WOW! Thank you everyone for the kind words!
Especially seeing the results a lot of you get, I'm happy you all liked it!
There are some software setups that will allow you to let the platesolving program drive the mount to the correct coordinates automatically, but I've never figured that out myself. Maybe someone who knows can post the info.
I know! My mount doesn't have that ability. Just a Meade LXD55 mount so pretty archaic in the world of GOTO mounts.
I love the scale of this image. We always get the close up view of it, but this makes you appreciate it for what it is a little more. Cool shot!
Thank you! Was certainly not planned, but I do like the field of view.
That's awesome, be very proud! I was trying to get the same target last night and ran into difficulties. What camera were using? How long were you're exposures? What ISO?
If I can figure out to get the Ring and my DSLR to line up I'm hoping to do something similar (maybe tonight). It's such a high target for me that the camera hits the mount on my scope.
It's an unmodded Canon T7i aka 800d.
30 second subs.
I was using a cheap-o LPF as well.
Looking at what other peoples' settings are, I think I should have used higher ISO. But on the computer screen it looked too bright and blown out. But I think in photoshop I'll be able to adjust the curves to darken it out. Which I actually was able to do with this image as well.
It's very high for me too, so at least it's the least amount of atmosphere to go through.
Nice start. A suggestion.
Taking the camera calibration frames (bias, flats, darks) will help you learn processing better, now and in the long run.
OH yeah. Like I said, my battery died so I took some darks the next day. Not ideal, I know.
About 65 years ago the Ring was the first DSO that I found with a paper tube and surplus lenses home made scope. It became the DSO that I use to measure the quality if seeing and scope capability ever since. Great Job, keep it up.
WOW! That's incredible!
And thank you!
Breathes there the astrophotographer who hasn't growled under her breath "All this time looking for the object, I could be SHOOTING PICTURES!"?
Everybody loves to flog their own favorite gadgets to beginners. Guilty! But that said, once you get offline plate solving working in Ekos/KStars, having it zero the mount in on the target is as simple as checking a radio button in the user interface. I'm sure plenty of other software can do it easily as well.
This was hands-down the best investment I've made in software fiddling so far. Enter your target, ensure the "Slew to target" button is selected, click "Capture and solve", and the software and mount do the rest. Literally that simple.
And it can use an online platesolver too, though it'll probably take longer. I don't know because I'm almost never in a position to use it.
On a Raspberry Pi 3, solving is a crapshoot. Takes almost a minute, fails maybe a quarter of the time. Still better than eyeballs! Running on my laptop, it takes 2-5 seconds. Rarely it won't work, throwing me back on the old manual techniques, reminding me just how good I normally have it.
Well done! M57 was I think my second DSO target, after M13. Same problem with getting the tiny thing to land on my tiny planetary camera's sensor, but I didn't have the luxury of plate solving at the time. Very frustrating, as you know.
Suggestion for plate solving, give ASTAP a try. I run it from CCDciel on my Raspberry Pi 3B at the mount, and it plate solves in about 10-15 seconds. I use the telescope's GoTo to aim the scope where it thinks the target should be, take an image with the camera, plate solve, and then the software tells the mount where it really is aimed at (called a "sync"). Another GoTo on the mount, and I'm usually dead on target. It's a great technique and skill to master, especially handy for when the target is too dim to see in one image.
One day when I grow up and get a real mount, I'll be able to exploit those abilities!