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M63 with my little 100mm APO

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#1 roofkid

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 06:05 AM

Hi everyone,

 

currently I'm deeply entrenched in editing my galaxy season images. Despite not owning a long focal length instrument I fearlessly shoot galaxies anyway :D Here is my result for M63. The seeing was pretty good so I would expect this to be pretty much the maximum resolution I can get with my little scope without using short exposures (an experiment I have already done with good results and will post shortly). As I'm shooting from my home balcony in an orange light pollution zone I cannot get much of the faint extensions of the galaxy though. That was a bit of a bummer considering the total exposure time. But I suppose it is to be expected.

 

I choose to follow some past suggestions and will now upload a wide field version, an annotated version and a cropped version on these types of shots:

 

wide: get.jpg?insecure

 

annotated: get.jpg?insecure

 

crop on galaxy: get.jpg?insecure

 

To be completely honest with you. Everytime I have finished editing a galaxy image with my scope I question if I should even get a longer focal length scope (contemplating an 8" f/5 newton). I think the seeing would support it, but I have no idea if I could get a significant improvement in my images. What do you guys think?

 

Thanks for stopping by and having a look,

Sven

 


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#2 Faber

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:09 AM

Great image!
You’re inspiring me.
I have a 100 mm apo and I’d like to start to image; your image let me think I can obtain good results with some effort.
Best regards
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#3 John Miele

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:40 AM

Hi Sven,

 

Wow! These are excellent images! You captured a tremendous amount of detail in M63 and even those other little galaxies in the field are showing structure. Theoretically you should see more detail with longer FL, but I do not think it would be a significant difference. And seeing, tracking, etc. may limit you before the extra aperture does anyway. I think you got the 100 mm firing on all cylinders!!!

 

You captured these from your balcony? That's impressive. How do you avoid vibrations ruining your subs? Do you tun your rig remotely from inside your home?

 

John


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#4 Gucky

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

Beautiful image, Sven!

 

I too contemplate about the same question. Do I want a Mewlon 250 (hmm, too expensive) or a TS-Optics RC (hmm, who else owns one)???

But then I think I have already too much scope for the few occasions I really can take pictures...


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#5 astroby2

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:07 AM

Sven,

 

I think if your goal is increasing details in relatively small objects like M63, there is no alternative to bumping up the aperture. Of course you need a bunch of other things to be successful - decent tracking, perfect collimation, great seeing, etc. You might not see improvement on any night, but you have to be prepared for that perfect calm night with excellent seeing - if you are stuck with 100mm scope, its aperture most probably will become a limiting factor.

I don't know if you've seen this amazing image of M51 from GA-HAMAL https://www.cloudyni...c/#entry8545504. I think it clearly shows what you can get in terms of resolution with the right instrument (in this case 305mm Newt) when conditions are good and you know what you are doing.


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#6 vdb

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 03:09 PM

Sven,

 

I think if your goal is increasing details in relatively small objects like M63, there is no alternative to bumping up the aperture. Of course you need a bunch of other things to be successful - decent tracking, perfect collimation, great seeing, etc. You might not see improvement on any night, but you have to be prepared for that perfect calm night with excellent seeing - if you are stuck with 100mm scope, its aperture most probably will become a limiting factor.

I don't know if you've seen this amazing image of M51 from GA-HAMAL https://www.cloudyni...c/#entry8545504. I think it clearly shows what you can get in terms of resolution with the right instrument (in this case 305mm Newt) when conditions are good and you know what you are doing.

Black and white and Lucky imaging helps a lot in perceived detail ...

I just did an M101 and the L layer was also very impressive for only 106mm aperture, the picture fell apart with the bad RGB layer .... So While I agree that more aperture gives more resolution, in reality the difference is hard to see, especially in color ...  I really should compare my 14 inch, 10 inch ODK to 106 refractor data ... but from memory the difference at comparable pixel scale was not that big ...

/Yves


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#7 roofkid

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 03:36 AM

Thank you Faber, John, Peter, astroby2 and vdb for your kind words and information.

 

Faber, I feel humbled that I inspired you to use your APO for imaging. You can definitely take a lot of beautiful images with this kind of focal length and I'm happy that I choose it for my main scope back then.

 

John, I am using some vibration pads underneath the tripod legs. Other than that everything is run remotely. The Intel Compute Stick is in my home Wifi. The only time I'm actually on the balcony is when I'm setting up or do the polar alignment.

 

Peter, I think there are quite a few people on here that are using the GSO RCs. TS only brands those as are others like Astro-Tech, TPO, ... there are so many rebrands of GSO scopes that it's hard to keep track of all those brand names. Be sure to get a new version where the focusser is decoupled from the main mirror as everything else seems just like a design flaw to me. I think this "fix" is only available on the truss versions so watch out for that if you are really interested.

 

astroby2, that definitly is some impressive resolution. On the other hand I have to agree with Yves on perception. I could post a luminance version of this M63 and you would definitely think it is on another level as the final image. I have the same problems Yves mentions. I have a hard time getting that spectacularly looking luminance to carry over to the final image. I think it is just a perceptual issue though. We perceive contrast best in black and white (b/c our eyes work that way).


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#8 entilza

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 09:27 AM

I think your images are great Sven, it's nice we can have two images at times with our wide fields.  I think having both a wide field version and a crop is a nice touch.

 

Not sure I like the how it changes the image when I hover over it but that's just me or I am just not used to it yet.

 

The desire for a longer focal length is always there especially with galaxies, it's up to you.  What was easy once may be more difficult though.



#9 astroby2

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 09:32 AM


astroby2, that definitly is some impressive resolution. On the other hand I have to agree with Yves on perception. I could post a luminance version of this M63 and you would definitely think it is on another level as the final image. I have the same problems Yves mentions. I have a hard time getting that spectacularly looking luminance to carry over to the final image. I think it is just a perceptual issue though. We perceive contrast best in black and white (b/c our eyes work that way).

If I remember correctly, in that thread I referenced, he posted a color version using borrowed color data. To my eye it was still way ahead of any amateur M51 image I've seen before in terms of resolution.

I also remember seeing a color image of NGC 206 in M31 on astrobin which struck me with amount of details magnitudes better than in a typical amateur image. The guy was using one of those crazy expensive RCs with an aperture something like 17.5". I will share if I can find it again.

I agree that you can produce amazing images with a smaller aperture refractor, and I really like Sven's M63. But in terms of absolute arcsec resolution I don't remember any examples from a small aperture scope which would make me say "wow" like the two I mentioned above.

 

EDIT: I found that NGC 206 I was talking about:

 

get.jpg?insecure


Edited by astroby2, 28 May 2018 - 09:47 AM.


#10 roofkid

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 03:41 AM

Martin, thank you for the compliment smile.gif Actually I think that I have discovered a bug on Astrobin because that whole "show crop version on hover" is not intended and I cannot get rid of it. I do not know what happened frown.gif I do not like it either. Oh well ...

 

astroby2, obviously the increased aperture used correctly (= potent mount, thorough guiding, excellent seeing, everything setup correctly, dark skies) will yield superior results, I think there is no disputing that.

 

I think you bring a very interesting psychological topic to light though.

In my opinion a good question to ask oneself is: What expectations do I have in this hobby? Personally I just want to do the best I can with the gear I have (which already cost thousands of Euros) and get out some decent pictures and extremely carefully weigh my options for the future. What I notice in the forums is that people throw a lot of money at the problem without actually getting to the point that they have exhausted their current gear which is something I want to inspire in others. "Oh look, that's what you can do with a 100mm refractor?" would be a great reaction in my mind.

 

In addition I think it leads to mental frustration to compare with some of the greatest amateur images around of all time. That is also something I'm very mindful of to be honest. Personally I admire those shots greatly and I also hope that I have a good sense of how many months and years people have spent money, blood, sweat and tears to get to that level of excellence - in addition to that luck of the night when the seeing needs to be perfect as well. You never see any of the failed attempts of taking that picture smile.gif

 

Ok, sorry for my rambling here. I hope I put some of my mindset into perspective. I'm not even sure if this is helping anyone or if somebody sees it but there it is.


Edited by roofkid, 29 May 2018 - 03:41 AM.

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#11 Mert

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 02:21 PM

Hello Sven,

 

I have been staring for quit some time at your wide field and have to

say I admire this shot!

Apart from having captured tremendous detail in M63 also you have

captured many faint background galaxies making this image soo

interesting!

For what you stated looking for bigger aperture I can state almost the

same over here!

FWIW I do have a little Mak 6" and an APO ( 102mm ) and really like

the wide fields the APO gives.

When finally settling down on some galaxy or another sometimes I

try with the Maksutov eventhough its resolution is not soo much better!

 

When you want to get better resolution maybe worth thinking about a 10"

newton or RC, then you have good resolution.

But remember, there is always an enemy lurking around!

The enemy of good..... is better. There is always something better ( $$$ )

In my opinion you have reached an admirable level capturing!!

Regards,

Mert


Edited by Mert, 29 May 2018 - 02:22 PM.

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#12 TimN

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 10:37 AM

I think from a balcony in an orange zone with a 100mm scope that is spectacular. You could be happy with getting the very best out of your current equipment and conditions or  you can spend more $$$ and time and try for something a little better. Its a choice many of us are faced with and there is no 'one size fits all' answer.

 

Regardless of what you do in the future that is a great image. waytogo.gif



#13 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

Nicely done Sven!

 

John



#14 roofkid

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 03:39 PM

Thank you Mert, Tim and John for your compliments. They are much appreciated :)

 

Mert and Tim, very interesting to hear your opinion on it. Thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions. I absolutely agree with you that there is always something better. Your words reminded me of a comic I saw once. Had to find it for this occassion:

 

look-at-that-new-car-i-wish-i-had-a-2556


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#15 GA-HAMAL

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:03 AM

The galaxy and its structures look amazingly natural smile.png

 

It would be great if such views could be seen in the telescope's eyepiece.




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