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Weekend full of successes and failures.

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#1 Bubblehead_Mike

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 06:47 AM

What was supposed to be my best weekend yet turned into an imaging failure but a great learning experience. Last week I had to redo my collimation, because I'm trying to upgrade my focuser (long story full of grief). After stacking my frames, I realized I didn't get it dialed in. I managed 2 nights on M101, and learned a lot. Both nights, I finally was able to guide! I was thrilled to see a total RMS of .66 for a consistent hour or so with flat horizontal trend lines. Then dew set in and I had to quit guiding. Needless to say there is a dew control setup in my cart. I was still able to manage 120 sec exposures unguided. I think I finally was able to get good calibration frames as my initial stack seemed much better than any of my previous attempts. It was also my first filter attempt, just a CLS wile I'm waiting on a L-Enhance. I don't feel like the CLS provided anything positive to my data.

 

Saturday morning I stacked my data to see what I had, and APP told me I had a light leak. I have wondered why all my images start with a terrible amount of light.

M101 session 1 session 2 St
 
So Saturday I taped every seam around my focuser and camera rings and I wrapped the back of my scope (Newt) with a black trash bag. Saturday night's data was much better. So now I'm looking for a better way to seal the back of the scope.
M101 night 2 RGB session 1 St

 

Since I have pretty bad data I decided to mess with different settings in APP for pre processing and stacking. I also went all in and decided to start post processing in Photoshop. Nothing good to talk about there yet, but I can tell it will be miles ahead of an image only processed in APP.

 

Finally for the experienced people here. Looking at my second image what is wrong? I have double diffraction spikes, coma, and it looks like my stars are coming in. The only thing different with my setup is that I had collimated, and added a CLS filter mounted in the camera. I suspect it's mostly a collimation issue, but I'm not sure if that's my only problem.


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#2 Cfeastside

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 07:16 AM

Best way to learn is by doing.  Bummer things didnt quite go as you would have liked but you got some images and learned a ton!  This persuit is a vertical learning curve at first but it gets easier the more you do it.  
 

not sure about the double spikes, could be the filter.  You might want to upload your stacked fit file and make it available for download so people can assess it. 
 

keep at it!



#3 AhBok

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 07:43 AM

It appears you are a bit out of focus. Look at the diffraction spikes on the bright star at the center left. Zoom in a bit and you will see double spikes.

#4 BucketDave

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 05:13 PM

And you've also photographed your first supernova!

#5 fmendes

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Posted 31 May 2023 - 05:55 PM

It was also my first filter attempt, just a CLS wile I'm waiting on a L-Enhance. I don't feel like the CLS provided anything positive to my data.

 

There are two types of CLS filters. One is only called CLS, and the other is the CLS-CCD, Difference is that the former does not block IR/UV light. If your camera already has an IR/UV filter built-in, you're good. If not, you may need an additional filter. Not a problem, I did that a few times with good results.

 

https://www.cloudyni...94-iris-nebula/



#6 fmendes

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Posted 01 June 2023 - 02:57 PM

So Saturday I taped every seam around my focuser and camera rings and I wrapped the back of my scope (Newt) with a black trash bag. Saturday night's data was much better. So now I'm looking for a better way to seal the back of the scope.

I'm realyzing that closing all light leaks is more difficult than it seems. On the rear, I'm using two hair bonnets, as I couldn't find a single one that blocks light for good. An alternative is a dust cover from AstroZap or similar.

 

https://astrozap.com...ons/dust-covers

 

On the focuser, I just installed a foam ring that I cut with my 3d printer (also laser cutter). I'm planning to make a bellow that is less springy on the focuser.




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