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Endolf

My first galaxy image

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Finally got a break in the weather, decided to try my luck at M81. For some reason the plate solving in Stellarmate didn't put my quite on target and my preview image shows M82 as well, so I left the framing as it was and took 30 120s subs. I could see as the images were coming in that the tracking wasn't quite right, autoguiding might be on my list of things to look at soon. The clouds came over, so I lost 2 of the subs and 1 of the others was not good. I quickly threw the stack together and ran it through GIMP. I really need to start taking flats, to get rid of the vignetting, but otherwise I'm pretty pleased for a first attempt and a really quick edit.

821576890_M_812020-03-1527x120LEQModMountCanonDSLREOS600D_stacked_cropped.thumb.png.597f358bc723959c100464fe5944eb5e.png

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not bad you just need some flats and it would be very good.

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Heh, well we were both looking at the same target at the same time, the problems... I had loads of problems (other than the fact I'm using an achromatic scope) - in the UK, at least, this target is very close to the zenith, which meant my filter wheel collided with the mount (something to remember in the future), this sent tracking / guiding haywire and took me a while to sort out, there were other issues too, which I won't go into (always learning).

1883475853_BodesandCigar2020-03-15-web.jpg.1c6989f373d51a213dfaf99297269da3.jpg

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Great framing and detail coming through. You’ve already identified the next steps to take.👍

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I've ordered an artists tracing LED pad from amazon, so I should be able to get some flats going forwards....

I've been looking at upgrading my scope too, and thinking about autoguiding, and a polemaster, and some light pollution options as I'm in a Bortle 6, and maybe a dedicated camera with better Ha and IR response, and APP or PixInsight. It's quite a list of things to improve 😆

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34 minutes ago, Endolf said:

I've ordered an artists tracing LED pad from amazon, so I should be able to get some flats going forwards....

I've been looking at upgrading my scope too, and thinking about autoguiding, and a polemaster, and some light pollution options as I'm in a Bortle 6, and maybe a dedicated camera with better Ha and IR response, and APP or PixInsight. It's quite a list of things to improve 😆

I use APP, can recommend it!

I use a LED pad too, when it arrived I found it was not really even field, so I also ordered some frosted perspex and taped it on infront.

LED pad: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YXNXV2N/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Perspex: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00WVF4HU6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The list is always endless, I have maybe 10-15 items in my wishlist, and not the money to buy it yet without going seriously and irresponsibly in debt.

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4 minutes ago, gilesco said:

I use APP, can recommend it!

I use a LED pad too, when it arrived I found it was not really even field, so I also ordered some frosted perspex and taped it on infront.

LED pad: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YXNXV2N/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Perspex: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00WVF4HU6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The list is always endless, I have maybe 10-15 items in my wishlist, and not the money to buy it yet without going seriously and irresponsibly in debt.

APP is on the list for me as I'm Linux based, it's also cheaper than PixInsight, I get the impression PixInsight can do more, if you spend the time to learn how to drive it. I've got too many hobbies.... 😀

The LED pad I've ordered does have the same title, but the image is the same, I suspected the light might not be even although I've not got a solution in mind, good call with the perspex.

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20 minutes ago, Endolf said:

APP is on the list for me as I'm Linux based

Snap!

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23 minutes ago, Endolf said:

although I've not got a solution in mind, good call with the perspex.

If you do go for the perspex, maybe get two, they are dirt cheap (you might pay more to get them delivered), and just reducing and randomly diffracting the light a bit more might make it even better. I do get good flats from this though, although I'm messing around with different gain settings so much at the moment that I didn't take flats/darks/bias frames last night (partly due to the frustration of the wheel hitting the mount, and other issues).

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6 hours ago, Endolf said:

 PixInsight.

Took a look at this as you mentioned it, cant find pricing information on the website, then on looking for it I seem to enter into having to agree to a no refund policy - dont think that is compatible with my nation's laws, would think about APP really- more in line and centric with EU/UK law, PixInsight seems a bit US like, buy it, get no help, useless.

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8 hours ago, gilesco said:

Took a look at this as you mentioned it, cant find pricing information on the website, then on looking for it I seem to enter into having to agree to a no refund policy - dont think that is compatible with my nation's laws, would think about APP really- more in line and centric with EU/UK law, PixInsight seems a bit US like, buy it, get no help, useless.

Some of the people I follow on youtube rave about it, it's the only reason I'd consider the price. I'm torn between the buy cheap, buy twice (not that APP is cheap), v.s. the buying something unknown (to me) that doesn't work on my OS (I'll dual boot if I have to).

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16 hours ago, gilesco said:

Heh, well we were both looking at the same target at the same time.

 

Makes three of us, this was taken on only my second night of taking images on my first driven mount. 30 lights, of 60's, flats darks bias, Sky Watcher 200P

Sorry I can't seem to post just a thumb nail, it's either the link or (above) or a full size image.

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1 hour ago, Endolf said:

Some of the people I follow on youtube rave about it, it's the only reason I'd consider the price. I'm torn between the buy cheap, buy twice (not that APP is cheap), v.s. the buying something unknown (to me) that doesn't work on my OS (I'll dual boot if I have to).

I just realised I had bought a book "The Deep Sky Imaging Primer" and it goes into PixInsight a lot. It seems to me that it differs from APP in that you make a lot of aesthetic decisions during processing. APP pretty much has a set workflow for your stack of pictures, you can fiddle with which algorithms and parameters for those algorithms to use, but a lot of the actual work is simply done by the maths, and the developer is really concentrating on making most decisions automatic.

Anyhow, both have free trials, APP tend to give out 15% vouchers if you find them at exhibitions etc... Obviously would highly recommend a try before you buy, because if anyone is expecting GIMP like tools when they purchase, or rent, APP then they will be dissapointed.

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Posted (edited)
On 16/03/2020 at 00:58, Endolf said:

 120s subs. I could see as the images were coming in that the tracking wasn't quite right, autoguiding might be on my list of things to look at soon.

I can only seem to get 60's, though the longer images I have done might also or be more mount or scope movement. The major problem I have is serious vignetting due to the full frame camera.

Edited by Nicola Hannah Butterfield
clarifaction

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Nicola Hannah Butterfield said:

I can only seem to get 60's, though the longer images I have done might also or be more mount or scope movement. The major problem I have is serious vignetting due to the full frame camera.

There's a good YouTube presentation out there, by the author of SharpCap, which goes in depth as to where long exposures are not necessarily the best way to go. And with increasing satellite trails a concern, 60s but many of them with low noise images seems to be a good option for Bortle 4+ skies.

If that is your second attempt then you must be a natural at this, please tell the rest of us that it wasn't plain sailing, excellent image imho - doesnt appear to have any aesthetic modification, yet intriguing detail.

Edited by gilesco
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Love it! awesome first go at a galaxy.

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1 hour ago, gilesco said:

There's a good YouTube presentation out there, by the author of SharpCap, which goes in depth as to where long exposures are not necessarily the best way to go. And with increasing satellite trails a concern, 60s but many of them with low noise images seems to be a good option for Bortle 4+ skies.

If that is your second attempt then you must be a natural at this, please tell the rest of us that it wasn't plain sailing, excellent image imho - doesnt appear to have any aesthetic modification, yet intriguing detail.

I understand the difference between the two, it's just about stacking time, the problem with more of shorter is longer processing times, a bit like push processing film.

I have practice technique from images on a static EQ5 mount, but they were only like 1/4's at best so wad only really any use on M42,  but on the new driven mount yes only the 2nd night of image's, the orion nebula is also on here and that was the very first driven image I took, though I think many of us do that one first.

The only real difficult thing apart from calibration frames, pain in the butt, is polar alignment, it's not difficult just difficult from my location as polaris is just above the roof top of the house, then learning new software and workflow,  but year I did the Horsehead, m51 and 81 in one evening, also had a stab at m13 but it clouded over and early on got a simple snap of Uranus, only second night outside with with the scope and camera first night getting used to the new mount.

I got the scope mid January and as I said practiced technique, I die get the andromada galaxy using it static, but it's difficult trying to keep it in frame and not nudge the scope with a standard eq5 mount.

 

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I managed to acquire another 3 hours on M81 on Sunday evening, I'm also giving Astro Pixel Processor a try. This is now 4 hours integrated time, now with flats, darks, darkflats and bias calibration frames.

There is still some noise in the image, but with an uncooled, unmodified DSLR with no filters in a bortle 6 sky, I'm not too upset with it :)

M81-RGB-session_1_session_2-lpc-cbg-cropped.thumb.png.a7ca62ebca98ded2faa2bdec6d25c9dd.png

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very nice shot indeed !!

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15 minutes ago, Endolf said:

I managed to acquire another 3 hours on M81 on Sunday evening, I'm also giving Astro Pixel Processor a try. This is now 4 hours integrated time, now with flats, darks, darkflats and bias calibration frames.

There is still some noise in the image, but with an uncooled, unmodified DSLR with no filters in a bortle 6 sky, I'm not too upset with it :)

M81-RGB-session_1_session_2-lpc-cbg-cropped.thumb.png.a7ca62ebca98ded2faa2bdec6d25c9dd.png

Very nice indeed. I have been trying the same target, also using APP for processing, with a touch of FITSwork and GIMP added. The thread is here:

The reason I get more of the H-alpha in M82 is simply that I am using an ASI183MC, so more like a modded DSLR

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Nice, I'll have to take a look at FITSwork.

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I'm feeling very jealous, as I spent two hours last night failing to even find M81 in the sky :embarrassed:

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