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1. Alcyone (Eta Tauri, η Tau, 25 Tau) in the Pleiades open cluster, spectral type B7IIIe+A0V+A0V+F2V.
This star is a multiple system, but my goal of observation was the H-alpha profile of the main component:
Horizontal axis scaled to radial velocity:
2. Pleione (28 Tau, BU Tau) also in M45, spectral type B8Vne, variable star, the brightness changes in range: 4.83 - 5.38 V.
This is the faintest star, which I observed with using APO 107/700 & Low Spec spectrograph 1800 l/mm.
It was difficult, but obervation was positive (high gain, exposure time 4 min):
3. Tianguan (Zeta Tauri, ζ Tau), spectral type B1IVe+G8III: (mark ":" according to the VSX database means uncertainty).
This is an eclipsing binary with variability type E/GS+GCAS, period is 133 d. The brightness changes in range: 2.80 - 3.17 V.
4. Cih, Tsih (γ Cas), spectral type B0.5IVpe, variable star with a magnitude range of 1.6 to 3 V:
5. Alnitak (Zeta Orionis, ζ Ori), spectral type O9.5Ibe+B0III. Variable star with a magnitude range of 1.74 to 1.77 V.
Spectral lines have characteristic P Cygni profile, below H-alpha:
I recently upgraded to a purpose made astro-camera (Atik Horizon Color). The learning curve has definitely been noticeable, but I cant figure a couple things out. For some reason the pictures are grey scale when using N.I.N.A. I have tried different binning and formats, but the image is always black and white.
If I use the ATIK software (Infinity,Dusk) there is an option for 'Color Binning', and that seems to have fixed it for those programs, but N.I.N.A doesn't seem to have that option (you can not select anything for binning, or select 1x1, 2x2 ect.). But what makes it weirder is that the preview is always color using N.I.N.A. I used a pinhole lens cover to take pictures of my computer screen and it always shows up as color images. However, if I take that exact image file that previews in color and move it to pixinsight, it is grey-scale.
Is this a binning thing, file format problem? At this point I am just confused, if the preview of the image is color shouldn't the image data be color as well?
So far all the problems I have had with this camera have just been simple things that were new to me, but this one is really throwing me for a loop. Thanks for any help.
I've attached a couple images. The first you can see the NINA preview is color, as well with the couple other I took in the bottom right. And the other in a photo of trying to color saturate the stretched image in Pixinsight, and it says that it cannot saturate a grey-scale image. I have tried this with Tif, Fits, and various binning types.
I scrapped all the Oiii and Sii data I previously took during a full moon (about 15 hours worth) and retook it all when the moon was a bit smaller at 76%. Ha was taken during 98% and 67% moon. All the lights were taken on the following nights: 12th, 19th and 20th September 2019.
Integration times, all in 600s subs unbinned:
Ha = 28.33 hours
Oiii= = 5.67 hours
Sii = 5.67 hours
The Ha data is really nice, and unsurprisingly the Oiii and Sii is not as strong (or nice).
I'm missing that (vital) step in my processing routine of getting the Sii and Oiii properly stretched to match the Ha, before combining. I dont really know how to deal with the weaker data properly. Any pointers would be appreciated.
What I do currently:
All the data is loaded into APP into separate channels/sessions.
The data is stacked and registered against the best Ha sub
This produces individual stacks of Ha, Sii and Oiii that are all registered
Each channel is processed with DPP in APP and then saved as a 16bit TIFF
Each is opened in PS
Stars removed with AA and any remnants removed and tidied up
I then open a blank RGB document in PS
I paste Ha into Green, Sii into Red and Oiii into Blue
Adjust the selective colour settings to get 'Hubble palette'
Adjust levels, curves, saturation until looks ok
All the Ha Sii Oiii data is then combined together in a single 'super' stack in APP using quality weighted algorithm to create a 'luminance'
That luminance layer is adjusted using levels, curves, and NC tools such as local contrast enhancement and deep space noise reduction (using masks to apply as required)
The luminance is pasted onto the above colour layer, and incrementally added using gaussian blur
Cropped and saved.
Here it is anyway I haven't intended on any more exposure time for this one, but will consider it, if the expert opinion dictates otherwise!
The Wizard Nebula
An emission nebula 7,200 light years away and my first proper project of the new imaging year.
Really happy with it as I’ve had a steep learning curve with new kit so really pleased to see this image come together. It’s also the first time I’ve imaged it.
72x180s subs collected over 2 nights 24/25th August in my Bortle 7 back garden, Whitley Bay, England
Calibrated with darks, flats and dark flats in DSS and processed in SiriL and Photoshop.
Lacerta 72mm f/6 APO
ZWO ASI1600MC Pro at -15C gain 200
ZWO 60mm guide scope
ZWO ASI120MM-S guide camera
Altair Astro 2” Tri Band OSC Filter
Data collected in APT and guided with PHD2
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: