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Sagittarian

First attempt at Astrophotography - M42

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Hi, hopefully this should be the first of many postings with regard to my journey into Astrophotography. 

This image is one of 18 taken on 11th March of the Orion Nebula. 20secs @ 800ISO using a Canon EOS 500D at prime focus on a SkyWatcher Explorer  200P on EQ5 .  

I have tried using DeepSkyStacker to stack the images but the results were less than satisfactory, methinks I need to spend some time playing with the software to get the best from it.  

Hardest part was getting focus.  Need to get a new battery for the laptop so that I can use EOS Utility

Any hints or suggestions gratefully received.

Nick

IMG_0130a.jpg

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Great shot!! The only suggestion I have is "keep them coming"!!

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Beautiful shot, Nick!

Orion's Nebula is what got me into this mess. I saw it through my 20-60X spotting scope and it sucked me right in.

DSS, yeah... that program has yet to work for me. I just can not stack my images. They always come out flushable.

So I do my best, and do long time single exposures. A Friend told me, "You stack with time." Uh, yeah, OK. OSC long exposure.

I like Nebula. And towards that end I've amassed equipment and honed programs to pursue them.

Love your Orion Capture! Keep at it. :icon_biggrin:

And damn it, smile man, smile.

Edited by SonnyE

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That's outstanding for your first image! Or your 100th for that matter - please do continue! You've got "the touch."

All the best -

Dave

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That's a great shot - clearly reveals the trapezium and the running man - smashing detail especially for a first go. Now for the hard bit - adding more subs and doing the stacking and processing (always a stumbling block for me). lol. :)

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If you are having trouble with focusing, you could try a Bahtinov mask (check wiki for details). You can then take an exposure on a bright star (say 10s at ISO1600) and see if the diffraction spikes line up, if not, alter the focus slightly and repeat until the spikes line up.

Once they do, you can be safe in the knowledge that the scope is nicely focused. Also, try to do this once the scope has cooled to ambient temperature. 

SS :happy7:

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On 3/17/2016 at 10:29, brantuk said:

 Now for the hard bit - adding more subs and doing the stacking and processing (always a stumbling block for me).

For me as well,.  Since I took these images, I have tried different combinations of 18 lights, 18 darks, 18 bias but only 7 flats. None appear as an improvement, unless it is all in the post processing :icon_biggrin:

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On 3/17/2016 at 11:16, spaceman_spiff said:

If you are having trouble with focusing, you could try a Bahtinov mask (check wiki for details). You can then take an exposure on a bright star (say 10s at ISO1600) and see if the diffraction spikes line up, if not, alter the focus slightly and repeat until the spikes line up.

That is basically the process I went through, but without the Batinov mask.  The delay is waiting for the scope to settle down.  I am looking at making a focuser from Arduino and Stepper, several threads on here are excellent descriptions of what I need to do, just need to decide which one.  New battery arrived for laptop so control will be better now.

Nick

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1 hour ago, Sagittarian said:

That is basically the process I went through, but without the Batinov mask.  The delay is waiting for the scope to settle down.  I am looking at making a focuser from Arduino and Stepper, several threads on here are excellent descriptions of what I need to do, just need to decide which one.  New battery arrived for laptop so control will be better now.

Nick

I have heard of some software that analyses the Batinov diffraction pattern and automatically adjusts the focus through a motor. This could be useful especially with fast scopes (where focusing can be difficult).

:happy7: 

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Great detail! That's some serious light pollution for a 20 second exposure. I feel for you!

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The image is tight. Nothing wrong with it as a single sub. While some serious deep sky imagers stack and calibrate in DSS I think that most don't. For all that, you should get a vast improvement when stacking several images and, if you don't, something is wrong. You could post direct questions about DSS or try another stacking and calibration software. I use AstroArt. I also run lots of imaging tutorials and find that this software impresses many of the people who attend them. I am most certainly not on their payroll, however! (Shame, really...)

If you are dealing with LP then Pixinsight is a formidable tool because nothing calibrates a background sky like Dynamic Background Extraction. Your image has a brown background sky. There is brown dust in your field of view but the brown we are seeing in one short sub is an artefact because it is an even brown.

But, hey, you are in focus and tracking and that's the main thing.

Olly

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On 3/22/2016 at 21:24, ollypenrice said:

If you are dealing with LP then Pixinsight is a formidable tool because nothing calibrates a background sky like Dynamic Background Extraction. Your image has a brown background sky. There is brown dust in your field of view but the brown we are seeing in one short sub is an artefact because it is an even brown.

Thanks Olly

The light pollution is definitely there, the picture I posted was a screenshot of the RAW image which I then had to crop to get it below the 1MB limit to upload to the site, and in the process it is definitely browner than the original RAW sub.

I will be having a look at Pixinsight in the near future, but my main computer is in the spare bedroom and we keep having guests so I am limited to using laptop and tablet at the moment which is fine for email and forums but not so good for data processing.

I will also have to look at getting my web presence back online, which I took down when I retired.

Regards

Nick

 

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