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By Ken Mitchell
For a long time I wanted to shoot this frame, probably from the early days of my astrophotography adventure.
Finally after all these years I managed to get a decent result of the 'stuff' between these two beautiful nebulae. Fairly happy with the image but always looking for improvement.
I hope one day to redo this all with a mono camera and filters.
Apart from NGC1499 , M45 and the Baby Eagle Nebula no idea what else is in the picture. If you happen to have an idea feel free to educate me.
Some info on image and capturing:
Widefield Pleiades to California.
Taken over 2 nights with a total of 11hrs 25min integration.
With a stock Nikon d610 and Nikkor 85mm 1.8 objective.
Tracking was done with the Skywatcher Star Adventurer.
Lights and all calibrations frames were stacked in DSS.
Processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CC using Adobe Raw, GradientXterminator plugin, HLVG plugin, Nik software plugins and Photokemi action set.
I'm looking to get a reasonably portable astrophotography set-up, using a 60-100mm refractor, with a suitable goto mount. I spotted the Explore Scientifice exos2-gt with pmc-eight goto system, which looks like quite an elegant solution, and wondered if anybody in the forum owns this mount, and what they think of it's performance & usability?
Hi, I'm keen to buy a small good quality refractor primarily for astrophotography of galaxies and nebulae. I'd like to use my Pentax K1 full frame DSLR with the telescope.
Reviewing YouTube & Google the; Altair Astro 72 EDF deluxe & William Optics 71GT look like they might be good models to go for. I'd welcome the community's views on both, and any other alternatives people recommend.
Please find for sale my SkyWatcher 250 Reflector and NEQ6 SynScan mount.
The reflector has of course been used and shows sign of use on the outside of the tube but the mirrors show little sign of wear or tear apart from a few dust specks. As you can see from the photos the Scope is in very good condition and all viewings are welcome.
The NEQ6 mount powers up but refuses to move. This may be just an update to the handset or maybe the gears need a touch of TLC due to itself being sat doing nothing for so long. The tripod is missing the locking pin that pulls the plate up against the legs but this will be reflected in the price.
i would like to offer this to the SGL community as I know it will go to someone who will appreciate the kit and do so much more with it than I’ve been able to.
Given the fact I haven’t used this kit for a few years now and I’m also moving house, I know longer have the time or room for it so this is the only reason for sale.
*** Update 26/1/2020
I have purchased a new support shaft for the tripod and I have also got the NEQ6 moving so the motors seem to be absolutely fine, please see latest video attached of the NEQ6 powered up and moving.
Skywatcher 250 - £200
NEQ6 - £450
Collection only from Walsall/West Midlands
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Wishing you all clear skies wherever you are
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)