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09-03-2014, 06:40 AM   #916
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Awesome shot Stephen!

I've been nibbling at the Orion nebula for a couple of nights. About 4 hours of data. It's a bit soft as the atmosphere was wild! Skywatcher ED100 at F7.2, unmodified Pentax K-5, no filter for about half the data and Baader Semi-Apo filter for the other half.

Bigger at Astrobin. M42 The Orion Nebula (Kevin) | AstroBin

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09-03-2014, 05:34 PM   #917
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
Awesome shot Stephen!

I've been nibbling at the Orion nebula for a couple of nights. About 4 hours of data. It's a bit soft as the atmosphere was wild! Skywatcher ED100 at F7.2, unmodified Pentax K-5, no filter for about half the data and Baader Semi-Apo filter for the other half.

Bigger at Astrobin. M42 The Orion Nebula (Kevin) | AstroBin
You squeezed out a lot from the gathered data, nice result.
09-13-2014, 04:59 AM   #918
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Nice work with Orion Kevin! I was gonna give the Veil nebula a crack tonight but low cloud kept me indoors.. maybe tomorrow Typical that 2 weeks during the moon there wasn't a cloud to be seen and now the moon is going we've got the SE'lies back and plenty of cloud doh
09-13-2014, 07:36 PM   #919
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I'm in the process of making up an NGC online catalog. I've gone through the entire 8000 objects and noted any good ones that I can take pics of - I've uploaded the results to my website categorised by zoom length - I'm yet to do the DSO ones by month as there are 365 of them I need to go through. These are for the Southern Hemisphere - I made it for Mackay (-21 latitude) but could be useful for other southern hemisphere latitudes.

http://astrophotography.bsch.com.au/ngc/

09-14-2014, 08:23 AM   #920
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Few pics from tonight! I ventured out with the telescope about 100km west of Mackay and got some not too bad shots - unfortunately the wind wrecked half of the veil nebula shots (gusts up to 50km/hr from nowhere then would go dead calm again). I'm pretty stoked with M31 though - it's only a 5x5 min shot with no darks at all and none of the other data from the other nights either! I had the K5 running while I did shots with the K3 and captured a huge fireball meteorite! Time for zzz
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09-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #921
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Fabulous shots Mike!
09-15-2014, 06:45 AM   #922
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Thanks Kevin! Here's M16 I imaged over 2 nights for 1.5 hours total time.
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09-16-2014, 01:39 AM   #923
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M16 is a tricky one for an unmodified camera so you've done well.

09-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #924
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QuoteOriginally posted by weathermon Quote
Few pics from tonight! I ventured out with the telescope about 100km west of Mackay and got some not too bad shots - unfortunately the wind wrecked half of the veil nebula shots (gusts up to 50km/hr from nowhere then would go dead calm again). I'm pretty stoked with M31 though - it's only a 5x5 min shot with no darks at all and none of the other data from the other nights either! I had the K5 running while I did shots with the K3 and captured a huge fireball meteorite! Time for zzz
That's not a fireball dude, it's Vegeta using his Big Bang Attack! haha
09-18-2014, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #925
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Sadr and Nebulosity in Cygnus

Some maintenance to the camera I use for astrophotography in this month included using epoxy to glue the shake reduction system in place, upgraded with water cooling to gain 20C of temperature drop, and a new standard exposure to limit problems from flexure.

I'm still using the same Pentax K10D camera, the one with the broken shutter which is the reason why the shake reduction system needed to be epoxied in place. Even when "turned off" the SR will "park" the sensor at each exposure. This causes smearing with bright stars.

I've upgraded the cooling method for the camera to use larger peltier devices and put a CPU-type water block to manage the waste heat. With the new system in place, the cold finger going into the camera shows a 20C drop from ambient. Alas, the Pentax K10D has bad amp glow that will always be visible no matter how cold the camera gets (I've put it into the freezer for an hour to check). Cooling the inside of the camera does help improve the thermal noise on the areas of the image that are not affected by amp glow. Power budget for this upgrade is pretty steep - 7 A at 12V.

Lastly, I've been battling flexure with the gear. I've decided to throw in the towel and dropped the exposure duration down to manage the trailing stars. No longer using 1200 second subexposures, now using 600 second. Bumped the ISO setting from 100 to 200 at this change as well. This new calibration method requires a new collection of darks which is pretty easy to collect with the shorter duration.

Here are the results from work done in the back yard over the last few weeks. Worked under moonlit suburban skies using a Baader Ha filter (35nm bandwidth) and IDAS LPS-D1 filter.

Ha data gathered from September 10 & 11 with 52 subexposures of 10 minutes at 200 ISO.

RGB data gathered from September 15 & 16 with 25 subexposures of 10 minutes at 200 ISO.

Total integration time was 12 hours and 50 minutes.

Calibrated each data set separately and then stacked with DSS. Used PixInsight's NBRGB script to merge the two images.




Also on Astrobin

For comparison, here is the Ha data. This was just the Red channel after registration to the color stack, crop, and DBE to manage gradients.


Last edited by smigol; 09-18-2014 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Added Ha data image
09-19-2014, 12:23 AM   #926
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Some maintenance to the camera I use for astrophotography in this month included using epoxy to glue the shake reduction system in place, upgraded with water cooling to gain 20C of temperature drop, and a new standard exposure to limit problems from flexure.

I'm still using the same Pentax K10D camera, the one with the broken shutter which is the reason why the shake reduction system needed to be epoxied in place. Even when "turned off" the SR will "park" the sensor at each exposure. This causes smearing with bright stars.

I've upgraded the cooling method for the camera to use larger peltier devices and put a CPU-type water block to manage the waste heat. With the new system in place, the cold finger going into the camera shows a 20C drop from ambient. Alas, the Pentax K10D has bad amp glow that will always be visible no matter how cold the camera gets (I've put it into the freezer for an hour to check). Cooling the inside of the camera does help improve the thermal noise on the areas of the image that are not affected by amp glow. Power budget for this upgrade is pretty steep - 7 A at 12V.

Lastly, I've been battling flexure with the gear. I've decided to throw in the towel and dropped the exposure duration down to manage the trailing stars. No longer using 1200 second subexposures, now using 600 second. Bumped the ISO setting from 100 to 200 at this change as well. This new calibration method requires a new collection of darks which is pretty easy to collect with the shorter duration.

Here are the results from work done in the back yard over the last few weeks. Worked under moonlit suburban skies using a Baader Ha filter (35nm bandwidth) and IDAS LPS-D1 filter.

Ha data gathered from September 10 & 11 with 52 subexposures of 10 minutes at 200 ISO.

RGB data gathered from September 15 & 16 with 25 subexposures of 10 minutes at 200 ISO.

Total integration time was 12 hours and 50 minutes.

Calibrated each data set separately and then stacked with DSS. Used PixInsight's NBRGB script to merge the two images.




Also on Astrobin

For comparison, here is the Ha data. This was just the Red channel after registration to the color stack, crop, and DBE to manage gradients.


Utterly stunning, mate! That is gorgeous, and really really impressive
09-19-2014, 01:44 AM   #927
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Very nice images Stephen. Which method did you use to add the Ha data?
09-19-2014, 08:45 AM   #928
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I used the PixInsight NBRGB script as described here: Combining Colour and Narrowband Images - Astrodoc: Astrophotography by Ron Brecher

The script allows adding Narrowband data to a one-shot color image and makes the balancing of reds, greens, and stars much easier. I used the max bandwidth available (200nm) for the RGB image. The actual bandwidth of the IDAS LPS-D1 filter is about 250nm, so I'm losing some of the color. The Ha filter I use is a wide-bandwith filter at 35nm. It was originally intended for interlaced sensors which makes it good for DSLRs.

Color calibration was difficult. Used Histogram tool to fix this by balancing the shape and center of the RGB curves. Alas, Sadr remains very blue. It really should more of a yellow-blue look as the temperature is 6100Kelvin. I think that this may be more of a function of the way the K10D renders very bright objects with slight fringing.

DGVDenoise tool used to smooth some of the granularity seen at 100%. The AstroBin link will show 100% if you want to pixel peep.

Masked Curves to bring up the saturation and brightness of the strong nebula and stars
Inverse Masked Curves to bring up the faint nebula and control green while protecting the strong nebula and stars
09-24-2014, 08:43 PM   #929
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I'm excited - my new IDAS LPS-P2 filter has arrived - can't wait to try it out
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09-25-2014, 03:07 AM   #930
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Looking forward to images with it Mike.
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