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M13 - My first imaged DSO

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After attempts to image M81, M82 and M67 last night only to find out my first polar alignment must have been a complete failure due to trailing. Tried again this evening and nearly gave up hope with the cloud but was able to polar align successfully at about 11pm.

This image is nothing to write home about but it is a landmark for me and something to build on.

SW EQM-35, SW Evostar 72D, Canon 600D

50 x 30s lights, 15 darks and 50 bias. No post process - need my bed!

M13.thumb.png.492a7ab7849e87f9506537c1b7cb7bb2.png

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PA seems pretty spot on in this one and the stars are lovely and round. Good effort! I'm on the learning curve too :)

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Hi Chris

This is amazing! this maybe a stupid question...I going to upgrade my scope from SW explorer 130P supa trak as I am finding it hard to get any decent pics. Did you connect your canon to the scope or is this from your camera ? 

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6 hours ago, Sterrenland said:

PA seems pretty spot on in this one and the stars are lovely and round. Good effort! I'm on the learning curve too :)

Thank you very much!

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5 hours ago, laks20 said:

Hi Chris

This is amazing! this maybe a stupid question...I going to upgrade my scope from SW explorer 130P supa trak as I am finding it hard to get any decent pics. Did you connect your canon to the scope or is this from your camera ? 

Thank you so much and there isn't such a thing as a stupid question, they are all valid to someone :)

I started less than a month ago with a Celestron 130 SLT (similar scope to yours) but soon realised that the astrophotography side interested me as much as viewing. I have taken some good solar system shots with the Celestron but following excellent advise on here I realised I needed completely different gear for DSOs.

In the last two weeks I have expended all my brownie points and put the following together: Sky-watcher EQM-35 Equitorial Mount, Sky-watcher Evostar 72ED Pro, Canon 600D, Peltier cooler. Some accessories such as auto focuser, dew band etc. The last three pieces of the jigsaw have yet to come. QHY5-II guide camera and field flattener are on route and I am on the look out for a guide scope. DSO's really do need different gear than lunar/planets.

As for your question, My Canon 600D is connected in prime focus to my refractor (no other lens than the objective one at the front of the scope). I would imagine your refractor may not focus with prime focus and you may need a 2x barlow unless you modify your scope.

Good luck and clear skies.

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Good start Chris, next step would be longer exposure times. Try 1 min and see how it goes with star shape.

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4 hours ago, MarkAR said:

Good start Chris, next step would be longer exposure times. Try 1 min and see how it goes with star shape.

Thank you very much Mark. I was a bit nervous about the previous night's issues and knew I had very limited time before the clouds were coming back. 

I think the next full clear night, I'll pick a target and spend an hour or so trying different sub lengths to see what I can get away with, trying 60s, 90s, 120s and 180s.

I have a used QHY5-II mono coming midweek and trying to find somewhere with a reasonably priced guide scope in stock (a mission in itself!) to partner it so hopefully will be plate solving by next weekend. 

I started some subs on the ring nebula after this and it was looking beautiful until the cloud came on the third sub. 

Totally hooked and must learn to try and limit launching Clear Outside to only once an hour! 😀

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Worth having a look on astroboot.co.uk 

As for Clear Outside, alternate with the Met Office. It's great when the disagree and then both change their minds to the opposite and still disagree.

  • Haha 1

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With cloud cover tonight I started trying to learn some Lightroom and PS. 

M13_PostLightroom.thumb.jpg.13d3f6435ca1348e00c57bde0897928a.jpg

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Chris, that’s a great start for your first astro pic, well done. Geof

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Great to see this progress Chris - well done!  Keep going and never give up!  There is a lot to learn (one of the things I love about this hobby is that there is always more to know) but I think astrophotography is enormously rewarding.

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On 18/05/2020 at 00:15, Chris Wright said:

With cloud cover tonight I started trying to learn some Lightroom and PS. 

M13_PostLightroom.thumb.jpg.13d3f6435ca1348e00c57bde0897928a.jpg

It's looking a lot better. Just need to do a tiny bit of stretching with curves in Photoshop to bring out the fainter stars. 

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8 minutes ago, Taman said:

It's looking a lot better. Just need to do a tiny bit of stretching with curves in Photoshop to bring out the fainter stars. 

Thank you. The post process is certainly a steeper learning curve than the capturing but I will try your advice, appreciate it! 

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Congrats.... that's about 2000% better than my first attempt! 👍

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