QHY10 Camera – the power of simple processing in GIMP2

As you can work out, I am very new to this astrophotography thing – I am simply recording my journey on this blog!

So.……now I have discovered the power of even very simple processing in software like GIMP2 used below.

Andy

Original image of trees at bottom of my garden – QHY10 single shot colour camera on Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA taken with EZCAP_QT software and debayered (colour shown) using Deep Sky Stacker (below):

In the image below, the image above has had its curves tweaked in GIMP2:

In the next image, the image above has further been sharpened using unsharp mask in GIMP2 (OK – it is over-sharpened but it shows what can be done!):

QHY10 Camera with Teleskop Express Flip mirror-off axis guider 16/6/2019

Teleskop Express (https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/index.php/language/en) produce a combined flip mirror-off axis guider & I think this is going to be perfect for the QHY10 camera.

I tried the combination tonight – and it works – with an extra extension on the 1.25 inch port (3x15mm in total but one needed on this device at least to act as eyepiece holder), the illuminated finder becomes parfocal with the camera and the pillar can be taken in to turn the device into a flip mirror for finding purposes or out to use as off axis guider.

So far only tried on the house beyond end of my garden – will need more in focus for focusing on the sky but the telescope has 2cm left do I hope this is enough!

Andy

Another Solar post -flare loop? 19/06/2019

This morning I was trying to snatch some images in gaps in the clouds and I got this one. I was immediately struck by the similarity to the image I posted back in February https://roslistonastronomy.uk/strange-solar-phenomenon-02-07-2019
After some debate with the BAA and “Sky at Night” magazine (April “Message of the Month” it was concluded that this was a “post flare loop”
Again, this one was on all 200 frames of my basic .avi.
So I consulted the GONG web-site again, but unfortunately the only camera available for the time in question was the El Teide one. This camera’s images are always pretty poor, but also attached is a composite if its images bracketing the time of my image. I did a screen-grab and enhanced the contrast in GIMP in order to see anything at all. You can make out the prominence on all the frames (just)!, but I fancy the only frame that contains the feature I saw is the 10:49 one.
GONG images:
Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

Successfully obtaining colour image with QHY10 camera

Success! Colour image obtained with QHY10 camera. I made an aperture mask for the Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA to reduce light so that EZCAP_QT did not white out when the image was taken and then took the following FITS image:

As before, the image appears in black and white.

However, it turns out the is due to the need to select an appropriate Bayer matrix in astrophotography software – the following screenshot shows the above image appearing in colour when a particular generic Bayer matrix setting has been chosen. The pop box is obtained by clicking on “Raw/FITS DDP Settings” under <Options> in left hand menu options in Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) software:

Focus point on Equinox 80 to focus on trees/swing at bottom of our garden:

Aperture mask on Equinox 80:

Settings on EZCAP_QT software:

First light QHY10 single shot colour camera 15/6/2019 & determining the focus point on Vernier scale on Equinox Pro 80mm for QHY10

Pointed at window on distant house (curtains closed so no peeping but does have light behind it to give some contrast & help me to find focus point on Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm telescope!).

I was surprised how long the exposures needed to be to get bright image – although less bright images could be manipulated in GIMP2 but using curves to bring out detail.

The size of the senor is large – three fourths (slightly larger than APS) giving enormous image compared to tiny sensors I have used in past, but clearly less sensitive than for example my QHY6 camera.

What I don’t understand tonight is that the images appear to be monochrome on a single shot colour camera – I can’t see setting in the software to make the images colour……I think I can sort this tomorrow by taking image during day when clearly colour around. Perhaps I am saving the images in wrong format or exposure not long enough to obtain colour data?

Tonight the focus point for the QHY10 camera on the Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm with the nosepiece & Altair self centring 35mm extension tube that came with the camera & my own additional 50mm extension tube was 44mm on the Vernier scale on the Equinox’s focus tube – note this is likely to be slightly longer than will be needed for sky as the window below is closer than the sky which drives the focus point further out from the telescope.

Andy

Oringal image = 3896 x 2612 pixels, 10 second exposure using Nebulosity 4 software & selecting Nebulosity’s own in-built driver for QHY10 camera (below):

Above image cropped = this image looks like it has colour data but I think this might be artificial from my playing around with GIMP…..

The following image was taken using EZCAP_QT (recommended by QHY for this camera) – just under 4 seconds exposure with increased gain:

Image 2 – 60secs on Nebulosity 4 – as far as I can tell this is saved as B&W image:

 

Photos of lens on CCDSPEC under finding/tracking eyepiece and slit

The following are photos from the CCDSPEC finding/tracking eyepiece port.

Andy

Under the eyepiece is an inbuilt lens to help focus light onto the finding/tracking eyepiece (removed in this photo below):

The following photos below are magnified photos of the surface of the lens that can be seen in the picture above (the first picture taken through 10mm eyepiece focused on the surface of the lens, the next two through a reticle eyepiece (my Meade XY adjustable illuminated eyepiece likewise focused). I am concerned that there appears to be marks on this lens directly in line of sight of the eyepiece, possibly affecting my ability to observe fainter objects during spectrometry sessions – although worth noting that this will not affect the ability of CCDSPEC to collect light for the spectrometer.as this lens is only for the visual lens port:

Photos below are of the eyepiece above focused on the spectrometer slit:

 

Jupiter 08-09/06/2019

Last night, conditions were about as good as they are going to get for observing Jupiter. The GRS was predicted to transit the meridian at 23:39 UT. Ideal for getting out the proper scope, as long as I had a bit of get-up-and-go. Unfortunately due to a lot of recent lack of sleep, my get-up-and-go had got-up-and-gone! Still, the opportunity was too good to totally miss, so I had to fall back on the trusty window-sill:

Callisto is out of frame, stage right.

It makes an interesting comparison to the last time I imaged Jupiter from the window-sill.

 

More time left yet for proper imaging this apparition.

Spectroscopy Vega, Arcturus, Sadr, failed attempt to take spectrum M57, using CCDSPEC on Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm on Manfrotto mount

Yesterday the sky cleared after raining for a large part of the day. Rhys and I tried to take a spectrum of the Ring Nebula M57 using a new combined flip mirror/off axis guider/hand-guided on Manfrotto video mount. Unfortunately, the experience showed clearly that these nebulae are very faint and we will need to use GOTO power-driven mount to keep the object on the spectroscopy slip whilst taking spectra of these objects.

We did obtain a spectrum of Vega (for calibration), a spectrum of Arcturus and for the first time a spectrum of Sadr.

Andy

Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA, with finder scope with illuminated eyepiece, Teleskop Express combined flip mirror/off axis guider and astrometric eyepiece, CCDSPEC with Meade XY adjustable illuminated eyepiece. The experience last night indicated another XY adjustable illuminated eyepiece would be a better choice to the astrometric eyepiece on the combined flip mirror/off axis guider and in fact a flip mirror might be a better choice to the combined flip mirror/off axis guider as will direct more light to the eyepiece (below):

Calibrating spectrum of Vega (using know Vega lines):

Calibration information on Vega lines I have determined previously (see https://roslistonastronomy.uk/re-analysis-of-vega-spectrum-from-4-8-2018):

 

 

Vega from 8/6/2019:

Arcturus (spectral class K1.5IIIFe-0.5):

Sadr:

With an apparent visual magnitude of 2.23, Gamma Cygni is among the brighter stars visible in the night sky. The stellar classification of this star is F8 Iab, indicating that it has reached the supergiant stage of its stellar evolution.

We initially guided to Sadr using green lazer on finder show – carefully aligned so point of lazer coincided with CCDSPEC slit – this meant that we did not need to use illuminator on eyepiece – the green lazer was sufficient to show up the guiding reticule on the illuminated eyepiece and a lot fainter than the red light on that eyepiece – we demonstrated that this is an effective method for guiding to fainter stars.

Sadr – this time spectrum without using green lazer: