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M101...Just!


msinclairinork
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Another one of those nights that I was just plaugued with problems!...I wont bore you with all the details, most the errors were my own fault or lack of experiance...but I feel any night out is never wasted, as I always learn somthing for my mistakes.

So after spending 4hrs tinkering! and 1.5hrs on NOTHING! lol....Was aiming for IC405 but not knowing what I was looking for I was battering away at just a lovley field of stars! :( Well again lesson learnt.

So out of a pritty clear night and about 8hrs messing about I manged just...

Equipment; see 'sig'

5 x 5min subs @ ISO800

5 x Darks

15 x Flats (first time using flats; pritty happy with them)

Well at least I got a result in the end, not extatic about this one as I wish I had started it earlier and got the S/N balanced out and more detail...but it will still be their for the next time i'm out, and as said I learnt some lessons and bagged my first galaxy :)

Thanks for reading,

Michael

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Edited by msinclairinork
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I'm not sure how you're doing your initial alignments but I've found that using the camera to set the alignment points in EQMOD really helps with goto accuracy, this relies on your camera capture software having crosshairs of course.

This'll certainly help with getting faint targets where you want them, even if you can't see them in your short exposures.

Here's my setup procedure.

1) Setup and level the mount, levelling isn't essential but I find it makes polar alignment faster as the pole star is likely to be in the polarscope FOV.

2) Mount the 'scope add camera(s), guider etc and balance.

3) I open polarfinder to see where the pole star should be and polar align the mount.

4) Start the capture software, planetarium and EQMOD.

5) Goto the first alignment star, and centre it in the finderscope.

6) Turn on the crosshairs in the capture program, take a 2 or 3 second exposure, use a joypad to move the mount, retake image and repeat until the alignment star is dead centre at 100% image size.

7) Repeat for the number of alignment points you need and you should find your goto accuracy is pretty good.

I just can't centre a star in an eyepiece as accurately as my camera can :)

Nice M101 by the way :(

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Many thanks for the comments folks. :(

I know I am not alone when it comes to those nights, I try and take as positive an out look on it as I can. All a learning experiance.

Starflyer: Thanks for that. Thats how I would 'like' it to go down! lol however my process usualy involves many more steps and repeat! :D The main problem with miss-alignment for me last night was my telrad was WAY off and aligning it to the camera at night is near impossible. When It is aligned on a very distant object during the day it works a treat...next time :)

Thanks again,

Michael

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if it makes you feel any better i only manage to get a little tweak each time I get setup...which is probably only 20nigts a year! But slowly you fettle your process down and will start spending more time playing with the output than you spent gathering the photons!

I'm looking forward to your next one already!

BTW, does this mean you're on solid ground for a bit now?

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if it makes you feel any better i only manage to get a little tweak each time I get setup...which is probably only 20nigts a year! But slowly you fettle your process down and will start spending more time playing with the output than you spent gathering the photons!

I'm looking forward to your next one already!

BTW, does this mean you're on solid ground for a bit now?

Haha yea I here you Mike, I have my pier getting welded up so should have somthing more permenant soon, not an obsy but somthing to speed up the process and hopfully be more stable. So looking forward to that!

My month on dry land is drawing to an end already! Back to the grind this Friday :) Well got to pay for all this equipment some how I suppose :(

Cheers,

Michael

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Yes Michael,well done.

I made myself a pier with an adaptor on the mount so that i can remove and replace the mount in exactly the same position each time.

Setup time is now minutes,its the best thing i ever did as far as my astro stuff is concerned........plonk it on and go.:o

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