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Finally getting the hang of this, I think.


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After a newbie season last year getting to grips with setting up everything I needed and building some knowledge of how to use it.

I started this season shortly before a pre-star camp weekend at Galloway mostly for a catch up with an old friend but having forgotten most of what I learnt last year and not much chance to practice before hand, I wasted most of the good breaks in cloud last Saturday trying to figure out what gain and exposure settings I should be using again.

Last night was as perfect as it could get post about 8pm through till sunrise and having since figured out the reason I wasn't getting any worthwhile data was a very low offset setting, I spent the bulk of an all nighter trying out various gain/exposure/offset settings on Triangulum Galaxy which has led to about 4 hours of random data I might be able to pull something out of once I've got darks and flats for all the different files, but it might be more effort than it's worth.

I did then as the sun was starting to break the dark, notice Orion was coming out behind the trees, reasonably high, so rather than packing up I thought I'd get a comparison on my 'first DSO' image posted last year.  A little under an hour later with the skies brightening up I had a good looking live stack with raw files saved.  What's baffled me now, probably due to lack of sleep, is now that I open the stacked file it's only 8 bit. I'm sure I was processing a 32 bit after packing up, but now I only seem to have the 8 bit one.  Anyway I think it's a good improvement on last years M42 and a vast improvement on the low offset value data I've been struggling with since then.

Here's looking forward to some decent images moving forward and a look at the 'not as good as it looked last night' M42 ... Processing is minimal, but having lost the 32 bit version I was never getting it back to the way it looked last night 🙁 



First DSO image from last year for comparison, processed by Stu and only about 15 mins data, but at least I'm back on track and as I said it looked much better in the 32 bit version.



Ahh I think I've sussed it, it's the stacked file it saved as 8 bit, the raw files I've managed to restack in 32 bit, now I need to work on my processing skills so I can get it looking like it did last night 🙂

Edited by LandyJon
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As a newbie to astronomy (I got my scope this summer) I've been struggling to learn the ropes, but last night I saw M42 for the first time (my first nebula). It was a bit of a 'wow' moment for me!

The images look great. Much more detail than I was seeing but I could still observe the general structure. I have an adaptor for my Cannon 1100D coming for Christmas so maybe next year I'll have some images too.

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Welcome Peter, I'm still well entrenched in the newbie category, its a steep learning curve but its long too !

I've just about got to grips with capturing, since forgetting everything I learnt as a kid with a Practika SLR. Think I'm back on track now to start fine tuning those settings and get beyond basic levels and curves adjustments in post processing to bring out the colours where they should be without losing the fine detail.  Need a degree in photoshop !

Have fun, I tried to use my old Nikon 1J5 but no viable remote trigger so I just bit the bullet and found a 2nd hand ASI183MCpro on here.  Was a leap in to the deep end with a long focal length SCT but I'm getting there.

Look forward to your first images.

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Well after a fair bit of head scratching I've realised my debayer matrix was out, due to flipping the image on both axis' during capture to get the right orientation.  This had the consequence of flipping the RGGB to a BGGR which now applied in DSS has resulted in a much better starting image that I don't have to skew the colours to the extreme ... 


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