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Balancing Integration

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#1 hherzy

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 12:19 AM

This coming Saturday I plan to travel to a local observatory for deep sky imaging. I plan to collect 5-7 hours of integration hopefully. 

 

What Im wondering is, given that the sky is so dark, would it be worth it to just focus on one target for the entirety of my integration, or should I have several 2-3 hour targets? I rarely get to travel out to dark skies, and I suspect that the difference between 3 hours and 6 hours at a dark sky isn't THAT great. Given that dark sky integration is so rare, would it be more rewarding to shoot several targets in a night? I hope someone can chime in on this.


Edited by hherzy, 26 June 2019 - 12:52 AM.


#2 kathyastro

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 06:42 AM

If you have a specific target in mind that you want to shoot 7 hours on, then of course, do that.

 

But if you don't have a specific target in mind, it will be more rewarding to shoot several targets.  Partly, it will depend on what you consider a normal shoot.  My normal is 1.5 hours if I am shooting LRGB, or 3 hours if I am shooting HaLRGB.  So I wouldn't spend 7 hours on one target unless it was something very specific that needed it.



#3 FiremanDan

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:07 AM

I’d pick one or two. More data means more gooder!
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#4 Alex McConahay

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:58 AM

Depends on the target and your needs. 

 

I am currently trying to collect all the Messiers not as glamour pictures that can be posted on blown up prints, but that look good in a collection on my web page. That does not take all that much resolution. So, I can take a couple a night. 

 

Previously, I caught all 110 in one night. I wanted to make a poster of all of the Messier's captured in one night. That took nearly no resolution at all, and the pictures were so small, they could not really show many problems with noise, tracking, or almost anything. I could spend only five minutes per target. 

 

But, when I really want a good picture, I will spend a couple of nights on one target. 

 

I tell beginners that do not have regular access to dark sites to take several targets worth per night so they will have something to practice processing on when they get home. But if you are past that stage, you want as much time on target as you can get. 

 

A dim nebula may need a lot of time to separate real nebulosity from background, while a bright glob or an open star cluster does not demand nearly as much time. (As a matter of fact, longer exposures may be counter productive.

 

So, it is kinda up to you and what you need and the target. 

 

Alex


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#5 kisstek

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 10:40 AM

My normal is 1.5 hours if I am shooting LRGB, or 3 hours if I am shooting HaLRGB. 

I started to panic thinking I was doing something very wrong when I read those times. Then I saw the mention of the f4 Newt in your signature and breathed a sigh of relief. Once I multiple those times by 5 to match my f10 SCT, then my time/target doesn't seem so far out of whack. smile.gif


Edited by kisstek, 26 June 2019 - 11:35 AM.

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