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I've been into astrophotography for several years now, but I can't seem to make much improvement between images. Looking at the images in the Deep-Sky section with clean, white galaxies and perfect smooth backgrounds has got me thinking about what I'm doing wrong.
I know I can achieve better images with the setup I've got, and I really want to improve in time for the summer nebulae. Is there any advice anyone can give?
This is a diagram of my setup. My 1000d is modded. I use PHD drift align, and with that running my guiding is to within 2 seconds. I use APT for dithering and image collection, DSS for stacking, and GIMP 16-Bit for processing. A quick note at this point -- ive heard lots about StarTools and other programs, what is the best choice program which wont cost a few hundred pounds?
Collimation has always been a bit of a difficult one for me, I've tried using both a Cheshire and a laser, but I never seem to get properly coma or gradient free images.
These are the kind of results I'm getting--the main issues I can see are horrible backgrounds (dithering doesn't seem to be able to remove the dark frame scratches) and really grimy colour, but there is also coma and gradient/vignette which refuses to be corrected by flats. (I take my flats through some white fabric pointing at notepad open on my laptop.)
A big issue for me has always been imaging time--where I live the council turns off the lights each night at midnight. For some reason, although I will often have the setup running from midnight until 3 in the morning, everything seems to go wrong after an hour. For example, the guiding crashes, or a glow appears in the images and wont go away, or hundreds of aircraft seem to pass overhead and streak everything .
As the setup became more and more complicated, it began to take more and more time to set up: last imaging session it took 2.5 hours from opening the garage door to starting the first proper exposure. This makes everything far more difficult and time-consuming.
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how I can solve these issues, or just improve my imaging in general?
Thanks for looking
My Orion Starseeker IV mount has recently started acting weirdly in that it will continue to spew even after the movement buttons have been released, this will then render all buttons on the handset useless as nothing will work until it is switched off and on again. I contacted Orion and they claimed it may be faulty optical encoders but they haven’t yet replied on how I can fix it and I don’t really want to pay too much to fix it. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could fix it myself?
Hi I'm in desperate need of help! I have just brought a 2nd hand Skywatcher 127 mak. Have checked the collimation and it appears ok, have left the telescope out in the open for an hour and have a nice dew cover for it.
However I can't get the tracking sorted, the view finder is a nightmare and overhead objects I'm almost on my back, but worse of all I've just had a look at Jupiter which admittedly is low down in the sky but I can't get it to look more than a bright star. I have tried 10,15,25mm lenses and a Barlow but it just appears as a bright dot. When I do increase the size it goes out of focus and you get a circle with the black dot in the centre.
I have read great things about this scope but it's hopeless for dso cos you can't find them and I fear the planets will be hopeless as well given what I've experienced with Jupiter. How on earth do you get planets large enough to see a bit more detail other than a dot of light?
I think I will sell the scope on and just get a good pair of binoculars. Any advice?
At 22:15 BST this evening I was taking a tour of the terminator and, as I was studying the vicinity of what I think was Sinus Iridium I saw a very bright smudge to its North West. I managed quite sharp focus on the crater edges but the bright smudge woukd not resolve.
Studying my lunar map I beleieve the smudge was either on the edge of Foucault or Hacpalus (Foucault if Hacpalus was disected by the terminator).
I have no idea what I was looking at but, it looked almost like ejecta catching the sun as it settled back to the lunar surface.
Madness I know but.........