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M82 with my "NEW" LX200R 12"

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#1 Markigno

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

Hello to all
M82, this is my last job made with my LX200R 12" . The image was taken in altazimuth mode with de-rotator field Optec 3". I post in this session because this is the result of the upgrade of my LX200R. An Italian company (Toscano Optics) has made the rework of the secondary mirror to 1/8 lamda. He also executed the total realignment optical/mechanical with great precision, very important when shooting in altazimuth mode, with de-rotator field. I am very happy with the work done on my LX200R.
Marco

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#2 Josef1968

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:50 PM

Fantastic!

#3 Lorence

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

Very nice image. It does raise the question How much is equipment and how much is post processing?

All my observing is live video or near live short CCD exposures. There is no post processing involved. I only see what the cameras sees.

If there was any post processing involved it would be interesting to compare your original unprocessed images with the unprocessed semi live images I view with my 10" ACF. You can see some examples of those on the last few pages of my website.

No offense intended but it is difficult to understand how much the Toscano Optics modifications have improved your telescope without seeing unprocessed images.

#4 Markigno

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:30 PM

Josef1968, thank you for your kind comment.

Lorence thank you for your intervention, but I do not understand why you talk about short CCD exposures. The image has many many hours of integration combined in HaLRGB method, with a lot of sub frames that ranging from 5 to 40 minutes for each exposure. Several times in the past, I've posted several reviews on how to photograph in Altazimuth mode with single very long exposure, supported by images of feedback. The answer to your question if it is more important the equipment or post processing, it's both! plus a very dark sky with excellent seeing. I looked at your site and I congratulate you for your excellent observatory equipment. However, I noticed a very important detail. In your setup lacks an essential accessory to get great results with a LX200, which in either polar or altazimuth mode. Adaptive optics! Without this important accessory is impossible to obtain remarkable results, even if you had a copy of LX200 with mirrors worked 1/20 lambda. So, to conclude, we need a proper equipment to work at longer focal lengths, but we also need to know to properly process the available data. The post processing of this M82 took 4 hours, using more software. As for my Fits are the result of many years of work, and in any case are always at the disposal of my association of amateur astronomers, but not for the web. Instead all my experience and all that I have learned, are fully available to all, just ask.
P.S. no offense
Marco

#5 Lorence

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:39 AM

The image has many many hours of integration combined in HaLRGB method, with a lot of sub frames that ranging from 5 to 40 minutes for each exposure.



I am a visual astronomer only. Rather than using eyepieces I use several Mallincam video cameras and a Mallincam Universe CCD camera. I generally limit my exposure times or integration times to two minutes or less. My cameras send me a series of images one after. I view them on a computer screen.

The only software processing I do is the use of Deep Sky Stacker Live to stack up to about ten images as they are sent by the camera. I watch the stacked image "Develop" as the individual images are sent from the camera. The stacking acts much like a noise filter. It just cleans up the image.

It would be interesting to me to compare one of your two minute images with a similar two minute image made with my telescope. I would like to see how much of a difference there is in the image quality between your modified telescope and my standard Meade. The camera on my Meade has a 3032 X 2016 pixel CCD at full resolution with 2x, 3x and 4x Binning.

My site is fairly dark I consider an SQM reading of 21.50 to be good, above 22.00 as being very good.

The answer to your question if it is more important the equipment or post processing, it's both! plus a very dark sky with excellent seeing.



Again I am visual only. No post processing at all. The only things that affect my images are the camera settings and some stacking to clean up camera noise. Everything is done live in the sense that I set an exposure time and get a continuous series of images. A new one after each exposure. Unless I chose to save the images the newest one replaces the one before it. I only see what the camera sees during an exposure. For me it is all about the equipment.

I looked at your site and I congratulate you for your excellent observatory equipment. However, I noticed a very important detail. In your setup lacks an essential accessory to get great results with a LX200, which in either polar or altazimuth mode. Adaptive optics! Without this important accessory is impossible to obtain remarkable results, even if you had a copy of LX200 with mirrors worked 1/20 lambda.


Adaptive optics on a Meade 10 inch or 12 inch???

I think you and I are thinking about something quite different.

My idea of Adaptive optics is a system found in the newest large observatory facilities that monitors sky conditions and adjust the optics accordingly. To the best Of my knowledge those systems are not available to the average amateur.

Please explain your idea of Adaptive optics and how it works with your Meade 12".

Thank You

Lorence

#6 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:56 AM

Adaptive optics on a Meade 10 inch or 12 inch???

I think you and I are thinking about something quite different.

My idea of Adaptive optics is a system found in the newest large observatory facilities that monitors sky conditions and adjust the optics accordingly. To the best Of my knowledge those systems are not available to the average amateur.

Please explain your idea of Adaptive optics and how it works with your Meade 12".

Thank You

Lorence


Adaptive optics are indeed available to amateurs at reasonable prices.

http://www.sbig.com/...daptive-optics/

http://www.telescope...er/p/53081.u...

Of course there are different flavors of adaptive optics.

http://en.wikipedia....Adaptive_optics

#7 Markigno

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:49 AM

Lorence, now I understand what you mean. However, we have two completely different ways of approach to astronomical photography. I run long exposure shooting with monochrome CCD and filters, in order to obtain the highest signal / noise ratio can then highlight the details more evanescent. I do not have pictures of 2 minutes or less because with a so low time of exposure, I would not have much more details on DSO of what you can get with your LX200 10". Your approach is more of a visualist, therefore, in your case, adaptive optics does not there is need. Erroneously we call adaptive optics those guiding systems that allow the amateur instruments to be effectively in tracking, to correct driving errors, vibration, and small gusts of wind, using a system of tip / tilt mirror or lens. These systems we should more correctly call active optics. Adaptive optics professional, uses deformable mirrors that effectively correct the atmospheric turbulence. We will never see this professional system in to amateur instruments because they use a very powerful laser beam projected into the sky. This could be very dangerous if used in way improper.

#8 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

Active optics - Active, multi-segmented mirror, like the Keck telescopes, Gran Telescopio Canarias and the upcoming thirty meter telescope.

Adaptive optics - Warpable mirror or tip/tilt lens near the focal plane that can compensate for atmospheric and other effects on image stability. Telescopes with diameters larger than an average atmospheric cell must use a warpable mirror and an artificial guide star. Telescopes with diameters smaller than an average atmospheric cell only need a tip/tilt lens. Large telescopes usually use a beam splitter to throw visible-light into the guide camera and send the infrared light into the main camera. Smaller scopes usually use a small amount of visible light just outside of the view of the main camera, i.e. off-axis guiding.

Markingo is using the phrase "adaptive optics" correctly.

http://en.wikipedia....Adaptive_optics

http://en.wikipedia....i/Active_optics

I hope this helps.

#9 Lorence

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:28 PM

Erroneously we call adaptive optics those guiding systems that allow the amateur instruments to be effectively in tracking, to correct driving errors, vibration, and small gusts of wind, using a system of tip / tilt mirror or lens. These systems we should more correctly call active optics.


Thanks for your explanation. A simple terminology misunderstanding. That happens occasionally.

What you are describing, I think of as image stabilization. A feature found in some binoculars and DSLR cameras. Unfortunately not in Mallincams. It is implemented by software and may some day be available for my type of cameras. It would be welcome.

For what it's worth here is an image of M82 as I would view it. It is a stack of ten two minute images. Not quite the same as your image but this one only required twenty minutes and I watched it as succeeding images were added to the stack.

Don't mind the Chicken Tracks. I had a problem frost building up in the telescope this winter. Several unseasonably warm spells followed by the temperature dropping below -30C. Problem solved now but this is the only image I saved of M82

Lorence

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#10 Markigno

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:34 PM

@ Lorence, amateur adaptive optics is definitely not as image stabilizer DSRL. Adaptive optics works with a reference star that is kept constantly in the position taken at the beginning of the main exposure. According to the "quality readable" of guide star, the mirror or lens movable adaptive optics, can move up to 40 corrections per second, maintaining "perfectly still" the guide star and therefore the whole the image during exposure. Any self-guided mount is not able to correct the tracking "physically" at the same rate of speed that can reach the small mirror movable of adaptive optics (40 corrections per second). The quality of your M82 is correct, considering a low exposure time and camera not very sensible. However your image suffers from field rotation. Your telescope is not in perfect polar alignment.


@ Chris, I used the term "active optics" because there are some astroimager, who argue that the atmospheric turbulence, or seeing, can not be corrected except by labor rates up to 100 Hz. I personally believe that even with 15hz, in a long focal length amateur optical systems, an adaptive optics works also on the correction of seeing and does a great difference, even with high end mount.
I also have an AP Mach1 on which I use a RC 10". Well, even with this configuration from tracking very high performance, the improvement with added of adaptive optics is remarkable.
Marco

#11 jonbosley

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:47 PM

I think that there is a lot of different arguments going on in this thread.
Amateur Astronomy AO systems are nothing like professional AO systems. Professional AO systems work by utilizing vast numbers of actuators upon the optics and are designed to compensate for the atmosphere.
Amateur AO systems are designed to aid tracking, consisting of a small mirror in a OAG configuration to help keep the guide star centered. While some do clam to aid in helping with atmospheric conditions if a bright guide star is used. They are useful tool for long exposure photography.

Video & long exposure imaging are two different animals.
It has taken me nearly a month to capture a descent Rosetta Nebula, fighting clouds, wind, mount etc. I am sure it also took Markigno a lot of telescope time to capture his excellent image.
A video astronomer would bag most if not all the Messier is the same period. They would be able to plug their captures into their 82" HD 3D TV to show the wife what they had been up to.
It would take me many years to image all the Arp peculiar galaxies. I bet with a Mallincam I could undertake that task in a fraction of the time. Would they be as good images a a long exposure, multi-session capture, no but I would not need to use averted vision either.
I use to believe video astronomy was all outreach stuff, something I have no interest in, but now I understand why more and more people are hanging up their expensive long exposure CCD's and going video. I was very dismissive of video, but having read and talked to users I have turned around and it has a very strong appeal to me now and may well be the future of amateur astronomy.

#12 Markigno

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

Hi jonbosley,the astronomy through video or multiple frames is a very exciting. Over the years I have tried to do as Lorence. With my camera Meade LPI, Meade color, and Meade DSI Pro III I did astro photos and video in real time. This approach allows a greater amount of detail that only visual astronomy. Then, I wanted to get more detail and depth, so I went to take pictures with long exposure and monochrome CCD filters. This is the only way to get fine detail on DSO. Unfortunately it takes a long time for each image.
Marco

#13 jimb1001

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

Hi jonbosley,the astronomy through video or multiple frames is a very exciting. Over the years I have tried to do as Lorence. With my camera Meade LPI, Meade color, and Meade DSI Pro III I did astro photos and video in real time. This approach allows a greater amount of detail that only visual astronomy. Then, I wanted to get more detail and depth, so I went to take pictures with long exposure and monochrome CCD filters. This is the only way to get fine detail on DSO. Unfortunately it takes a long time for each image.
Marco


With all the new equipment introduced over the last few years the ranks of "amateur" astronomer have been subdivided many times over. If this even matters.

From light polluted suburban back yard to dark sky site, from eyepiece to video cam to imager and post processing, the amount of time effort and money that goes into the hobby are infinitely variable.

One thing, however, that doesn't change is the difficulty in comparing telescopes based on an image reproduced on a web site. Filtering out the controllable variables would be difficult enough. Accounting for the uncontrollable variables makes comparison not worth the effort.

Your image looks great, reflecting the equipment and time invested and the skill acquired.

The Mallincam image is great, for a Mallincam image. I use a Mallincam myself because it can turn a grey smudge into a recognizable deep space object.

What you do is the tip of the amateur astronomy iceberg and is comparable to what only a few can achieve.

#14 Markigno

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:06 PM

Hi jimb1001, this is a very happy time for amateur astronomy. The technology now available to all at a very competitive price, favors the development of new techniques, especially with the aid of very powerful accessories and software, for data acquisition and post processing. It is even true that it is difficult to evaluate a telescope quality based on a image processed and posted in web, but it is equally true that you can not get blood from a turnip. If you can not extract details from a telescope, these details will never are visible, not even with a "Michelangelo" of post processing. This is a fact not contestable.
Marco






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