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AP Images Taken with Original NexStar

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#876 hopskipson

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:36 PM

Number 2

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#877 Maverick199

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:45 AM

That's an excellent effort Joe, considering this is your first time. Btw to answer your question about 'topic', as long as you are using Nexstar equipment, it counts. Shows the versatility of this fine instrument.

Nice James, quite sharp. The Neximage does really well on the Moon doesn't it? You should try a mosaic next time, though painful and time consuming, well worth in the end. I tried once but just didn't have the patience to complete.

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#878 hdt

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

My first attempt (sort of). Target is (was) the double cluster in Perseus (Caldwell 14). Nexstar 8SE; initial alignment to Polaris, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran; then, removed diagonal/eyepiece/visual back, and screwed in a f6.3 reducer/T-adaptor/T-ring to a Canon 1100D (unmodified). Focused with a homemade mask and liveview on Betelgeuse; then, slewed to Jupiter to verify alignment. Then, went to Caldwell 14. Took 40 shots at ISO 400, 30 seconds each; 10 dark frames; no flat frames; no bias. Processed in Deep Sky Stacker 3.3 beta for stacking; minimal adjustment of RGBK in DSS; exported to 16bit TIF for PS/Elements; minimal adjustment of contrast in PS/Elements; finally converted to JPEG with IrfanView. I'm not at all unhappy with this for a first attempt!

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#879 Maverick199

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

Nice round stars, excellent effort. :like:

#880 Peter9

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:04 PM

Great effort hdt. Thats a really nice capture.

Open clusters are amongst my favorite target.

Thanks for posting.

Regards. Peter.

#881 hopskipson

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:20 PM

I went out early and captured Jupiter on Saturday evening took a nap and went for Saturn around 2 a.m. The seeing was ok in the evening and must have taken a downturn while I slept. I know the Saturn (my first attempt)is rough but I figured I'd post it anyway.

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#882 hopskipson

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:21 PM

And now Saturn

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#883 hdt

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:23 PM

Nice Jupiter, James! Your Saturn is respectable.

You've given me the courage to post my second attempt (technically, it's the third--on the second attempt, I missed the target :-) at AP. Here's M51--took flat frames, but I think they over-corrected, because I unmounted the camera and remounted after taking the flats. Then, aligned the scope; moved to M51; did a 'precise goto'; took out the diagonal/ep, and put in FR/camera (Canon T3/1100D); used Alkaid as both the precise goto star and focusing aid.

10 dark frames midpoint. A total of 150 light frames at 30 seconds, ISO1600--but clouds moved in while I wasn't looking. DSS used 61 frames (I manually threw out 30 frames too).

Photoshop Elements to crop & enhance GB; reduce R. I can't figure out (yet) how to add a grey gradient to the picture (darken the top, because I think my flat frames were overly vignetted).

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#884 Maverick199

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:24 AM

Both are very good images James. On Saturn how many images did you stack? While the Planet has come out nicely, some more data would have made it stunning. :D

#885 Maverick199

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:25 AM

Commendable effort Hdt. Tracking seems to go very well.

#886 Tel

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:35 AM

Absolutely, hdt ! :bow: :bow: I trust you saw the comment I left for you, with regard to this image of M51, over on the "Nexstar Graduates, Images and Discussions" thread ?

Also, James, a great attempt at Saturn with a sizeable image. :bow::bow: How large though was the stack ? Did you stack and process in Registax 6 ?

Forgive me but I couldn't resist a further look at it in P/Shop. I think I eliminated some of the unfortunately associated "noise" but with, naturally, some loss of sharpness. (I may however have gained a little by reducing the frame size). That's what makes me think that perhaps your stack number was limited and thus the noise to signal ratio was high ? :idea:

Overall though, I firmly think you're not far off attaining the full potential your camera has to offer. :waytogo:

Saturn and its rings are not easy targets !

Best regards,
Tel

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#887 hopskipson

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:19 AM

Thanks Tel. The original image was 640x480 I cropped it to make it look larger. I think the original stack was around 450 frames. Seeing was okay when I imaged jupiter but got worse by the morning.
I upgraded my camera to a zwo as210mc and this was its first light. I hope I get better at this. Thanks for tweaking the image.

#888 Joe Turner

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:54 PM

Only been imaging since January. I think I am getting pretty good at capturing DSO data with basic 8SE but I am having a terrible time with processing. I decided to try for multiple night effort to collect lots of data on M81. I was very excited to see my result straight out of DSS, I could see a dark lane and even details in the outer spiral arms. However, every time I tried stretching or other processing, it actually seemed to get worse. I was hoping to not have to buy expensive software like ImagesPlus or others.
Anyway here is my result pretty much straight out of DSS other than cropping...total of 312 frames of 25 sec each (over 2 hours of data) @ISO 1600 prime focus 8SE using Canon 1D MarkIV DSLR:

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#889 Joe Turner

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:56 PM

And here is after trying to process, although brighter, I seem to lose a lot of the detail...

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#890 Skip

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

Joe,

Actually after the stretch, I see a great improvement. I do see a little noise creeping in. I believe the correction for that is more frames to stack and adding some darks. Or, from what I read from the "pros" maybe cut down on the ISO a bit. But all in all, I like it!

#891 Joe Turner

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:28 PM

Thanks, sorry I forgot to mention there were total of 80 darks, 20 flats, 20 dark flats and 20 bias frames as well.

#892 hopskipson

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:04 PM

Nice image Joe :bow:! I wish mine looked like that after 3 months and on the original shaky SE mount! I moved up to the CGEM but the time it takes to set up and knock down make it more like work :lol:.

#893 hdt

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:10 PM

Joe, absolutely outstanding!

Here's my shot at M42. No darks or flats (well, I reused darks from another night; no flats). Taken during our club's recent Messier event, which was pretty much clouded out. 24 shots on ISO1600/30 seconds; only 3 were stackable(!). But M42 is such a bright target--in retrospect, I would probably have been better off with 5 or 6 second exposures. Minimal processing in DSS; then, just RGB level adjustments in Photoshop Elements before export to jpg format. The photo has been lightly cropped. This time, I did not use the f/6.3 reducer.

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#894 Tel

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:44 AM

Late to the party, Joe and htd, but congratulations on making some great inroads into astro-imaging ! :bow: :bow:

Your second image of M81, Joe, has indeed brought those more tenuous outer edges of the galaxy to prominence ! :bow::bow:

And, despite your self criticism of the technique you used in this case, htd, you've certainly managed to keep the "Trapezium" intact with no overexposure. :bow::bow:

Put them back on the "drawing board", though. You'll see: if you just "mess" a little further with what you both have here, you'll bring out even greater detail in both images ! :waytogo:

Best regards to you both,
Tel

#895 Tel

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:45 AM

How does this version based on your second image stack up, Joe ?

Best regards,
Tel

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#896 Joe Turner

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:11 PM

Thanks to everyone...Tel's re-work motivated me to keep at it but I wanted to save some of the central dust lane detail. Not to beat it to death but here is my last post on this photo. My next task is trying to mosaic together photos I took of the M81/82 pair with this M81 data and more shots I took of M82!

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#897 Tel

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:43 AM

Hi Joe,

Looking good ! :bow::bow: and thank you ! I'm glad to have provided a little motivation for you to push that "data full" image a little further ! :bow::bow:

As to final presentation; (irrespective of subject matter), this is, of course as it should be, entirely the choice of the originator.

For my part in presenting your M81, (above) I did as I usually do from pure interest in the original, and that was to seek a universally accepted visual representation of this particular celestial object and then attempt to copy it from the data available in your image ! :idea:

In this instance I used the image of M81 as displayed by Wikipedia ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#898 Maverick199

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:24 AM

Very good M 81 and I like both the re-processed images even better. :bow: Tel's image shows more detail while your re-process though subdued, still enhances the original image. To see in an individual perspective is what this hobby is all about.

#899 Tel

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:33 AM

Perhaps make it clear, Haseeb, that it's not MY image ! I merely "fiddled" ! :bigblush:

The credit is all Joe's ! :waytogo:

:lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#900 Joe Turner

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:46 PM

Tried something for the first time, compositing 3 stacked photos together. On separate nights I took shots of M81/M82 together (~30 lights), then some of M82 alone (~30 lights), then M81 (137 lights). Each was stacked in DSS with darks, bias, flats and dark flats, then I composited the 3 in PS CS3. Equipment is 8SE, 6.3FR, prime focus with Canon 1D Mark IV DSLR. Exposures 25 sec @ISO 1600.

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