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April 2021 - Anybody playing today?


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I’m imaging and then again clouds stopped play temporarily. I’ve moved the mount back from the solar quarter into the deep sky quarter of the garden and got one 6 minute sub of NGC7822 and then a pesky cloud decided to sit there. Acoording to Meteoblue it should be gone by 23:00 ish!

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Evening all, back on M51, aiming for 8 to 10 hours of subs in total LRGB.

Well, against my better judgement I'm taking a punt on 6 hours Luminance on M106 with the ODK12 in 10 min subs. With the Cloudwatcher monitoring the weather, and an automated roof, I should be safe fr

Well I have given in and I am imaging the Jellyfish, not my most favourite target but it's all that is left that is suitable for my set up and skies.    I intend to do a Mosaic as I want to

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100% cloud here, Keep getting excited by weather reports of clear skies then find its overcast 😞

Good luck and hope the skies stay clear for you 🙂

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Struggling on. Got an hour on the Beehive Cluster waiting for the Leo Triplet to clear the trees, and unfortunately it's gone cloudy now. Might give it another hour to see what happens.

 

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Can't see myself doing any more imaging until next month as all the nebulae are pretty much gone until later in the year.  Next month I have booked to go to our usual Bortle 4 Campsite now they are allowed to open.  Can get so much more done there than at my Home Bortle 8 with restricted sky line.

 

The plan in May is to get stuff like the Lagoon Nebula and I want to get some nice luminance on the Antares region using my Samyang lens as it is far too big for my scopes.    

 

I have tried so many times to get Antares region, both from southern England (at least 3 tries) - I can't get it from home as I have a bank of trees in the way, and twice in Spain when I managed to get it with my DSLR one year and then I tried to get luminance with my CCD camera (both on an Ioptron Skytracker), but whilst i got an image the star shapes were not good.  I think this was due to using a poor quality camera lens rather than tracking, so now I have the Samyang 135mm I am having one last try to get some decent luminance, provided the sky is not too murky. 

 

Just hope the skies are clear in May.  But in any case it will be nice to get away and do something different other than "Stay at Home". 

 

Carole 

 

 

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It was supposed to be clear all night last night. Reality: until I went to bed at midnight it was solid cloud. It must have cleared at some point as it was frosty this morning. Supposed to be clear all day/night today but that's already not true. 

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I ended up with 22 6 minutes subs of Ha on the area around NGC7822 - looks to be lots around there and it is circumpolar. Then I had a mishap with the meridian flip. Normally it does it without any issues but it seemed to stall at 00:38 and didn't flip. However according to the PHD2 logs it carried on guiding, I imagine with the weights getting further and further in the air, until the clouds stopped play at around 03:30AM. In the meantime the sequencing software was still waiting for the signal that the flip had taken place and didn't capture any further images 😞 . I was in bed snoozing at the time so totally oblivious.

 

I've had this before and if I remember correctly it was a setting that I had inadvertently unset - it isn't the meridian flip one though, it was something else within INDI, but I can't remember what - Covid brain fade probably. For tonight I'm still on the same target but I have swapped out the PI for the spare which hasn't been used for a few weeks and was fine last time I used it.

Edited by TerryMcK
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2 hours ago, RPK_Astro said:

It was supposed to be clear all night last night. Reality: until I went to bed at midnight it was solid cloud. It must have cleared at some point as it was frosty this morning. Supposed to be clear all day/night today but that's already not true. 

Hi Ron, Just out of interest what weather site do you use because it seldom seems to be right.  I tend to use several and if more than 1 is saying the same thing then I am more inclined to believe it.

 

Carole   

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1 hour ago, Carastro said:

Hi Ron, Just out of interest what weather site do you use because it seldom seems to be right.  I tend to use several and if more than 1 is saying the same thing then I am more inclined to believe it.

 

Carole   

 

I take all weather apps with a pinch of salt. I use Meteoblue, Clear Outside, Wundermap and AccuWeather. I tend to rely on  Wundermap mostly, as I can track the cloud movement on the satellite images, but even then it doesn't always pick up light clouds.

 

Brian

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3 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

I ended up with 22 6 minutes subs of Ha on the area around NGC7822 - looks to be lots around there and it is circumpolar.

 

It's a very nice target, although the OIII is quite weak compared to the Ha and SII. I took 9 hours of OIII last year, and it hardly registered on the image.

 

Brian

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I've changed what I am going to do on this target tonight. I'm trying out the EKOS mosaic wizard for the first time to get a wider field. Initially in Ha I have chosen 4 overlapping areas by 15%, not 5% as shown in the image below, with 10 x 6 minute  subs on each to see what I get.

 

image.thumb.png.ad53e95306bd2fe8b793f8884309b215.png

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My forecast is looking identical to last night's, and last night turned out to be quite cloudy. I was aiming for RGB and Ha on the Leo Triplet and I got 50 mins R, about 20 mins G, about 5 mins B and no usable Ha because of lots of patchy cloud. It clouded up fully for a while towards the end of G and when guiding resumed on B it had gone a little off target. Clouded again mid-B and guiding never resumed afterwards. All of the remaining B and all of the Ha was star-trailed.

But, the good news is I made a few changes to set-up and I didn't get any of the mount disconnects that have been plaguing me recently. Got a new 5m EQDIR cable to connect the mount straight to the laptop, and put the laptop into Airplane mode so no network messing about.

Guiding at around 2.4" so not great but at least it's consistent.

 

I'll go back to Leo for more data tonight in GBR sequence!

 

371440292_LeoTripetLRGB.thumb.jpg.78417bcfea2d643b64ca5ed25820b180.jpg

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Catching some rays from the Beehive while I'm waiting for Leo to clear the trees. Very clear with some cloudy patches. On the plus side, I just upgraded PHD2 to multi-star guiding and am now running at sub 1" rms :-)

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1 hour ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Just got my first hour of green data on M51 completed.

I am also on M51, been running since 10pm... Hoping for a good couple of hours, fingers crossed.

Bob.

Edited by Bob-c
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10 hours ago, Bob-c said:

I am also on M51, been running since 10pm... Hoping for a good couple of hours, fingers crossed.

Bob.

I managed two hours of green, then switched to Lum as the scope was pointing towards the meridian. I managed two hours of Lum before the clouds rolled in.

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Was imaging last night with the ODK and TS apo rigs, but had filter wheel problems with the ODK (Connection had come loose) fo ended up getting H-alpha data instead of the Blue that I needed.

 

I did get 3 hours Luminance on the Leo Triplet to build a HaLRGB image, maybe, eventually.

This is the first process, no calibration frames, and not sure about focus. Resized for upload.

 

1528934543_First3HourLuminaceresized.thumb.jpg.a666a2e4fad39bf145614a2a773cde25.jpg

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I left things running through the night and managed 1 hour each of RGB on the Leo Triplet. 20 mins of Ha but I think the target had gone behind the neighbour's roof for the later subs. I need to do new darks and flats today so no processing yet.

Looking really good for tonight too.

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Clear here for tonight. I actually took 40 subs of SII last night for my mosaic, 4 areas x 10 6minutes subs each. I blinked them and 38 are good. Tonight I am doing the same on Ha. NGC7822 is the target. I know there is not much OIII in this area but if I get time later I will do another mosaic in OIII.

I am attending a virtual PixInsight workshop with Warren Keller and Dr. Ron Brecher later this month. This workshop is “Mosaics and Other Special Techniques” so looking forward to using my own data. I have tried it in AstroPixelprocessor and mosaics work great in that program.

 

The course states “This workshop will be delivered in two parts:

Hour 1 – Mosaics: Have you ever wanted to image a deep-sky object that was larger than your camera’s field of view? Using a smaller telescope is an option, but usually at the expense of resolution. Instead, you can stitch multiple panes together to make a seamless mosaic of a larger region. The sky really is the limit! We’ll show you how to use these essential mosaic-making tools:

  • StarAlignment – options and settings used for making a mosaic template and preparing panes for merging into a mosaic

  • GradientMergeMosaic – to combine multiple mosaic panes prepared with StarAlignment

 

Hour 2 – Special Sauce: You can add these steps to your workflow, as appropriate, to enhance your images further. We’ll show you where they fit in with the workflow that we have covered in previous workshops.

  • Three-step process to reduce chromatic aberration (color fringing) in color images

  • MorphologicalTransformation – change the size and/or shape of stars

  • ExponentialTransformation – bring up faint details outside your main object

 

These techniques can be used with narrowband data from one-shot color and monochrome astronomical cameras, as well as DSLRs. For many of these methods, we’ll use and build upon the tools and techniques introduced in our previous workshops.”

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