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Where is my California Nebula ?!

Astrophotography Beginner
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#1 Max_

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:47 AM

I'm currently in France close to 49.67588597239229, -1.4683933100608793

Last night, I was outside to capture the California Nebula.

I was using a Canon Rebel Xsi / 450D astro modified, with a 90-300mm lens at 135mm. I wasn't using a mount cause I can't afford it until this summer.

I managed to capture 500 lights (2sec exposure each at f.5 and 800 ISO) before it went behind the trees. Also did 50 dark, 50 bias, 50 flat.

 

After stacking everything in Deep Sky Stacker, I put it in GIMP and did not managed to get any results. I've checked in Stellarium for her position and the California Nebula seems to be on the picture somewhere but I can't make it appear.

 

I don't understand what i've done wrong.

Is a tracker really necessary to capture this nebulae ? Where my settings wrong ?

 

Here is the link to the photo that I just brightened in GIMP :

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

 



#2 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:14 AM

I plate solved your picture here.  And here it is projected on the sky.

 

Looks like you caught it at the upper edge of the image.  As for why it's not there, someone else can weigh in.  Perhaps you're undersampled or your camera isn't sensitive enough.  scratchhead2.gif


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#3 Max_

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:21 AM

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I was pretty sure I did frame it well but, I still need to improve my skills. I'll maybe try to capture framed up this time.

For the camera issue, i'm know that this camera it capable of shooting deep sky object pretty easily and is also astro modified with the IR filter removed so I can't understand why it isn't appearing. Maybe there is no other way to capture it than using a mount. Do you know any nice object that I couls shoot without a tracker ? Still have few days in this area and there is no clouds today so I'de like to try to shoot something else tonight.



#4 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:23 AM

If I really slam the faders around I can almost convince myself there's some indication of a boundary front there, but it's not much.  You probably just need longer subs - which would require a tracker.  Again, will allow someone else to weigh in there.  What are your sky conditions like?

 

If you're shooting with a DSLR, consider the Star Adventurer or the iOptron version.  I just picked one up and it's great so far.


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#5 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:27 AM

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I was pretty sure I did frame it well but, I still need to improve my skills. I'll maybe try to capture framed up this time.

For the camera issue, i'm know that this camera it capable of shooting deep sky object pretty easily and is also astro modified with the IR filter removed so I can't understand why it isn't appearing. Maybe there is no other way to capture it than using a mount. Do you know any nice object that I couls shoot without a tracker ? Still have few days in this area and there is no clouds today so I'de like to try to shoot something else tonight.

The Orion Nebula is still up in the early evening at my latitude (32 deg) which is easy and rewarding.  Don't know if it's still visible where you're located.  In the mornings M13 (Hercules cluster) is near zenith and is easy find.

 

Here is the tool I use to see what's visible and plan my sessions, I highly recommend it:

 

https://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php



#6 southerndandy

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:30 AM

Messing with your image in Photoshop and StarTools, as stated above the tail end of it might just maybe be there.  I think your biggest issue is just integration time.  500x2sec images is only like 17 minutes.  A couple of hours is what's really needed to bring out objects like this, even with a modded camera.  



#7 Max_

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:35 AM

Thanks a lot for your replys.

 

I was about to ask if i should stack more images. As tonight will be pretty clear, I'll be able to start imaging earlier and I'll try to get something like 1 hour or more before it get behind trees and so on for the next night.

 

I'll grab myself a Star Adventurer this summer and hopefully it will help meto capture nice deep sky object.

Also your website to plan your shoot seems really nice, thanks a lot.



#8 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:46 AM

Thanks a lot for your replys.

 

I was about to ask if i should stack more images. As tonight will be pretty clear, I'll be able to start imaging earlier and I'll try to get something like 1 hour or more before it get behind trees and so on for the next night.

 

I'll grab myself a Star Adventurer this summer and hopefully it will help meto capture nice deep sky object.

Also your website to plan your shoot seems really nice, thanks a lot.

Thumbs up on your plans.  I strongly recommend getting the Star Adventurer 2i Pro Pack which comes with the EQ base and counterweight.



#9 acommonsoul

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:33 AM

Thanks a lot for your replys.

 

I was about to ask if i should stack more images. As tonight will be pretty clear, I'll be able to start imaging earlier and I'll try to get something like 1 hour or more before it get behind trees and so on for the next night.

 

I'll grab myself a Star Adventurer this summer and hopefully it will help meto capture nice deep sky object.

Also your website to plan your shoot seems really nice, thanks a lot.

I have found that connecting a computer and using an astro-capture program, such as APT can help a lot because you can use it to blind plate solve. It will then show where you are pointed in programs like Stellarium. There is nothing more frustrating than spending a whole night of imaging to find out you weren't on target.


Edited by acommonsoul, 13 April 2021 - 09:33 AM.

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#10 Max_

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:27 AM

I'm already using APT as my capture soft and I just connected it to Stellarium but how do you make it help you to see where you're shooting ? I've searched a bit and only found out that it is useful to control a PHD autoguiding rig and I don't have one.

Could I just use it to help me frame my subject correctly ? That would be dope.



#11 acommonsoul

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 03:16 PM

I'm already using APT as my capture soft and I just connected it to Stellarium but how do you make it help you to see where you're shooting ? I've searched a bit and only found out that it is useful to control a PHD autoguiding rig and I don't have one.

Could I just use it to help me frame my subject correctly ? That would be dope.

Off the top of my head I don't remember the exact way to connect Stellarium, but I remember it being easy. You need to download all the astrometry.net index files on the computer you are using. There are some videos out there on how to set it all up. Then all you do is capture a shot, click blind plate solve and APT will solve it. Once it solves it, it will send the info to Stellarium, which will display where you are pointing, the field of view, and the orientation of the camera, so you can get it framed perfectly. Sorry I can't give you step by step instructions on how to setup everything. I switched to EKOS about 7 months ago and haven't touched APT since.

 

Oh, and to answer the other part of your question, because I didn't have a GOTO mount at the time, I would take shot, solve, and see where I was pointing and then adjust the scope by hand and repeat until I got it just right. This could take as long as 45 minutes some times in my Bortle 8/9 backyard, but it was worth it.


Edited by acommonsoul, 13 April 2021 - 03:19 PM.


#12 Max_

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 06:34 AM

I'll be trying this when my crappy computer will have finished stacking images. Gathered 1 hour yesterday of the California Nebula and I will do the same today or tomorrow.



#13 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:48 AM

I'll be trying this when my crappy computer will have finished stacking images. Gathered 1 hour yesterday of the California Nebula and I will do the same today or tomorrow.

Looking forward to your results!



#14 Max_

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 04:16 PM

After 9 hours of struggle, almost crashed, It's finally done ! I've been messing around Gimp for an hour and we can see some first lights. But it is still really faint. I'll try to get 1 to 2 extra hours of data tomorrow. Hope it will help a bit.

I uploaded on Drive, a colored version that I edited, a black and white version where it is really obvious but kinda impossible to reduce noise, and the original Deep Sky Stacker .TIF output.

What do you think ? Can I get a bit more from it by post processing it a bit more ?

Here is the linked to the Drive : https://drive.google...rkB?usp=sharing

 

Thanks for your help guys, this is my very first "image" where I really see something that looks a bit like it should even if I still have lots of room for improvements, but I'm kinda happy that I finally did something that worked at least a bit.



#15 rj144

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 04:52 PM

I looked a bit.  There isn't much there unfortunately.  You need to do something like 10 times as much data for it to really show up.



#16 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 04:54 PM

It's definitely there.  I was able to pull it out of the noise, but at a cost.  Hopefully one of the more advanced users can help.  More time on target always helps.

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