Stars? What stars?

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Well.. took a break from tweaking the forum to get back to trying to learn how to do captures on the telescope.
There's a headache inducing formula for it... but I'd rather try WAG's right now. ;)

This is a simple stacked (and using the default settings) of M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) that I caught last night. Only 3 exposures (5 minutes each) on each filter.
Already can tell it's going to be a fun (but not easy) hobby.

andromeda.jpg


This is a screen capture from my RPi as it was capturing luminance images of the Pleiades.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 3.12.13 AM.png


I'll be SO happy when I can figure out the software to get color into them!
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
My latest capture but only stacked. Still needs to be processed for color and some cleanup since it's from a 2 night capture session.
IC_1871, which is about 7500 light years away. I am still amazed at what is out there, but that we can't see with the human eye.

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Tracy Perry

Well-known member
I'll be so glad when I can figure out how to add color to these things... high dollar software and right now I'm more interested in capturing data and I can process when the weather is bad instead of learning the ins and outs of the software.

Barnard 33 (Horsehead Nebula) in mono. Stars are somewhat blown out due to a focusing bug with the software I use for captures (StellarMate OS). It's about 50-75 steps off on the focus when using a Bhatinov mask to confirm focus.

Barnard_33-1.jpg
 

Davyc

Well-known member
Love your photography - back in my youth I was an amateur astronomer with my own scope and loved browsing the night sky. Astrophotography for me back then (I'm going back 50 years) was just a dream, but I studied the sky and the constellations and loved every minute of it. Recently I discovered the following and it really does just go to show how miniscule we are and how vast the universe is. Not sure if you've seen these before, but others may be interested too - enjoy.

universe1.jpg


universe2.jpg


universe3.jpg


universe4.jpg


universe5.jpg


universe6.jpg


universe7.jpg
 

Miri

Well-known member
Well.. took a break from tweaking the forum to get back to trying to learn how to do captures on the telescope.
There's a headache inducing formula for it... but I'd rather try WAG's right now. ;)

This is a simple stacked (and using the default settings) of M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) that I caught last night. Only 3 exposures (5 minutes each) on each filter.
Already can tell it's going to be a fun (but not easy) hobby.

View attachment 274001

This is a screen capture from my RPi as it was capturing luminance images of the Pleiades.

View attachment 274002

I'll be SO happy when I can figure out the software to get color into them!
Stunning photos. One question: how do you deal with light pollution? Do you have specific places to go from or is it special equipment?
---
I also wonder: why don't you protect your photos with a watermark. On your site you can download them in full resolution. If they were mine, I would be very jealous of these beautiful photos.
 
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Tracy Perry

Well-known member
I shoot from a Bortle 5 area (9 step scale) in my backyard, and my FOV is constrained by trees in the neighborhood, and to top it off I have a sodium streetlight on the front side of the house across the street. You just have to get a good night with no moon and give it plenty of exposure time. The filters I use also are good at filtering out some light pollution, as I use a mono camera and 7 different filters (Ha, OIII, SIII and the standard LRGB for color).

As for watermark...these are just learning photos...there are folks out there that can grab MUCH better ones, and they do watermark theirs... as will I once I get into that level.
I did have an add-on installed to allow watermarking, but it interfered with other watermarks that are placed on images already if using the "standard" location, and made the images look bad if moved elsewhere with watermarks all over them. And needless to say, the users who actually upload photos complained about it.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
WOW!! I am impressed. Stunning photos. Astrophotography is something I have always wanted to do and very interested in but never had/have the time for. Are you planning on taking exposures for any of the planets in any future shots? perhaps some of the moons of Jupiter and the Galilean moons IO, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede would be really nice to see how your photos turn out.

Great work, keep it up. :)
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Are you planning on taking exposures for any of the planets in any future shots?
Thanks!
And in a nutshell, yes. The current rig I am using is targeted towards DSO's (deep sky objects) but I have another rig that I have a EQ mount for now that I plan to use for solar system related stuff. It's a Celestron NexStar 8se and since I upgraded by DSO mount I have been able to relegate that rigs old EQ mount to the NexStar 8se. I have an ASI585MC camera (targeted at planetary captures by design) specifically set aside for it. The nice thing about this camera is it is a color camera, so I don't have to worry about lenses, merging the different ones together (which is where I'm stuck with currently) to get color to show up.
I've set the NexStar up before, and with a simple mid-range lens on it I was able to see 5 of the moons of Jupiter with no problems.

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I grabbed this with it the first night I was playing with the rig and figured out I did not have quite enough backspace on the camera (ergo the slight blurriness) and needed to get more spacers. This is a singular frame as at the time I had no software for stacking set up.

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Davyc

Well-known member
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@Tracy Perry that part I've circled looks like a blister rather than a crater - can you advise further what that is? I'm out of touch these days as it's such a long time ago that I was into this. Beautiful image BTW :)
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
that part I've circled looks like a blister rather than a crater - can you advise further what that is

Thanks... because of the backspacing, it's blurrier than what I can get now with the spacers.

That is the Mare Crisium (AKA the Sea of Crisis) - a basaltic plain on the moon. Created between 3.8 - 4.5 billion years ago. It's basically a lava flood plain from an asteroid impact in the past.
The NexStar 8se can't catch the whole moon in one shot due to its focal length (2136mm). I've got a flattener/focal reducer installed that should allow a larger view with the camera now. What makes it great for seeing Jupiter, Saturn (and its moons) is what hurts it for full view of the moon, but it DOES help it for getting more detailed views of sections of the surface..
Doing a mosaic and stacking them can allow a full photo of the moon with that scope.
 
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Davyc

Well-known member
Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense that it is a lava flood - it's often sobering to understand how many billions of years ago these incidents happened, puts our existence into perspective.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Finally figured out the first steps in the software I use to process images (PixInSight).
This is the same HorseHead nebula that was in an earlier post, but processed through the basic steps of the software.
It's 18 300 second captures (Ha - hydrogen alpha filter) stacked and then processed.

Barnard_33-2.jpg
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Well, I think I'm getting a grasp on implementing the different filters and creating a color image.

M_31 (Andromeda Galaxy in color from data from an earlier mono post).

M31 Color.jpg


The Owl Cluster (also known as NGC 457).

NGC_457.jpg


Did I mention this stuff is fun once you get the hang of it?
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Spend all night (great night to shoot too) trouble-shooting why the dang scope goes left when the target is over to the right.🤬

Was rushed when I was setting the scope up.... and .... ahem.... seemed to have the side that should be pointed upward on the DEC axis pointing the other way. :rolleyes:

Guess that explains why everything was going the opposite way that it should. It thought it was down under instead of up north. 😵‍💫

And no, absolutely zero adult beverages were involved during the setup. A hot chocolate or two, yes, but no boosters added to it.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Well, after reversing the mount DEC facing... no joy.

Think it's a bad EQMod driver.. not the first time. Seriously looking at getting an Intel NUC and setting up another control software on it.
 
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