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M101 Pinwheel vs ASI224MC


PadrePeace

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Though M101 is a relatively large target it is quite dim and this required a significant effort to get detail into its core. I took 31hrs of 30sec exposures which I then thinned down to the best 18hrs of data. Processed in APP and PS it was tricky keeping the core detail that I had imaged from blowing out.
Lots of advice and lots of very small curves stretches was the key in the end. Hardly sharpened it much with noise reduction undertaken as and when noise just stared to appear during stretching.
As the sensor is biased towards red, colour balancing with green and more so with blue was also necessary.  
Taken at Gain 200 with a UV IR cut ASI224MC uncooled camera, APM107/700 scope on an AZEQ6. 

It’s a good little sensor if you have the conditions (cold nights) and use Flats, Flat Darks and take Darks every night as the sensor temperature varies being uncooled. For info, I found it ran at about 6 degs above ambient once it was steadily running subs off. 

Hope you like it. 
 

 

2ABEA6DD-118A-4032-9865-40BE10A00C6B.jpeg

Edited by PadrePeace
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Great image @PadrePeace  Dedication getting so many subs, but even more impressed with how many you threw away - I was having a twitch or two just reading that!  

It's unusual to see a scope and mount like you've listed being used with an uncooled 224MC - you've done a brilliant job.  Fantastic detail and colour and I really like that close in FOV.

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Fantastic, I always think this is an easy target until I look at my results the morning afterward. I would honestly be interested if you could put together a decent image just from the 13 hours thrown away!

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37 minutes ago, PadrePeace said:

For info, I found it ran at about 6 degs above ambient once it was steadily running subs off. 

This is a very good image!

I wonder what the lowest temperature is that this camera will work in? I live in Canada with cold temps and just bought this camera for lunar/planetary. It would be nice to be able to play around on some bright DSO without spending many thousands.

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43 minutes ago, jetstream said:

This is a very good image!

I wonder what the lowest temperature is that this camera will work in? I live in Canada with cold temps and just bought this camera for lunar/planetary. It would be nice to be able to play around on some bright DSO without spending many thousands.

The issue will be the humidity as the sensor cell is not sealed. If you are in very dry cold air I’d guess you’d be okay. Mine ran at 75% humidity at -2C with the dew point at -3c and it coped fine. Camera temp was approx +4.5C when running constantly. You may get an issue if you stop shooting for more than a couple of mins as the camera cools really quickly when not active and that may cause fogging. Go head and give it a go and 
good luck.

Edited by PadrePeace
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1 minute ago, PadrePeace said:

The issue will be the humidity as the sensor cell is not sealed. If you are in very dry cold air I’d guess you’d be okay. Mine ran at 75% humidity at -2C with the dew point at -3c and it coped fine. Camera temp was approx +4.5C when running constantly. You may get an issue if you stop shorting for more than a couple of mins as the camera cools really quickly when not active and that may cause fogging. Go head and give it a go and 
good luck.

Thanks I will next winter. I get very cold here and with low humidity at times but I can see that temp difference in the camera itself causing issues maybe. Only one way to find out!

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10 minutes ago, jetstream said:

Thanks I will next winter. I get very cold here and with low humidity at times but I can see that temp difference in the camera itself causing issues maybe. Only one way to find out!

I’d think if it’s not too cold to guide it’s not too cold to use this as a primary imaging camera. Stop before your hands stick to the scope!!!😄

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9 minutes ago, PadrePeace said:

I’d think if it’s not too cold to guide it’s not too cold to use this as a primary imaging camera. Stop before your hands stick to the scope!!!😄

lol!

I do have a big problem- the AZEQ6 cables are very brittle and fragile in sub -20c. I should change the grease too but it does still work. Its the cables holding me back- I need soft silicone rubber cables and ends... and dont know where to get them here.

Ive never imaged before but am gonna give it a whirl.

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A fantastic image Chris lots of dedication to the capture and perseverance with the processing. I love the detail that you have captured. This is not an easy target and you made it work with a uncooled camera. Congratulations. 

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Kind of you to say and thanks for the help and motivation to press on to 3000 subs. That allowed me to be so clinical with the cut. Shame they weren’t all top quality or this could have been very interesting. 

Just starting on NGC4565 tonight with the same rig. With the dark window closing through May I guess this may be a lesser project from an integration perspective. Nothing to loose though.

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4 hours ago, PadrePeace said:

Kind of you to say and thanks for the help and motivation to press on to 3000 subs. That allowed me to be so clinical with the cut. Shame they weren’t all top quality or this could have been very interesting. 

Just starting on NGC4565 tonight with the same rig. With the dark window closing through May I guess this may be a lesser project from an integration perspective. Nothing to loose though.

Yeah but those moon effected ones had to go. 

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On 01/05/2021 at 13:31, geeklee said:

Great image @PadrePeace  Dedication getting so many subs, but even more impressed with how many you threw away - I was having a twitch or two just reading that!  

It's unusual to see a scope and mount like you've listed being used with an uncooled 224MC - you've done a brilliant job.  Fantastic detail and colour and I really like that close in FOV.

Appreciate you kind comments geeklee. It started as a trial of the art of the possible really. I do have other ‘more conventional’ mono and OSC cameras for a rig like this but wanted to push the 224 to see what it could deliver with a near perfectly matched pixel scale rig. 

Edited by PadrePeace
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On 01/05/2021 at 13:36, CloudMagnet said:

Fantastic, I always think this is an easy target until I look at my results the morning afterward. I would honestly be interested if you could put together a decent image just from the 13 hours thrown away!

Sorry for the delayed response. To be honest I started this during an unfavourable moon phase having had virtually no good nights for weeks. The initial data looked ok as I’m fortunately in a Bortle 4 zone so I often push things a bit. However, it was obvious in later sessions without any moon impact  that better data was obtainable. 
That said, I stacked it all in APP to see what could be produced and then canned all of the moon impacted lower SNR stuff and those with the occasional guiding issue.
Bad subs only take your image quality one way and this target was tricky enough on a good night.

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