day! Sooooo can't wait to visit you in September! With hindsight I remember you stating something along the lines of a star layer before - i will spend a cloudy night doing just that!

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Wow Im blown away by the comments - was expecting a "should've done this should've done that" (which i dont mind at all) but so nice to have such encouraging feedback, thank you!

Now all you need is the rest of it, mosaic me thinks.

Very good start to your CCD imaging.

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I think your image is exceptional - I try to image what non imager's see when they view an image for the first time and in this case its the nebulosity "rising" from the main nebula that would impress.

Well done

David

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