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Paramount

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Everything posted by Paramount

  1. IC443 - Jellyfish Nebula in HST palette

    Yes I take flats but, as I boost the weaker channels before colour combining ie the OIII and SII then everything including signal, noise, gradient, etc is boosted so with images that require the extra boost for the weaker signals there is sometimes a gradient that needs taking care of. This is especially more so when shooting OIII when there is moon light. Flats won't remove a gradient in these cases Best wishes Gordon
  2. IC443 - Jellyfish Nebula in HST palette

    Hi Ray Thanks for the comments, no special techniques, here is a brief overview of my workflow 1. Calibrate all raw frames 2. Register frames with Registar 3. Stack in Maxim DL5 4. Do a stretch with a gamma value of 0.1, maximum pixel value and 16 bit before saving to 16 bit tiff file 5. Open all three master frames in Photoshop CC and equalise the histograms using the mid point on levels 6. Colour combine to HST palette 7. Curves and levels to get the details out 8. Gradient Xterminator 9. Selective colour to balance the colours out to give a more aesthetic appearance 10. High pass filter to make the details stand out more 11. Crop the image to remove any stacking artefacts That's about it really, nothing fancy Best wishes Gordon
  3. Hi This image has taken over a month to complete with a couple of false starts during that time (set up, framed, focused, auto guider running and then clouds appear). I shot the SII data on November 5th with fireworks going off for the first few hours, thankfully they don't emit light in the SII 5nm bandwidth. This was taken with the Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME, auto guided by a SX lodestar and OAG using dithering. Processing was curves/levels, contrast and selective colour. Exposure details are 19x30 minutes SII, 10x30 minutes Ha and 14x30 minutes OIII combined so SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B I tried this subject a few years ago with a TMB115/SX H36 combination, this can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison There is a full size version of this at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/147204744/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  4. Hi I managed to get out to add some more OIII data to this, I was hoping to get some more SII as well but the weather has turned again. This is now 8x30 minutes SII, 12x30 minutes Ha and 19x30 minutes OIII. I have also reprocessed it from the ground up to produce a more pleasing image (less greens). Hope you like it, will try and get some more SII in the next couple of weeks. The previous version can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk A full size version can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/146235154/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  5. Hi This is of Sh2-155 (Cave Nebula) in the wavelength ordered palette (HST) and was taken with a FSQ106ED at f5 on a Paramount ME, the camera was a FLI ML8300 with exposures of 8x30 minutes SII, 12x30 minutes Ha and 10x30 minutes OIII. The Ha version can be seen on the home page of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk There is a full size version at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/146143339/original There are a lot of interesting subjects in the Sharpless catalogue so I may continue looking through them Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  6. Sh2-155 (Cave Nebula) in HST palette

    Thanks guys I've found that since doing mainly narrow band imaging the only way to get decent results is plenty of good quality data which means lots of hours at the scope, there just aren't any short cuts unless you have an EV2 or fairchild equipped camera with a QE of over 95%, but then again you would need a huge bank balance to pay for the camera. I'm lucky in that I enjoy being outside during the long dark nights so it suits me.......now if only the weather could play ball a bit more often;-) Best wishes Gordon
  7. Sh2-157 in HST palette

    Hi All I've been working on this for the last few weeks in between work and weather, it is of Sh2-157 (also known as the lobster claw nebula), I managed to get 12x30 minutes Ha, 14x30 minutes OIII and 9x30 minutes SII (would have got more SII but the whole sky misted up in the space of five minutes, reminiscent of the film "The Fog"). These were then colour combined according to the wavelength ordered palette so SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B. It was taken with a FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME using a lodestar to autoguide with dithering. Processing consists of levels, curves, colour balancing and contrast adjustments. The Ha and Ha/OIII versions can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk along with a much wider field version Below is a link to the full size version http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/145929814/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  8. NGC6992 - Ha & OIII (WIP)

    Hi Since I got back off holiday in May it has been clouded over or raining or both for two months where I live so this is my first image in over two months. This is of NGC6992 and was taken over two nights with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 and FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME. Exposures are 6x30 minutes Ha and 8x30 minutes OIII. I used a lodestar and OAG with dithering for guiding. I am hoping to add some SII but at the moment the cloud and rain has come back so further developments may take a week or so. I have tried this a number of times over the last few years with various scopes, cameras and exposure times, both wih and without guiding, these can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison. I have enclosed a link to the full size image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/145122050/original Thanks for looking and clear skies Best wishes Gordon
  9. NGC6992 - HST palette

    Hi I managed to get some SII data last night to go with the other two channels from a week or so ago, there was a large patch of cloud that interupted the session for half an hour or so but luckily no more for the rest of the evening. This was taken with a FSQ106ED at f5, ML8300 and 5nm Ha, OIII and SII filters on a Paramount ME, auto guiding was taken care of by a lodestar and OAG using dithering. Exposures are 6x30 minutes Ha, 8x30 minutes OIII and 9x30 minutes SII. These were then mapped using the wavelength ordered palette of SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B The full size image can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/145300616/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  10. NGC6992 - HST palette

    Hi Ray Thanks for the comments, as a general rule with narrow band Ha is always stronger than OIII and SII so I try and take more exposures for the weaker channels as they have to be stretched more in the processing, by doing this there is less risk of noise rearing its ugly head. The actual exposure time for each sub frame should stay the same otherwise you have problems with the stars and also it is more time consuming with the extra calibration frames needed for the different exposure times. There is no science as to how many sub frames apart from the more the better. Best wishes Gordon
  11. Hi Thanks to some clear nights and a newish moon I was able to tackle some RGB and this pairing of M53 and NGC5053 fits very nicely in the FOV of my FSQ106ED and ML8300. Exposures are 30x5 minutes for each filter. NGC5053 is a much looser cluster with less stars than M53 and although classified as a globular looks more like a tight open cluster A full resolution image can be found at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/142333329/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  12. Two globulars for the price of one

    Thanks to some comments on a couple of other forums about the star registration being off and some odd bi-colour fringing on some of the stars, I decided to have a go at using Registar (I had relied on the align tool in Maxim before), I reprocessed the image and put it at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/142350637/original The original version is the one before it for comparison, the colour fringing on the original image is more noticable in the corners and at full resolution. I will be using this program in future and might even do some reprocessing on previos images Best wishes Gordon
  13. Hi Despite the sabotaging attempts by the MET office I just managed to scrape together 5x30 minute sub frames of SII data to go with the Ha and OIII data that I got over the last few weeks, I was hoping for at least 8 sub frames but clouds came over and it started raining just as I had focused and twice I had to stop the imaging run mid frame because of clouds, finally the oak tree stopped the session completely (probably a god send as the subject is getting a bit low in the sky at this point. Because of the shortage of data this was a bit of a pig to process and the way I went about it was to give weightings of 1:0.5:1.5 for SII:Ha:OIII respectively in Maxim DL when I colour combined as I've found that this gives a cleaner result than just boosting the OIII and SII channels. Processing is mainly levels and curves with some contrast adjustments and colour balancing to get an aesthetically acceptable result. As with all my images at the moment the exposures were taken with the FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 and Paramount ME with auto guiding taken care of by a lodestar and OAG The Ha, Ha and OIII mix and this image cane be seen on the home page of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk as well as previous efforts in the image gallery. I have included a larger image at the following link but It is not full size due to the amount of noise from a shortage of data http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/141943807/original I am hoping to get some more OIII and SII data but with the way the weather is going it may be later this year. After tonight I have come to the conclusion that light pollution and moonlight are not the astrophotographers worse enemy, it is the MET office (weather forecasters)....they don't seem to understand what "clear skies" mean Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  14. Hi I managed to get some OIII data to add to the Ha that I shot just over a week ago. The moon was fairly bright and although it willbe a bit further away on the next clear night it will also be brighter so its swings and roundabouts as to whether it was right to shoot OIII or SII last night. I managed to get 9x30 minutes with the ML8300 and FSQ106ED before the big oak tree came into play. The Ha channel can be seen in the image gallery at http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk A full size version of this can be seen at the following link, excuse the noisy image but it still isn't finished yet http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/141900513/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  15. Hi This is a work in progress and I will be adding OIII and SII when work and weather allow. This was taken last night when there was a window of clear sky for a few hours. It is 8x30 minutes with a 5nm Ha filter, FSQ106ED and ML8300 on a Paramount ME. Auto guiding was via Lodestar and OAG using dithering. Only a combination of levels and curves were used in the processing, sky conditions weer fairly good apart from one break for clouds passing over head. I have tried this subject several times over the last few years with mixed success but have never got as far as doing all three channels, previous efforts can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk A full size version of this can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/141745723/original I will post further progress as it happens Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  16. Hi I managed to get some OIII and SII data to add to the Ha that I got a week or so ago. Both the OIII and SII are far weaker than the Ha but both have different structures to contribute to the final image. This was taken over three nights in January and February with the Takahashi FSQ106ED f5, FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME auto guided by a Lodestar and OAG using dithering. 5nm narrow band filters were used Exposure details are as follows Ha - 10x30 minutes OIII - 6x30 minutes SII - 7x30 minutes I will be adding more OIII and SII when it is next clear as these two channels are quite noisy still due to the extra stretching required. This is a crop of the final image to show the main detail. Somebody on another forum said they couldn't see the monkeys head so for their benefit, the head is in profile and the monkey is looking toward the left! The Ha channel and another much earlier image can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk A full size image can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/141250714/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  17. Hi This is a work in progress and is the Ha data taken last night, it is 10x30 minutes Ha taken with the FSQ106ED at f5 and FLI ML8300, autoguiding was done by a lodestar and OAG using dithering on a Paramount ME. This is a crop of the main image to show the detail of the nebula. I have only ever shot one sub frame of this before over 3 years ago when I was trying a 20 minute unguided sub frame, this can be seen on the nebulae page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison. I am hoping to add some OIII and SII later this week. A full size version of this crop can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/141102737/original It definitely looks like a monkeys head in profile! Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  18. Hi This is the first full narrow band image that I have done with my new ML8300 camera as weather hasn't been playing ball lately. It is of IC443 taken in the wavelength ordered palette of SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B (commonly known as the HST palette). It was taken over three nights with 10x30 minutes for SII, 11x30 minutes for Ha and 9x30 minutes for OIII. We have had a lot of problems with freezing fog recently and the seeing conditions were very hit and miss on all three nights with the FWHM number varying between 1.3 and 2.4 from one minute to the next, it made focusing quite interesting! Taken with Takahashi FSQ106ED f5 and FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME with auto guiding by a lodestar and OAG using dithering. I may add some more OIII data as this was very weak and needed to be pushed more aggressively in the processing so there is a bit of noise in the image but overall I'm fairly pleased with the results. I added the difraction spike on after for extra effect, the ML8300 and FSQ combination often gives smaller difraction spikes (?due to the microlenses on the chip) I have had a few goes at this subject over the last few years with different scope/camera combinations, these can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison. There is a full size version at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/140973527/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  19. Hi I don't normally do star clusters especially the open clusters as I don't personally find them "interesting enough" (with the exception of M45 and the double cluster where there is something else of interest in the FOV) but on the odd occasion when weather and light pollution is too bad and the right combination of subjects come into view I give them a go as in the case of this image of M35 and NGC2158 which are two very contrasting open clusters that are totally unrelated to each other. M35 is a relatively young cluster made up of bluish stars while NGC2158 is about 10x older and made up of reddish stars and is also 4x further away than M35. They appear nicely in the FOV of the FSQ106ED and ML8300. Exposure time is 12x5 minutes each for RGB which took me all night to do with continual interuptions for cloud and occasional rain Here is a link to the full size image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/140799828/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  20. Hi I have managed to put together an LRGB image of M45 using some old luminance date that I took with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36 that I took a couple of years ago along with some LRGB data that I took in October and November with the FSQ106ED and ML8300, during this second session my Paramount stopped working and I'm waiting for confirmation from Bisque as to whether I need a new adapter panel board before ordering one. This has been a very up and down two weeks for me as I lost my beloved boy Hunter (German short haired pointer) to advanced lymphoma and we have since got a new addition to the family 'Floyd', a GSP puppy who is keeping us busy. The details for the image are as follows BRC-250 and H36 data --- 20x5 minutes luminance taken in November 2009 FSQ106ED and ML8300 data --- 15x10 minutes luminance and 12x10 each for RGB taken in October/November 2011 I decided to combine as I wanted a bit more luminance and I think the difraction spikes from the BRC-250 add impact to the image, but this is a personal thing Here is a link to the full size image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/139940206/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  21. Hi I started this a few weeks ago and managed to shoot 15x10 minutes each for RGB. It was clear again last night so I shot 24x10 minutes for luminance just finishing before the half moon got up too high. The dark nebula and dust which my neighbour said looks like a "Hoodie" was very faint and difficult to process out (not helped by the light pollution where I live but luckily the object is high at this time of year). It was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 and FLI ML8300 on a Paramount ME auto guided by a Lodestar and OAG using dithering. This is certainly a colourful area of sky with stars of varying colour and the blue reflection nebula. Below is a link to the full size high resolution image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/138468817/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  22. NGC869/884 - Double Cluster

    Hi All The sky was clear for a few hours the other night, but as the moon was up I thought I'd have a go at star clusters so I decided on the double cluster. This was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 at -35c on a Paramount ME autoguided by Lodestar and OAG. Red 30x5 minutes Green 29x5 minutes Blue 25x5 minutes The discrepancy between the number of sub frames was because of a meridian flip (at the end of the green run) and mist and cloud after 25 frames of the blue run RBI annihilator was used for the raw frames and matching darks but not for the flats and their darks as the short exposure times negate the necessity for RBI resolution. Processing just consisted of levels and curves and gradient removal I have done a wider field version of this last year which can be seen on the star cluster page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison The full size high resolution image can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/138881634/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  23. IC59/63 - HaRGB

    Hi I posted my first image with my new ML8300 last week and after getting back from the Kelling Heath star party I managed to get out last night and take some RGB data to go with the Ha. The transparency wasn't very good last night due to a thin haze but nevertheless I am happy with the way this turned out. It was taken with my Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, FLI ML8300 (cooling set to -35c) on a Paramount ME, autoguided by a Lodestar and OAG. It is 8x30 minutes for Ha and 12x10 minutes each for RGB After full calibration with 24 darks and 50 flats/50darks the processing consisted of:- Levels Curves Gradient removal Contrast curves Ha added as a luminance layer at 50% opacity Colour balance Further contrast curves No sharpening or noise reduction/smoothing was used One thing I have really noticed so far is how noise free this camera is The Ha version can be seen on the 'Nebulae 2' page of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk and a full size high resolution version of the final result can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/138429553/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  24. Hi I got my new ML8300 a couple of weeks ago but as usual the purchase of new astronomical equipment seemed to coincide with a sudden and prolongued increase in cloudy weather (I'm thinking of calling this "Haynes Law"). Anyway, I managed to get out on Sunday night and do 4 hours of data on IC59 in 30 minute sub frames before thin cloud interupted the session just after I did a meridian flip. It was taken with my FSQ106ED at f5 on a Paramount ME with autoguiding done by a Lodestar and OAG using dithering with a 5nm Ha filter. I was also committing the terrible sin of trying out new software as well as I have upgraded my Maxim DL to version 5 and Photoshop to CS5. I have to admit, that although Maxim DL v5 is a better program and more up to date, I don't care much for the user interface and found the old one much easier to use. That being said everything went without a hitch. I shot all the dark frames the previous week indoors with the camera cooled to -35c which it had no problem doing (less than 5 minutes to cool) All the dark frames and light frames were shot with RBI annihilator set to 2 seconds/2 flushes. The flats and corresponding darks had no RBI tool used. The processing was fairly simple as it only involved levels and curves ( several iterations of 'S' shaped contrast curves)and some selective contrast adjustments, no sharpening, gradient removal or noise reduction was used. The ML8300 that I purchased from FLI has no cover slip which slightly increases the sensitivity and also helps reduce reflections further This is the first time I have imaged this nebula properly and it is dim, I may add some RGB to it later as it doesn't respond very well to OIII and SII as far as I am aware. There is a full size high resolution version at the following link http://www.pbase.com/image/138236043/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  25. Hi I had previously posted an image of IC5146 with red and blue channels and the green synthesized from the red an blue. Ihave finally managed to get the green data so here is the final result. It is a total of 4 hours of data per channel in 10 minute sub frames taken with an FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress SXVF H9 on a Paramount ME with auto guiding taken care of by a Lodestar and OAG. All raw frames were fully calibrated and stacked, then colour combined in Maxim DL with G2V star calibration. Processing was two iterations of levels followed by multiple contrast curves, this was followed by two iterations of shadows/highlights to bring out some of the fainter dusty areas. Final colour balancing was done and gradients were taken care of with gradient xterminator. The synthesized green channel version can be seen on the front page of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk with this one for comparison and a full size high resolution version can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/137304125/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
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