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First light with Esprit 100


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I had to wait a couple of weeks to get a clear night and take my first serious DSO pic. I opted for M31 as well placed and image size suits the Esprit. It was only my third or fourth session with the HEQ5 as well. Basic PA is getting to be more routine. Matters will improve when I add the RPi in and can do plate solving. My sky is Bortle class 4, with local low pressure sodium which goes off at 23.45 and further away white LED.

I took 4 lights, about 180s each, 4 darks, then 20 bias frames at 1/4,000s (not sure why I didn't do 1/8,000...). I forgot to do flats until following day and unfortunately, I'd moved the camera... lesson for future... anyway 20 of them as well.

I use a Mac so I've been using Siril to do initial processing, stacking etc. I work in IT - I design big computer systems and I don't find Siril very intuitive at all. The new GUI is an improvement - the Mac version only came out in August. I managed to get the files loaded and the DSLR script to run (I used my Nikon Z6 for this - 25mp, full frame, 5.9um pixel size).

The big problem is I can't use the RAW files from the Nikon - I have to export them to Siril as DNG (digital negative) files then convert them in Siril to FITS... and the export to PS as TIFF - very clunky. The TIFF was 160mb...

I'm a novice at image processing. I have got Gradient Xterminator as a plug-in to PS.

For a first attempt, I was pleased with the image. Tracking seems slightly off, which I need to investigate, although guiding will improve that. The single images show more colour than the final image which also needs investigating (although more data would help).    


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@geoflewisHi Geof - the issue isn't PS - that will handle the NEF files (it's why I had ot get the full package as PSE which I used ot use didn't support the Z6). The problem is Siril doesn't handle NEF so pave to pass it DNG to convert to FITS. If PS output FITS or Siril read NEF problem would go away  

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