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07-07-2014, 03:23 PM   #871
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Thanks, guys. I figured out the problem with DSS: Unfortunately, the program isn't in front of me on this PC, but the circular stars were being caused by improper setting of the "cosmetic" hot pixel removal. I had the percentage at like 75%. I disabled the checkbox entirely and no more problems.

Washed out is a real possibility, Learjet. I am technically in an "orange zone" and with the didymium filter at ISO 800, the histogram peak would be maybe 30-40% toward the middle with 3.5 min exposures. I also took a series of 2 min exposures, so will try stacking those and see if the skyglow/ lp is any less. Still haven't managed a fix for PKTether though, so looking for any suggestions for that. I'm attaching my first NGC-7000 attempt. I used StarTools for most of the processing including a gradient applied for LP removal. Total exposure was 1.25 hours.

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07-08-2014, 05:58 PM - 2 Likes   #872
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Glad you figured out the problem Bill. That's a nice shot you have.

This is my longest total time I've spent on a single object. This is galaxy NGC247. It has very low surface brightness so needs lots of time. This is 327 x 1 minute subs through the ED100 at F9, Pentax K-5. In the bigger Astrobin upload, lots of tiny little galaxies in the background start coming through. I find it quite amazing. I really want to take more galaxy shots now.

NGC247 (Kevin) | AstroBin
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07-10-2014, 12:12 AM - 1 Like   #873
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Snake Nebula

Here's a photo of a dark nebula on the edge of Ophiuchus constellation.

The Snake Nebular or Barnard 72 is a thin dust cloud that extends in between us and the star fields of the Milky Way.







6 subexposures for a total of 2 hours of integration.

Taken with the broken, cooled, and modded Pentax K10D with a Stellarvue SV4 telescope. Would like to get more data on this area before it passes for the summer.

Last edited by smigol; 07-14-2014 at 01:23 AM. Reason: fixing links
08-01-2014, 11:20 PM - 1 Like   #874
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Trifid Nebula from Montebello OSP July 2014

A busy summer for me so far.

Here's a crop from a larger image that shows the Trifid Nebula (Messier 20) as seen at a nearby dark sky site (Montebello OSP).




Taken with my trusty - and mostly broken - Pentax K10D. As noted earlier, the shutter is no longer working, so I've glued it open and fixed the mirror in an open position. This camera will never be used for terrestrial pictures again, so I have no worries about keeping it intact.

Total of 19 subexposures at 1200 seconds for 6 hours of integration.

Shot through my Stellarvue SV4 scope using SSF6 flattener and IDAS HEUIB II filter.

Since this is a crop of a larger image, a custom rectangle was drawn in Deep Sky Stacker and a 2x drizzle stack was made for further processing in PixInsight.

08-02-2014, 07:24 PM   #875
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Guys & Gals,

I just happened to be pursing Space.com and they are looking for images.
QuoteQuote:
Editor's Note: If you capture an amazing view of any night sky object and would like to share your images for a possible gallery or story, send images and comments to Space.com managing editor Tariq Malik at: spacephotos@space.com.
Take a look at their other postings also. There is a wide variety of shots, that they publish. First and foremost, in my view its your persistence and technique. Also, supported by your equipment. I really like smigol with his trusty K10 and the cooling setup. I also think that with the O-GPS1 and the current crop of K bodies, there is an excellent story here, around both the shot and the equipment.Anyway, just thinking out loud.... Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

08-02-2014, 08:32 PM   #876
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Folks,

I have had this idea paddling around in my mind for a bit of time. The 645Z, effectively produces the cleanest and highest ISO around. This coupled with its 50MP resolution along with its apparently relatively cool operation, I think makes it an ideal imager for the folks with large tubes, that could support the enlarged image circle. Of course the downside is the cost, along with its large mass.

Having said all of that, and coupled with the wonderful imagery that has been posted here, I thought that I would toss this out. The few of you with tubes that could support the larger image circle, the mount that could support the additional mass of the camera body.

The proposal to Pentax - look at what we have done to date with what we have been working with. Attached to the proposal a few of your best images. What is required - well borrowing a 645Z body with the tethering software for a couple of months. What are the benefits for all involved?
  • Pentax - More exposure. A new nitch market to expand the 645 into. Another way to highlight the large resolution, low noise, high ISO, sensor it has. Exposure in media that it has not had traction in before
  • You - The images. The bragging rights. The exposure.
Perhaps approaching Pentax in the various geographical markets, Oz, the US, Canada, Europe, etc., just depending on where the tubes are located that could really support the imager. Yes, its been done with film before, but with a COTS sensor at say ISO 51,200 at 50MP per frame... If you can pull off the images that have been posted with a Kx, think of what may be possible with the Z.

me - I just have the crazy ideas. I'll wander back to my padded room and put the straightjacket back on....
08-02-2014, 11:43 PM   #877
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So the idea of the 645Z on a scope has crossed my mind a few times, too. AP scopes, the Takahashi scopes, and the Pentax SDUF clone (Borg 125 SD and Vixen 100VSD) would have image circles large enough to support medium format digital. These scopes were designed to support heavy cameras including the Pentax 67. Price is steep, but if you're planning to play with the 645Z, then it's expected.

IR sensitivity would be a problem. The 645D had a variant that was sensitive to IR, so maybe this will happen with the new version?

Nice to think about for those nights when there's just the big moon in the sky.
08-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #878
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Took the O-GPS for a whirl for the first time in ages last night because I wanted to test the new-to-me $30 300mm prime I picked up to see if it produces any major problems.

Sat down a bit ago to see how much coma that Sears lens would produce and, well...

Any weirdness here is due purely to my camera and not the lens. Granted I stomped down a lot of the background to mask the sensor muck, but even out of the gate coma was non-existant.

EDIT: 30 seconds, ISO 800, probably f/8 as I can see starbursts from the blades if I mess with the image a bit in LR.



08-10-2014, 02:42 AM   #879
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
Took the O-GPS for a whirl for the first time in ages last night because I wanted to test the new-to-me $30 300mm prime I picked up to see if it produces any major problems.

Sat down a bit ago to see how much coma that Sears lens would produce and, well...

Any weirdness here is due purely to my camera and not the lens. Granted I stomped down a lot of the background to mask the sensor muck, but even out of the gate coma was non-existant.

EDIT: 30 seconds, ISO 800, probably f/8 as I can see starbursts from the blades if I mess with the image a bit in LR.


Magic! I wants a longer lens. That's really good at 30" and 300mm. Go Astrotracer, go! ;-)
08-14-2014, 11:48 AM   #880
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
John,

I use two sizes of Bahtinov masks, both purchased from Spike A (spike-a.com). The smaller size is appropriate for 77mm diameter lenses. I've used it well on 67mm diameter lenses, too.

The important thing to note for camera lenses is to be patient. You'll not see spikes except when overexposing the stars. I'll see good spikes on Vega with 6 second exposures at 100 ISO.

Another thing about camera lenses is that you will have better star shapes and better spikes when stopping down one step. More than one step may introduce additional spikes from the aperture blades, so I don't suggest going that far.

I'll dig up some examples of how I've used the tool to focus camera lenses and post them.

Stephen
I've been away :S
Sorry I missed your posts at the time!
Thanks for the support Smigol I'm working on getting one now
You guys keep the posts coming!
08-18-2014, 10:28 PM - 1 Like   #881
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NGC6960 the Western Veil Nebula taken over the last couple of nights. 100 x 3 minute subs, ED100 at F7.2, Astronomik CLS, Baader Semi APO and Lumicon deep sky filters, Pentax K-5, HEQ5 pro, guiding with a 68mm guidescope, video camera and PHD2.

Bigger at Astrobin. NGC6960 The Western Veil Nebula (Kevin) | AstroBin
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08-18-2014, 11:36 PM   #882
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
NGC6960 the Western Veil Nebula taken over the last couple of nights. 100 x 3 minute subs, ED100 at F7.2, Astronomik CLS, Baader Semi APO and Lumicon deep sky filters, Pentax K-5, HEQ5 pro, guiding with a 68mm guidescope, video camera and PHD2.

Bigger at Astrobin. NGC6960 The Western Veil Nebula (Kevin) | AstroBin
What was the ISO setting used on your Veil image? I assume that your K5 still has the original IR filter?
08-19-2014, 03:10 AM   #883
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
NGC6960 the Western Veil Nebula taken over the last couple of nights. 100 x 3 minute subs, ED100 at F7.2, Astronomik CLS, Baader Semi APO and Lumicon deep sky filters, Pentax K-5, HEQ5 pro, guiding with a 68mm guidescope, video camera and PHD2.
Wow!!! - this is the first time I have ever seen this Nebula. Excellent effort and wonderful results!! Is the K5 meeting your expectations?

08-19-2014, 05:47 AM   #884
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
What was the ISO setting used on your Veil image? I assume that your K5 still has the original IR filter?
Original internal filter, no cooling. About half the shots were taken at ISO1600 and the rest ISO3200 for the darker CLS and deep sky filter.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Wow!!! - this is the first time I have ever seen this Nebula. Excellent effort and wonderful results!! Is the K5 meeting your expectations?

Thanks IO. The K-5 does seem to be performing a step above the K-x, but it is winter here with cooler temps no doubt helping. I have retired the K-x for astro work now and am just using the K-5 as it's a delight to use. I have yet to get the GPS unit for portable work, but have had too many letters from Bill lol.
08-19-2014, 09:24 PM   #885
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
Original internal filter, no cooling. About half the shots were taken at ISO1600 and the rest ISO3200 for the darker CLS and deep sky filter.
That's nice for the original filter. There's a lot of Ha in the space "below" the mag 4 star 52 Cygnus. This will show up with longer exposures, darker skies, and more sensitivity to the spectrum.

I also worked on this region earlier in the summer, but was plagued with problems of focus so the data is not so good.

This whole area is a great exercise in processing challenges. You can get quick results or spend a huge amount of time reducing the appearance of stars or boosting faint tendrils. Nice work and I look forward to seeing more!
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