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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)
Skywatcher 80 ED DS-Pro outfit including matched flattener and motor focus. Now only £350
This kit gives you a great introduction to astronomy and imaging, which is why it's so popular. You can see details over at FLO but there is:
80 ED Ds-Pro OTA (Objective Lens Diameter: 80mm, Telescope Focal Length: 600mm, f/7.5)
SW Eyepiece (2"): 28mm
2”/50.8mm Di-Electric Star Diagonal
Dual-Speed 11:1 2” Crayford Focuser (Backlash-Free)
Supplied with Tube Rings & Mounting Plate - please note there is a longer black vixen type dovetail fitted, not the fancy new green short one you will see on the FLO site
SW motor focus and fitting kit - I've never used this, hence it's not fitted (more details over on FLO)
Dedicated SW 0.85x reducer/flattener (see FLO for more details)
Aluminium Carrying / Shipping Case
The RRP is over £720, so grab a bargain while you can.
Collection from Nottingham, or DHL for £20 (within UK)
Can anyone identify which control box this is? Is it focusmaster? And does it run off robofocus driver in Indi lib as I cannot get a successful connection (in indi within ekos)
I bought a robofocus motor with this control box second hand.
I have faith with seller that hardware works as should.
I've tried other cables and USB ports too. The software (k stars) I use does do port search when connecting equipment..
Any help appreciated
By Mandy D
I've just bought a Daystar Solar Scout 60mm DS for H-alpha imaging of the Sun. I am now looking for a suitable camera to use with it. I know I could use my DSLR, but for H-alpha that is not going to give best results, so am looking for a dedicated monochrome imaging camera. I have identified the ZWO ASI178MM as a possibility that fits my budget and has a large enough (I think) sensor to image the entire Solar disc if I use a 0.5 focal reducer which will give me a total focal length of 465 mm.
Does anyone have any experience of this camera in this application, or know if it will be suitable? I know it does not have an IR blocking filter, which I understand is an advantage for H-alpha. The spec is available here:
Very quick process before heading to work.
Saw the start of the clouds last night and headed off with the gear to get a shot.
Much smaller and dimmer than the last show the previous week.
Nikon D3 and Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, tripod mounted, cable release and mirror lock function.
Lightly processed in Adobe Lightroom.
Taken from north Lichfield (Staffordshire).
Single shot. ISO 200, 2.5 sec, f/2.8, 75mm, 11.33pm