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Lancebloke

NGC224/M31/Andromeda Galaxy - First DSO Image.

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So, although I had some issues with my auto guiding (which I found out afterwards) I did manage to get 9x180s exposures and 5 darks of Andromeda and give both stacking (using DSS) and processing (using GIMP).

My first attempted DSO....NGC224-M31-Amdromeda.thumb.jpg.1252a20a5fa8b15608ff0882dd91c256.jpg

 

I am pretty sure that people could get far more information out of the TIFF file from the stack.

Hopefully I will get another clear night soon. I am in a heavily light polluted area so I do have a clip in filter on my DSLR which I think took a lot away.

More practise needed!

Lance

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On 02/02/2020 at 10:26, Lancebloke said:

So, although I had some issues with my auto guiding (which I found out afterwards) I did manage to get 9x180s exposures and 5 darks of Andromeda and give both stacking (using DSS) and processing (using GIMP).

My first attempted DSO....

 

I am pretty sure that people could get far more information out of the TIFF file from the stack.

Hopefully I will get another clear night soon. I am in a heavily light polluted area so I do have a clip in filter on my DSLR which I think took a lot away.

More practise needed!

Lance

Well it a good start! Looks well focussed and I cant see any guiding issues on that image. Maybe if you offer up some more info re your set-up though you might get more useful advice... Mount, scope/ camera, exposure details etc. 

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Hi Lance, That's a great first image and a lot better than my first. You mention processing and it is the hardest aspect of the final imaging process, but the good news is you can practice during daylight hours and on cloudy nights :) Carry on collecting your imaging whenever you can. There are lots of processing tutorial videos on youtube.

Steve

 

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Thanks both.

I am using an Orion ED80 Apochromatic Refractor which is an 80mm f/7.5 scope. Seemed like a good starter.

I bought it as a beginner bundle with a Sirius EQ-G mount, 50mm guide scope and StarShoot guide camera.

My imaging camera is a stock Canon 60D DSLR.

I use PHD2 to badly guide my scope (just getting used to that) and Astrophotography Tool for controlling the imaging. 

Post processing for this photo was in GIMP. I havent invested in anything else yet as not sure if I can do everything there or if something like Photoshop is better.

 

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Well done and welcome to the mysteries of AP!

I'd have a look at your colour balance. At present it's overly green, I think. I suspect that, in GIMP, you'll be able to see the histogram for each separate colour. For a rule of thumb try getting the top left hand side of the histogram peak to the same point in each channel. You do this by moving the black point slider on that channel's histogram slightly to the right.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Typo

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Hi Olly,

Thanks. I attempted to do that. My main problem, aside for inexperience, was that inised a light pollution filter which meant there was a lot less data in the red channel.

I would be interested what other people could do with the TIFF file from my stack as deep sky stacked had quite a good preview image after the stack that I cannot seem to recreate!

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Is the light pollution so bad that without a filter you can't use the exposure length you took?

If it isn't then try without the filter.

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48 minutes ago, Lancebloke said:

Thanks both.

I am using an Orion ED80 Apochromatic Refractor which is an 80mm f/7.5 scope. Seemed like a good starter.

I bought it as a beginner bundle with a Sirius EQ-G mount, 50mm guide scope and StarShoot guide camera.

My imaging camera is a stock Canon 60D DSLR.

I use PHD2 to badly guide my scope (just getting used to that) and Astrophotography Tool for controlling the imaging. 

Post processing for this photo was in GIMP. I havent invested in anything else yet as not sure if I can do everything there or if something like Photoshop is better.

 

Agreed, seems like a great  starter although F7.5 maybe a bit slow for some targets - I wonder what ISO you are using? With the filter I guess you may have to go a bit higher. Not sure about the 60D, but for Canon mostly folk use 800 or 1600. 

Maybe try without filter and see what happens. Also are you capturing in RAW rather than JPEG? 

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@happy-kat I am going to give it a go without a filter next time I get a clear night but it is not great. Below is 20s straight through my DSLR (ignore the tree branch) without that filter.

2086277875_OrionNebula.thumb.jpg.73739c8ffa8d4e78dead6e5e90fa686b.jpg

 

@Tommohawk I used ISO 800 for M31. I had lots of facepalm issues (cable snagged when tracking the sky, camera battery died quickly as it was very cold etc) that resulted in my planned 30 x 180s images turning in to 9.

I was going to attempt a bunch of shorter exposures for the core (maybe 30s) and then longer exposures (5 mins) for the rest next time I target Andromeda. 

No idea how to process that but thought it might help.

Lance

 

Edited by Lancebloke

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5 minutes ago, Lancebloke said:

camera battery died quickly as it was very cold etc) that resulted in my planned 30 x 180s images turning in to 9.

you probably know but there is a mains converter which works well. I bought a couple of spare batteries but it was still a nightmare until I switched to mains. 

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Yes, I had everything else on mains at the time... I just didnt think about the camera. One of many learnings!

I am trying to work out PHD2 at the moment for guiding. My graph was all over the place at some points but since I didnt stay with it all the time I dont know if all of the problems were self inflicted (e.g. cable snagging) or something else.

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Hi,

My general area is class 5 I think, however my back garden happens to back on to a building that had lots of safety lighting around it.

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I would ditch that LP filter. There might be good ones but in my experience they cause more problems than they solve if the LP is not worse than what you´ve got. Great start! :)

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26 minutes ago, Lancebloke said:

My general area is class 5 I think, however my back garden happens to back on to a building that had lots of safety lighting around it.

And there are staff working all night or is it that the site does not turn their lights off and does the Council not support dim or off over night lighting

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@happy-kat It is part of a hospital so they have to keep the lighting on all night which is unfortunate. 

@MartinFransson I am going to give the same target a go without the filter next time. Also going to wait for the moon phase to change as that isnt going to help over the next couple of weeks!

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Directional light heads spill less and focus light where it needs to be, let's hope with the drive for need to change things like unidirectional spill lighting gets phased out.

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3 minute guided exposures, that's quite something for a first astroimage!  Great first attempt at a deceptively tricky target.  Re LP filter.  Most were designed with sodium street lighting in mind and they are useless when confronted with LED lighting and the sort of stuff shown in your photo.  So I agree with the suggestion to stop using it.  

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On 07/02/2020 at 15:26, MartinB said:

3 minute guided exposures, that's quite something for a first astroimage!  Great first attempt at a deceptively tricky target.  Re LP filter.  Most were designed with sodium street lighting in mind and they are useless when confronted with LED lighting and the sort of stuff shown in your photo.  So I agree with the suggestion to stop using it.  

Thanks! :)

I will be giving it a go without as soon as the moon stops being so bright! I had a quick go of the Pleiades and Orion nebula earlier in the week and were just completely blown out!

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Ok... so here is my second attempt. 

 

2020-03-02_11-06-43.thumb.jpg.36d9fb7a27410b2af947283bf6a82cc3.jpg

46% waxing moon to the left didn't help anything but not sure how I ended up from quite a red picture (from general light pollution) to a very white one.

Not sure if that is because of the data quality captured or processing. Likely both since this is only the third image I have shot and processed. 

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That's a pretty strong image well done. Perhaps with careful use with masks you could reveal a bit more through the central body of the galaxy.

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