I tried to make the best of the recent clear nights…
Well it’s not as good as I would have liked, but given the conditions over the last few nights with the”seeing” not too great and my first attempt at RGB with the new scope I have to be fairly pleased I haven’t wasted my money!
Focus is a little out but I’ll get used to the small adjustments eventually.
The technical details are: as before for the scope and guiding.
Red:17x 5 minutes
Green: 18x 5 minutes
Blue: 18x 5 minutes
Luminance: 24x 5 minutes
Its been a couple of months since I’ve done any astrophotography mainly due to family commitments and gardening during the long summer days. This image of the flaming star was actually one from last year that had a few issues so i decided to leave it for a summer holiday to process. I had quite a few dust bunnies which my flats didn’t resolve so I’ve used clone stamp in pixinsight. 43×2.5min + darks and flats.
I used Roger’s suggested Ian’s noise reduction in GIMP and rounded stars although I did not subtract sky background as image went strange when I tried that on this image as I appeared not to be able to properly deal with very bright M31 core in creating frame of sky background.
Image as I previously processed it:
Newly processed image:
Roger took my M31 image from yesterday and has shown me a new approach.
Follows on from my post:
If you take your M31 image from the post, apply “Ians noise reduction” from GMic (plug in for GIMP), then repeat the background subtraction process, you get this.
M31 using my process:
Using “Ians noise reduction” from GMic:
Initially the sky last night looked ideal for DSO spotting, but in fact the transparency was very poor, meaning that some considerable processing was needed on the following images to get anything at all.
For those interested, all these images were acquired with a stack of 20 X 20 second exposures, (400 seconds total) stacked in Registax 5 and processed in GIMP.
First off was IC10, an irregular galaxy in Cassiopaeia.
Then NGC2146 in Camelopardalis, with some nice detail in the core.
Then NGC925 in Triangulum (Yes there is another galaxy there as well as M33!)
This is a spiral, but can only see the very vaguest hint here.
Single frame 60 second image QHY10/Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm/HEQ5 Pro.
OK – not great but it is my first one!
All images are PNG files.
Applying curves in GIMP:
Removing light pollution in GIMP:
See how Roger improved this image by clicking on this post:
Back in April this year I was reading up on how simple prime lenses from the 70’s and 80’s can be excellent for wide field astrophotography and had for a pittance. I started browsing ebay to see what was available late one evening and ‘accidently’ acquired a 1976 Soviet made f4 135mm prime lens for the princely sum of £25 (I know there are a few other club members who have similar ‘accidents’ whilst idly browsing second hand sites!). This is clearly a bargain so long as you ignore the price of tracking mount to put it on… (in my case a Star Adventurer).
To cut a long story short, the lens appeared to be more or less sound- but through a combination of human error and other factors I didn’t manage to get a decent image out of it before the short summer nights rolled in.
Roll forward to yesterday, and coming home from our summer holidays in France found I had a clearish night. After a long day of driving the sensible thing would have been to go to bed, but where’s the fun in that?
See below for a 2 frame mosaic (my first- yay!) acquired over 55 minutes (45 mins on Deneb and 10 mins on Sadr when the clouds rolled in) plus calibration frames. Transparency wasn’t great and the tracking was pretty awful (I didn’t polar aligned very well, making the image quite soft) so I think this can be quite a lot better, but I’m still quite excited about the potential of this little rig to use alongside my main kit.