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By William Productions
Hello, I am an amateur astronomer that wants to get into deep-sky astrophotography. I already have a telescope which is Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT but it doesn't meet the requirements to take photos of wide field nebulaes/galaxies, (Ex: Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy). I need some help on what to use and afford! It has to be under £550.
I need a 70 or 80mm optical tube, with a mount that does polar alignment and can be attached to the optical tube then I need a Canon camera that can take long exposure high ISO photos and last a filter or two to help reduce light pollution and contrast the nebula/galaxy more!
This is just for my birthday, I do not expect the best!
I just need a beginners setup.
Need a bit of help to narrow down what I see, I've wanted to buy a telescope a year ago but a couple of things stopped that decision.
Saw a strong bright glowing star in the cloudless sky so I picked up my old binoculars laying around. I appended three images, one what my phone saw, secondly the raw image, thirdly a star map pointing towards the object (center-ish).
I know it feels pretty laughable for s.o with an 8" GOTO + 5 yrs of experience, but maybe we can attempt to locate the object anyway ;)
I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion that might help me
My imaging set up is an RC reflector with an FLI proline 16803 camera and 50mm Astrodon filters (LRGB + 5nm narrow band)
I have had a string of issues...everything from my mount had mechanical problems to my telescope had issues with the mirror cell to some family distractions...but at long last I seem to have everything working with the exception of the Astrodon Ha filter.
Attached are representative 30minute subframes of the horse head and Pacman nebulae in Ha, SII, and OIII. I get similar results with different objects although for bright, broad spectrum targets like M42, I will get data from the Ha filter (much as the stars shine thru on the HH and Pacman) although even that data does not comport with other imager’s Ha images of those objects. The LRGB performance appears to be normal. My hypothesis is that this Ha filter is defective, perhaps not centered on 656.3nm
I have contacted Astrodon and exchanged a couple of emails with Cary Chleborad seeking some help. At first he claimed there was no issue because with enough manipulation some data could be extracted from the Ha. Later, when confronted with the other narrowband frames and the obvious difference to the Ha, at first he ghosted me, but when I said I would ask other imagers for help, he responded with a new position stating that because of the way the filters are made and their robust quality processes, it is impossible for the filter to be defective and therefore something else must be at issue. He does not offer a suggestion of what might be the problem, nor is he interested in having me send the filter back for evaluation. Frankly, I’m more than disappointed given the premium I paid for Astrodon filters
All that aside, and taking Cary’s position at face value, does anyone have an idea of what might cause this behavior other than the filter? In a perfect world, does anyone live in the Austin, Texas area who would be willing to try my filter one night and see what they get with their equipment?
The attached link is to the raw, uncalibrated files right off the camera. I think a simple blink process in PixInsight will show what I’m talking about.
I’m a little at my wits end, please help!
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sir Patrick's DSO catalogue, I've added the available Caldwells to my basic Marathon search sequence.
Those interested may be pleasantly surprised by how many of the additional treasures are only a short hop from a given (or en route to the next) Messier.
The sequence for 40°N can be found at the SEDS Messier Marathon homepage or at my blog.
I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values).
Processing Tutorial Video (18 minutes):
RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs):
Video for Acquisition, Focus, Flat Calibration and Exposure (20 minutes):
(Please let me know if any links do not work)
Results from today using this work flow method.
SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions):
Equipment for today:
100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4")
Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF)
PST etalon + BF10mm
SSM (for fun, no automation)