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Done it!!!! M42 - first attempt


rocketandroll
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Hi all

I should probably wait till I have a proper play with this in PS, but just had tio post because I'm SO chuffed!!

Finally, after two weeks of waiting, had a clear night tonight, headed out and after an hour of messing about finally got the scope tracking M42... this was with fairly poor polar alignment, imaging above a sodium floodlight, no guiding, focused by eye through the camera viewfinder and max 30 sec subs... about 6 mins or so of data in total.

I'll have to sort through it all in the morning to give exact details but this was about 40 subs between 10sec and 30 sec at ISO 400 and 800 through my Meade 127mm Triplet Apo on a Heq5 Pro.

Not done much but stack it in DSS and tweak for 30 secs in PS, will work properly on it tomorrow... but I am just so happy to have got an image!!!

Ben

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Great first image :(

Detail looks good, was it imaged under tonights moon? :)

Yep, this was shot about an hour and a half ago... almost full moon, plus two dirty great floodlights almost directly below Orion.

No filters.

I'm as shocked as you :-)

Ben

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Glad you got the tracking sorted. Was I right in that you have to do an alignment first?

That a good result for a first attempt.

Hope you don't mind but I had a fiddle with your image. Toned down the red a little by balancing the colours, a couple of levels and curves adjustment and a high pass filter to sharpen things up a bit.

Steve

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Cheers Steve

That looks a bit better colour-wise :-)

It's a bit fuzzy and a bit grainy... will see if I can have another go tomorrow with a mask to get the focus dead on.

You were right it wasn't tracking when I called... I just went through the settings and theres a menu for it where you can set it to Lunar, solar etc... just set it to the standard setting and hit 'enter' and the noise changed... from then on it seemed fine :-)

Doing the align probably has the same effect.

Thanks for the help :-)

Ben

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Hi all

Thanks for the kind words :-)

Ok, been playing with this for a while now... added about another 5mins of data (ooooh!) to it Saturday night and have re-tweaked it in PS for a while longer to get a bit more subtle colour and drag a bit more out of the feinter edges.

Yes, the stars are like beach balls and it's not in perfect focus but... I'm fairly happy with this for a first astrophoto for now :-)

Thoughts on how to improve it further or get better data next time gratefully recieved!

Ben

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Hi Ben,

Again congratulations on a great start!! :hello2:

I personlay thought the colour balance was maybe a little off, so I hope you don't mind I had a little play with yours.

BUT I believe the point in astrophotography is to put your own twist on things so don't take my rendition as they way it is suppose to be or anything. If everybodys was the same it would get pritty boaring pritty quickly.

Anyway all I did here realy was play with the individual colours, in curves, hue/saturaition and colour balance.

Tips for next time you probably already know....gather as much data as you can and I would recomend taking some darks and flats too.

Let me know what you think.

Michael

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Cheers Michael for the tweak... thats quite nice, a bit more subtle than mine :-)

I did take a few darks, but probably not enough.

If it's clear tonight I'm gonna have another stab at it.

Thanks again all for the kind words... I think it's a real testament to the advice on the forums here that there seem to have been a whole load of great 'first' DSO images by people on here this last week.

Ben

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