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First Light - First mistakes


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This was my first attempt at anything remotely related to astronomy so it was educational :(

I'm using an NEQ6 Pro mount with an ABM SBS adaptor to hold a ST80 and QHY5 guidecam and next door will be a selection of lens, in this case it's the Canon 600mm f4L using a Canon 5D and a Canon 7d with the EOS CLS filter (I have a Canon 40D that will have its filters removed in a couple of weeks). If I'm going to make mistakes the mag of the 600mm will certainly highlight them for me :( A Samyang NC-10 netbook running CdC, EQMod, PHD and APT will eventually keep everything running sweetly when I iron out my errors. Everything was powered from a 12v 21aH SLA battery

The location with the mount looking due North, a couple of pictures taken during the set up

img_6097_frame.jpg

img_6095_frame.jpg

First attempt to align on the NCP seems to go very smoothly, I levelled the scope, set up the home position and then rotated the RA to set up the polar scope angle and Polaris was there waiting for me to nudge it into the correct position.

It kinda went down hill from there lol.

I dropped the guidecam on the ST80 but basically I couldn't see a star let alone focus on one, I tried ramping the gain and exposure up but I just got a black screen, the camera was working because taking it out of the eyepiece gave me a response on the screen (I need to work on this bit to sort it out) so I resorted back the ST80 and a 25mm eyepiece.

My knowledge of the sky is pretty non-existant so I picked an easy target to find first. Using EQMOD I slewed the mount around until Jupiter was bang in the centre of the camera live view at x10 magnfication and synced the mount to CdC for Jupiter. Then did a gradual slew to 103p Hartley 2 taking small steps in CdC so that I could stop the mount if I got into trouble. Once CdC told me I was on 103p I spend a good 30-60 minutes getting a sharpish focus on stars in the location and eventually grabbed 10 x 60 second exposures at 800iso on the Canon 7D with the CLS filter and 10 darks. After processing in DSS this is the full frame result

103p.jpg

Obviously my alignment sucks and the lack of a working guidecam just made it worse.

Practise makes perfect so they they say, so I selected M31 in CdC and slewed there in one move, very brave of me (chuckle) but I was chuffed it worked.

This is another 10 x 60 second exposures @ iso 1600 on the Canon 5D with 10 darks processed in DSS again, rather than the 7D which I had under the table shooting darks :(

10x60sec.jpg

Looks like there is a little fuzzy above M31 as well, assuming it is actually M31 and not 10s of light years away from it. With my driving it could be anywhere at the moment.

All in all 4 hours of education which would of been great expect for the 10-15mph wind that was blowing all evening.

sorry for waffling but can you tell I'm hooked lol

A final image that is well odd :p Canon 7D and EOS CLS filter and a whacking great wobbly line down it.

odd.jpg

Edited by Photosbykev
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That looks a lovely sight for viewing but somewhat exposed so I can imagine that breeze would be a problem. Whereabouts is it? - looks a bit like Cornwall.

Nice image of Hartley.

Regards

John

The breeze makes life interesting lol . This in on Anglesey in N. Wales, a place called Cemaes Bay

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