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M31 Andromeda Galaxy
Posted By: blues_hawk, 11-28-2019, 10:39 AM

M31, Andromeda Galaxy is actually quite large in the night sky. It juuust fits in my 600mm aps-c frame.
This one is a noise reduction "stack" of 5 images of 900 seconds each.
Post Proccess in Siril, gimp, and Rawtherapee.



Last edited by blues_hawk; 11-28-2019 at 11:05 PM.
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12-05-2019, 07:15 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by blues_hawk Quote
Quick followup: While I was fixing the link to this one I spotted one you might like in my album I used a 50-200mm ed lens to do this one. Could use a flat but I thought you might to see it anyway. I piggybacked the camera and lens earlier in the season and just let it shoot what the main rig was pointing at.
Really interesting. This was this straight from the camera single shot also?

I'm heading back out tomorrow night to try the andromeda galaxy for my second time. I just have astrotracer, so it will be several shots. I only took 5 last time, with no darks or flats, so I am going to try more shots and throwing those in the mix as well to see the results I get. Slowly but surely taking baby steps to learn this a bit more.

One question I had was what do you set your WB to? I know some people have a preference to give themselves a starting point, but I wasn't sure how much that actually helped or if it was just personal taste.

12-05-2019, 07:19 PM   #32
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wow. this is stunning.
12-05-2019, 07:39 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snapppy Quote
Really interesting. This was this straight from the camera single shot also?

I'm heading back out tomorrow night to try the andromeda galaxy for my second time. I just have astrotracer, so it will be several shots. I only took 5 last time, with no darks or flats, so I am going to try more shots and throwing those in the mix as well to see the results I get. Slowly but surely taking baby steps to learn this a bit more.

One question I had was what do you set your WB to? I know some people have a preference to give themselves a starting point, but I wasn't sure how much that actually helped or if it was just personal taste.

Sorry I missed these questions initially, been very busy lately.

WB: I usually leave it to auto, some use daylight.
When I shoot remotely with indi/ekos observatory software the shots get stored as rgb Fits format and have no white balance applied. I use an average of selection to bring them into line during post in Siril.

200mm: I also used Siril, gimp and rawtherapee to bring out details in that 200mm shot. It really is that big in the night sky, like moon big. There are some objects even bigger too!

Astrotracer: I scored a ogps-1 unit recently on ebay and haven't gotten much good with it so far but I've been learning it's limitations with plans to do some onsite milkyway and ap up on the mountain(see post of the post) One thing I'd like to see is some tries of double cluster heart and soul with it. I used a 135mm takumar with a 2" uhc filter on the front to get some of them but piggybacked a camera on the main mount. I bet astrotracer would do really good for those.
This image is horribly overcompressed for some reason but shows the layout. just heart alone is too big for the main telelscope and i'll have to get it as a mosaic one day. Those massive dark emission nebulas work better in narrowband.
Looking forward to seeing more Pentax AP.

12-05-2019, 07:53 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by blues_hawk Quote
Sorry I missed these questions initially, been very busy lately.

WB: I usually leave it to auto, some use daylight.
When I shoot remotely with indi/ekos observatory software the shots get stored as rgb Fits format and have no white balance applied. I use an average of selection to bring them into line during post in Siril.

200mm: I also used Siril, gimp and rawtherapee to bring out details in that 200mm shot. It really is that big in the night sky, like moon big. There are some objects even bigger too!

Astrotracer: I scored a ogps-1 unit recently on ebay and haven't gotten much good with it so far but I've been learning it's limitations with plans to do some onsite milkyway and ap up on the mountain(see post of the post) One thing I'd like to see is some tries of double cluster heart and soul with it. I used a 135mm takumar with a 2" uhc filter on the front to get some of them but piggybacked a camera on the main mount. I bet astrotracer would do really good for those.
This image is horribly overcompressed for some reason but shows the layout. just heart alone is too big for the main telelscope and i'll have to get it as a mosaic one day. Those massive dark emission nebulas work better in narrowband.
Looking forward to seeing more Pentax AP.
No no, you're fast - I just posted those questions half an hour ago Thanks for the quick feedback and help!

That looks like a great target, I'm excited to see what you get from your experiments with the OGPS-1 unit. I'm using a K-1, so it's built in, but the full-frame is somewhat disadvantageous for these farther reach objects because I haev a shorter lens. I'm using a Samyang 135mm f2 lens, which is an amazing lens, but Andromeda doesn't fill the frame without a significant crop.

Here was my first try stacked and cropped before and after processing. I used DeepSkyStacker for the stacking and DarkTable for edits, though I do plan to use RawTherapee next time. It seems more powerful for this sort of things.

Before:


After:


Anyway, we'll see how it goes! I have a lot to improve on both shooting and editing, but it can only get better from here, right?

Thanks again!

12-05-2019, 09:35 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snapppy Quote
No no, you're fast - I just posted those questions half an hour ago Thanks for the quick feedback and help!

That looks like a great target, I'm excited to see what you get from your experiments with the OGPS-1 unit. I'm using a K-1, so it's built in, but the full-frame is somewhat disadvantageous for these farther reach objects because I haev a shorter lens. I'm using a Samyang 135mm f2 lens, which is an amazing lens, but Andromeda doesn't fill the frame without a significant crop.

Here was my first try stacked and cropped before and after processing. I used DeepSkyStacker for the stacking and DarkTable for edits, though I do plan to use RawTherapee next time. It seems more powerful for this sort of things.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes! I have a lot to improve on both shooting and editing, but it can only get better from here, right?

Thanks again!
That's terrific and looks like the K1 is doing very well! Your m31 already looks as good or better than many I've seen. You should see if you can get lined up for heart and soul some night and also the north american nebula (looks like a continent) with that 135mm. Try to time your targets to be as high in the sky as possible to reduce "seeing" effects by having less atmosphere to go through. Planetarium software is very helpful for that, as well as getting in tune with the machinery of things, which is as much a lure for me as AP is.
The combination of 135mm and the full frame K1 should make for some awesome wide field ap shots! I'm torn between the K1 and a dedicated aps-c cooled astrocam for my next step, but I bet I know how Pentaxians would vote. :P
I like darktable too but have more tweaking time with RT so I continue to use it. Anything will do, it's a matter of controlling the shadows without blowing out the highlights, and watching for background noise to pop up. try not to lower the white end point as it costs dynamic range. On that note, I do use flats and bias frames to calibrate black level and flatten background to help bring out fine low level details but no longer use dark frames with the K5 as they really didn't do much and are temp specific anyway.
12-05-2019, 09:46 PM - 1 Like   #36
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There's a tool I like in GIMP that helps as well. It's in colors and is called shadows and highlights. Rt's got some new wavelet toys I've been tinkering with as well. Haze removal and toning, among others. I think Siril's stretching and list of stacking toys are my favorites right now, especially full field registration and linear fit rejection stacking as well as the new asinh stretch (tricky to use as yet) and color calibration based on a frame select so you can avoid trouble spots. I'm not sure if they've ported it to windows yet.

Always shoot raw - except time lapse...pita.) to .fits format opens up some noise and color correction as well as an easy path to noise reduction stacking which can help when satellites cruise through, especially on m42 and southern shots due to the geostationary sats down that way. Since gps tracked shots are short at longer focal lengths you will likely find the need to push gains or stretch harder and then stack out the noise. You can also keep shots shorter that way. about 16:1 usually does the trick, though I've struggled with noise using that method. Keep in mind that the gain to stack size is not linear and that there is only so much you can gain from it.
Turn off in camera black frames and noise reduction when shooting raw as it only gets applied to jpg anyway and the high iso shoots a full length dark frame which eats half your night.
One thing I can't share enough which I think is a breakthrough for the sport in general is the revelation that CMOS sensors always gather at the same rate regardless of post gain application. As long as you plan to stretch the image you can keep your gains very low. This results in the best dynamic range especially where colors are stored. I've even tried this in dim light daylight shots with good results. That bear I posted last week was in low light handheld then stretched some and I've tried even more absurd manual test shots which later stretched out just fine and lower noise than the higher gain ones. The preview is very dark so composition can be tough.

OH yeah! turn around down south in a week or three and shoot Orion's sword! If that doesn't get you hooked nothing will :P
.. evil thing...grr. my nemisis. so much brightness... the shiny...my precious.. !0.0!... time for bed. lol
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