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Rest of the images from First Night of Astrophotography...M13, M3, M57, NGC 6543 & a beautiful galaxy!

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#1 Oscar Szentirmai

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:13 PM

Evening everyone...

 

Following on from my previous thread....I took some time tonight, and avoided going outside to work on the data I agquired over the first night of trying AP.

 

Setup:

Mount: Ioptron CEM25P

Scope: Sky-Watcher 80ED

Camera: ZWO ASI 294MC Pro @ 4 degrees celcius (the fuse in the cigarette plug charger was blown, so could not cool the sensor)

NO GUIDING, yet...

No filters

No calibration frames. Was not yet familiar with that!

 

 

Software:

Acquisition with Astrophotography Tool

Stacking with DeepSkyStacker

Very light processing in GIMP, just color levels stretch

 

 

Please be gentle....I am fully aware they are very newbie pics, especially the Cat's Eye Nebula. Did not recognize how small it is!!!

 

 

I am over the moon!!

 

smile.gif

 

 

M13

10 subs x 10 seconds + 6 subs x 15 seconds

 

 

 

M57 The Ring Nebula

13 subs x 15 seconds

 

 

 

Cat's Eye Nebula embarrassing, I know...

25 subs x 20 seconds

 

 

 

A Beautiful Galaxy. Please advise what this is? I forgot what I chose that night!!

5 subs x 20 seconds

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M13.jpg
  • M57 Ring Nebula cropped.jpg
  • Amazing.jpg
  • Cats Eye Nebula.jpg

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#2 Oscar Szentirmai

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:14 PM

And this was too big to join its sisters:

 

M3

4 subs x 15 seconds

 

smile.gif

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M3.jpg

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#3 OldManSky

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:20 PM

I know how exciting it is to be able to capture all these cool targets. It’s fun!

I would, however, suggest slowing down a bit, and concentrating on quality instead of quantity of targets...

Take a little more time focusing, and spend at least an hour or two on each target. You’ll be amazed at the gain in image quality!

Keep at it. smile.gif

 

BTW, the galaxy is M51.


Edited by OldManSky, 26 March 2020 - 10:22 PM.

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#4 Oscar Szentirmai

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:39 PM

I know how exciting it is to be able to capture all these cool targets. It’s fun!

I would, however, suggest slowing down a bit, and concentrating on quality instead of quantity of targets...

Take a little more time focusing, and spend at least an hour or two on each target. You’ll be amazed at the gain in image quality!

Keep at it. smile.gif

 

BTW, the galaxy is M51.

Thanks, yes, totally agree.

 

That was my very first go, so was madly slewing across the visible sky from my back garden, checking Sky Safari on my phone, and hopping between targets!

 

Totally impatient, and just excited to see what I will be able to capture...

 

:)

 

I think I have cooled off, and will approach this more scientifically, but need a guide camera first.

 

Also, with regards to focusing, I was doing it manually, looking at LIVE VIEW on APT, then fine tuning the focus knob on my refractor, then taking a single shot on APT to check.

 

Isn't there a more precise and easy way to get exact focus?

 

Many thanks


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#5 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:48 PM

Also, with regards to focusing, I was doing it manually, looking at LIVE VIEW on APT, then fine tuning the focus knob on my refractor, then taking a single shot on APT to check.

 

Isn't there a more precise and easy way to get exact focus?

 

Many thanks

https://www.deepskyw...tinov-mask.html

 

Spend some quality time with some scissors and black construction paper and make your own.  You finally get to put those skills you learned in Kindergarten to good use.  If your live view screen has a way to zoom in, that is best.  I use one with my DSLR and 130mm f/7 refractor, and the zoom built into the DSLR makes it much more precise.
 


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#6 scadvice

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 12:23 AM

Yes, There is. Here is one video describing the use of a Bahtinov Mask. 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=k0FIluj9ndQ


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#7 miwitte

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 02:12 AM

One thing i learned in this hobby is the more data you get on a object the better the data and hence the quality of the image. I see a lot of newbs (me included) that would hop to several targets during a nightly imaging session. The challenge with imaging is something called signal to noise ratio. The noise for the most part stays the same and is a combination of noise from the camera but more significantly from streetlights and light pollution. The only way to overcome is to increase the signal with more imaging time, or go to a very dary sight where the noise is lower. My typical images for a very light polluted site is typically 20+ hours of data to create a decent image to bring the signal out of the noise. I typically image the same object for 20+ hours to get a decent image where i live. If i was up in New Mexico in the mountains i could do the in a hour or so because the noise for light pollution is so low. Lots of trade offs in this hobby


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#8 scadvice

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 01:35 PM

IMO - There are a number of programs out there to process astro images.  I use PixInsight others use Star Tools or Nebulosity and others like Photo Shop. Most have trial periods.

 

I'm not going to talk about the difference much. It's kind of one of those things that you must decide where you will put your time in to learn. All we can do is inform and recommend from our experiences.

 

I personalty ended up with PixInsight (PI) after buying Star Tools a trial period using Nebulosity. I ran across a free youtube video set by Mitch (AstroDude) who was teaching PixInsight for Absolute Beginners. This series of videos prompted me to try PI. The twelve video set allowed me to process successfully my first image with excellent results right out of the bag. I had a set of images of M42 Orion Nebula I had taken. I down loaded the trial version and followed along in Mitch's videos and produce this as my first image processed successfully. Since that time I've been hooked on PI.

 

https://www.youtube....z-MmH4rA_1WAG2d

 

integration_DBEA_A_4final_gpa.jpg

 

Lately I've been watching a fellow named Shawn Nielsen at visibledark.ca who is putting out some nice free little short youtube video's on using some of the PixInsight processes.

 

Having these "PixInsight Videos for Idiots" made PI happen for me where there was no way it would have before. PI is a very powerful image processing program. However, it's not cheap at 268 USD. It's a one time price with support updates at no cost. Still, I consider it worth every penny. BTW - Photoshop is also pricey as you pay yearly fee's to use it plus the cost of any astro add on's. Trevor Jones of AstroBackyard uses PS.

 

https://astrobackyar...phy-tutorial-1/

 

Many, Many people use PhotoShop and Nebulosity and swear by them. If you already have PS it might be worth it to you to buy one of the dozen or so astro add on programs available for use with PS. By far, I suspect PixInsight is the most popular and with the largest feedback and support base followed by PS. Some people use both! 

 

Investigate the major programs and pick the one you like. Find that one that works for you. Most of us go thru a few before we do. I suggest looking at videos available and concentrate on the ones that make sense to you then try them out by doing a sample image process.

 

Oh yes, before I forget.  Here is your galaxy... M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy with about two hours and half hours of stacked data. Not a the best image collection for reasons I won't go into here but, PI saved the day and it resulted in a fairly nice image still. More work can be done in PI to fix the problems.

 

a.jpg

 

Have fun with your imaging. There will be ups and downs so just remember...it's a hobby and enjoy it.


Edited by scadvice, 27 March 2020 - 03:29 PM.

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#9 MikiSJ

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 02:53 PM

Your capture of M51 as a first image should give you warm fuzzies. While not a difficult target, it is not usually on a 'first light list'.

 

I remember my first attempt at astrophotography way back in the late '70s. I had the scope (a 14.25" classical cass on a Tom Mathis mount). I tried using a then new Olympus OM-1/Olympus 180 mm f/2.8 (?) with Tri-X film and a deep red filter. I spent twenty minutes hand guiding and all I got was a lackluster image of Sirius with a couple of other bright stars. (Hooray for CCD/CMOS technology smile.gif)

 

Your first images are a worthwhile start. Practice, practice, practice and you'll start to get images that rival some of the more experience imagers here on CN.


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#10 fewayne

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:42 PM

BTW if you're ever wondering what's in your image, you can upload one to nova.astrometry.net and it will "plate solve", or analyze your image to determine the precise location you were pointing at, what objects were in view, etc.. It's quite useful. Later you'll start using it scope-side to figure out your pointing in real time. But heck, if you can nail M57, clearly you're not doing too badly on target-finding!


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