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KevS

Anybody Playing Tonight?

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Unfortunately I didn't get around to setting up last night. The football floodlights were still on until after 10:30pm, then there was a cloudy period until nearly midnight. By the time that had cleared, I'd lost all the Winter constellations behind my roof. I didn't then fancy starting a late galaxy-imaging session after a long day.

Anyway, today is dry so the lawn I observe/image from is less boggy. Last night there was standing water in the area I normally set up in, after a day that was very wet until early evening.

The forecasts for tonight are rather mixed, though: Met Office says clear all evening and overnight, while Clear Outside shows medium level cloud until midnight, then clear. I hope the former is correct! Good luck, all!

Regards, Mike.

Edited by mcrowle

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I don’t spend nearly long enough on the initial set up, particularly balancing the scope, but know that if I’m going to push for subs > 300” or have a go imaging with my 10” 2500mm SCT I really should pay more attention to these things. 
 

I also, at the moment at least, tend to set up when I get home from work so it’s dark and I just want to get going. 
 

So, seeing as it’s nice day I’ve set up nice and early and spent a good 30 mins on getting everything just so before shooting some flats for the session I hope I’ll get in tonight. 
 

Some photos just because the scope is so sexy. Note given I’ve seen flimsier gun mounts on tanks than the guide scope mount on the TMB I’ve never feared flex here :). The tube rings would probably hold bits of rocket together also...

59773F1E-25C6-43A3-B083-C247CDDB2102.jpeg

524439F1-CF2F-4CDC-BBCA-22F96ED7865E.jpeg

E54649BF-91E4-4172-A549-02C822184FC2.jpeg

E73B368C-BCF4-4CCD-9634-F4FFA9A1291E.jpeg

54827630-1A63-461B-80C3-55B73B24EE77.jpeg

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Processed all reasonable subs of Simeis 147 from last night.  40 Ha 300s g300 bin 3x3.  Calibrated with darks and flats and STF stretched in PI.  Here is a screenshot.  I'm not impressed!!  The calibration has not worked properly.  I took each stage carefully so I don't know why.  This stack of 40 subs is no better than a lot of the raw individual subs!!

199381300_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1814-23-52.png.86e05285af8964a8abcbd224578f6a48.png

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1 hour ago, Ships and Stars said:

500p dob loaded up for my Bortle 2 site, forecast looking great for the Cairngorms. A bit breezy but hopefully manageable. Stock 500p has 3kg of counterweight, too little. I had tried 5.5kg, too much but didn't have anything in between, so drilled a 10mm hole through centre of a lead dive weight, now have 4.3kg... My goal tonight is to test binoviewer on DSOs, will even try for Horse Head, ever the optimist but still 20" dob with BV is apparently the equivalent of using a 14" binoscope, so under c.21.90 skies I might get lucky! A lot less eye strain as well.

Probably don't want to give too much away on a public forum, but do you head towards the Cairngorms and just find a gravel space off the road and pull into or a specific public car park?  I guess I'm within an hour or twos drive of the same area (ditto Glenshee, Lecht area etc) but never considered heading out there!  There's so much of Scotland that is very dark... edge of the doorstep and all that 🙂

Look forward to hearing how you get on with the 500P again - what a cracking looking scope - and the BV.

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37 minutes ago, Gina said:

This stack of 40 subs is no better than a lot of the raw individual subs!!

How's the SNR though ?

Dave

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55 minutes ago, geeklee said:

Probably don't want to give too much away on a public forum, but do you head towards the Cairngorms and just find a gravel space off the road and pull into or a specific public car park?  I guess I'm within an hour or twos drive of the same area (ditto Glenshee, Lecht area etc) but never considered heading out there!  There's so much of Scotland that is very dark... edge of the doorstep and all that 🙂

Look forward to hearing how you get on with the 500P again - what a cracking looking scope - and the BV.

Hi Lee,

I have a few public spots off the A93 (need to drive off the A93 a bit to get away from cars) that are really dark. The A939 towards the Lecht has some good spots, as does the A93 south of Braemar heading towards Spittal of Glenshee, that's 21.94 apparently! Hills are quite high there so might block some of the lower DSOs. I use the LP map and then Google Earth. Another good method is to use the Walkhighlands website that the hillwalkers use, it lists starting points/car parks for the walks and you can park up in most of those without seeing a soul at night and not get ran off (that's never happened to me anyway). Look for any B roads or single track that goes off the A93 and find a larger than average passing place or a turnaround area, should be fine, no one has ever bothered me! Light Pollution Map /Google Earth/ Walkhighlands map view is your friend ;)  Handy to use Google Earth to get long/lat and elevation in advance for alignment if you know where you are going to park. PS if you are coming from Dundee way, the Eastern Glens off the A90 towards Tarfside, Glen Clova, Glen Lethnot etc are great too! Literally dozens of great parking places in and around A93/Lecht/A90 Eastern Glens! 

If there's a house nearby and I see people in before it gets dark, I might say hi and tell them if they see a red LED light and lots of movement around my van, I'm looking through my telescope just in case they wonder what's going on at 2am!

I'm hopping in the van now (rubs hands...let's roll) ;) 

Edited by Ships and Stars
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This is the best calibrated sub so I guess the stack is a bit better.  I'm going to have to check out the calibration files and see if I can find anything.  Looks like darks are not working.

1414927476_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1815-34-18.png.a9d30b902958748ce38c56adfc1ca334.png

This is the same sub uncalibrated.

553004959_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1815-34-18.png.23773f71f97f591982d4a29a34b4c0f4.png

Hold on - going to make sure I know what I'm doing.

Edited by Gina

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Here is the exact comparison of the first sub uncalibrated and calibrated.

858424705_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1815-41-37.png.8a7247773e0703eda2ed4504e647f8d8.png

1778648491_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1815-42-02.png.72684fe3aef15820ad5f577702473740.png

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And this is the stack.

1 hour ago, Gina said:

Processed all reasonable subs of Simeis 147 from last night.  40 Ha 300s g300 bin 3x3.  Calibrated with darks and flats and STF stretched in PI.  Here is a screenshot.  I'm not impressed!!  The calibration has not worked properly.  I took each stage carefully so I don't know why.  This stack of 40 subs is no better than a lot of the raw individual subs!!

199381300_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1814-23-52.png.86e05285af8964a8abcbd224578f6a48.png

 

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Just fired up the obs laptop and connected everything to ensure that it's ready to play this evening. Camera is now cooling down a good hour or so before I need it, but after the issues on Wednesday and having missed out on imaging last night, I'm not taking any chances....

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After getting some Dark Frames, 12 of each 5 min and 10 mins I can show some results from last night.

First, 1 hour in 10 min subs, cooled at -25 deg. Given Sigma Add stacking and DDP

2069945101_HorseandFlame10minsubs.thumb.jpg.d4e3ee0c91f1475d300cee850cffffe4.jpg

And secondly an hour in 5 min subs, Cooling off, mostly (around 4 deg, I think). Had to give Denoise and Low Pass Filter. This was after making a new sky model and correcting a positioning error.

1264229476_HorseandFlame5minsubs.thumb.jpg.c216986e6f9098cf5e2df1bdca1299b2.jpg

I think the framing in the second image is better, but the first has lower noise. Both show dreadful micro-lensing artifacts around Alnitak I may swap the Baader H-alpha for the Astrodon, though It's more likely to be due to the sensor, ASI1600.

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1 minute ago, DaveS said:

After getting some Dark Frames, 12 of each 5 min and 10 mins I can show some results from last night.

First, 1 hour in 10 min subs, cooled at -25 deg. Given Sigma Add stacking and DDP

2069945101_HorseandFlame10minsubs.thumb.jpg.d4e3ee0c91f1475d300cee850cffffe4.jpg

And secondly an hour in 5 min subs, Cooling off, mostly (around 4 deg, I think). Had to give Denoise and Low Pass Filter. This was after making a new sky model and correcting a positioning error.

1264229476_HorseandFlame5minsubs.thumb.jpg.c216986e6f9098cf5e2df1bdca1299b2.jpg

I think the framing in the second image is better, but the first has lower noise. Both show dreadful micro-lensing artifacts around Alnitak I may swap the Baader H-alpha for the Astrodon, though It's more likely to be due to the sensor, ASI1600.

Hi Dave..  nice, I would swap for your Astrodon,   as although it won't get rid of the microlensing artefacts it'll help to mitigate them and should also get rid of or reduce the halo...  Alnitak.. its such a nuisance in this fov

Dave

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Very nice Dave :thumbsup:  Something funny with Alnitak though.  I wonder if the Flame is saturating a bit too.  Otherwise superb.

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Thanks Gina

Yes. big problems, even though this was a first iteration process. There's a HUGE halo around Alnitak, in addition to the square boxy effect that I think may be due to the dreaded micro-lens problem known to beset the ASI1600. I think I will pull the camera tomorrow and swap out the filters for Baader RGB, and Astrodon H-alpha and [OIII], thenI can do a HORGB image.

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Finished and tested the dew heater.  Have it controlled remotely from indoors.  Now have the rig back outside on the EQ8 and set up all ready to go when dark if the sky clears.  A few streaks if thin cloud ATM.

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1 hour ago, Ships and Stars said:

I'm hopping in the van now (rubs hands...let's roll) ;) 

Brilliant, thanks for that info @Ships and Stars.  Good luck tonight 👍

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Cloud covering Polaris.

944757524_Screenshotfrom2020-01-1817-05-55.png.7e171b9c580cd2bd03434d73f6ce9fd0.png

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Looks clear up top, wispy cloud around the edges. I desperately need to get out there and setup soon - seriously lost my mojo and contemplated eBaying the lot.

We must be setting new records for amounts of rain this autumn/winter, all I seem to be doing at the moment is fixing leaks and sorting drainage.

With any luck tomorrow might be a little clearer.

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Cloud here ATM.

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Supposed to clear later tonight.

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Yeee Haaa, been waiting for ages. Finally a clear night in my neck of the woods; yes, playing tonight.  :smile:

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CO is saying clear from midnight here, but I'm not sure I want to wait that long before starting. Tomorrow looks to be a long dark night (Of the soul, if you're imaging it).

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