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Cepheus 12 panel Mosaic


don4l
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This is the first mosaic that I have processed completely in Affinity.  The processing was much quicker than my usual tool - Gimp.  However, the big advantage of Affinity is that the adjustments are non-destructive.  In plain English, I can come back to the image and see exactly what I have done to get the result.

Each panel is about 50m, so the total is about 10 hours.  I will probably take them up to 90m each at some point and display at greater resolution.

 

1601248403-Sum-CepA3Ha1500BAB.thumb.jpg.1866eb1a9668df133203b5ad01557e98.jpg
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Amazing image Don.

I am looking at having a bash at a mosaic now I have a wide field set up and a chance of automatically capturing a guide star between panes which was impossible with the narrow field and OAG of my 12" RC setup. What software did you use to create the sequences? I use SGPro but this will be my first use of the mosaic wizard.

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Posted by: @silentrunning

Amazing image Don.

I am looking at having a bash at a mosaic now I have a wide field set up and a chance of automatically capturing a guide star between panes which was impossible with the narrow field and OAG of my 12" RC setup. What software did you use to create the sequences? I use SGPro but this will be my first use of the mosaic wizard.

I haven't got as far as running an automated sequence yet.  TBH, I'm not sure that I ever will.  I seem to enjoy the data acquisition more than the procesing side of things.

The biggest problem that I had in assembling more than two panels was getting them all aligned and at the same angle.  I spent ages looking at various software based solutions before giving up on them.

Now I just display the previous images in my Cartes du Ciel along with the current camera position.  This means that I just have to rotate the camera and move the mount until it looks right.

My methodology is as follows:

1)Take first frame and produce a scaled 16 bit platesolved fits image.

2) Put this image into Cartes du Ciel's pictures directory and have it displayed as a background image.

3) Move mount to position for the next frame.

4) and take a short binned 3x3 image for platesolving.

5) Display platesolved outline in CdC and chect that it lines up with the displayed image.  Rotate camera and move telescope until this lines up perfectly.  Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until satisfied.

It looks very complicated when you read the above, but in practice it only takes a couple of minutes between frames.  There are two key parts.  The first is to produce the scaled and platesolved image for display in the planetarium software.  The second is to be able to display the camera's current position as a frame in the planetarium software. 

My first similar mosaic took years to produce.  This image only took a few weeks using this methodology.

I hope that this explanation is clear.  If it isn't, then I am happy to go into more detail.

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Posted by: @Carastro

Crikey, 12 panes, such dedication and hard work.

ICE is very good for merging mosaic panes.

Carole 

It really isn't as hard as I make it sound.  I'm not very good at explaining what I am doing. 

I did try ICE, but I couldn't get it to work reliably with more than a few frames, so I gave up.

 

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Posted by: @Gina

Looking great.  Are you planning to add more panes or maybe other wavelengths?

I've already got most of the data for the column to the right.  I made the mistake of trying to use my existing "Flying Bat" frame, but it hadn't been taken at exactly the correct angle, so I ended up with some missing bits.  A case of "more haste... less speed".

I haven't investigated the area for OIII yet, and I really struggle with RGB, so I don't really know the answer about the way forward.  I think that if we get a good run of clear nights, then I will have a look.  Otherwise, I have lots of targets that I want to investigate.

 

 

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Thanks Don for the detailed description of the process you've been working to.

If it stays clear for at least a couple of hours I'm planning a dry run of an imaging schedule created by the mosaic wizard so fingers crossed it will work. For this test I'll be using just really short exposures across an area covered by 4 panes. My reason is to see if the automatic slews in SGpro and the automatic guide star selection in PHD2 work as envisaged.

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Well that was a productive 30 minutes. Never done a mosaic before in SGpro so figured I would do a test run early evening before clouds come in. I wanted to make sure slewing in SGpro and autostar selection in PHD would work as I imagined so set up a 6 panel mosaic of Cygnus in the mosaic wizard. Started it the minute I could see a star or 2 - clouds all around - and it ran and completed like a dream. How often can I say that about this hobby!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had some good weather this week, so I've managed to add 4 frames on the right.  I've also started another colum to the left,  but I'll need a couple of clear nights for that.

 

http://www.don4ls.space/sites/default/files/inline-images/Ceph16sqd.jpg

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@terrymck

I've never used PS, but I find Affinity incredibly quick to work with.  I also use Gimp, and there are a couple of things that Gimp can do better.  So I will carry on using both.  Affinity is now my main tool though.

I do like Affinity's approach to licencing.  Their Ts and Cs state that the license allows the user to use it on any machine.  I e-mailed them and asked if this meant that I could use it at work too.  The answer was "Yes".  So I got Photo, and another chap at work got Designer, which he also uses at home.

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I've used Serif products for years and used one called Pageplus which was desktop publishing software. Again incredibly cheap but worked solidly.

From the brief look I've had of Affinity it is indeed very Photoshop-esque even down to the shortcut keys. I found that some plugins from Photoshop also worked as well.

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@terrymck

I too used PagePlus many years ago - early 90's I think.

I wondered if it was the same company.  Sometimes the name just gets taken on.  Whatever the situation, the current lot are making it easy for me to like them.  PS, on the other hand are making it very easy to dislike them.

I'm very pleased that I got in while the special offer was on.

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