My Astro Photos
Scopes: C11 & C8 Edge HD Mounts: CGEM, 10Micron HPS 1000 Cams: Atik 490 EX Starlight Xpress SX-25C Orion short tube / Loadstar Hyperstar's My Humble Astrobin Page
Quote:That's a really good idea. Do people like Nebulosity? I have been imaging with ccdops5 since I'm using an SBIG camera and like the SSC conversion. I was confused at first with imaging in Nebulosity because I'd take a 20 minute exposure of Andromeda and you could barely see it. I later realized you need to play with the sliders to get something out of it.
My PixInsight Tutorial Pointer to Other Useful Threads of Mine http://www.astrobin.com/users/Madratter/
Quote:People spends many multiples of 1000s of $$$ on their equipment and then won't spend the $$$ and time on post processing that will make their images pop. That makes little sense to me.
http://www.faintfuzzy.net Stuff C14, C8, Orion XX14i, Meade 8" ACF, AT6RC, AT102ED, Orion ED80, PST, AP1600GTO, CGE, CG5, ST10-XME/CFW8, QHY8PRO, Optec TCF-s, Microtouch Focuser, Pyxis LE, Hyperstar for C8.
Quote:My question is, could 1.7 hours more of data really create this drastic of a difference? My process is pretty lazy but I get decent results. If I am going to be taking a series of 900(s) exposures, I'll take a single 900(s) dark image to use as the master dark image to subtract from each. I've read about people taking around 10 dark images and stacking them to create a master (is there really any benefit to this? Is it worth the extra 2 hours worth of darks? Do they need to be the same exposure lengths?) Also, some people take a dark image for every light image they take? That is extremely wasteful if your object is only in the sky for a 4-6 hour window? Over half your exposure time was spent on darks.. My last question is, do flats and dark flats really do anything? I've never attempted to use them. Could it be this that is the true difference between our photo? I'm not really sure how bad my light pollution is here so I did pick up the 2" Orion Sky Glow filter which alot of people have said good things about and I've seen good photos uploaded with it but I haven't been able to use it yet due to it raining for 2 weeks
- Jared Willson
Quote:The proper use of darks and flats will significantly improve your data quality but probably won't get you to the level of the second sample you provided. You'll need to improve your post processing techniques as well--learning how to stretch your images much more, handle the noise in the faint regions that results from the stretching, perhaps master DDP techniques to improve dynamic range in your images, reduce star bloat that results from stretching, and perhaps learn how to selectively apply deconvolution and high-pass filter contrast enhancements.Once you have mastered all of that, you will likely start to notice weaknesses in your source data... Are your stars really as round as you want them? Are you getting the resolution (in FWHM) that you really want? Can you go as deep as you see other astronomers going with similar techniques under similar sky conditions? When you can identify and attribute specific flaws in your source data to equipment problems I would recommend making the hardware upgrades you need to address the problems. That might involve a monochrome camera, a better mount, a larger OTA, an off-axis guider rather than a guide scope, etc.. Until you can identify the source of a specific problem, though, you probably won't be happy with the results if you just start to upgrade equipment. Make sure you know exactly what is wrong and what to do about it before throwing money at the problem.Best of luck--you are well on the way!
Mach1GTO / G11/G2 (stock) / AT6RC / AT10RC / TMB92SS / Astrodon 50D / STT-8300M / FW8G-STT / PixInsight / etc, etc. Astrobin - Flickr
Quote:It's funny you say about money being spent on equipment as I read your "Stuff" list. I'll take some of those off your hand