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Paramount

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Everything posted by Paramount

  1. NGC457 - Owl Cluster

    Hi Despite the snow I managed to get out on Christmas Eve to do some imaging. I had to clear a path through the snow for the cable to go from the cellar hatch to the shed and the temperature was -5c during the night but I was nice and warm in my thermal gear. Despite the light pollution from a 3/4 moon, artificial lights and light reflected from the snow I decided to try an RGB image of NGC457 as it was virtually overhead. This is 12x5 minutes for each channel and is a crop from the full wide field image It was taken with the FSQ106ED and Starlight Xpress H36. Processing just consisted of levels, curves and gradient removal. The full widefield can be seen at http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/131450301/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  2. NGC457 - Owl Cluster

    Hi Trevor Thanks for the comments, I think the star elngation is to do with the sheer weight of the imaging train on the back of the FSQ rather than the Paramount as the elongation seems to be in one place, the filter wheel I use is huge and quite heavy and has more weight on one side than the other, it certainly isn't a polar alignment or guiding issue as the guiding graph is spot on and the elongation isn't in all places. I suppose it is possible to track it down and resolve it but time is an issue. I find that I only notice it in the full resolution versions Best wishes Gordon PS I won't gloat about our cricket team but we did rather well at the MCG:-)
  3. M45 - Pleiades

    Hi all I started this over a month ago but the weather and work have prevented me from doing any more untl the last two weeks when I have been on annual leave and despite some intermittent cloud earlier in the week I managed to finish the rest of data last night (very cold it was too!) This was taken with the FSQ106ED f5 on a Paramount ME with a Starlight Xpress SXVF H36, the exposures are as follows 25x5 minutes luminance 16x5 minutes red 24x5 minutes green 20x5 minutes blue Some of the frames had to be rejected due to cloud hence the odd numbers. Auto guiding was via a Lodestar camera and OAG with dithering used. The frames are fully calibrated and basic processing of levels, curves, contrast and shadows/highlights were used. No sharpenning or noise reduction was used Please check out earlier efforts of this object in the Clusters page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Also there is a larger version on the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/130690457/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  4. Double Cluster in Perseus

    Hi all The weather has been pretty awful for most of November, but I managed to get out during the last two weeks in between the cloud, fog and rain. I finished this last night before I went on to finish M45. It was taken with the FSQ106ED on a Paramount ME with Starlight Xpress H36. Exposures were 24x5 minutes each for RGB and the callibrated frames were stacked and then the only processing was levels, curves, contrast and colour balance with a mild gradient removal Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  5. NGC7822/Ced214 in HST palette

    Hi I had previously taken some Ha data for this just over a week ago but the promised weather didn't materialise to finish it last week as I only managed to get 5 hours of OIII data in a four night period that was supposed to be clear every night (don't you just love the weather forecasters?). I can now image this area of the sky earlier courtesy of my neighbours cutting one of their trees down but the sky didn't clear until gone 11pm. I managed to get 4 hours of SII data over the last week with 5x30 minute frames last night (which again was supposed to be clear but was interupted by 3 hours of cloud) Anyway, enough of the complaining, I've managed to finish it although som extra OIII and SII would make the image a bit smoother Taken with Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 Paramount ME Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 5nm Ha, OIII and SII filters Guided by Lodestar camera and OAG using dithering Fully calibrated, stacked, colour combined with a weighting of 7:1:5 for SII:Ha:OIII and gamma stretched in Maxim DL 16 bit tiff processed in CS2 with levels, contrast curves, gradient xterminator, selective colour adjustments. No sharpening or noise reduction used The Ha version can be seen on the Nebulae 2 page of the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk A larger high resolution version of this image can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/129489192/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  6. Hi I started this last week by taking 30 minute sub frames for Ha and managed to get some OIII data on Sunday albeit through high thin cloud. This was taken with the FSQ106ED at f5 with a Starlight Xpress H9 camera and 5nm Ha, OIII and SII filters Exposures were 4x30 minutes for each filter whcih was then mapped to the HST palette. Auto guiding was by a Lodestar camera and OAG using dithering The Ha version can be see on the "Nebulae 2" page of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk and the full size high resolution image can be see on my pbase site http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128513455/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  7. Hi All This was taken over three nights and is of NGC281. It was taken with Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 Paramount ME Starlight Xpress SXVF H9 autoguided by Lodestar and OAG 12x30 minutes Ha, 7x30 minutes OIII and 12x30 minutes SII using 5nm filters The OIII and 3 of the SII sub frames were shot last night under a full moon, 9 of the SII sub frames were shot under very poor seeing and transparency conditions thanks to some very high thin cloud and half of the sub frames from that evening had to be rejected so I am quite pleased with the overall result. Gradient removal was used but no sharpening, this was mainly levels, curves, contrast and a minor shadows/highlighs adjustment and selective colour The full size high resolution version can be found at my pbase site at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128797632/original The Ha version can be seen in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk along with a previous attempt at this object with the HST palette 2 years ago Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  8. Hi This is another image I started just over a week ago as a try out to see how it went taking 30 minute sub frames. I managed to get 10x30 minutes of Ha last week and last night was clear apart from two 10 minute breaks for clouds. It was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 and Starlight Xpress H9 on a Paramount ME, auto guiding was by a Lodestar camera and OAG using dithering. Exposures were 10x30 minutes Ha 4x30 minutes OIII 7x30 minutes SII These were then mapped to the HST palette. Using 30 minute sub frames does make the processing a lot easier as less usage of levels and curves are required to bring out the detail The Ha version of this and earlier attempts at this object can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk and a full size high resolution version can be seen at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128513458/original Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  9. Hi all Later this year I have been planning to do some 30 minute sub frames to see how deep I can go with some of the emission nebula so last night I thought it was about time that I tweaked my polar alignment and gave it a go. Using TPoint I managed to get the polar alignment to 6 arc seconds beyond which you can't measurably adjust the Paramount by the alt/az adjusters. I was using the Starlight Xpress H9 camera as its quick 1 second downloads make TPoint mapping a breeze. I had planned to use the H9 anyway and had taken a series of 30 minute darks a couple of evenings ago albeit at a different temperature as they were taken indoors. My main target for the evening was the centre of IC1805 but as I had to wait about 2 hours for it to clear my neighbours tree it gave me time to do some work on the bubble nebula. Both of these targets I tried last year with the BRC-250 and H9 but I was plagued by halo problems, these efforts can be seen on the Nebulae 2 page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk the difference is like the difference between chalk and cheese. Equipment for last night was Paramount ME Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 Starlight Xpress SXVF H9 Auto guided by Lodestar and OAG using 2 second guiding exposures and dithering Exposures were 4x30 minutes for NGC7635 and 10x30 minutes for IC1805, the "Quickie" comment wasn't in relation to the exposure length but more in relation to the processing time taken which was about 10-15 minutes each including callibration and stacking. Each frame was callibrated with dark subtracted flats (32 of each), bias frames (32) and dark frames (15x30 minutes) The only processing was a combination of levels, curves and contrast and shadows and highlights adjustment. No noise reduction was used in either image I will be adding to both of these next outing to eventually complete a HST rendering of each Here are links to the full size high resolution images on my pbase site http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128347428/original http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128347432/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  10. M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

    Hi I don't normally do RGB imaging due to light pollution but I am currently waiting for my next narrow band target to clear a neighbours tree so I thought I would have a go at M31 as it was visible all night and by the time my narrow band target was available I had got carried away with M31. This is 20x5 minutes luminance and 18x5 minutes each for RGB taken with the FSQ106ED at f5 and a Starlight Xpress H36 on a Paramount ME auto guided by a Lodestar camera and OAG. I managed to get alol the data in one evening and I will be adding some Ha as soon as the next clear night coincides with a night off. I did the luminance and blue channel first as there was no moon up, but during the green and red data collection there was a quarter moon high in the sky so the gradient xterminator software had to work overtime. I have tried this subject before when I first started imaging and this early effort can be seen on the galaxy page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk The core is a bit burnt out but hopefully I will correct this when I add the Ha data so my apologies for this as it is not something I am really used to when doing NB processing so this is relatively new to me Here is a link to a larger higher resolution image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128078509/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  11. A dusty Iris Nebula

    Hi I thought I would have another look at this and see just how much dust I could get to show given the limited RGB time and light pollution, I took the original data from the previous image posted here and made a shadows and highlights adjustment followed by adjusting the black point and two very minor 'S' shaped curves adjustments. There is more noise in the image and the core is a bit bright but my main intention was to see how much of the dust in the region I could get to show. This has made me want to go out and get more data to make a smoother image which I will now do at the next opportunity and then reprocess the whole image from scratch. The earlier RGB and LRGB versions can be seen on the home page and the Nebulae 2 page in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk and here is a link to a larger high resolution image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128202750/original Thanks for looking again Best wishes Gordon
  12. Hi I took this image before my recent M31 shot but haven't really been happy with it until now after two reprocesses. This was taken over two nights with 50x5 minutes for luminance and 20x5 minutes each for RGB. It was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED f5 and Starlight Xpress H36 on a Paramount ME auto guided with a Lodestar camera and OAG. The seeing conditions weren't particularly good on either night due to a half moon in the sky and when I was taking the luminance the transparency was very poor due to very thin high whispy cloud. This is my first attempt at this subject so I am quite pleased with the result. Here is a link to the large high resolution version http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128150057/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  13. NGC7023 - Iris Nebula wide field

    Hi Ray thanks for the comments. It was a difficult process with this one. I worked on the luminance first and the frst thing to do was to preserve the core while bringing out and stretching the rest of the image. This was done by lassooing and feathering the core and then inverting the selection, then using the middle slider on levels to stretch the image adjusting the black point after each pass. It is important to reselect and invert the core selection after each pass. Then with the core still protected by the above method do a mild 'S' shaped contrast curves adjustment. then do some shadow and highlights adjustments and then using Noels astro tools do a local contrast adjustment followed by a mild unsharp mask. do roughly the same for the RGB channel except that i had to do a colour blotch reduction and deep space noise reduction again in astro tools. Now combine the two using luminosity as the blend method, adjust the black point, make stars smaller and then enhance deep sky object in astro tools, finally make stars smaller again and possibly another minor curves adjustment. I also had to do extensive gradient removal using gradient xterminator for the luminance and rgb. If i had more and better data i could have pushed it further best wshes gordon
  14. M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

    Hi I have reprocessed this to reduce the burnt out on the core and also the excessive pinkish colour in the image, I think this version is better, here is the link to the large high resolution version http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/128135115/original Thanks for looking again Best wishes Gordon
  15. Veil Nebula in HST palette

    Hi A clear night was forecast for last night and I started to set things up early and then disaster struck, the power supply for my laptop was dead. I checked the fuse and it wasn't that so I started to curse my bad luck and then I remembered my friends across the road from where I live are computer buffs so I called on the off chance that they might have a spare power supply, after trying out 6 different ones we found one that fitted and worked on my laptop, thank goodness for that! So thanks to Ann and Jim for the loan of the power supply Anyway, I managed to get 19x20 minutes with the SII filter to go with the 10x20 minutes Ha and 12x20 minutes OIII. It was taken with the Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 with Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 on a Paramount ME auto guided by a Lodestar camera and OAG using dithering. The resulting sub frames were calibrated stacked and colour combined in Maxim DL with a weighting of 3.5:1:1.5 for SII:Ha:OIII and mapped to the HST palette. All in all it was a very good night despite the wobbly start. The previous stages of this image can be seen on the "Nebulae 2" page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk and there is a larger version of this at the following link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/127498092/original The full high resolution version can be found via the same link - just click on the "next button" for people with faster connections Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  16. Hi I thought I would post this even though I am planning on adding more data later to smooth the image a bit better. It is a wide field of the following DSOs NGC7635 - AKA Bubble nebula M52 NGC7538 NGC7510 Sh2-157 - "Lobster Claw" nebula Sh2-161 There may be more in there but I haven't had time to look any further I took this over 2 nights with 8x20 minutes Ha and OIII and 10x20 minutes SII. There was a period of poor seeing last night when doing the SII data courtesy of some thin misty cloud going overhead for about an hour. It was taken with the Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 with Starlight Xpress H36 on a Paramount ME auto guided with an OAG and Lodestar camera. I have tried the Bubble nebula several times before, both with small and large field of view all of which can be seen in the picture gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk this is the widest I have gone and gives a bit more context to size. I have posted a larger version 2400 pixels wide at http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/127603739/original Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  17. Veil Nebula in Ha + OIII

    Hi I managed to get out again last night to get some more data on the Veil Nebula complex. The sky remained clear all night and I took 4 hours of OIII data and an 1 hour and 40 minutes of Ha to go with the Ha I got last week. I combined this so that Ha=Red, OIII=Green and (20%Ha + 100%OIII)=Blue It was taken with the FSQ106ED and Starlight Xpress H36 10x20 minutes Ha and 12x20 minutes OIII auto guided by Lodestar using dithering in Maxim DL, mount was a Paramount ME. At the next opportinity I will be doing the SII data to finish this off, the full size high resolution version can be seen at this link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/127358726/original It is over 18mb in size so please excuse the slow download, the Ha version can be seen on the Nebulae 2 page of the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk along with earlier attempts at this target Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  18. Hi All I've just started the Ha data on my next project, the Veil nebula, but last night was very frustrating due to waiting half an hour for it to clear my house, then clouds stopped me starting, a meridian flip and the auto guider throwing a wobbly when dithering due to a similar bright star nearby. This meant having to stop and start the imaging run and recalibrating the auto guider several times during the night. In the end I managed to get 5x20 minutes with the FSQ106ED f5 and Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 (a perfect marriage for this subject) This is my fourth or fifth go at this area with various combinations of equipment, all earlier efforts can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk I will be adding some more Ha data to this before adding the OIII and SII as soon as the weather plays ball again and mapping it to the HST palette Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  19. Hi I started this object at the beginning of the month and managed to get the Ha and OIII data but as usual the clouds and rain came in so I have had to wait until last night when the weather forecast was cloud all night but the sky looked promising when I took Hunter and Gunner out for their last walk of the evening so I got everything set up and managed to get 3 hours of SII data. It was taken with Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5 Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 5nm Ha, OIII and SII filters Paramount ME Auto guided by Starlight Xpress Lodestar and OAG using dithering Exposures were 12x20 minutes each for Ha and OIII and 9x20 minutes for SII mapped to the HST palette so SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B All sub frames were fully calibrated with darks, dark subtracted flats and bias frames The Ha and (Ha+OIII) versions can be seen on the 'Nebulae 2' page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk there is a full size high resolution image at this link http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/126929771/original where it is just possible to make out the "soap bubble" nebula to the lower right of the crescent Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  20. Hi I was lucky with the weather last night as, despite the forecast being for cloud it stayed clear long enough to get 3 hours of SII data to go with the Ha and OIII I had already got from previous nights. This is the first colour image where I have used full calibration which were as follows 16 bias frames 10x20 minute dark frames 16 dark subtracted flat field frames per filter with an average ADU count of 42-45,000 All the frames were calibrated and then stacked using sigma clip in Maxim DL. I colour combined in Maxim using a weighting of 7:1:3 for SII:Ha:OIII before gamma stretching and saving to 16 bit tiff. In photoshop I did one aggressive curves stretch followed by a milder curves stretch with levels adjustments in between Any gradient was taken care of with gradient xterminator Several small contrast curves adjustments with levels in between to bring out more detail To get the colours out better I used selective colour and finally I cropped the image to remove stacking artefacts I estimated that the total processing time including calibration was about 2.5 hours It was taken over 3 nights in June and July with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 autoguided by a SX Lodestar and OAG on a Paramount ME with 2 second guiding exposures with dithering invoked Exposures were 12x20 minutes for Ha, 9x20 minutes for OIII, 9x20 minutes for SII with 5nm narrow band filters Previous versions of this subject with different equipment can be see on the Nebulae and Nebulae 2 page in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk There is a full size high resolution version at the following link, it is over 11mb in size so it may take a while to download but I think it is worth the wait http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/126203748 Thanks for looking and following the progress on this image Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  21. Hi Here is part 2 of my 3 part project on IC1396. I managed to get 9x20 minutes OIII last night in between the clouds, I had to stop the imaging run twice during the night because of thick cloud coming in. I combined it with the 12x20 minutes of Ha that I got last week, I didn't use the earlier 10 sub frames of Ha as there would have been considerable cropping on the sides of the image. As mentioned before this is the first image where I have used flat field frames and I have taken my flats at approximately 80% full well capacity with matching dark frames. Again the processing was fairly simple for this image in that after calibration and stacking I colour combined in Maxim DL with 20% Ha added to 100% OIII to make the blue channel, this was then gamma stretched and converted to 16 bit tiff and transferred to Photoshop. The only processing there was levels and curves with a few iterations of contrast curve adjustments and some colour balancing. No noise reduction was used. Minor cropping was used to remove stacking effects from dithering. Equipment as before is my favourite set up of Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress SXVF H36, Paramount ME, Astrodon 5nm NB filters, FLI PDF focuser and filter wheel, SX Lodestar and OAG for auto guiding The Ha version can be seen in an earlier thread here or on the Nebulae 2 page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk For those with the patience here is a link to the full resolution download http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/126177958 I am now hoping for some more clear weather (tonight, fingers crossed) to add the SII data Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  22. Hi All I am just starting on another NB colour image, this time it is of IC1396. This is a first for me (not the subject) as it is the first time that I have used flat field frames in the calibration of my images. I used an EF panel for these and took 16 with an average ADU count of 42,500 and dark subtracted, exposure time for the flats and these darks was 9 seconds. I took this over 2 nights as the sky was very bright on both nights and the background was a bit noisy. This is 22x20 minutes taken with the FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress H36, 5nm Ha filter on a Paramount ME autoguided with a SX Lodestar and OAG with 2 second guiding exposures and dithering invoked. The sub frames were calibrated, stacked and gamma stretched in Maxim DL before saving to 16 bit tiff, in photoshop one aggressive curves stretch followed by a milder curves stretch with levels adjustment in between and contrast adjustment, the image is cropped because of stacking artefacts between the two nights imaging, no more processing was used, total processing was about 30 minutes (including calibration and stacking) I will be adding the OIII and SII as weather allows I have tried this subject on several occasions with different scope/camera/exposure combinations and these can be seen in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk To make things easier for people who don't like clicking mouse buttons here is a direct link to the full size high resolution image http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens/image/126024206 Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  23. Hi All Another clear night that coincided with a night off work so I managed to get 13x20 minutes of SII data to go with the Ha and OIII from previous nights. This is a total of 13 hours exposure time and was taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress H36 on a Paramount ME auto guided with a Lodestar and OAG using dithering. The last time I did this subject in the HST palette was 2 years ago with my TMB115 f7 with 6x10 minutes per channel. This earlier version can be seen on the "Nebulae" page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk. Be sure to check out the full high resolution version on http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens. I am going to try a widefield of the crescent nebula and its surrounds next, thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  24. IC1318 - part 2 (Ha and OIII)

    Hi A rarity occured last night in that I had a clear night that coincided with me having a night off so I managed to get just under 4 hours of data for OIII to go with the Ha I got a few night ago. This is 15x20 minutes for Ha and 11x20 minutes for OIII with Ha mapped to R, OIII mapped to G and 20% Ha and 100% OIII mapped to Blue. I'm keeping my fingers crossed so that it is going to be clear again tonight so that I can get the SII data. The Ha channel can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk on the Nebulae 2 page of the image gallery Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
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