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NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions

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#1976 hdt

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:25 PM

Tel, beautiful shot of M51 (compare with my "lame" attempt in the "beginner" AP thread here)!

It's a great demonstration of the capabilities of the NexStar, and your talents with processing the photons afterwards!

hdt

#1977 milby

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:03 PM

marvelous detail on M51, Tel! :bow:
here's to continued clear skies!

#1978 Maverick199

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:30 AM

Wow, for just 45 minutes of exposures, that's an excellent image and well processed, especially considering your are imaging from a city. :bow:

#1979 Tel

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:22 AM

Tel, beautiful shot of M51 (compare with my "lame" attempt in the "beginner" AP thread here)!

It's a great demonstration of the capabilities of the NexStar, and your talents with processing the photons afterwards!

hdt


Hi Hdt,

Many thanks for your kind words but please don't "knock" your own imaging attempts. Remember though, that for you it is a lot more difficult than for me to produce images, working, as you currently do, from the standard, exposure time limited, guiding prevented Alt./Az. and with spur gear drive ! :idea:

Look again perhaps at your image and compare it with this attached one I took of M51 with my then Meade DSI Mk.1 Nexstar 8i combination back on the 27th. March 2007. I'm sure you'd agree you're a lot further ahead than I was at that time ! :waytogo:

Best regards,
Tel

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#1980 Tel

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:34 AM

Likewise, many thanks Milby and Haseeb for your kind appreciation ! :bow:

I would add though, Haseeb, that I'm luckily not "city bound". I live on the periphery of a small-ish (Pop. ca.7000) town where the light pollution, (Sodium street lighting), presents no real problem under good clear skies.

However, given much in the way of haze over the town, and their orange glow can make its presence felt. It's time like that I'm grateful for my Ha and Olll filters ! :waytogo:

Best regards to you both,
Tel

#1981 MushroomBill

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:42 AM

As usual some lovely images on here.

Here's my attempt in mono at the Rosette Nebula from last night.

Imaged with Atik CCD attached to Tamron 70-300mm DSLR lens (with geoptik adapter) at 200mm.
15 subs @ 5 mins each
Baader Ha filter.
HEQ5 mount guided with Meade DSI on Skywatcher 102ST.

Captured in Nebulosity.
Stacked in DSS
Processed in PS Elements.

Thanks for looking.

Andy

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#1982 Maverick199

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:07 AM

That's a very detailed image with lot of depth. :bow:

That's nice to hear Tel, for some reason I always thought you lived right in the heart of London or similar. :) Maybe it was some of those images with Tom that you posted sometime back which made me assume this.

#1983 haytor

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:13 AM

Sorry i have not been keeping up with posts lately, lots of good images posted and always a pleasure to see what everyone is capturing.

Tel, nice M51 capture, hope you sort out that white screen problem you were having while capturing this, an odd problem i`ve not come across before, either way it does not seem to have stopped the sub captures.

Andy, Cracking Rosette,fills the FOV just right, nice detail and nicely processed.Hope to see more like this one.Wish i could join you guy`s in some imaging,maybe in the coming weeks!

best regards to all for posting some fine images,


Tom.

#1984 hdt

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:37 AM

MushroomBill, ***YOWZA*** (that's a technical term) :grin:

#1985 Peter9

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:42 AM

Great image Andy. Lots of detail and lovely on the eye.

Pleased to see some of us getting out at last. Sod's law, but it was clear here in Yorkshire last night, although -5, but I could not risk being one handed. Did use the bino's on the stand for three waters of an hour thou. :grin:

Thanks for posting.

Regards. Peter.

#1986 Greyhaven

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

Tel
Great work! and I'm so glad to see you getting clear skies. I hope to start some AP again soon.I'm still dealing with cold weather and the jet stream is making what few clear nights I've had look like astronomy from the bottom of a fish bowl.
Nice work and thanks for all your help.
Be Well
Grey

#1987 Tel

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:04 AM

Many thanks Grey ! Much appreciated. Yes, we've had an exceptionally awful time with the weather here basically since the beginning of 2013 and indeed back beyond that.

Now it looks as if the recent spell of three clear nights we enjoyed here in the South of the UK, is, once again, likely to take a turn for the worse !

May your future imaging be trouble free and that you get the "right" weather with which to pursue it ! :praying:

Best regards,
Tel

#1988 hopskipson

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

I've got a question for those with lots of imaging experience. What will produce better results when imaging planets with less than optimal seeing?
a) a 4" APO refractor with a barlow to achieve longer focal length or
b) an 8" Cat with equal focal length

#1989 Maverick199

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:28 AM

Easy answer: The 8" SCT. If you can barlow and do a crop movie mode, then even better. Video at least a minute's worth and stack it with Registax or Avistakkert II, at least that's what I do with the 6" SCT.

#1990 Tel

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:24 AM

Hi James,

Just to support what Haseeb has said..

The difference in light gathering power/resolution (cf. ca. 12.6 sqr." versus ca.45 sqr.") obviously favours the f/10 8" SCT.

"Barlowed", (depending on seeing conditions) to give focal ratios of f/20 to f/30 respectively, the 8"SCT is well capable of producing some fine, detailed images of Mars, Jupiter amd Saturn.

Furthermore, "Barlowed" to X4, (maybe even X5 on a good night), by combining Barlows, (I have, for example, 2 X 2 Barlow lenses and a 1 X 3 unit), should produce some spectacular lunar landscape shots.

Best regards,
Tel

#1991 hopskipson

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:05 AM

My thougts were that with the larger aperature the seeing will have more of an effect, but I guess the light gathering ability always wins out.

#1992 haytor

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:09 AM

Hi James,

have to agree with the points above, aperture rules,even under good seeing conditions a 4"Apo barlowed to 3X 4X or even 5X, to increase the magnification, will lead to a dull degraded image.

I have a 6" f/8 skywatcher Achro refractor which has served me well in the past on lunar ,solar and planetary, but even so, i was never able to push the mag up more than adding a 3X barlow(f/24) without greatly affecting the quality of any image produced,which beyond using a 3X barlow, only produced a very degraded image, so i assume then, that a 4" would be even less useful in that respect.

The only advantage a refractor(whether apo,ED or achro) has over a reflector or any scope that has an obstructing secondary mirror in the light path,is that the refractor often produces better contrast when viewing or imaging.

Just my 2 cent`s worth,

Regards,

Tom.

#1993 Tel

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:42 AM

It's amazing ! We've actually seen the Sun for almost three days in a row and the nights have been clear !

Unconvinced though that "Someone's" not trying to lull me into a false sense of security, I'm trying to take advantage of the situation before the inevitable happens !

Thus; being "Galaxy Season", I made this attempt at the "Sunflower" (M63), last night.

'Scope : Nexstar 8i OTA at f/10.
Camera. Canon DSLR 350D
Guide 'Scope: Phenix 102mm @ f/5.9
Guide Camera: Meade DSI
Guide Software. PHD.
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro.

10 subs @ 5 minutes/sub. Dark subtracted. No Flats or Bias.
Captured, stacked and processed in Nebulosity 2.
Further processing in P/Shop CS2.

Many rhanks for viewing.

Best regards,
Tel

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#1994 Peter9

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:58 AM

Wonderful image Tel. Your captures of late look pin sharp and the detail and colour outstanding. :bow: :bow: :bow:

Thanks for posting.

Regards. Peter.

#1995 Greyhaven

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 07:56 AM

Tel, nice capture. You know my limited AP experience so I hope you don't mind me asking " on my monitor there seems to be a background blur north to south through out the frame yet the stars seem reasonably round and M63 holds a lot of detail. Can you explain? Got to remember it's only my second season at AP and I'd like to identify what causes these and other "problems" in my shots.
Thanks as always and
Be Well
Grey

#1996 Skip

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Hi Tel,

Great Sunflower! :bow: On my monitor I see quite a bit of noise around the object. Here's a question: I see you did 10 subs at 5 min per. Would the noise problem be solved by many more subs and perhaps shorter exposures per sub? Better signal to noise ratio? Or would that make any difference? Not offering advice; just sincerely asking questions of someone with far more experience than me. :confused:

#1997 Tel

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:33 PM

Hi Grey,

It's very difficult to explain techniques because, as I'm sure you can appreciate, each image taken almost always needs to be processed slightly but significantly differently according to the good or less good outcome of the initial capture.

So saying, I can normally tell from the initial stack whether any of my images are processible or not and if they are, then I will usually start with such P/Shop features as "Levels" and "Curves", "Brightness and Contrast" etc. but thereafter, as you'd expect, I tend to keep going applying this or that "tool" to get the best out of the image while all the time not being particularly conscience of what I'm applying. If it looks effective, I leave it: if not I delete it ! For certain, I keep no record !

However, in this particular case, and noting your observations, I can tell you that I used a feature in Nebulosity 2 to sharpen and reduce any bloating within the background stars which does so very effectively without causing an expected increase in the "noise" level of the image.

Secondly, as far as the sharpness of the "Sunflower" being contrasted with the blurred background is concerned, the technique here is somewhat easy. I merely "lasso-ed" the main object (i.e. the galaxy itself) with the P/Shop "tool", and then "Inverted" to isolate it. I was then free to "play" with quality of the background !

Grey, I'm by no means a purist when it comes to image processing. My technique is essentially such that I will look at a good reproduction of my object from any source internet and try to copy it with my own effort in terms of detail, colour and optimistically, quality !

I hope this explains a little as to how I go about processing. Others may well have a different approach. It would, I think you'd agree, be interesting to hear of other approaches.

Does this help ?

Best regards,
Tel

#1998 Tel

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:48 PM

Hi Skip,

Perhaps I didn't "lasso" the "Sunflower" well enough ! :lol:

I shall take a further look at that surrounding "noise" with a view to "softening" it and yes, I too noticed it after publishing the image.

In actual fact, I also took 10 subs at 2 minutes but on trying to process them with a view to layering with the 5 minute subs, (if desirable), the stacked and processed outcome was very weak with hardly anything of the "Sunflower" showing.

All in all I must admit that even after some six years of dabbling, I personally find astro-imaging still very much of a hit or miss affair.

One thing I have learned though, is that ca. 95% of the quality of the final image lies in the processing !

Best regards,
Tel

#1999 hopskipson

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:21 PM

" One thing I have learned though, is that ca. 95% of the quality of the final image lies in the processing !"

But (I think you once said) without good data there are no good quality images. And I agree with both of your statements!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who subscribes to the "if it improves the image it stays and if not just hit undo" methodology. To that end I have 2 more Saturn images from this morning I hope you like if not just reprocces to your liking :roflmao:

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#2000 hopskipson

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:28 PM

It seems I have a problem with the size requirements I will try to make it larger






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