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Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark!

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#26 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 01:20 AM

Oh wow.

I still need to figure out how best to set the ISO on the T1i and acquire darks to subtract from the good stuff, but this is fun!

So here's a way cropped, way downsized pic of M10:

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#27 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:29 AM

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!


Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)

#28 Chuck Hards

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:33 AM

I'm still seeing a bit of streaking running up-and-down on the cropped pic.

But a great shot anyway!

#29 Chuck Hards

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:36 AM

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!


Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)


I see it on the right side, too, with Vega dead-center on the tangent. I'm betting it's a reflection artifact, I don't have an atlas handy now to check on nebulosity.

#30 Dave M

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:36 AM

I tend to stick to ISO 800 on my canon 60D. 800 to 1600
is a good range to stick to, the noise in the image will
also be a lot worse imaging in the heat your imaging in.
That also looks like a reflection to me, from what i`m not sure but it looks like half a circle on the lower half of the image, so that might be a clue.
Darks, just put the body cap on the camera and take some shots at the same exposure length and ISO as the lights.
I like Images Plus software for image processing, its a little expensive but well worth it.

#31 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:16 AM

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!


Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)


I think it's a ghost reflection from the star on one of the corrector elements? It didn't seem to move, so I don't think it was stray light from one of the neighbors' porch lights or anything like that.

-Tim.

#32 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:21 AM

Yeah, I can see elongation to the stars if I shoot over a minute. I did try one at 5 minutes for hoots, and it's smeared. 2 minutes worked okay, but 1 wasn't bad.

I should probably try piggybacking my Scorpion camera with a 70-200mm Quantaray lens as a guide scope and guide manually. I can piggyback it okay, but I am worried a little about flexure, because the lens and camera are hanging off a 1/4-20 bolt about an inch above the mount.

-Tim.

#33 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

It's warm at night here. Probably mid 70s. So plenty of noise in the camera.

-Tim.

#34 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:53 PM

So here's a heavily cropped stack of 5 one minute subs of the western Veil. I subtracted darks and applied a faked flat field correction to the files and realigned them all in Photoshop.

Since I don't have photoshop on my own laptop, I tethered it to my work laptop and processed it there. I'm just not familiar enough with Nebulosity to do it in there, and I don't own any other dedicated deep sky image processing software.

I shot these at 3200 ISO, which is too much, especially since it's been warm at night here. I did notice some drift in most of the images, so I'll want to figure out how to guide with the stuff I have with me.

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#35 Dave M

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:40 PM

Looks real nice Tim :waytogo:
Ive had great success guiding my Tak FSQ106 with a Orion starshoot autoguider and Stellarvue 50mm guider/finder scope, running PHD Guide.

#36 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:57 PM

I've used PhD a couple of times and like it. Also Astro IIDC can use a firewire camera for guiding.

Problem is that the EM-1 mount is too old to have a guider port, so I'll have to guide manually. But I can use one of the other cameras to display a live view and use software crosshairs to guid with in RA at least. I think my drift has all been PE rather than Dec. But I brought a flex cable from my Super Polaris mount to use in place of the rigid one on the tangent arm dec if I need to guide in dec manually. Hope the cable fits the Tak shaft! I guess I should find out, huh?

-Tim.

#37 Dave M

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

Woops! i didnt even think about it not having a guider port.
Sounds like you have a good plan though..

#38 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:09 PM

Well I do hate guiding manually! At least if I use a camera I can be reasonably comfortable while I guide!

I'm still trying to find software to let me control the Panasonic GF3 camera from the laptop. It has a decent live view mode that would probably work if there was software to control it via the USB cable, like for the Canon.

I have a DSI Pro III camera I'd like to use as well, since I added a manual shutter and orion filter wheel to it. But I checked and it won't fit the Tak adapters, and the 1 1/4" eyepiece adapter puts it to far out to reach focus - unless I use a barlow. But then, I've got a bigger guiding problem.

-Tim.

#39 Dave M

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

Dont you just hate when one solution creates another problem :lol:

#40 tim53

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:12 PM

K, so tonight I rigged up at my wife's archaeo site south of town, so the students could take a look at some faint fuzzies.

Figures though. When my wife came to the house to get cleaned up, she said everybody was waiting for me. But as I was setting up, they were heading in to the bar in town.

No worries. It's a wonderful night out. Clouds to the north again and a big fire in the Black Mts to the southeast (might be a controlled burn). At least the smoke is t blowing this way!

Back to setting up.

#41 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:34 AM

The Black Mtns. fire is wild, and estimated at 750 acres as of this morning.

http://www.utahfireinfo.gov/

Tim, is your wife an archeology professor? Some of my college friends (and a roommate, for a while) were arch. majors and I used to tag-along with them on field school, back in the late '70's and early '80's. Sometimes they'd do contract work in the summer too, and I would show-up with my tent when they had a few days off. I'd bring my telescope along though most folks were too drunk & wasted by the time it got dark enough to do any observing. I visited sites from northern California, through Nevada, and into central and southern Utah. Pretty much the whole Great Basin. It was then that I got my introduction to the concept of the "sweat lodge". Ah, the memories!

My sister got her BS and Master's in arch. & anthro at the UofU, then went into social work & teaching, but she still misses the digs.

#42 tim53

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:01 AM

It's weird because it seems every year or so there's a big fire there. I love the drive through there, though it is one of the more dangerous stretches of highway. Not because it's particularly steep and mountainous, but because it's just steep and winding enough that people go too fast and lose control on the curves. In the 40 years I've been driving out here, we've come across a few accidents. One a few years ago a gal was driving too fast at night and went off the side of the road and down a slope. She wasn't hurt, but it took me and a couple other guys who stopped about a half hour to get her car back up on the road.

At night, but particularly in the winter, the deer like to graze right on the highway after one of the blind curves. Even I've had to hit the brakes harder than I'd like on more than one occasion, and I know better!

Yes, my wife teaches at Pasadena City College. She was born in Milford, and came here to visit her grandparents during the summers. Her dad was military, so Milford was the most like "home" to her, growing up.

It's been my experience, as well, that archaeologists have a tendency to partake of the inebriants more even than geologists (and I always thought we were "bad"). At least the youngsters.

Last night, the students came back within about an hour while I was just getting ready to take my first image sequence, so I didn't want to take the camera off and plunk in an eyepiece. But they seemed fascinated by the detail I could pull out of M51 with the Canon. We moved to a couple other objects and then I did take the camera off to show them some visuals. I thought they'd stay up a while longer, but they went to their tents right after that. About midnight.

I stayed until about 1am, when the clouds obscured most of the sky. I had just gotten my Scorpion camera set up with a 70-200mm zoom as a guide scope, and guided a 5 minute exposure of M51 through the Epsilon. Saturation was looking good, but my focus had slipped! I was going to try again, so I had to move to a bright star to focus. When I did, I realized that the clouds were thickening. By the time I was back to M51, it was getting pretty bad, so I packed it in.

At least I know I can guide this thing manually. I didn't even try the Vixen flex cable on the dec slow motion. The mount was steady enough that my adjusting the slow motion knob didn't jar the telescope.

-Tim.

#43 gmartin02

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:19 PM

Tim,

Sounds like you have a good start with the little 130.

Congratulations - I would love to have one of the little Tak astrographs. I have been drooling at the Tak Epsilon 180ED, but boy are those things pricey!

Greg

#44 tim53

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

Greg:

It's a joy to play with! I still need to tweak the collimation some. But I was surprised at how easy it is to guide manually. The mount is really steady. I kept thinking, "how the heck do they expect you to take good astrophotos with a manual dec on a short solid shaft?" But it doesn't shake!

-Tim.

#45 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:32 PM

There are two other fires to your northeast. I can smell smoke up north here so wonder if the winds are shifting more out of the south. It was out of the west last night, and looking at the circulation pattern, Milford was just about dead-center in the low.

#46 tim53

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:56 PM

It's not looking good for tonight. Sky is probably about 80% overcast, though a lot if the overhead stuff is moderate to thin. Weather app says its going to stay cloudy until about sunup. I won't wait up! Got the parade tomorrow, then we're going to Lehman Caves, and then Milford has a great fireworks display after dark.

Then its two more nights before I head home.

Tim

#47 tim53

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:02 PM

The Black Mtn fire apparently died down during the day, but its making quite a plume now. Judging from the cloud, the winds aloft must be to the south southwest. I've been watching the clouds over us and if they're moving at all, it's also slowly to the south. That's not good because the thicker clouds are to the north.

#48 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:20 PM

I have tomorrow off, so of course its totally socked-in up here.

#49 Chuck Hards

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:46 AM

Wow Tim, lightning and 1/2 inch of soaking rain last night! The first precipitation I've had in over a month. Good for the lawn, but the scope stayed indoors. What was the weather in Milford last night?

#50 tim53

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

Well, I gave up around 10pm and came back to the house without setting up the scope. When I got back, it was cloudy here, but when I turned in around 12:30, I looked outside and it was maybe 50% clear. I was too tired to set up by then, and when I got up this AM it was cloudy again. It's partly cloudy now, but I don't know what's in the plan for tonight yet.

-Tim.






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