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philr73

At last - first photo

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Finally after 2 years of struggling to get all things to work at the same time (including the weather!!) I managed to get a picture that I am pleased with although it wasn't what I originally tried to capture 

the roof of my house took care of that. When I first started down this frustrating hobby (2years newbie) I never realised how much of a struggle it would be to get anything worth looking at as there is always something packing up or user error, pa, software problems, clouds, laptop, leads, mount, camera the list goes on and on.

Anyway rant over please have a look and advise on how to improve especially in the processing department any comments good or bad welcome.

Forgot to add equipment used Heq5 pro, zwo174mc, sigma 85mm f1.4 - 30x4s, 30x8s, 30x16s stacked and bodged in DSS.

Thanks

Phil

stars2.TIF

stars.jpg

Edited by philr73
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Hi, it's better if you post your image in .png format, if you want to keep the resolution, or even .jpg for a quick post. A lot of people will not want to risk downloading an unknown file to their device. Plus, not all devices; like my tablet; are able to display .tif files.

I look forward to seeing the results of all your hard work.

P.S. I feel your pain! I'm having no end of problems at the moment!

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Hi

Thanks for that will do when I've worked out how to do it:BangHead: something else to learn haha.

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Nice image. What cluster is this please? Looks like you done well, so a very good first image. :) 

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Thanks, not sure what cluster it is was annoyed after taking pictures of my roof that I pointed it to a bright star in the northwest ish area and hoped for the best:icon_biggrin:

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1 minute ago, philr73 said:

Thanks, not sure what cluster it is was annoyed after taking pictures of my roof that I pointed it to a bright star in the northwest ish area and hoped for the best:icon_biggrin:

OK. No worries. Still very nice none the less. Well done! :) 

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2 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

OK. No worries. Still very nice none the less. Well done! :) 

Thanks I'm sure some knowledgeable person on this site will tell me:huh:

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4 minutes ago, philr73 said:

Thanks I'm sure some knowledgeable person on this site will tell me:huh:

Can you remember what bright star you were aiming at in the NW sky and what time? Might help narrow down the possibilities.?

Edited by Knighty2112

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2 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Can you remember what bright star you were aiming at?

No sorry it was getting late and I had to be up at 4.30 for work so a bit of a rush job in the end

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My guess is Capella and if I'm right it'll be NGC 1883

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2 minutes ago, geordie85 said:

My guess is Capella and if I'm right it'll be NGC 1883

Thanks i was just looking on stelarium  and I think it was around there, can't see many stars by eye too much Lp

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I ran your image through astrometry.net and here is what I got

ff24a.jpg.8d4b512b5967edafa2e70f2b61cea43e.jpg

1628659.png.699f313428493ef31edd5628aeb9f2ba.png

 

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Looks a nice well focussed, clear image, even if not what you wanted to image.

I too as a newbie have some issues I am battling with and so have sympathy with you. I had no idea things were so involved in taking a few DSO shots but hope one day to overcome the issues I am having (thankfully with lots of help on this forum) and take images I can be proud of. Looking at yours you seem to be a long way towards that goal.

Steve

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3 hours ago, Vox45 said:

I ran your image through astrometry.net and here is what I got

ff24a.jpg.8d4b512b5967edafa2e70f2b61cea43e.jpg

1628659.png.699f313428493ef31edd5628aeb9f2ba.png

 

Thanks for that do you upload a picture to astronomy.net and it works it out or is it not that simple.

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2 hours ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Looks a nice well focussed, clear image, even if not what you wanted to image.

I too as a newbie have some issues I am battling with and so have sympathy with you. I had no idea things were so involved in taking a few DSO shots but hope one day to overcome the issues I am having (thankfully with lots of help on this forum) and take images I can be proud of. Looking at yours you seem to be a long way towards that goal.

Steve

Thanks Steve yes took a while to get good focus on the lens only the slightest movement without hand shaking 😂 it' a lot easier in daylight with auto focus, and agree with you about the help on this forum it's invaluable.

 

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On 08/05/2018 at 18:49, philr73 said:

Thanks, not sure what cluster it is was annoyed after taking pictures of my roof that I pointed it to a bright star in the northwest ish area and hoped for the best:icon_biggrin:

Upload it to Astrometry.net and you will get an index image back that labels any objects in the frame. It often includes things you haven't spotted!

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I’ll be dead chuffed if my first image is anything like as good. 

I too started collecting all the kit I need around 18 months ago and only last night managed to actually get a camera attached to a telescope and photograph something (just the moon in my case whilst I make sure everything is working). 

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That’s a great result! It’s nicely framed, in focus, no star trailing and a good neutral background, I’d be chuffed if that had been my first image.

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You caught something allright ...

PixInsight Imagesolver confirms it's the Beehive Cluster M 44. Plus a few galaxies (not all visible in this image, though)

Purple: Messier objects

Yellow: stars

Pink: NGC/IC objects

Light Blue: PGC galaxies

stars2_Annotated.thumb.jpg.7c83b0eadf52b7d2770c23141e76f446.jpg

Btw, there is a gradient from vignetting, which is somewhat of a surprise since you imaged with a small chip and a lens that should cover at least an APS-C sensor. Flats should solve this issue.

Btw, did you use any LP filter? I find it very difficult to get any decent colour out of the stars. Usually images of the Beehive cluster show vivid blue, young stars with a few yellow, older stars in between. But in this image, there's almost no colour in the stars. This usually happens with DSS when a LP UHC filter is used. Here's a reference from Astrobin:

https://www.astrobin.com/301885/?nc=user

Edited by wimvb

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Original:

stars2_original.thumb.jpg.8711874ab6c4f9fb387f6238c0b2054e.jpg

(Pixinsight linked STF stretch applied)

Processed:

stars2.thumb.jpg.84afebc44f58aca7a4d758e2618725a3.jpg

(crop, DBE to even out the background; colour calibration, noise reduction, stretch)

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3 minutes ago, wimvb said:

Original:

stars2_original.thumb.jpg.8711874ab6c4f9fb387f6238c0b2054e.jpg

(Pixinsight linked STF stretch applied)

Processed:

stars2.thumb.jpg.84afebc44f58aca7a4d758e2618725a3.jpg

(crop, DBE to even out the background; colour calibration, noise reduction, stretch)

Wow what a difference - I've got a lot to learn lol, looks 10 times better.

The vignetting is probably just the lens  it's great in the daylight at f1.4 on my camera with no noticible effects but have no way of stopping  it down using my asi174. I didn't use any filters not got that far yet😆 colour wise im not sure which settings to use in sharpcap I set the camera to rgb24 not sure if this is correct. Will check on the pictures tommorw .

Thank again 

Phil

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Rgb24 is 8 bit debayered (?) colour mode. For my 174MM, I have 16 bit fits, but that's mono. I don't know if the colour version has a similar output format. Anyway, the files should not be debayered. That should be done by the stacking software. The camera output should be some sort of "raw" format, that displays as gray scale, but has all the colour information. This is important if you use calibration images such as buas, darks and flats.

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17 hours ago, philr73 said:

Thanks for that do you upload a picture to astronomy.net and it works it out or is it not that simple.

Yes it is quite easy, just go to nova.astrometry.net/upload and choose your file and let it run... If you don't enter any information in "advanced settings" the astrometry engine searches in a lot more indexes so it takes quite a while to get a result (took around 20 minutes for yours) so be patient ;)

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Speaking as an 18 year newbie, I feel your pain.   Also when I started we didn't have books like Making Every Photon Count.  So had to learn everything the hard way.  That said, I've had various successes over the years, and lots of frustrations too.

Here's what I figured out in the end....

1. decent mount - stop the scope wobbling about.

2. electric everything.  If you can get to the point of not having the touch the scope with your hands,  perfect.

3. Sensetive camera's are everything.  Whether for guiding or for imaging.   Don't bother with cheap webcams, 

 

 

Over the years, my scope has been modified lots.  And to sum it's there's been three basic Imaging setups that I used....

Setup 1.

Meade LX-90 with Skywatcher ST-80 piggy backed.

Phillips TuCam Pro II attached to ST-80

Meade DSI attached to main scope.

Sony Vaio laptop from 2003 running K3CCDTools for Guiding and I forget the meade autostar suite for imaging.

 

Summary, I never has success with this setup.  Main problem was that I struggled to find stars to guide on!  Also the laptop was very picky about running from a battery, so power was always a struggle.

 

Setup 2.

Meade LX-90 with Skywatcher ST-80 piggy backed.

Skywatcher SynGuider II

Canon EOS 70D (Unmodded)

no laptop.

 

Summary, When it worked it worked brilliantly.  the SynGuider would track a star with the ST-4 cable feeding to the scope.  The Canon EOS 70D is a great imaging DSLR.

problems were that the SynGuider also struggled to find stars to guide on.  Didn't help that no real screen ment that finding focus was a problem in itself too.    This lead to loads of frustration.

Capturing images in focus was a challange too and took trial and error.

 

Setup 3 (Current setup)

Meade LX-90 with Skywatcher ST-80 piggy backed.

Starlight Express Superstar attached to the ST-80

ZWO ASI290-MM with USB Filter wheel attached to the LX-90.

HP Pavillion I5 laptop with SGPro, PlateSolve2, ANSVR, PHD2, SharpCap, Nebulosity, BackyardEOS, Alignmaster

 

Summary.   I'm still getting to grips with this setup but I can tell you that it feels worlds apart from the other two setups.

The Starlight Express takes no effort to see a starfield in PHD2.  Finding a guide start is a thing of the past.

the ASI290-MM is also a lovely camera, no problems with seeing stars to focus on with the framing and focus panel in SGPro or using SharpCap.

The laptop also runs happily from a 12V supply, and pulls hardly any power compared to my old laptop.

Focusing is no longer a big deal as the laptop has HFR routines.   Or if I decided to use BackyardEOS, could using the focusing tools in that as well.

The main things that I'm working on at the moment is getting my skills with drift alignment up to speed.  Then I feel that capturing data is going to be alot less painful than before.

 

Things are looking up for me.    There are other things, like dew heaters, power sources etc that I've left out of the post. (to keep things simple)   All in all, yes there can be alot of frustrations, but keep going and keep learning eventually it'll all come together.

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