Jump to content


Photo

A great night with LodestarC

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Puck Ja

Puck Ja

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: OK, USA

Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:02 PM

I cannot image so many cloudy night in the summer time. Plus the wearing long sleeve/pants in the hot summer night to save myself being suck dry by mosquitos, it wasn't much of fun in these summer nights.

But yesterday was different. Just after a storm, I saw my first "dark sky" after so many months AND the temp was drop to about 80. Not to mention, I just got my new Antares x0.5 FR that solves all the bad distortion from the GSO FR.

In the mean time, I learned a little more about using the SX software. The SXM7C software may be even more powerful to use with LodestarC. I finally figured out how to use auto dark frame with right file. I was quite pleased to see the 60s M51:
Posted Image
m51_60s_dk

The gradient at lower left corner was from my neighbor's 5 lamps on the driveway. :( I did my best to block them.

The 120s exposure shows some star trails, but M51 was much fuller. Sorry, I don't have time to do 120s dark yet, so please bear with the hot pixels.
Posted Image
m51_120s_ng_sield

I had an Orion's SSAG package coming, and I cannot wait to use it to help the tracking. A nice SXCCD guru from UK is helping me to learn about self-guiding (using LodestarC for imaging and guide scope at the same time). Hopefully, I got some guided image later to compare.

Then I swing to M13. Apparently, 60s can really saturate the CCD. But I wonder how to get more "arm" to show up
Posted Image
m13_60s_dk

With the power of 0.5X FR, the M27 colors shows much better:
Posted Image
m27_60s_dk_str8

But M57 was kind of too small with FR. The color was nice though.
Posted Image
m57_str6

M56 was just nearby so I go ahead give it a try. The color of stars at core were interesting.
Posted Image
m56_str6

Before I head to bed, I tried on NGC6674 just because it was close to my GOTO align star. It was about Mag 12 and double the size of M57. I thought that I may give it a shot.

After 60s exposure, surely it was there:
Posted Image
ngc6674-60s_sh_p2_mark

I was not able to see it for framing, so I was thrilled to be able to see it after 60s. Very cool to me. :)

This was the first great Mid-summer night to have. More to come please...

#2 nytecam

nytecam

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11457
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2005
  • Loc: London UK

Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:35 AM

You're learning fast Puck:-) Nice set of images - well done :-)

BTW - the SX s/ware only does a single auto pass of the "Low Pass Colour Filter" but you can greatly improve and smooth the colour image [eg your M27] with multiple clicks of this filter as marked below :grin:

Attached Files



#3 Puck Ja

Puck Ja

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: OK, USA

Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

Thanks a lot for the hint, nytecam. I tried the LPF and Color Overload Smoothing (COS). The COS seems works even faster. I am not sure the difference. But here is the result. Is it better?

Posted Image
m27_60s_dk_bgrm_str8_cos10

I can see that the blue and orange shade at the edge around some odd-looking stars disappear.

Thanks a lot!

#4 nytecam

nytecam

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11457
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2005
  • Loc: London UK

Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:41 AM

Much better :bow: - both options work !

You should be able to increase brightness and colour saturation as my version of your image below via the auto SX s/ware ;)

Attached Files



#5 Moromete

Moromete

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 665
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Romania

Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:48 AM

Congrats!

#6 Puck Ja

Puck Ja

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: OK, USA

Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:18 AM

You should be able to increase brightness and colour saturation as my version of your image below via the auto SX s/ware ;)


Thanks a again for showing more improvement. I like your edition. BTW, I have never been able to read JPEG file back in SX software to change settings. It only reads my FIT file. If I try to open a JPEG, the error message would be "You didn't choose a valid MX file".

Since I only post JPEG online, I wonder how could you read them back into SX software? Thanks!

#7 norden

norden

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 236
  • Joined: 08 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Norden

Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

Great images! well done!

#8 nytecam

nytecam

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11457
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2005
  • Loc: London UK

Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:18 PM

You should be able to increase brightness and colour saturation as my version of your image below via the auto SX s/ware ;)


Thanks a again for showing more improvement. I like your edition. BTW, I have never been able to read JPEG file back in SX software to change settings. It only reads my FIT file. If I try to open a JPEG, the error message would be "You didn't choose a valid MX file".

Since I only post JPEG online, I wonder how could you read them back into SX software? Thanks!

You can't read JPGs in SX s/ware! You can save as SX file, FITS or TIFF - I save as a TIFF, open in PaintShopPro or Photoshop to convert to JPG ;)

#9 jchaller

jchaller

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1350
  • Joined: 29 May 2008
  • Loc: Tenino, WA.

Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:32 PM

Nicely done, and a great nights work with the Lodestar.

#10 Puck Ja

Puck Ja

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: OK, USA

Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement and help. Hopefully more people (including myself) will start to appreciate the potential of Lodestar_C with some sharing of experience to work around some software "quirks". :)






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics