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Andy R

First stacked & processed pictures

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Hi all

I've been imaging since August, collecting data on a few targets but I've never had the computing power to properly process the images. I have mainly used GIMP and Ipad apps which is ok but not a not ideal.

I bought a half decent laptop and a license for Startools yesterday and have tried my luck with it. There is quite a lot to take in but im getting there I think. 

Anyhow  any pointers, advise or criticism would be welcomed, are my stars looking ok?

All taken with a DSLR and Whitecat 51

Thanks

triangulum1.png

pleaides 07_10_19.png

NAN2.png

Andromeda2.png

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Hi Andy,

That's an excellent start! At a glance, your images look nice and clean and well calibrated. It bodes very well!

Can you tell us if you used a light pollution filter in the optical train? What software did you use to stack? Exposure times for each image and what sort of skies are you dealing with (e.g. Bortle scale)? I'm asking as it gives us an idea of what to you can reasonably expect.

The stars in image of the North American nebula are suffering from the Gibbs phenomenon (aka "panda eye" effect). This is most apparent when using "dumb" sharpening filters such as Unsharp Mask. If you used StarTools deconvolution module, the choosing a "Radius" parameter that is too high will start introducing these ringing artifacts. Not using a star mask will also cause ringing artifacts around overexposing stars. 

Cheers!

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Fantastic images Andy. The only observation I would make would be that the background is a little too black. 

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@Andy RI agree with the points made so far. You've made a great start.  It looks like you've gathered some really good data there. 

Personally, and this is a very subjective opinion, I feel the images are somewhat over saturated - too much colour in otherwords. I tend to prefer somewhat subtle colouring because I feel it looks more natural. On the other hand what's "natural"? We don't  see these celestial objects with the eyes like an astronomical imaging camera. But as I say, it's a matter of personal preference. 

I would suggest that since you've spent a lot of money on the hardware then it's a good idea to get some decent processing software designed specifically for astro images. I use PixInsight, and several other applications are available. They all involve a learning curve, but time spent can be very interesting and rewarding. Frustrating too at times. 🙂 You've got plenty of images there to learn to use such software. Plenty of advice on SGL, video and other tutorials on line. Good luck. 

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StarTools is a specially designed astro imaging tool and it's price is not a reflection of its quality, it shoots well above hence it is very good value. 

You do need to use the right stacking parameters so have a check against the getting started guide Ivo put on the StarTools website.

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 Your images look like good data ,Once Ivo has your  imaging setup  he will soon have you on the right path as your in Norh Wales then I’m sure you have good skies , Startools is a very powerful program don’t be fooled by its ease  of use  as ever there is a learning curve 👍

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Yep slightly oversaturated as has been said, and M45 is the best image you even caught the nebula on the lower right as well so that bodes well for your AP future. I would be pretty happy with M45 and using a DSLR. well done! Ton

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17 hours ago, jager945 said:

Hi Andy,

That's an excellent start! At a glance, your images look nice and clean and well calibrated. It bodes very well!

Can you tell us if you used a light pollution filter in the optical train? What software did you use to stack? Exposure times for each image and what sort of skies are you dealing with (e.g. Bortle scale)? I'm asking as it gives us an idea of what to you can reasonably expect.

The stars in image of the North American nebula are suffering from the Gibbs phenomenon (aka "panda eye" effect). This is most apparent when using "dumb" sharpening filters such as Unsharp Mask. If you used StarTools deconvolution module, the choosing a "Radius" parameter that is too high will start introducing these ringing artifacts. Not using a star mask will also cause ringing artifacts around overexposing stars. 

Cheers!

Hi thanks for taking the time to view and comment, very much appreciated, details as follows:-

I used a CLS filter on a IR modified Canon 600D on M31, M33 & North American Nebula. As for M45 is was taken on a unmodified Canon 6D mkii with no filters all attached to a Whitecat51 with Star Adventurer unguided tracking mount

NAN 21 x 30' subs iso 1600, 10 darks 30 bias, no flats due to newbie mistake,, forgot to take them. camera got wedged on scope. deleted a lot due to cloud and start trails

M31 76 x 90' subs iso 3200 37 darks 20 bias, no flats due to newbie mistake, moved camera position on scope

M33 100 x 90' subs iso3200, 40 darks, 60 bias, no flats due to, yep newbie mistake removed scope from camera

M45 139 x 30' subs iso2000  57 darks, 30 bias, 38 flats.

All stacked in DSS {Kappa sigma clipping if enough subs} 

I'm under bortle 4 mag 20.52 but light pollution dome from Merseyside to north & east. the subs & darks etc are a bit random but still learning.

Thanks again

11 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Fantastic images Andy. The only observation I would make would be that the background is a little too black. 

 

11 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

@Andy RI agree with the points made so far. You've made a great start.  It looks like you've gathered some really good data there. 

Personally, and this is a very subjective opinion, I feel the images are somewhat over saturated - too much colour in otherwords. I tend to prefer somewhat subtle colouring because I feel it looks more natural. On the other hand what's "natural"? We don't  see these celestial objects with the eyes like an astronomical imaging camera. But as I say, it's a matter of personal preference. 

I would suggest that since you've spent a lot of money on the hardware then it's a good idea to get some decent processing software designed specifically for astro images. I use PixInsight, and several other applications are available. They all involve a learning curve, but time spent can be very interesting and rewarding. Frustrating too at times. 🙂 You've got plenty of images there to learn to use such software. Plenty of advice on SGL, video and other tutorials on line. Good luck. 

 

10 hours ago, happy-kat said:

StarTools is a specially designed astro imaging tool and it's price is not a reflection of its quality, it shoots well above hence it is very good value. 

You do need to use the right stacking parameters so have a check against the getting started guide Ivo put on the StarTools website.

 

9 hours ago, bottletopburly said:

 Your images look like good data ,Once Ivo has your  imaging setup  he will soon have you on the right path as your in Norh Wales then I’m sure you have good skies , Startools is a very powerful program don’t be fooled by its ease  of use  as ever there is a learning curve 👍

 

7 hours ago, ebdons said:

Yep slightly oversaturated as has been said, and M45 is the best image you even caught the nebula on the lower right as well so that bodes well for your AP future. I would be pretty happy with M45 and using a DSLR. well done! Ton

Thank you all for your advice and heads up, very much appreciated and all taken onboard. I think ill stick with Startools for the time being and is certainly worth every penny. The laptop was financed by the new EQ mount fund. Its a very expensive hobby but worth it.

I have a half read copy of making every photon count but is currently missing in action somewhere, ill have to make more effort to find it.

Well im off for a tinker again

Andy

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Thanks for the details Andy!

Bortle 4 is definitely helping you here, allowing you to easily capture fainter objects (e.g. galaxies) and nebulosity. The CLS filter will skew colours a little, as it removes part of the spectrum. Yellows are usually impacted once the image is properly color balanced (usually yielding foreground starfields that have a distinct lack of yellow stars). It's not the end of the world, just something to be mindful of.

If you're using a 600D, ISO 800 seems to be recommended. For a 6D, it's 1600 or 3200 (source).

As far as ST goes, if you want to reduce the Saturation, in the Color module use the slider named... Saturation :)

If you'd like to switch color rendering from scientifically useful Color Constancy to something PI/PS/GIMP users are more used to (e.g. desaturated highlights), try the "Legacy" preset. Finally, a maintenance release update for 1.5 was released a couple of days ago with some bug fixes. Updating is highly recommended. And if you feel adventurous, you can also try the 1.6 alpha, which comes with an upgraded signal quality-aware multi-scale (wavelet) sharpener.

Clear skies!

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On 14 October 2019 at 09:01, happy-kat said:

StarTools is a specially designed astro imaging tool and it's price is not a reflection of its quality, it shoots well above hence it is very good value. 

You do need to use the right stacking parameters so have a check against the getting started guide Ivo put on the StarTools website.

Yes. I must learn to read posts thoroughly. When I replied I missed that @Andy R wrote he used StarTools. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't good software. 

Edited by Ouroboros
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2 hours ago, jager945 said:

Thanks for the details Andy!

Bortle 4 is definitely helping you here, allowing you to easily capture fainter objects (e.g. galaxies) and nebulosity. The CLS filter will skew colours a little, as it removes part of the spectrum. Yellows are usually impacted once the image is properly color balanced (usually yielding foreground starfields that have a distinct lack of yellow stars). It's not the end of the world, just something to be mindful of.

If you're using a 600D, ISO 800 seems to be recommended. For a 6D, it's 1600 or 3200 (source).

As far as ST goes, if you want to reduce the Saturation, in the Color module use the slider named... Saturation :)

If you'd like to switch color rendering from scientifically useful Color Constancy to something PI/PS/GIMP users are more used to (e.g. desaturated highlights), try the "Legacy" preset. Finally, a maintenance release update for 1.5 was released a couple of days ago with some bug fixes. Updating is highly recommended. And if you feel adventurous, you can also try the 1.6 alpha, which comes with an upgraded signal quality-aware multi-scale (wavelet) sharpener.

Clear skies!

Thanks for the advise and source link👍I’ve added it to my bookmarks. I will download the update and yes I am feeling adventurous. 

Clear skies all

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