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Astrophotos from my Nexstar 6se

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#1 jeffpkamp

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:02 PM

I've read a bit about how people say that long exposure astrophotos with the nexstar mounts is exceedingly difficult. I've never had a nicer mount, so I can't really compare, but I have been pretty happy with the results I've gotten from my autoguided APs.

I was out this weekend, and got some shots of some luminous nebula at near Sagittarius, and thought I'd share them, I was very happy with the tracking, only 1-2 hiccups over the whole night. These were done with a Nikon D5100, a 6.3FR, and the orion mini-autoguider. Shots are stacks of 3-5 min subs (I can get 10 min subs no problem, but I find more subs give me less noise in the end product than 1-2 long sub.
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#2 AstroTatDad

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:11 PM

nice work! are you using the 50mm mini scope package with this? also did you use a wedge?

#3 jeffpkamp

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:18 PM

Last one was the trifid nebula with 2x drizzle using DSS.

Here's the center of the lagoon nebula.

If some one can diagnose the blurring on the edge, I"d appreciate it, i want to say its from the SC mirror being spherical, but I't not positive, as the center of the light field is the center of the photo (as seen by my flats), but the blurring is not centered.

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#4 Smittty692k4

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:28 PM

If these were taken with the SE mount, then I'd say these are phenominal.
Regardless, they are still awesome images. :goodjob:

#5 jeffpkamp

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

I'll have to post a picture of my set up, I am using a home made wedge (cost me about $10-20 to build), and the Orion Magnificent mini auto-guider package.


Here's the eagle nebula with 2x drizzle.

http://i15.photobuck...amp/eagle2x.jpg

#6 AstroTatDad

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:49 PM

great work, I almost bought the $400 wedge awhile back, but just thought why not save a few more 100 and get like a CG5. I thought about making a wedge, but I don't have the tools. Again great work, yeah when you get a chance post photos and a run down of your setup and process.

#7 jeffpkamp

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:22 PM

Here is my setup (the meat of it at least). One is a close up my wedge. For the wedge, I have two pieces of wood with two door hinges holding them together. I used turnbuckles to make the mount easily adjustable.

On top of the scope is the mini-autoguider set, and a green laser finder I built with a friend. With the 6SE on a wedge, the red dot finder is a nightmare to anyone over the age of 5.

I use a 109 amp hour marine battery to power my scope and computer all night, I also have a homemade dew heater that can keep my scope dry even right next to a swamp (Which is where I go for my dark skies).

I usually use a 6.3 focal reducer/flattener with the set up, makes finding things in the scope much easier. I also image with a nikon d5100.

While not the easiest thing to image with, the 6se is far from unusable for Deep Sky Imaging.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

http://i15.photobuck...p/Photo0616.jpg

http://i15.photobuck...mp/DSC_6147.jpg

#8 hopskipson

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:17 PM

Truly amazing images!

#9 jhirsch

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

WOW :jawdrop: very impressive.

#10 AstroTatDad

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

very cool, thanks for sharing.

#11 Ekyprotic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:08 AM

wow these are spectacular! did you say you could do 10 min exposures? That's amazing! I wonder if AP is easier with the 6 SE on this mount because of how much lighter it is than the 8 SE- even with the wedge I dont believe longer than 1 min exposures were possible with the 8 SE. I wonder how long the exposures would be without the wedge on the 6 SE?

#12 Ekyprotic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:11 AM

Out of all the SCT in the Nexstar series, which is the best for AP? I would think either the 5 or the 6...... the 5 is lighter than the 6 and has a built in wedge but isnt the 5 SE mount also less sturdy than the 6/8 SE mount?

#13 Ekyprotic

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:16 AM

One other thing, how much vignetting do you get (AP or visually with a 32mm plossl) with the .63 FR on the 6 SE?

#14 Tel

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:51 AM

Hi Jeff,

Some spectacular imaging there from a home made wedge ! My heartiest congratulations ! :bow::bow:

As to the blurring at the edges of your image of the Trifid Nebula, I would suggest it may be due to a small degree of coma which these SCTs are prone to produce at the outer regions of the FOV.

A field flattening, focal reducer as I assume you've used, will have some rectification effect but it won't be total. You may also have a little vignetting there which might be contributing: not that I personally can see any.

One aspect to this image though, in contrast to that of the first image, (above), you produced, is the fact that there are two layers visible within it. (?)

Why is this ? Could this be the reason ?

Best regards,
Tel

#15 Tel

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:07 AM

Is this any better, Jeff, with a cropping out of the background image and a little P/Shop manipulation with "Curves" and "High Pass" application ?

Best regards,
Tel

Just an edited footnote. I would personally crop out that magenta coloured left-hand edge.

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#16 hdt

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:11 AM

Very nice, Jeff!

Spectacular photos!

Love the homebuilt wedge too!

#17 Peter9

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:40 AM

Two wonderful images Jeff, made all the better because of your resourcefulness in make your own wedge. Well done. :bow: :bow: :bow:

Thanks for posting.

Regards. Peter.

#18 Peter9

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:46 AM

Hi. Tel,

Great work with Jeff image . You've sharpened it up no end and brought out the colours in there. :bow: :bow:
Like you, I think a little cropping would help.

Regards. Peter.

#19 ben2112

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:04 AM

Those are some very nice images. Makes me think about doing a wedge for mine.

#20 Maverick199

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:15 AM

One other thing, how much vignetting do you get (AP or visually with a 32mm plossl) with the .63 FR on the 6 SE?


Visually not much but for AP, quite some. You can take loads of Flats to eradicate that or crop.

Btw, that's an excellent Trifid and admire your DIY skills.

Nicely re-processed Tel.

:bow:

#21 jeffpkamp

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the touch up's tel. The top image without distortion (the trifid) lacks the stacking artifacts because I used the 3x drizzle and custom rectangle when I stacked it. The distortion is still there, but I've essentially cropped it out. I did a similar thing with the lagoon nebula on you touched up, but didn't post it. But I like what the high pass filter did with the image the inner nebula looks much better. I am currently working on my post processing package, as GIMP just isn't doing every thing that could be done.

As for Vignetting, Here is a master flat from my scope with the 6.3 LIke maverick said, I just subtract that out with Deep Sky Stacker. Never noticed it with my eyes, but I'm not really looking for it.

As for why I'm getting good results from the 6se mount, I don't know. Auto guider works great, just need to have it close to balanced. Without autoguiding the tracking is all over the place, making 10-20 second subs a quite difficult

http://i15.photobuck...Flat_ISO800.jpg

#22 RealSorin

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:10 PM

Great image!

I have a C6 SCT OTA and just bought an Orion Magnificent Mini Autoguider - How did you mount your guider to the c6? The Orion uses their standard finder scope shoe, which the Celestron scope doesn't accommodate. I have mine on a camera adapter, but there's too much slop in that setup.

#23 jeffpkamp

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:21 AM

I took the red dot mount out and mounted it using only 1 of the screw holes. It's very tight, so I don't get any flexure that I can tell. I then super glued the red dot mount onto the scope (It doesn't need to hold much weight). This survived falling off of my mount recently, so I'd say the super glue is doing its job nicely :/.

I found this a better alternative to the idea of drilling a hole into my OTA.

I am sure there are people on here who have a better way of mounting it than I am using.

#24 RealSorin

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:33 PM

FYI, I learned through another thread I started on the Cats and Casses forum that Orion makes a separate mount shoe specifically for SCTs. I have one on order.

http://www.telescope...se/p/7215.ut...

#25 setiv2

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

I'm using a nexstar 8se on a homemade wedge, off axis guider, and a webcam as the guiding camera. I have been able to get 10 min subs as well. Normally limited to 5 or 6 min subs due to light pollution though. I found having the scope slightly out of balance such that the gears are fighting gravity gave the best result. Forward heavy in the east and back heavy in the west. I will post some pictures shortly. I am very happy with how capable the nexstar 6/8se mount is during guiding.






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