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Paramount

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Everything posted by Paramount

  1. 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
  2. NGC 5907 revisited

    Hi Ray Thanks for the comments, somebody on another forum has found the answer on skymap, it is PCG 54419 at mag 16.4 Best wishes Gordon
  3. Hi All This is my first return to imaging after my "eventful" holiday to Orlando --- details of which are in my blog on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk if you want to know more. Anyway, back to the subject. A lovely clear night on Saturday so I got everything set up. Started imaging just after 12 midnight and was planning 15x4 minutes for each channel with this subject, the red and green channels went fine apart frrom the usual light pollution where I live but I only managed 6x4 minutes for blue as I forgot about the shorter dark hours and it got too light after 3am so this one hasn't gone as deep as I would have liked. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36 and Astronomik RGB filters, no time for luminance on this, all unguided. Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  4. NGC 5907 "Needle Galaxy" in Draco

    Hi Ray Thanks for the comments, the Tak wins hands down for me, lighter weight, smaller size, flat field, no coma, I can use my large chip camera on it, fast focal ratio, I can put it on the mount myself without putting my back out. It is a no brainer really for me. That is not to say that the C14 isn't a good scope, it is just that the Tak is much better for my needs Best wishes Gordon
  5. Hi During the cloudless skies a couple of weeks ago I managed to get some imaging time in although the seeing conditions were pretty awful. I managed to get NGC 3628 and M51 with the H9 camera and M101 and its companion NGC 5474 with the H36. All were taken with the Takahashi BRC-250. I only managed 10x4 minutes each for the red and green channel for the M101 and NGC 3628 shot, and 10x4 minutes each for RGB for the M51 shot. Unfortunately cloud or day light put a stop to further imaging. I will be revisiting these again when time allows to do them more justice but in the meantime I am reassonably happy with the results considering the time and conditions Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon PS I'm off to Orlando next week for some sunnier, warmer weather
  6. M83

    Hi Steve Lovely detail and colour, well worth the time put in Best wishes Gordon
  7. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi all Sunday was clear but the seeing conditions were awful as described in my earlier post of "M 3 on a murky night". I took this shot later in the night again when M 13 was high enough to get anything decent recorded. This is one of the subjects that I have been wanting to try again as it was my first ever attempt at imaging when I still had my Meade LX200 system. This was taken with the Takhashi BRC-250, Starlight Xpress SXVF H36 on a Paramount ME, exposures are 30x1 minute each for RGB unguided with just simple auto dark subtraction in Maxim DL, no other calibration was used. As described in my M 3 image the top and bottom of the image are croppeddue to some dark lines about a 1/6 from the top and bottom of the subframes (not sure as yet what is causing this as it hasn't happened before). The glare round some of the brighter stars is caused by the poor seeing so it isn't as sharp as I was hoping. You can compare this with my first attempt at this subject by looking at the first image in the star cluster section of the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  8. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi Trevor Again the background looks a bit darker but don't you mean gradient xterminator and if so I tried it and it didn't make any difference on my computer as I had already used it earlier to remove a gradient. Best wishes Gordon
  9. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi Trevor Thanks very much for the tips on light pollution removal in Noels Tools. I have done what you said and it did such a good job that it allowed me to adjust the curves to bring out a bit more detail in the picture. Have a look and let me know what you think Best wishes Gordon :woot:
  10. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi Trevor Thanks for the assistance, I do have Noels tools and have done for some time but have never tried the noise polluton removal tool, sorry to keep asking questions but what adjustments should be made when the curves box comes up part way through the action Best wishes Gordon
  11. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi Trevor Thanks for that, the background definitely looks darker, what settings did you use in the light pollution removal in Noels tools as I am not familiar with that particular tool. Best wishes Gordon
  12. M 13 from Sunday

    Hi Trevor It is a combination of sky glow, light pollution and poor seeing. The only thing I didn't have was the ancient plagues of Egypt but I am half expecting those as well at any time Best wishes Gordon
  13. M 3 on a murky night

    Hi All I must admit it is nice to have some cloudless nights, now if we could do something about the sky glow, light pollution and poor seeing conditions it would be even better. This is of the globular cluster M 3 on Sunday night which was as mentioned above, I had to wait until it got near to the zenith as too much either side appeared misty. This is first real attempt at globular clusters, I did have a bash at M 13 when I first started imaging with a Meade LX200 3 years ago, this attempt can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk. I wasn't sure about exposure times so did 30x1 minutes each for RGB all unguided. Just simple autodark subtraction was used, no bias or flat fields. It was taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36. It is cropped top and bottom due to some heavy dark banding on the subframes, haven't figured that out yet. Overall I am reasonably pleased considering the seeing conditions. I have come to the conclusion that emission line imaging is a lot easier than RGB from where I live. Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  14. M 3 on a murky night

    Hi ray Thanks for the comments, I am using Maxim DL for the acquisition, with simple auto dark subtraction, stacking, log stretch with maximum pixel value then save to 16 bit tiff, no other processing. Then open the tiff masters in Photoshop CS2 and colour combining before processing. Best wishes Gordon
  15. Hi All You must be getting fed up with my reprocesses but I have to keep myself sane when the weather is bad. Following tips and comments from various people from different forums, I decided to go back to the drawing board on the processing of my M 82 image, this time I did the following Combined using Sigma Clip with a Sigma factor of 3.0 in Maxim DL Stretched each master frame using log, maximum pixel value and 16 bit Saved to 16 bit tiff Blended 100% Ha to Red channel using normal stretch mode Blended 20% Ha to Blue channel using normal stretch mode Nothing done to Green channel Manually combined RGB channels in Photoshop CS2 using default settings Levels and curves Contrast enhancement Unsharp mask Shadow highlight adjustments to bring down the core a bit Mild gradient removal with Gradient Xterminator Mild noise reduction using Noel's tools The result is that the background is less black so the comment about clipping the black point seems to be resolved. There is more detail in the red jets than the previous reprocess. I think I have gone as far as I can with the data that I have, unless ......... I think I will try this again when seeing conditions are better as I had to deal with the moon, neighbours lights and a hazy sky, also longer Ha subframes will be beneficial I have enclosed the final reprocess as well as the previous one for comparison, the first "cigar.jpg" is the final reprocess as described above, the earlier ones can be found on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk to see how this image has progressed. Ain't learning fun!!! Thanks for your patience Best wishes Gordon
  16. Hi all Sometimes bad weather can be a blessing in disguise as it allows a bit of catch up time in the processing department. I posted this image here and then tweaked it a bit but following some suggestions from Neil Fleming from http://www.flemingastrophotography.com I had a complete reprocess at it using colour combining in Photoshop CS2 (which I have never tried before), rather than combining as a straight forward LRGB image which I did previously using Maxim DL he suggested blending 66-100% Ha with the Red channel and 15-20% Ha with the Blue channel and then processing the resulting channels along with the Green channel as a normal RGB image. I chose 100% Ha with the Red channel and 20% Ha with the Blue channel using lighten as the blending mode for the Red channel and normal as the blending mode for the Blue channel. I am much happier with the end result as the red jets associated with this subject are more evident. Just as a reminder of the details 20x5 minutes for Ha 20x2 minutes each for RGB All unguided with the Takahashi BRC-250 on a Paramount ME with Starlight Xpress H9 and Astronomik filters Simple auto dark subtraction inMaxim DL, no flats or bias frames used. The original image, tweaked image and this reprocessed image can be seen together for comparison on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Thanks for looking yet again Best wishes Gordon
  17. Eta Carinae in Hubble palette

    Hi Steve You are right with the last comment, you never stop learning in this game, no matter how good you are there will always be room for improvement. Best wishes Gordon
  18. Eta Carinae in Hubble palette

    Hi Steve Excellent image as usual, I have the same problem as Ray with my jaw dropping and hitting the keys but my jaw isn't dyslexic!!! In response to Trevor the HST palette and other narrow band palettes can only be done with monochrome cameras and narrow band filters ie Ha, OIII and SII by taking individual exposures through each filter and then colour combining in the same way as you combine the RGB filtered expsoures for RGB imaging. Some one shot colour cameras such as the Starlight Xpress M25C have good Ha sensitivity and can take Ha images but the other channels are really out of the question as there are too many issues with Bayer Matrix array affecting the image. This is one of the advantages of monochrome cameras ie they are more flexible, the downside is that they require 3-4 times the amount of overall exposure time as you have to do seperate exposures for each filter and because you are then combining several images to create colour it takes longer to process Best wishes Gordon
  19. M82 in HaRGB

    Hi all I have finally managed to get out and do some imaging for the first time since mid February. It was also a chance to try out the H9 camera and 7 position FLI filter wheel which I got over a month ago. The image is of M82 using HaRGB with 20x5 minutes for Ha and 20x2 minutes each for RGB all unguided. Although the sky was clear I had to contend with a half moon all night as well as my neighbours bedroom light and the seeing conditions were fairly bad. Anyway, enough of the excuses, I am just glad to be able to do some imaging again. Thanks for looking, further details on equipment used is on my site http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Best wishes Gordon
  20. M82 in HaRGB

    Hi When I had a look at this image on a different computer and monitor there was a gradient that was evident that I couldn't see on mine so I have tweaked the image a bit to remove most of the gradient and also done some mild sharpening and small adjustments of the curves to extract a little more detail. Thanks for looking again. Best wishes Gordon
  21. Hi all Ok, so it isn't the owl and the pussycat but I couldn't resist a play on words. I have never tried M97 before and as a planetary nebula I knew it would be ok for narrowband imaging. Given the sky conditions last night it was ideally placed, ie high up near the zenith. Originally I was only planning Ha and OIII as I had looked on other sites and not many people had used SII (perhaps because there was virtually none). I hadn't planned on getting M 108 but when composing the image saw that it was in the same shot so I got 2 for the price of 1. I had originally planned on 12x10 minutes unguided for each filter which is what I shot but during the session there must have been some patches of icy moisture in the atmosphere as a few subframes were ruined for each filter. At the end of the session I still had about an hour left till day light so I shot one SII frame and saw that there was something coming through although much fainter than Ha and OIII so I left it running and got 4 useable subframes. This is the end result with 8x10 minutes for Ha, 7x10 minutes for OIII and 4x10 minutes for SII combined as SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B with a weighting of 3:3:1. Taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and H36. There are two close up cropped images of the galaxy and nebula themselves on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk which show these objects in greater detail Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  22. "The Owl and the Pussycat" in HST palette

    Hi All More cloud tonight so I thought I would have a reprocess at the Owl nebula image as the original was a tad noisy, I have posted it below and there is also the full resolution image on my other site http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens just click on the thumbnail and it is the last picture in the gallery, I think it looks a bit smoother but I would be interested to see what people think Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  23. Hi all Finally managed to get out and do some imaging last night, not completely problem free though, after about an hour during a long session from 7pm to 7am I had some condensation on the camera optical window so I had to take it off and give it a blast with my girlfriends hair drier for five minutes, then had to refocus so half an hour or so wasted. Clear sky all night although imaging low in the sky was out of the question due to misty sky, the moon was high up as well which meant lots of sky glow and the ability to do my Telegraph crossword without artificial lights. Any way enough of the excuses. I had originally planned to do this in colour but after starting the OIII something didn't look right in the image and I eventually tracked it down to condensation on the camera window, once I had sorted this out and refocused the subject was heading towards the mist so only Ha for this one I'm afraid. It is 8x10 minutes unguided with the Takahashi BRC-250 and Starlight Xpress H36. The image is cropped as there is now some vignetting in the corners since putting the PDF focuser in the image train (that is a small sacrifice to pay). Simple auto dark subtraction was used in Maxim DL, no flats or bias frames were used Thanks for looking Best wishes Gordon
  24. Hi all I have been dying to get out and try my new scope and finally lastnight there was some clear sky to give it a try. Focusing was very difficult as the BRC-250 uses a helical focuser and when you turn it the camera assembly moves as well and as the scope was a long way from near focus this meant alternating between the focuser and the instrument rotator in order to stop the cables from twisting up. The focuser is very smooth but at the same time very firm so it takes a bit of turning. It took about half an hour just to get focus. Because of the camera rotating I didn't use my usual method of using one star to focus on in Maxim DL and using the inspect tool, instead I did it visually using the difraction spikes on a bright star as a guide (when out of focus the difraction spikes were split) so please excuse the image if it appears slightly out of focus. I am waiting for an adapter to fit my FLI PDF focuser in the system and when that is in things will be much easier as I can get close to critical focus with the helical focuser and then lock it it and leave everything to the PDF focuser, so at the moment the camera is not the correct distance from the built in field flattener. Anyway, enough of the excuses. I managed 8x10 minute unguded subframes of IC 410 of which 4 were ruined by cloud and after the 8th subframe that was it for the night as the clouds stayed. So this is a 4x10 minute image in Ha only. Only simple auto dark subtraction was done and no flats were applied. I have included the full widefield and an extreme close up of the Tadpoles themselves Thanks for looking Pictures of the BRC-250 can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk Best wishes Gordon
  25. "Tadpoles" - first light with Takahashi BRC-250

    Hi Ray Yes I am selling the C14 and all its accessories, case, etc. It is on my website Best wishes Gordon
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