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M 81 and Sleep Deprivation

Started by brucesdad13, 02/28/2015 03:33AM
Posted 02/28/2015 03:33AM Opening Post
I can report great success with MetaGuide! I actually inverted my intended setup and was guiding with my C8-mounted Basler firewire camera via MetaGuide while imaging through my 80mm guidescope with my Atik 16IC. This is my second deep sky attempt. Much better results than last week's M 82 first go.

I imaged M81 entirely unfiltered mono since my filterwheel was already attached to the Basler and I didn't want to rebalance yada yada... I was easily able to do 5 minute exposures with MetaGuide locked and guiding... I might have been able to get more out of it but I didn't try. Rough polar alignment was done beforehand. I started stacking and processing in DeepSkystacker. 15 x 300s 1x1 bin.

What do you think? This is the first time I've seen a spiral galaxy through my own doing. Very exciting smile) Something streaked across one of the subs but I thought it looked cool so have left it in thusfar. My stars are somewhat bloated so might have to shrink them.

=== Sample of FITS header from tonight ===
SIMPLE = T
BITPIX = 16
NAXIS = 2
NAXIS1 = 659
NAXIS2 = 494
BZERO = 32768.000000
BSCALE = 1.000000
DATAMIN = 0.000000
DATAMAX = 65535.000000
INSTRUME= 'ATIK 16IC: fw rev 1.07'
EXPTIME = 300.002
DATE-OBS= '2015-02-28T09:35:30'
XPIXSZ = 7.400
YPIXSZ = 7.400
XBINNING= 1
YBINNING= 1
XORGSUBF= 0
YORGSUBF= 0
XPOSSUBF= 0
YPOSSUBF= 0
CBLACK = 4989
CWHITE = 31398
SWCREATE= 'Artemis Capture'
END

~ Charlie



Attached Image:

brucesdad13's attachment for post 59168

~ Charlie Stevenson

8" f/5.7 String Telescope - 1st Scope Build; 2nd Place Stellafane 2016 Optical Award for Newtonians 12.5" and Smaller
10" f/4.5 Newtonian (June 2015) mirror refigured by Optic Wave Labs P-V WaveFront 1/14.24, Strehl Ratio 0.993 (Aug '15)
Criterion RV-6 seems to be circa 1973 (June 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron C8-A XLT (January 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ (Christmas 2014)
Aldrich Astronomical Society member since 2015
http://astro.charleskelleystevenson.com/
Posted 02/28/2015 09:50AM #1
Hi Charles,

You remind me of myself when I first started out 12 (!!!!) years ago at CCD imaging. The excitement of capturing relatively faint details of a DSO through your own efforts with relatively short exposures. The thrill of teasing out more and more details as your skills and confidence increase...

Very nice start! Keep it up, shoot every clear night and process the heck out of your data, and keep learning!

Eric
Posted 02/28/2015 09:52AM #2
For a first it is not bad at all. In fact the major problem is over exposure, the center of the galaxy is blown out. This is easily removed by taking short images to use for those areas. You might want to try taking a bit shorter subs next time, might help. But no worries, it will all come together in the end.
8)

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 03/16/2015 10:28AM #3
Charles,

If you don't have this yet, I would highly recommend you look for a copy of Ron Wodaski's "The New CCD Astronomy". This book is pretty old and quite possibly out of print, but as the reviews on this Amazon page say it is pretty much the Bible of CCD imaging:

http://www.amazon.com/New-CCD-Astronomy-Capture-Backyard/dp/0971123705/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426526562&sr=8-1&keywords=the+new+ccd+astronomy

It's long on the tooth and its chapter on equipment is getting "quaint", but the principles underneath are timeless. I bought this back in 2003, and it honestly made my very first night with a CCD feel more like my fifth!

Ron also covers some basics on processing (e.g., how to shoot long and short exposures and combine them to bring out the best in a target).

HTH,
Eric
Posted 03/21/2015 11:15PM #4
The guys in my imaging group gave me the run down on a few things and set me up with some tutorials. I decided to capitulate and am using PhotoShop CS6 for stretching and blending. I'm working through the Tony Hallas videos right now. This iteration of processing some M51 I took early last week is the best color DSO I've managed yet. Still with the Atik 16IC mono which doesn't give me enough resolution to be forgiving.

Attached Image:

brucesdad13's attachment for post 149462

~ Charlie Stevenson

8" f/5.7 String Telescope - 1st Scope Build; 2nd Place Stellafane 2016 Optical Award for Newtonians 12.5" and Smaller
10" f/4.5 Newtonian (June 2015) mirror refigured by Optic Wave Labs P-V WaveFront 1/14.24, Strehl Ratio 0.993 (Aug '15)
Criterion RV-6 seems to be circa 1973 (June 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron C8-A XLT (January 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ (Christmas 2014)
Aldrich Astronomical Society member since 2015
http://astro.charleskelleystevenson.com/