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Old 09-11-2023, 02:02 PM
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First time imaging in a decade... I think I remember this?

Well.. I've pieced together a rig from entirely 2nd hand parts and last night I got my first few hours with a scope since 2013..

It's not much, and I suffered quite a few drifting clouds which caused the lovely gradient present here, but, I think that for my first night with all the new gear, I'll call this a success.

I lost 50% of my blue data to a (now resolved) differential flexture issue I didn't know existed, which for this target, kind of hurt...

Its a pretty heavy crop as a result of the gradient from the clouds rolling through much of the frame (almost every exposure was at least slightly cloud affected)

The conditions were clearing, but it was 1am on a work night, and I started losing subs to guiding issues that seemed very random (turned out to be gravity + insufficiently secured guiding hardware)... so I packed it in..

M45
15x300s L
4x300s R
4x300s G
2x300s B

10x Darks.

Askar PHQ65
SBIG ST8300M @ -20įC
Baader 36mm LRGB filters
30mm f/4 guider with ASI120MM Mini
Losmandy G11 Gemini

Captured in NINA + PHD2
Processed in GIMP

More to come!

EDIT:
Added more data, got my flats right and reprocessed.
15x300s L/R/G/B.
20x Darks
20x Flats per filter
20x Flat darks

Still struggling a little with a gradient. But I'm happy with this as my first image back from a 10 year hiatus.

Less compressed: Astrobin
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Last edited by AlexN; 12-11-2023 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 10-11-2023, 08:27 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Thatís a real nice shot and all the more for the lost data. Certainly will clean up a bit with some more subs but even so itís a great start and congrats on your first image back in a decade!! Look forward to seeing more of your stuff
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Old 12-11-2023, 01:10 AM
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Added a new image with more data, full calibration and better processing.

I need to do something about getting some webspace to upload images to, because the compression required to get the image down to fit on IIS has absolutely trashed the detail and star profiles...
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Old 12-11-2023, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
I need to do something about getting some webspace to upload images to, because the compression required to get the image down to fit on IIS has absolutely trashed the detail and star profiles...
If you don't mind being at the mercy of Facebook you could try there.

Best
JA
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Old 12-11-2023, 09:38 AM
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I fired up an astrobin account.

Facebook image compression is the most aggressive I've ever seen.

Added the astrobin link to the first post.
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Old 15-11-2023, 03:44 PM
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Nice one Alex, glad to see you are back in the fold
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Old 15-11-2023, 04:59 PM
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Thanks Trevor! Feels good to be back!

Big project on the go at the moment! I'm 8hrs in so far on luminance and it's starting to shape up really nicely!

I thought I'd struggle to get fired up and figure out how all this works again, but the physical process of getting set up, balanced, polar aligned and running has all come back fairly quickly.

The software has changed so much in my break though which took some time to get a handle on. Last I did this, I was running ccdsoft v5, N.I.N.A is a very different world, but it's turning out to be amazingly powerful.

That's why I bought an ST8300, I'm at least coming back with the exact same camera I had when I left... same mount (I think it's actually the exact g11 I used to own), and a short refractor to make life a little easier on myself.

It's all going perfectly to plan so far... I'm really looking forward to getting really involved again and hopefully producing some images worth showing.

Last edited by AlexN; 15-11-2023 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 15-11-2023, 10:20 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Hey Alex, a nice come back and welcome back image of M45, after your decade break too

I did serious astrophotography from 1982 to 1990 then got side tracked into the world of barbells, stone lifting and truck pulling , then returned to what had become an astroimaging world, in 2002 and bloody hell!... things had bloody changed, we had gone from film, developer, dark rooms, dry ice and hypering kits, to Goto, autoguiding and electronically cooled CCD cameras controlled by software! daunting at first but I fast realised things were heeeeaps better

I wish you a speedy readjustment and look forward to seeing your steady progress back into you new imaging world

Mike
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Old 15-11-2023, 10:39 PM
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Thanks Mike!

The break was unintentional for me really. Changed jobs and had 2 kids and literally had no time or money to be with the scope..

Life has had a very unexpected but positive change recently with another new job where I have considerably more free time and substantially more expendable income. So I figured it was time to come back!

The new rig is all mount, but it's humming along beautifully.

The new software and improvements in computer tech has been an incredibly pleasant surprise, I have a 4 core 8 thread machine with 16gb of ram that runs on 12v and has the same footprint as a large mobile phone, maybe twice as thick as an iPhone, but once I'm all setup I can be on the couch watching a movie, monitoring the imaging session on my tablet...

What a time to be alive!

I hope to post my next image in January or February (whenever I feel the data/snr is strong enough).
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Old 15-11-2023, 10:57 PM
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Well, that all sounds about right then, it's like you never left

Mike
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Old 16-11-2023, 07:44 PM
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alan meehan (Alan)
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well done ALEX good to see you back after such a long spell and enjoying life too boot
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Old 29-11-2023, 09:38 AM
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well done ALEX good to see you back after such a long spell and enjoying life too boot
Thanks Alan!, Wrapping my head around all the changes is fun... I've been having a play with new software for image acquisition and processing. Way back when, I was using CCDSoft, DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop... Now there's software everywhere! at least some of it is familiar...

I've unfortunately, not been able to get the scope out side for a few weeks now, largely because I bought a bunch of new toys to attach to it!
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