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Xiga

M42 - 2 hrs of Dodgy Data - Just for fun!

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Posted (edited)

Like the lunatic that I am, I decided to get the scope out last week during that storm that was passing through. The skies were clear and there was no moon about, so I figured why not! Only problem was the 17-20 mph winds, lol.

I got 2 hrs of subs but had to throw away half of them due to guiding problems more so than the wind, amazingly. This was the 2nd time in a row i'd had Dec guiding problems, and that's after about 2 years of not having a single problem guiding. After the 1st hr of wasted subs, I turned off Fast Switching in Dec and chose to only Dither in RA, and the Dec problems mostly went away, at least to allow me to capture 1 hr of 'still dodgy but just about useable' subs. Once M42 disappeared behind the neighbour's roof, I then re-calibrated on the Celestial Equator (Dec 0) and when I switched to the Pinwheel Galaxy I was able to guide as normal again (with Fast Switching and Dithering in both RA and Dec both turned on again) and didn't lose any subs, despite the wind, so I've decided that from now on I won't be calibrating at the target itself, i'm always going to do it at Dec 0.

I decided to throw this in with another 1 hr of subs (plus 10 x 30s for the core) that I took back in Jan 2017 (has it really been that long?!). That hr also had issues, with some weird streaking in the lower left that I could never work out what caused it. The D5300 hadn't been modified at that stage either. So I fired it all in to APP and decided to stack it anyway, and give it a quick process. Then chose to crank it up to 11 on the colour front, just for laughs.

It won't be going on the wall anytime soon, lol, but I suppose it came out a bit better than I was expecting, all things considered.

20 x 360s with an IDAS-D1

D5300, 80ED, HEQ5-Pro.

Stacked in APP, processed in PS.

CS!

edit - I forgot to downscale it - so no pixel peeping allowed ?

M42 v5.jpg

Edited by Xiga
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Lovely detail right down to the core Ciaran, well done!!

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Beautiful and very nicely processed.  I think I'm in a very small minority but I actually prefer a slightly burnt out core which shows the dynamic range of the trapezium area but most quality images show it exactly as you have here!

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6 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Lovely detail right down to the core Ciaran, well done!!

Thanks Adam ?

5 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Very nice result indeed!

Cheers Michael 

4 hours ago, MartinB said:

Beautiful and very nicely processed.  I think I'm in a very small minority but I actually prefer a slightly burnt out core which shows the dynamic range of the trapezium area but most quality images show it exactly as you have here!

Thanks Martin. I know what you mean about the core. I too usually prefer the bright bits up there to, well, look bright! Another example is M31. I prefer a nice big core for it, rather than a small point of light. But M42 is just so darned bright that it has to be tamed. I could have gone brighter on this tbh, but it was late and I was in a hurry to just get something thrown together quick. Hopefully I can get a chance to get some proper data on this soon before it's too late. 

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Posted (edited)

I looked at this again and the detail on the brown dust between the running man and m42 is amazing. These Nikons are great ?

Edited by tooth_dr
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1 hour ago, tooth_dr said:

I looked at this again and the detail on the brown dust between the running man and m42 is amazing. These Nikons are great ?

Lol, thanks Adam ☺️ I do love my wee D5300.

Good luck with your D800e. You'll have a cracking widefield setup once you get the Samyang 135 all set up. 

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21 hours ago, Xiga said:

I won't be calibrating at the target itself, i'm always going to do it at Dec 0.

That's definitely the way to go. I found my guiding improved with this method. Nice image too. You got some lovely star colour and detail.

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1 hour ago, Allinthehead said:

That's definitely the way to go. I found my guiding improved with this method. Nice image too. You got some lovely star colour and detail.

Thanks Richard ?

I find it amazing though that I've somehow managed to image for the last 2 years without realising this, and my guiding has always been great (0.6" - 0.9" on most nights). It's only been the last 2 sessions where I had trouble. I guess I've just been lucky! 

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Very good image Ciaran - flat background, star colours, rich dust, focus.  Very well accomplished.

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21 hours ago, Barry-Wilson said:

Very good image Ciaran - flat background, star colours, rich dust, focus.  Very well accomplished.

Thanks Barry! ?

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5 hours ago, HenryFitz said:

Can I download these number of photo's, Ciaran?

Hi Henry 

Are you asking me to post the the raw stack? 

I don't mind sharing it (it's certainly not not anything special, lol). I'm currently away for Easter though so it would have to wait to tomorrow night 

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