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Andromeda, How Can It Be Improved


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After getting a Pegasus Power Box, some dew heaters and a 12V Leisure Battery, I can now shoot all night without worrying about due or running out of camera battery power. Tried it out on Andromeda for 6 hours before it disappears into the west, and here's the end result.

43 x 500s exposures.

25 x 500s Darks

50 x Flats

50 x Bias

Equipment is a stock Canon EOS80D, Altair Astro EDF72, Skywatcher HEQ5, Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter, taken with APT and PHD guiding, stacked in DSS and edited in Photoshop.  Taken under Bortle 5 skies (Sky Mag 20) at about -2degC and 98% humidity. 

I'm very pleased with it as I think it's the first time (since re-starting this hobby in May) that I've got a set of Lights which are not compromised in some way (eg full moon, dew on the lens, dodgy star shapes etc).  However, all the experts on here can probably see lots of problems with what I've done or not done, so feedback welcome, as it's the only way to progress. Also interested to know if there would be any benefit in gathering even more hours exposure to add into the image - I plan to keep the raw files.  

Andromeda.jpg

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Very nice image.

I cannot wait to get my EDF72.

I can't really answer your question, but I did image 8hrs on this target a few years back.

My processing skills at the time were awful so I posted the stacked image for others to try, I'm happy to post it up if you want to see what can be got with 8hrs and good processing.

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I can't claim to be an expert in any way but it looks good to me.  A really nice image.  

When zooming in it looks like you have a hint of DSLR walking noise.  If you didn't do so, I would recommend that you consider dithering as it a god send, particularly when using a DSRL.  

That said, it doesn't remove anything from this image and you should be pleased.    

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Snoani said:

I can't claim to be an expert in any way but it looks good to me.  A really nice image.  

When zooming in it looks like you have a hint of DSLR walking noise.  If you didn't do so, I would recommend that you consider dithering as it a god send, particularly when using a DSRL.  

That said, it doesn't remove anything from this image and you should be pleased.    

I did use dithering, but just the default levels from APT. Maybe I could look at something more aggressive.  Update -  Just checked the APT settings, and the default dither level is very small, so I obviously didn't dither enough (though my wife would probably say otherwise!!) 

Edited by Somerled7
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1 hour ago, Somerled7 said:

I did use dithering

Hi

Lovely image.

As you dithered, how about trying without the dark frames? We find they introduce more noise.

Cheers.

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I also love the image. Alot of good detail!

I am definately no expert, and your Andromeda looks better than mine, but if I got paid to find "problems" I would say:

1. I think i see 3 spots of sensor-dust (?), middle just above Andromeda, over the top right corner of Andromeda, and in the middle in the very bottom. 
2. This is only a subjective opinion, but i think it looks a bit flat color-wise. I also think there is a yellow-ish tone over the whole image - like if the white balance is too warm. 

 

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2 hours ago, masjstovel said:

2. This is only a subjective opinion, but i think it looks a bit flat color-wise. I also think there is a yellow-ish tone over the whole image - like if the white balance is too warm.

Yes agree -  usually a little more magenta/blue showing.

But it's a lovely image! 

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6 hours ago, masjstovel said:

I also love the image. Alot of good detail!

I am definately no expert, and your Andromeda looks better than mine, but if I got paid to find "problems" I would say:

1. I think i see 3 spots of sensor-dust (?), middle just above Andromeda, over the top right corner of Andromeda, and in the middle in the very bottom. 
2. This is only a subjective opinion, but i think it looks a bit flat color-wise. I also think there is a yellow-ish tone over the whole image - like if the white balance is too warm. 

 

Thanks for the feedback - you have looked closely! Immediately after posting the image, I spotted the sensor spot directly above the galaxy, but I didn't see the other two. Easy to correct using the Photoshop healing brush, then bring the stars back - we don't want an interstellar incident by destroying someone's star! Point taken on the blues, which I had also noticed when compared to other people's images. I don't think I've got enough detail in the outer reaches to capture much of the blue, though I could adjust the colour balance slightly.

Edited by Somerled7
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