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Paramount

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Everything posted by Paramount

  1. M1 - Crab Nebula in Ha

    Hi This is another beginning of a project to complete some of my earlier attempts at imaging, using narrow band and in particular the HST palette which I favour, partly because of its scientific value (highlights the gases in strict order of wavelength) but also from an aesthetic point of view. This was done the other morning at about 3am after doing some work on the Bubble nebula. It is made up of 17x10 minutes with a Ha filter on a Starlight Xpress H9 camera, Takahashi BRC-250, Paramount ME, autoguiding was by a lodestar camera on a TMB 115 with dithering invoked. The earlier image can be seen on my site http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk on the Nebulae page in the image gallery Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  2. Hi I finished this over two nights thanks to some clear skies although the second night was plagued by some high thin mist. I had to reproces this a couple of times as the stars were overwhelming the nebula due to halos and brightness but I think I have managed to reach a compromise. As the SII signal was much weaker than the Ha I had to push it harder hence the 'colourful stars' but this is a known issue with the HST palette with weak SII. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250, Starlight Xpress H9 on a Paramount ME with autoguiding taken care of by a Starlight Xpress Lodestar on a TMB 115 using dithering in Maxim DL, there are 21x10 minutes for each channel. Simple auto dark subtraction was done in Maxim DL, no flats or bias frames were used. I did a widefield image of this last year using the TMB115 and H36 camera and this can be seen on Nebulae section of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison. Although it is still far from perfect with the halo problems I am quite happy with the results Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  3. NGC6992 in HST palette

    Hi all I have managed to complete the third and final part of my Veil nebula project, this is NGC6992 in the HST palette, unfortunately I was not able to get as much data as I would have liked for the OIII and SII channels due to weather and now the object is too low where I live to do any more. It is made up from 18x10 minutes Ha, 12x10 minutes OIII and 7x10 minutes SII. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36 on a Paramount ME with autoguiding done by a Lodestar. The other two components can be seen on the nebulae 2 page of the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  4. M45 - a work in progress

    Hi All I have been trying to finish off my project of doing the 3 main coponents of the veil nebula in narrow band and managed to get the rest of the Ha data and some of the OIII on Wednesday night but then cygnus sank to low in the sky to continue so I turned my sights to M45 which had just cleared my house and managed to get 16x5 minutes with a CLS filter before it got too light to continue. This will be the basis for a full LRGB image which I will complete at a later date. This is my third try at this object which I tried two years ago and the beginning of last year, these attempts can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk on the star clusters page in the image gallery for comparison. This was taken with the BRC-250 and H36 on the Paramount ME with autoguiding done via a lodestar Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  5. Hi All I have been doing a project of the three main components of the veil nebula complex in narrow band and have recently posted NGC6960 (Witches Broomstick) here, I have finally managed to get sufficient data for Pickerings Triangle which I started over 2 weeks ago when I managed to get the Ha and half of the OIII, last night I managed to get the rest of the OIII and the SII data. It is 21x10 minutes for each filter and the HST palette is used so SII=Red, Ha=Green and OIII=Blue. It was taken with a Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36 with 12nm Astronomik filters on a Paramount ME autoguided with a Starlight Xpress Lodestar/TMB 115 combination, dithering was used in Maxim DL. Both nights were hampered by thin misty cloud in the upper atmosphere which may account for the noise still present in the image. The NGC6960 image can be seen on the Nebulae 2 page in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk. On to NGC6992 now (weather permitting), thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  6. Hi All The good thing about narrowband is that you can still image when there is light pollution and the moon in the sky and it does show incredible detail. The trouble is deciding which palette to use. The most commonly used seems to be the HST Hubble Space Telescope) palette which is SII-Ha-OIII mapped to RGB. Less commonly used is the CFHT (Canada France Hawaii Telescope) Palette which is Ha-OIII-SII mapped to RGB, and then there are others such as mapping Ha-OIII-OIII to RGB and the reverse HST palette so that OIII-Ha-Sa = RGB. My preference is the HST palette but I use the HaOIIIOIII palette where there is no or little SII present and I haver used HaSIIOIII before for my narrowband shot of the horsehead nebula last year. Anyway I posted an image of NGC6960 in the HST palette and Richard Crisp suggested I tried the CFHT palette as it looks good on the Veil components and Mark Sibole suggested th HaOIIIOIII as there is very litle SII. So I followed the suggestions and at the same time I reprocessed the original HST version. Before I reprocessed it I actualy prefered the CFHT version but after reprocessing the HST version I now prefer that. I'd be interested to hear others views Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon HST CFHT HaOIIIOIII
  7. NGC6960 in HST palette

    Hi All I have managed to get the OIII and SII data to go with the Ha data I took just over a couple of weeks ago on this subject. It is made up of 18x10 minutes each for Ha, OIII and SII which were mapped to the HST palette so SII=Red, Ha=Green and OIII=Blue. It was taken with the Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 and Takahashi BRC-250 on a Paramount ME autoguided by a Starlight Xpress Lodestar and TMB 115 (the Ha data was guided with the starlight xpress M8C), now on to the next stage which is Pickerings Triangle. Two earlier attempts can be seen of this subject from last year and also the year before when I first started imaging on the Nebulae page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  8. NGC6960 in Ha - 1st stage

    Hi All This is the first stage in a prject to image the three seperate segments of the veil nebula in narrowband colours. Thisis of NGC6960 - Witches Broomstic and is 17x10 minutes taken with te Starlight Xpress H36 and akahashi BRC-250 on the Paramount ME guided with a Starlight Xpress M8C on a TMB 115 using dithering in Maxim DL. As usual I wanted more imaging time but the weather didn't cooperate, a much earlier monochrome version taken when I first started imaging can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk on the Nebulae page of the image gallery which was taken with the M8C in Binned mode with a WO 66 Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  9. Hi All I did this the other night after I finished the data for my M27 image, I have wanted to have a go at this section of the Heart Nebula with the H9 and BRC-250 as my two previous attempts at this target have been with the TMB 115 and H36 which gives a much wider field. This combination that I am currently using gives a very close in detailed shot of the tight knotted nebula structure in the middle of IC1805 and is associated with the open cluster Melotte 15. This was taken with 12x10 minutes with an Astronomik 13nm Ha filter. The Paramount was guided using the TMB 115 and Starlight Xpress M8C using dithering. As this subject becomes visible earlier in the night (blocked by a neighbours tree until 2am at the moment) I will revisit it and do much longer for Ha and also add the other emission lines OIII and SII. Although an unfair comparison, the other two images, one in Ha and one in HST palette can be seen in the Nebulae section of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  10. M27 - lrgb

    Hi All I managed to get out last night despite a bad boutof laryngitis (must have kept the neighbours awake with my coughing - still it gets my own back for the security lights going on and off all the time). I thought I would have a go at one of the earliest targets that I tried when I first started imaging with my Meade system 3 years ago so I aimed at M27. I wasn't sure about exposure times as this is a fairly bright planetary nebula and with the f5 of the BRC-250 I decided on 2 minute subframes of which I took 24 for luminance using a CLS filter and 15 each for RGB. No calibration was used. My earlier (and rather pathetic attempt) can be seen at the beginning of the nebulae page in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparsison Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  11. M27 - lrgb

    Hi Ray Thanks for the comments, yes, all the images are autoguided now, at the moment I am using the Starlight Xpress M8C in binned mode to guide, the lodestar doesn't like sharing a USB port so I can't use it with the hub I am using (need a longer cable to get it to reach the laptop Best wishes Gordon
  12. NGC7380 - Wizard Nebula in Ha

    Hi all Despite the lousy weather that we get in Britain, I have been able to get out and do some imaging, I thought I would have a go at this subject again as I had done it last year with the TMB and H36 camera which gave a very wide field shot so this time I used the BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H9 which gave such a large image scale that the subject only just fitted in the frame. This is made up of 13x10 minutes guided using dithering. I had planned on much longer but the clouds came in at 2am and stayed so I shot some dark frames to use for the rest of the session. The earlier version that I did last year can be seen on he nebulae page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk for comparison Thanks for looking Best wishes and clear skies Gordon
  13. NGC7380 - Wizard Nebula in Ha

    Hi Tim Thanks for the comments, the actual image size is 1023x1380 pixels, field of view wise with the BRC-250/H9 combination it is 17.9x24 arc minutes Best wishes Gordon
  14. Albireo

    Hi all I had originally set out to do the Iris nebula in Cepheus and was over half way through the luminance data when some thick cloud came over and spoilt the session, this cloud stayed around for a while and by the time it cleared I didn't have enoug time to finish so I decided to have a go at Albireo as it only needed 1 minute subs and I could finish that before it got too light, I set the camera to do 40x1 minutes luminance and 15x1 each for red, green and blue. As it turn out the luminance data wasn't very good and made the image look worse so I only used the RGB data so this image is only 15x1 minutes per channel. It was taken with the Starlight Xpress H36 (not the best choice for such a small target but it was already connected up and the Takahashi BRC-250, guided by the M8C using dithering. I have enclosed a close up cropped section of the actual image, but if you want to have a look at the full image then it can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk under star clusters in the image gallery or for the full high resolution 10mb image then please go to http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  15. Hi All I finally managed to get the SII data last night to go with the Ha and OIII that I took last week. This was taken over 3 nights on 7th, 9th and 15th July using my Takahashi BRC-250 with a Starlight Xpress H9 on a Paramount ME autoguided with dithering using a Starlight Xpress M8C to guide. It is made up of 24x10 minutes Ha, 27x10 minutes OIII and 28x10 minutes SII. No calibration has been used at all so no darks, flats or bias frames. I have used the HST palette so SII=Red, Ha=Green and OIII=Blue. The previous stages of this image can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk I'm glad I got the data last night because it is absolutely hammering it down today Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  16. IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula HST palette

    Hi I have tweaked this image slightly as after looking at it several times I felt the greens were a bit "in your face", I'd be interested to know what people think Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  17. Hi All After doing the Ha data on this object a couple of nights ago I managed to get out again last night and shot 27x10 minutes for the OIII. The capture details are the same as before so I won't elaborate on that, the Ha and OIII are assigned as follows Ha=Red OIII=Green OIII=Blue, the seeing conditions remain very poor, what with the moon, artificial light pollution and sky glow (in fact it was almost light enough outside last night to read without my red light), the seeing conditions seem to have more affect on the OIII than the Ha. I am now hoping to get the SII data during the next few days/weeks. You can compare this image with the Ha version on the home page of my website under recent images on http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  18. IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula stage 2

    Hi Ray Thanks for he comments, dithering is a facility in programs such as Maxim DL where using the guider or the mount you can "dither" the image between frames. In the case that I used I used the "Dithering via guider" facility, what this does is after each subframe the guider moves the telescope by up to 3 pixels in a random direction around a central point, then the imaging camera takes another subframe, then the guider moves the scope up to 3 pixels again and so forth. What this does is it ensures that all the subframes are not centred at exactly the same point so if you have any defects that are difficult to remove in processing or hot pixels, etc. these are removed when you do a median combine. For example I didn't use any dark frames for the elephant trunk shot and on the raw subframes there were a few hot pixels evident but when I used a median combine they all completely disappeared, this was thanks to the dithering. What I didn't do on this occasion but I will in future is put a delay in afte each subframe eg 15 seconds to allow the guider to settle down after dithering the mount. Hope this helps Best wishes Gordon
  19. IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula stage 2

    Hi Tim It could be a combination of things as this is the first time I have used the dither function, but also there was a full moon in the sky which may have affected the OIII data and also the seeing conditions were poor, it is difficult to pin it down exactly, it is definitely not dew as I have checked that. Since posting this I have had a go at reprocessing it to debloat the bright stars a bit and tone down the redness of the emission nebula, see below Best wishes Gordon
  20. Hi All I managed to get out for some imaging last night to complete the first stage of my tri-colour narrowband image of this object. The sky was clear but it never got dark courtesy of a full moon in the south and the seeing conditions remain poor where I live with the FWHM number fluctuating between 2.5 and 5 while focusing. I was still able to get 4 hours of Ha data in 24x10 minute subframes though so at least that was something. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H9 on a Paramount ME with a Starlight Xpress M8C in 2x2 binned mode doing the guiding through my TMB 115 using dithering in Maxim DL (this was quite useful as I didn't use any darks or flats and when combining the subframes virtually all of the hot pixels disappeared) The image looks a bit soft but that is down to the seeing conditions and also the image scale not being ideal for the conditions. I took an unguided image of this object last year with the H36, TMB and Ha filter and you can compare this latest image with that the Nebulae page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon PS On the subject of imaging and light pollution I have started my own Yahoo group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/light_polluted_astrophotography/ so if you have similar problems to me then pop by and join in
  21. IC5146 in Ha

    Hi All Last night was one of those nights when you want to tear your hair out, all the equipment is running smoothly, skies are clear (average seeing though) and the first subframes are downloading nicely and then after 2 subframes at 12.30am clouds blow in from the middle of nowhere and although they are moving fast there doesn't appear to be any break. Anyway I decided to stay out in the hope that it would clear, eventually it did at 2am so I recalibrated the autoguider and restarted and managed to get another 4 subframes in before more clouds and approaching daylight put a final stop on proceedings. Hopefully I will get the chance to add some more Ha data and colour to this a bit later. For comparison there are two previous attempts at this subject that I took last year, one in Ha and one in colour with different scope/camera combinations on the Nebulae page of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Takahashi BRC-250 Starlight Xpress H9 Astronomik 12nm Ha filter Paramount ME autoguided with Starlight Xpress M8C No calibration was done on the image ie no darks or flats Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon PS By the way does anybody actually know where the middle of nowhere is?
  22. NGC 6888 in Ha

    Hi All Clear weather last night so I set everything up and then disaster struck, my LVI smartguider wouldn't work, it kept stopping in the callibration phase. So in a hurry I got my Starlight Xpress M8C out and connected it to the TMB and used that to auto guide, I had to set it to binned mode as the 3.15 micron pixels are a bit insensitive and as I was starting to run out of decent imaging time I just used the basic default settings in Maxim DL which seems to have worked reasonably well. I only managed Ha and did 12x10 minutes, no callibration has been done at all so no darks, no flats and no bias frames. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H9, seeing was average. I took an image of this subject unguided with the H36 and TMB last summer, this can be seen for comparison on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  23. NGC 6888 in Ha

    Hi Ray Thanks for he comments. My shop is sending me a new one so hopefully that will be ok, it is very easy to use and does a good job (when it works), I will give my verdict depending on whether I have problems or not with the new one, I will let you know Best wishes Gordon
  24. Crescent Nebula in HaOIIIOIII

    Hi All I previously (yesterday) posted a Ha image of this subject and was intending to add some OIII data to it, well the sky cleared after a rain shower last night so I go set up and managed to get 20x10 minutes for OIII, using the Takahshi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H9 as before and guided with the M8C. The seeing was very poor and it never got as dark as the night before so tere is not as much detail and sharpness as I was hoping but I am pleased with the result especially as the bluish halo associated with this subject is clearly evident. You can compare it with the HA version on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk in the Nebulae 2 section of the image gallery. Again no callibration with darks, flats or bias frames was used Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  25. NGC 5907 revisited

    Hi all I thought I would have another go at this galaxy, except this time use the Starlight Xpress H9 for a bigger image scale and also to try out my new toy, an LVI smartguider (yes you heard right this is an auto guided image). Because of the light pollution where I live I don't really get the best out of RGB imaging, but as my house is still in the way of the splendours that cygnus has to offer and my neighbours tree is blocking Cepheus for at least another month I don't really have a lot of narrow band targets to go for at the moment. This is made up of 14x4 minutes Red, 9x4 minutes Green and 15x4 minutes Blue, I would have liked longer subframes but with a half moon present, the light pollution and sky glow I would have been pushing my luck. Some very bright satellite and aeroplane streaks put paid to the other subframes (I didn't realise they showed up so bright with RGB imaging as they are normally fairly faint with NB). Again I would have prefered more but with a 3 hour imaging window at this time of year I have to be grateful for what I get. If anybody can tell me what the faint streak is in the bottom right of the picture I would be grateful as I haven't been able to find it yet. Thanks for looking, I have put a very short article about the smart guider in the miscellaneous section of the equipment page on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk which I will be adding to at a later date, it is very easy to use. Best wishes Gordon
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