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George Gearless

First attempt at M42 with AZ goto, mak127

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I'm so excited. My first nebula. Yeah yeah, I know; the colors are off, the background is too bright, there are two specs of dust that I didn't realize were there, and so on and so on. But this is the first time I have captured a recognizable nebula, with MY camera, MY mount and MY time. Nothing you say will detract from my joy of having a 'viewable' result. I am just so thrilled with it that I thought I'd share.

No point in listing all the picture data, as is the custom. Suffice it to say, that there are 24 frames of 25 sec. No darks. Stacked in Deepskystacker where my knowledge of the program is limited to "ooh, let's see what this slider does".

Enjoy. Or just have a look :).

 

Edit: Shout out goes to Happykat who's guidance has been instrumental in my little achievement.

Edit2: Added a second picture that contains darks, for comparison. Cropped a bit differently. But essentially the same picture.

 

 

m42-43-2.jpg.22bd0dda492228704c026348f157fc33.jpg

 

 

secondtryorion.jpg.1dc663a73f912c1a4047b906008ac9cf.jpg

 

Edited by George Gearless
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37 minutes ago, George Gearless said:

Nothing you say will detract from my joy of having a 'viewable' result.

And nothing ever should. If you are happy with what you have produced, that is all that matters. This is a hobby after all.

As an aside, I think you have every reason to be happy with it as a first attempt. Clearly, darks, flats and (the ever-present) more data, would make it even better, but a good start.

Well done.

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Nice one,,I think Seeing your first image come to light on the computer screen is likened to seeing the rings of Saturn with your own eyes for the first time,, (it’s, just good) welcome to the slippery slope of a constantly receding bank balance better known as astrophotography.

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Really nice picture -- I'd be happy with that. 

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Thankyou for the encouraging remarks.

@ Demonperformer: I have, since my post, reproduced some darks by leaving the camera outside and took 10 darks with the same exposure time and ISO. Added them to Deepskystacker and did the post-production once again. I've amended my OP with the new picture. Cropped a bit differently, but essentially the same picture. Lesson learned. One of many, I suspect.

@ DougM43: Uncanny how similar our train of thought is. When I saw M43 pop up on my LCD screen I recalled that giddy feeling I got when I first saw Saturn through my very first telescope. Some 20 years ago. Sometimes I think astronomers ought to take some poetry lessons, to properly relay the feeling of observing the night sky. And yes; I foresee some tough budget negotiations with my better half, in the future :). 

@ SacRiker: Indeed I am happy with the result. Even happier with your comment.

 

I just realized that this thread was probably more appropriate in the beginner's section. Sorry about that. Feel free to move it, Admin.

 

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If this is done with the AZ GTI then i'm very impressed, i have one to and i don't even have to think about taking 25sec subs without star trails.

Well done !

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15 minutes ago, Miguel1983 said:

If this is done with the AZ GTI then i'm very impressed, i have one to and i don't even have to think about taking 25sec subs without star trails.

Well done !

25 secs is my usual limit. But I have on occasion pushed it to 30 on particularly still windless nights with decent results. I could possibly have done it last night as well. But I had already taken 6 or 7 pictures with the 25 sec setting, so I continued so as not to mess up my streak. Once I have figured out the do's and don'ts of my newly acquired EQ wedge for the mount, I'm hoping to go beyond 30. We'll see. 

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Well done, and you can't beat that first image feeling.

When using DSS try kappa-sigma-clipping on the lights it can help. More data always helps even at the sacrifice of darks (which with a dslr can add noise rather than remove it) you'll see a bigger jump in image then adding darks initially I think, try it and see. Experiment along your journey to see what works best for you.

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Like that. Love the colours in the second image. Well done. 

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10 hours ago, George Gearless said:

I have, since my post, reproduced some darks by leaving the camera outside and took 10 darks with the same exposure time and ISO. Added them to Deepskystacker and did the post-production once again. I've amended my OP with the new picture. Cropped a bit differently, but essentially the same picture. Lesson learned. One of many, I suspect.

Darks are always a difficult thing with what I am guessing is a dslr. The temperature of the chip can vary during the time of the shoot and if the temperature is different between the lights and darks, they can actually make the situation worse not better. My OCD always insisteded that for each run of lights I took half the darks at the start and half the darks at the end ... I'm not advocating that you go that far! #2 is definitely an improvement on #1.

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5 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

Darks are always a difficult thing with what I am guessing is a dslr. The temperature of the chip can vary during the time of the shoot and if the temperature is different between the lights and darks, they can actually make the situation worse not better. My OCD always insisteded that for each run of lights I took half the darks at the start and half the darks at the end ... I'm not advocating that you go that far! #2 is definitely an improvement on #1.

I was very aware of the temperature issue. Which was why I put the camera outside to approximate the same temperature it had when I took the lights. Granted, following your procedure of doing it just before, just after, or half and half, will surely give a more accurate temperature. My 'post session' recording of the darks was just a vain attempt to improve on the picture. It did improve it, and it goes to show that the issue of darks shouldn't be taken lightly (pun intended).

I have at least a week of downtime, judging by the weather reports. I'll most likely use the time to peruse "Every photon counts" that both you and Happykat have recommended independently of each other.

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