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My first M42...


AndyUK
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Having watched Orion over the past few months, it's been very frustrating that in the Autumn M42 didn't clear the house (after which when it did, it then entered "The Streetlight Zone" :)), we then had the 8-10 week "cloud time" (:() and since then although it's been above the house at dusk, by the time I've set up, those streetlights come into play again.

Fortunately I managed to slope off a bit earlier yesterday and had set up by 7pm, so I thought I'd see what I could get before moving on to the main target...

Now I would normally have probably posted this in the "help" section, especially as this is my first crack at a composite... but it doesn't seem to have come out too badly at all :p.

My three regrets are:

a) I didn't give the Equinox 80 its first light (it would have been a far better FOV!)

;) I could have got the framing better and

c) that I didn't take shorter subs of the trapezium (or a 3rd set of subs to blend into the second). Still, hopefully I might get another opportunity before it disappears...

MN190 guided, 40D - Main image: 11 x 600s, 20 darks, 20 flats, 20 flat darks. Inner area: 20 x 30s, 30 darks, 20 flats, 20 flat darks

post-18819-133877540786_thumb.jpg

Edited by AndyUK
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I have the same problem with Orion being in the streetlight zone or behind the houses altogether zone.:)

Brilliant first Andy.You're being way to hard on yourself.

If that were my first Orion i wouldnt be able to get my head out the door.:p

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Cheers MJ / Adz... Yes, it is the MN190 Astrograph - It's a bit of beast, but I think I'm beginning to get grips with it now (although my setup time is, erm, astronomical :)). It's a beautiful OTA, but it seems to be a bit high maintenance at times in that sometimes it needs the hairdryer on the corrector plate every so often (despite having a dewshield and a dew strip)...

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thats a lovely image! I really like the details in the nebula, very cool!

Street lamps and buildings are a big problem for me to, infact I have never seen the orion nebula it never rises above my house...gutted lol Though it seems like despite the street lights you certainly beat them very well this time :-)

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Street lamps and buildings are a big problem for me to, infact I have never seen the orion nebula it never rises above my house
LunarLight - You have my sympathy... I'd even considered setting up in the front garden to get around that particular problem, but then I'd need an air rifle... not to protect myself, but to take out the street light out the front :):p.

The next time I drive up the M5 though, I'm going to take a slight detour around Cheltenham and pick up a 96Ah battery. I should then be able to get a whole night out at a dark site I located a while back - The farmer's even said he'll bring me out a coffee on a cold night as long as he can look through the scope ocassionally :(...

Thanks Digz - I was scratching my head when putting the composite together, but the join seems to be reasonably well hidden. I had no idea how bright it was in the trap - 30s seemed reasonable at the time, but I reckon I may be looking at 5s or less perhaps, which, if that IS the case, would take less than 5 mins to get a set of 20. I see you're from Bistol so you're probably looking at the same sky I am - I'm not sure if those high broken clouds are going to go, but hopefully I'll get the chance to get them over the next week or so...

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Hey Andy,

Didnt notice that your from Bath. Yeah I hope the clouds go soon! Although its been bitterly cold today!

BTW I think that what you have composited on above is done really well. Are you using Photoshop? I find the best way to make composites is to use the layer mask tool. That way a brush can be used to paint out or paint in areas. Please let me know if Im teaching you to suck eggs, or want any more info. Like you I thought 30s was right but like you say I reckon 5s is what is needed.

I hoping to add the running man to my M42, and Im debating whether DSS can handle to frames or whether Ill need to merge them in PS.

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Yes... It was pretty damn cold last night too - I was taking the kit down at 4am and put one of the weights briefly on the garden table... When I went to pick it up a minute later, it was stuck!

I'm using CS5, and did indeed use a layer mask (although didn't really know what the hell I was doing - I was just following the instructions! (Digital Processing Techniques))

I haven't got to thinking about DSO mosaics yet, so I'm afraid you're way ahead of me there (sorry!) - It was only this morning that I learnt you could merge/align/move images in PS...

I doubt I'll get the chance to try and capture "him" this season though as every week brings Orion closer and closer to "the streetlight zone" earlier and earlier, and with the clocks going forward in c. 3 weeks, I think Orion will be out for me for the next few months (unless I can get that battery :)!)

(Fingers crossed for tonight...)

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Thanks John,

I'm loving my MN190 (although it's true what everyone says about that corrector plate - It truly is a dew magnet!) and I learnt a great deal from the guys and girls who helped me out with my M51 image last week :)

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Thanks Phil, but it needn't take that long...

I started DSLR imaging last May, but I'll admit I've made more than a few mistakes and spent helluva lot since then (but don't tell the wife!). And as I've only learnt very recently (well, over the last week really), there's no point in being able to capture the data if you can't then process it... and the people on SGL (well, astronomers on the whole) are extremely generous passing on their skills and ideas... :)

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there's no point in being able to capture the data if you can't then process it... and the people on SGL (well, astronomers on the whole) are extremely generous passing on their skills and ideas... :)

Ill second that!!

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After an idea Peter suggested, I've run the gauntlet of "compositing" again to add a little detail into the trapezium (he suggested I might be able to use a short stack of the 30s exposures and very lightly process it for the trap area)... So here's a slight rework (and a slight crop) - I'd be interested in your thoughts (is this is any better? I don't mind you being honest!)

post-18819-133877540865_thumb.jpg

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Hi Andy, very impressive mate...

I've aonly used my MN190 2 times since I bought it new 4 months ago … I had to collimate it out of the box but as yet haven’t imaged through it as my mount won’t work with it in the obs due to its enormity.. can ask and I know you won’t be offended but what do you think cause some of the rugby ball shaped stars? Collimation or guiding? Due to the very short subs I’d say collimation? What are you using to set the scope up?

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Great pictures and I fully understand the "waiting for things to come clear the house" problem! I tell myself I can always just bring my telescope on the other side of the house but then I'd have a pesky streetlight to worry about!

Isabelle

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I tell myself I can always just bring my telescope on the other side of the house but then I'd have a pesky streetlight to worry about!

Thanks Isabelle... and Ditto. In the UK, apparently there are some areas that switch off the streetlights between 1am and 5am to be more eco-friendly and also save costs... but sadly not my area...

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