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Posts posted by Paramount

  1. Hi All

    I posted an image of M1 in HST palette a few days ago, but the image was very noisy and overprocessed so I have had a go at reprocessing it, I think this looks much cleaner and more detailed but would be interested to hear peoples comments. This is an extreme crop of the full widefield image as it was taken with my TMB 115 and H36 camera. The full widefield shot can be seen on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk in the nebulae section of the image gallery along with the original versions for comparison, just as a reminder the details are as follows

    TMB 115 f7

    Paramount ME

    Starlight Xpress H36

    9x10 minutes Ha

    12x10 minutes OIII

    5x10 minutes SII (subject was too low in the sky for more subframes)

    All exposures were unguided

    Colour combined in Maxim DL with 1:1:1 weighting for RGB

    Thanks for looking (again)

    Best wishes



  2. Hi Guys

    Thanks for the positive comments

    Tim, it is very heavily cropped especially when you compare it to the original widefield, makes you realise just how small this subject is. I did think about doing some extra processing on the crop but I didn't want to tempt fate as the image was already over processed to bring noise down to an acceptable level, I must admit I didn't notice any green in the background but that might be due to my monitor.

    Ray, I am planning on revisiting this subject with my soon to be arriving Takahashi BRC-250 which will give better resolution as well as having a much faster f ratio, although the focal length won't be a huge amount bigger I also plan on getting a smaller chip camera such as the H9 for smaller subjects or use my M8C which may become an option with the faster f ratio (the M8C has 3.25um pixels). I will be posting first light when it comes

    Best wishes to all


  3. Hi All

    It was very clear last night but also very cold and windy, I thought I'd have a go at M1 in the HST palette, I had planned on 9x10 minutes Ha and 12x10 minutes each for OIII and SII, giving a bit more time to OIII and SII as they have a tendency to need more help than Ha. What was surprising was the amount of OIII and SII evident in the subframes (for me anyway as this is my first attempt at this subject in NB). Unfortunately things didn't go to plan as when the SII subframes were being done at 4am onwards the subject was getting very low in the sky and after 5 subframes a tree got in the way, so the SII master frame had quite a bit of noise in it.

    I took the image with the TMB 115 and H36 which gave a very small image of M1 in a large widefield so the image I have posted here is a cropped closeup of the 100% zoomed widefield so please excuse the quality. The full widefield is on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk in the nebulae section of the image gallery, thanks for looking

    Best wishes



  4. Hi all

    I've almost recovered from my laryngitis and there was the promise of some clear weather last night so needs must as they say and I just had to get out and take some pictures. I decided to tackle IC 1848 as I hadn't tried this subject before, I was aiming for 2 hours per filter in 10 minute unguided subframes but as is usually the case with the British weather there was a couple of periods of cloud which wiped out 2 of the Ha and 1 of the OIII subframes. For the rest of this imaging run the seeing wasn't very good, I could just about make out Cassiopeia as the sky appeared a bit misty, this was confirmed by the noisy image and gradient on the image when processing which I think I have managed to get rid of the worst through processing (so please excuse the over processing). I colour combined the image as an LRGB combine using the Ha data as a luminance channel and then asigned SII=Red Ha=Green and OIII=Blue with a weighting of 3:1:2 for the respective RGB channels. Some people may say that this is wrong to use the Ha as a luminance channel when there is already Ha as a colour channel and this doesn't give a "scientifically" correct image, but I don't image for scientifically correct images I image for enjoyment and because I find the results pleasing. Anyway, that is enough of my ranting, I hope you like the image

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes



  5. Hi Ray

    Regarding what it says on my website, the H36 can be used on the C14 but because of the f11 focal ratio and long focal length, binning would have to be used to bring exposure times down and aso to give a better match between camera and scope in relation to pixel size. At a focal length of 3850mm still skies would be essential to get the best possible image. The other issue would be field curvature as the C14 better suited to small chip cameras and as the H36 is a large chip camera onle the centre area of the chip would be useable unless a suitable flattener could be found.

    In relation to darks, bias and flat frames, I use darks only taking 10 darks the same time as the exposures and median combining before using. Bias frames should not be needed unless a different exposure time is used to that of the darks as the bias is contained within the dark frames. I don't take flats as I havene't managed to get my head round those yet, partly because of poor sky conditions, whether to use sky flats, t-shirt flats, light box flats, etc. (of course light box flast are out of the question with narrowband filters)

    If you check the following site http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens

    you will see that I have put a selection of my images on their in full resolution to give you an idea as to how large you can go with enlargement. To give you another idea, a while ago I posted a narrowband image of the bubble nebula, well I cropped the image so that only the bubble nebula with its surrounding nebula was present and then had it printed to A3 size and there is no sign of pixelation

    Best wishes


  6. Hi all

    As usual the weather has turned to wet and cloudy and a bout of laryngitis means that I have been able to catch up with some processing and also to have a go at a bit of experimentation. A couple of weeks ago when I captured the Ha data for my Horsehead image I also managed to capture an hour each of Ha, OIII and SII in 10 minute unguided subframes for the Rosette nebula (NGC 2237-9,46) so first of all I did an image using the HST palette of SII for red, Ha for green and OIII for blue using the Ha data for the luminance layer as well. After I procesed it I thought I'd see what the results would be if I swapped the palette around a bit and I think I got slightly carried away. Any way the results are below in the following order

    1. HST palette --- SII=R Ha=G OIII=B

    2. Reverse HST palette --- OIII=R Ha=G SII=B

    3. CFHT (Canada France Hawaii Telescope) palette --- Ha=R OIII=G SII=B

    4. Unconventional palette (I used it before on the Crescent nebula) --- Ha=R OIII=G OIII=B





    Hope you like them and thanks for looking

    All the images used the same Ha data as a luminance channel and all 4 images were processed at the same time to ensure the same processing was used for each one. Details of equipment used can be found on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk

    Best wishes


  7. G'day Gordon,

    Very good work mate. Are you going to mix some Ha into that? Would love to see all three narrow band channels of that.


    Hi Ray

    Thanks for the comments, I think you missed part of my description regarding the Ha data, the LRGB ratios are as follows

    L=12x10 minutes Ha

    R=12x10 minutes Ha

    G=12x10 minutes SII

    B=12x10 minutes OIII

    I used 100% for the luminance channel and a weighting of 2:3:2 for the respective RGB channels so as you can see there is plenty of Ha data in the image, perhaps what is surprising is that the end result looks more like a traditional RGB image than an emission line image. This has more to do with the combination that I combined the channels and also the weighting I used

    Best wishes



  8. Hi all

    After finishing doing the data for OIII and SII channels of my colour Horsehead image there was just enough light left for me to try a test shot of the monkey head nebula in Orion. I've always wanted to see just how far I could push the Paramount ME before it showed trailing on the stars and I think it may still take me a bit longer to find out. I set the exposure to 20 minutes and let it run while I made some coffee. The resulting image below is from a single unguided 20 minute subframe with a Ha filter, the only processing was to some sharpening using Noel's tools, some noise reduction as the image was very noisy due to daylight, no dark subtraction and only one frame, minor curves and levels were used to help show some detail. The polar alignment was within 0.2 arcmin (12 arcsec) of the celestial pole. I thought 10 minutes unguided was fantastic but this is just ridiculous. No PEC training or second party software was used to increase the accuracy of the tracking, essentially the Paramount is still being used as it came out of the box.

    Best wishes



  9. Hi all

    Following my posting of the Universe Today article where my Ha image of the Horsehead and flame nebula was featured I thought I would have a go and add the other two emission line filters (OIII and SII) to see what results I would get. It was a very clear night on Tuesday and after doing some imaging earlier in the evening I was ready at about 1.30am to tackle this subject as it had just appeared around the corner of my house. I took 12x10 minute unguided subframes for OIII just in time to do a meridian flip and then 12x10 minutes unguided for SII. I processed these together with the 12 best subframes from the Ha data taken last week. While adjusting the settings in Maxim DL when colour combining I found that using Ha for luminance at 100% and the same Ha data for Red, SII for Green and OIII for Blue with a repective weighting of 2:3:2 for the three channels gave the most pleasing colour blance to my eyes on my monitor (this is probably not he most conventional palette to use but with emission line imaging this doesn't really matter). I saved the result to 16 bit TIFF and then processed in Photoshop CS2. I was quite surprised at the end result because I think I have managed to get the intricate detail that is associated with emission line imaging but at the same time retaining the more subtle colour hues associated with traditional RGB imaging. Only dark subtraction was used using 10x10 minute dark frames median combined that I took earlier in the summer. No flats or autoguiding were used.

    Compare this image with the Ha version on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk

    As a footnote it was freezing cold, the roads were iced over when I finished and the cars frosted over, the dew heaters did their job perfectly as did my latest purchase, a "Mountain Equipment" down jacket, I was sat outside in the shed virtually all night apart from making the occasional hot drink and I was as warm as toast.

    Thanks for looking, a full size high resolution version can be seen on http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens

    Best wishes and more cold clear skies



  10. Hi All

    A couple of nights ago I was able to take a Ha image of the Horsehead and flame nebulae (B33 and NGC 2024) - my first Orion shots of the winter. One of my colleagues at work wanted a monochrome picture of this framed so I have made her happy as well, it is made up of 15x10 minute unguided subframes. I am very pleased with the result but also because it has been featured on Universe Today along with a very informative article about B33 itself

    Here is the link to the image and the article


    I hope you enjoy the image and find the article as interesting as I did

    Best wishes and clear skies


  11. Very nice Gordon. I know with Hubble Pallete images the SII and OIII needs to be ramped up more than the Ha. I know that some Narrowband imagers do about half the time for Ha. I think Ha is easier to catch.

    Seems there is some kind of other nebula down the bottom. Wish I could see that part of the sky.


    Hi Ray

    Thanks for the comments, I agree with you on the exposure time for each channel when using narrowband filters, so far all of mine have been done with relatively short exposure times and equal time for each channel, good examples being this one and my previous post of the elephants trunk, this partly due to me trying to get one complete image in one night because of the unpredictable weather we get here. Quite often before I image an object in narrowband I check on a few sites such as Richard Crisp's http://www.narrowbandimaging.com and Neil Fleming's http://www.flemingastrophotography.com for some idea about number of subframes, etc. It is interesting to note that quite often they will use 3 hours for Ha, 6-9 hours for OIII and anything up to 12 hours for SII depending on the subject. When you look at some of their images you can see why they are in a different league. Despite this considering where I was a year ago and with the fact that I still haven't started using autoguiding or flat field frames I am more than happy with the way I am progressing and I am more than happy with this and my last few images. The main thing I want to do at the moment is get more subframes for each channel to keep the image smoother during processing ie 2+ hours per channel instead of 1 hour because at the moment I am having to use noise reduction routines during processing which is bound to have a detrimental effect overall on the final image.

    Regarding the nebulosity, this whole area is rich in emission nebula such as NGC 7538 to the lower right of the image, and I have the same wish as you in that I wish I could see the same skies that you get down under, but as neither of us can do that then we will have to carry on sharing our images on the forums

    Best wishes


  12. Hi all

    Lovely clear night last night until the fog came in at 4.30am, I didn't finally thaw myself out till about 11am (going to get myself a down jacket tomorrow). After making some fine adjustments to the polar alignment I thought I would have a go at the Bubble nebula again, but this time using all three narrow band filters instead of just Ha (posted earlier in the summer)

    Using my trusty TMB 115 with field flattener, FLI filter wheel and SX H36 camera on my Paramount ME I managed to get 6x10 minutes unguided exposures for each channel before the fog called a halt to the session, the last 2 subframes for OIII and SII were shot through thin fog. I used the HST palette i.e. SII Ha OIII for RGB and I also used the same Ha data for the luminance channel. The image is a bit noisy as I definitely need more subframes especially for the SII and OIII channels, the images were dark subtracted using 10 median combined dark frames that I took earlier in the summer, no flats were used.

    I have enclosed a cropped closeup to show the main subjects of the picture in more detail, the full widefield image is on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk in the nebulae section of the image gallery

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes and clear skies



  13. Hi All

    I had a go at this a while ago on a cloudy night just using Ha and as it was clear tonight (up till 2am anyway) I thought I'd have a go using the SII, Ha and OIII palette also using the Ha as luminance. I had originally planned 12x10 minutes on each channel but fog and cloud came in after half way so I ended up with 60 minutes per filter. I was intending to start autoguiding this week and I have my guiding scope but I was having trouble with some conflicts and calibration so the subframes are still taken unguided, the frames are dark subtracted using 10 darks median combined, the subsequent combined master frames were colour combined in maxim dl and processed in photoshop, no bias or flat field frames were used (I will one day), the colour balance may not be spot on but I am pleased with the result, I hope you like it. I have included a widefield and close up

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes


    PS Hope everybody enjoyed Kelling Heath



  14. Hi

    Since posting my image of the "Crescent nebula in two flavours" I have had a go at reprocessing it using a slightly different method to before, this tme I used the LRGB combine in Maxim DL using Ha Ha OIII OIII for the respective channels, I then processed in Photoshop as before and used Noel's tools to create a synthetic blue channel from the red and green as this gave a more pleasing image in my opinion and I think I have got a bit more detail out of it, but I stand corrected if others don't agree. Somebody on another forum in response to my image pointed out to me that I had managed to capture the "New Bubble Nebula" (as yet undesignated), this is to the upper left of the Crescent nebula itself and has the appearance of a very faint perfect circle, here is a link to further information and images


    You may have to zoom in and adjust the monitor settings to see it but on my monitor it shows up ok.

    Thanks for looking (again)

    Best wishes and clear skies to all



  15. Hi all

    Well I finally managed a clear night with almost uninterupted imaging from 10am to 6am (that is enough of the boasting for now), following on from my image of the Witches broomstick and pickerings triangle image using Ha and OIII data I thought I would try the same witht he crescent nebula. I am still experimanting with numbers of subframes so this time I used 6x10 minutes for Ha and 12x10 minutes for OIII all unguided (although this will change after Kelling Heath)

    I used two methods of processing

    1. Using Maxim Dl to combine the Ha and OIII as red and green which then as default uses 50% each of the Ha and OIII to make the blue channel, I adjusted this to give 20% Ha and 80% OIII as it was more pleasing on the eye on my monitor, this was then transferred to Photoshop for processing

    2. Using the above image in photoshop and using Noel's tools creating a synthetic blue channel using the red and green channel

    I have enclosed the first image here, the other image is in the nebulae section of the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk

    When I saw almost uninterupted imaging, the Ha data was affected by some intermittent patchy cloud that was about during the early part of the imaging run so please excuse the image quality.

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes and clear skies (especially for Kelling Heath)


    This was taken with the TMB 115 f7 with Starlight Xpress H36 on the Paramount ME:smile:


  16. Hi Ray

    You have three options for filling the pier---sand, gravel or lead shot. Sand is probably the best choice as it is the most environmently friendly and also the cheepest. The best stuff to use is builders sand as there is no salt (which may cause corrosion). The sand must be as dry as possible and if you can put a tough plastic lining bag in the pier first and then fill the bag. If you can and have access to a big oven you should try and dry the sand as much as possible first as wet or damp sand will encourage corrosion as well as mould.

    This is something that was always recommended in HI-FI circles for dampening resonances in loudspeaker stands, etc. Sand is also the deadest of the three materials as far as resonance is concerned

    Best wishes


  17. Hi All

    Well the weather forecast was wrong yet again saying it was going to be cloudy until 4am last night but thankfully I used my reliable method of weather forecasting and was able to get a couple of hours imaging done before the clouds rolled back in again. Having already done NGC 6992 I thought I would have a go at the other main area of the Veil complex again in Ha and OIII. I managed 6x10 minutes unguided for each filter so please excuse the quality of the image as I was hoping for at least twice as many subframes. I have enclosed the image which uses 100% Ha and 100% OIII for the red and green channels respectively and 50% each of Ha and OIII forthe blue channel. I also had a play around with Noel's tools and created a synthetic blue channel from the red and green and this can be seen in the image gallery on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes




  18. Hi all

    I don't know if this is the right place to post this but as it is related to imaging I thought I'd put it here. I am currently using a TMB 115 f7 for all my imagng and next year I am planning on getting A 10" RC scope (an Astrosib as it is now available where I live). As I always look around before I buy anything of that expense and while doing so I have noticed several firms doing optimised or corrected Dall Kirkham telescopes which according to all the advertising the design is ideally suited to imaging and in most areas out performs the RC scope. I appreciate that with a RC scope a field flattener will have to be added into the occasion especially if a large ccd chip is going to be used, this is something the corrected Dall Kirkhams don't need as the corrector is already built in.

    My question is this, looking at all the forums and the multitude of fantastic and varied images posted, how come does it appear that none of the imagers are using optmised or corrected Dall Kirkhams? There are refractors, newtonians, SCTs, RCs, Cassegrains, camera lenses, Maksutov variations but no ODKs or CDKs

    I would be very interested to see peoples views

    Best wishes