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Perseus galaxy group + a couple ARPs

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#1 Mike7Mak

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

Although seeing went steadily downhill as the night progressed I managed to pick up a couple ARPs and the Perseus A galaxy group (or at least part of it) last night (Jan 7-8, 2013).

Caldwell 24
29 x 5 minutes

(ripped from Wiki)...
"NGC 1275 (also known as Perseus A or Caldwell 24) is a type 1.5 Seyfert galaxy located around 237 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Perseus. NGC 1275 corresponds to the radio galaxy Perseus A and is situated near the centre of the large Perseus Cluster of galaxies."
(end quote)

Perseus A (the largest elliptical) is an interesting object with gas or dust lane detail that is just slightly visible in my shot.

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ARP 1
20 x 10 minutes

Arp 1 is located just north of Arp 285. I can get both in the fov but the night I shot 285 conditions were so poor I wanted to save this one for a better night. This is one that the guide star dictated the framing.

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ARP 280
12 x 5 minutes

By the time I got to this one seeing and transparency had really gone to pot.

Posted Image

#2 Mike7Mak

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Ok, what's the trick to getting AstroBin to plate solve an image? I figgered mine won't cuz I usually bin them down a bit and mess with the star shapes. So I left C24 unbinned with no star tweaking to see if that would do it but I still get the 'your image could not be platesolved' message. Is there some minimum field size or what?

#3 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

I'll tack this image here and give the thread another trip down the page.

I really didn't expect this shot to amount to anything, I was kinda just screwing around. Last nights satelite ir image had me under a pretty small hole in the clouds so I didn't have much hope for completing a color image.

This is the first 'color' image with the new Atik 314L. I changed things up a bit, instead of a bunch of short exposures I tried a few long ones. I think the narrowband frames may be my first 30 minute exposures ever. This OAG might work out afterall. :)

M1 in LHOO
6 x 15 minutes L (cls filter)
2 x 30 minutes Ha
2 x 30 minutes O3

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#4 Driven1

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

Looks like it just might! Nice shot Mike. Love the detail!

#5 terry59

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

Those look good Mike. I especially like the M1. I tried plate solving the other day on Astrobin and it wouldn't work. No idea what the issue is.

#6 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Thanks. What detail there is mostly came from StarTools deconvolution of the L channel. I combined the HOO in Neb3 and pre-stretched it in ST. Then I processed the L and used ST 'layer' module to combine them. I think I need to seek out some tutorials on the 'layer' module. There's so many possible combinations of parameters that my usual 'trial and error' approach isn't cutting it. :)

Terry, I usually don't even bother telling AstroBin to platesolve. I though it might be neat to see the C24 shot solved so I kept it as 'unmodified' as possible but no dice. No big deal but I am curious why I've never gotten it to work.

#7 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

Heh, I'm so used to ignoring Photoshop these days since I started using StarTools I forgot about the handiest plug-in of all time, HVLG. I ran it on the medium setting and uploaded a revised version of M1. Toned down the green a bit and added a little transparency to the nebulosity. I like it better anyway.

#8 Peter in Reno

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

As long as you get reasonable polar alignment, OAG helps reduce or eliminate flexure since both main and guide cameras are always in sync with each other. It will get easier and thanks to your high sensitivity guide camera, it will be just as easy as with a guide scope. Eliminating guide scope will save weight and easier to balance the mount.

Very nice images and excellent guiding.

Peter

#9 terry59

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

HLVG worked well Mike. Do you not like the ratings function on Astrobin? :D

#10 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

Thanks Peter,

Eliminate the guide scope eh? I don't know if I'm ready to do that just yet. I agree with losing the weight. The main reason I went with the cheezy little 70mm refractor (with upgraded focuser) was to lighten the load on the mount. I originally had a Tak FS78 piggybacked, that thing weighs a ton.

Besides the occasions when a guide star isn't in the OAG the refractors wider fov helps with locating targets. I absolutely refuse to get into all that 'rotate' the OAG looking for stars. I'm getting spoiled by the clean chip of this 314L and reusing the same bias, bpm, and flats. Disturbing the camera means shooting new flats. If I can't shift the framing a bit to bring a guide star into view it's back to the guide scope I go.

#11 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

Do you not like the ratings function on Astrobin? :D

Heh, not particularly. I ruffled some feathers expressing my opinion of that when it came up in a thread a while back. Not crazy about the 'comment' function either.

It's not that I'm anti-social or anything. I enjoy getting feedback and/or kudos as much as the next guy. I just prefer an image gallery to be that, a gallery. I think comments and conversation belong in forums like this one.

#12 Peter in Reno

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:58 PM

After imaging quite a few DSOs with OAG, I have not once had to hunt for guide stars. Also I never have to rotate OAG and like you I am not looking forward to rotate OAG. After framing a DSO in main camera, at least one suitable guide stars are available in guide camera's FOV. Several times I've found four guide stars to choose. This is at 2000mm focal length. We both have same CCD sensor in our guide cameras and they are quite sensitive. You will probably never get this round stars with a guide scope for 30 minutes sub-exposures. Been there, done that.

Peter

#13 rigel123

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

Nice ones Mike!

#14 azure1961p

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

Mike,

All that with a 7" Mak? Amazing, nice images and choices.

Pete

#15 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:44 PM


Thanks Warren.

All that with a 7" Mak?


Hi Pete, thanks. I know right? And at F10+ to boot. Focal ratio schmocal ratio. :)

#16 David Ault

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

Mike,

Those are some great images. I'd seen that you'd been using a 0.33x reducer for some of your images. I'm really impressed you got these at above f/10 and without massive exposure times. You're doing some really great things with that equipment and StarTools!

Regards,
David

#17 Mike7Mak

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

Hi David, thanks you're too kind.

Yes, I have quite the collection of focal reducers. :) Both .33 and .63 Meades and .5 and .7 Antares and finally the AstroPhysics CCDT67. The Meades would vignette even the DSI unless they were screwed directly to the visual back and they exhibit field curvature because of the sct field flattening the Mak doesn't need. Out on the end of the microfocuser they were less than ideal.

The 2 inch Antares (which can be inserted into the microfocuser on the end of a 2" nosepiece) seemed to work ok but when I found the AP model, specifically designed for maks, I had to have it. I'm getting about .7 reduction with the AP spaced at 80mm from the chip. Field curvature is the smallest (possibly nonexistant) I've ever seen it.

#18 Ivo Jager

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

You are doing some awesome work here Mike, chasing the Arps. They're such fascinating objects and the scale at which you image them really doesn't matter; it's all about the deformities, interactions and cataclysmic collisions. Love your work! :waytogo:

By the way, StarTools has a HLVG-like feature in the Color module; just set 'Cap Green' to 'To Yellow' to cap the green channel to the the max value of the red or blue channels.

Cheers,

#19 Mike7Mak

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:22 AM

Ivo, thanks so much. I can't stress enough what a fantastic program StarTools is. Thank you for creating it and making it so affordable.

I am aware of the 'cap green' function and have used it. I am still pretty much bumbling my way through the nuances of StarTools in a 'trial and error' fashion. No doubt I am missing critical parameters and making mistakes that prevent even better results.

I haven't a clue of the technical details of either 'cap green' or HLVG but they do seem to work differently. For example the final version of my M1 shot...

When I open it in the color module and select 'cap green to yellow' nothing happens. If I select 'to brown' there's a dramatic reduction of the green but it becomes blue-ish purple. The HLVG plug-in at medium setting gave me what I was after.

Now I'm a full-on dummy when it comes to color balancing. I rely heavily on the 'auto balance' in Nebulosity 3 for initial adjustment. I haven't quite figured out how to reliably work the balancing function in the ST color module. That's on the to-do list along with the 'layer' module.

#20 Bill W.

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

Very nice collection of images! The only suggestion I can think on the plate solving is make sure you don't have your image flipped. I've only uploaded 5-6 images to AstroBin but I never had a problem. A small fov may be the problem too.

-Bill

#21 Mike7Mak

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

Hi Bill thanks. I'm thinking it's fov too. Most of my images are no more than 10-12 arc minutes wide. Pretty sure they're not flipped, north is up and east is left.

#22 CounterWeight

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Congrat's on them all Mike! Just looking in and wanting add appreciation of your efforts :)

#23 Mike7Mak

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

Thanks Jim.






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