Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting to grips with it

So, just a quick post to update you with my recent Astro Photography shots.
After the previous post it was clear that no decent images could be taken with a moon in the sky at the same time. Fortunately this week brought such a night. I spent a good half-hour or so making sure the tripod and mount were setup correctly and that the SynScan was slewing the scope to targets properly. All good here.
As this was only my second proper try, I needed a target or two that would be bright enough so that I knew what to expect (i) on the camera preview screen and (ii) once I came to process the images.
I decided on M13 (Globular Cluster in Hercules) and M31 (The Andromeda Galaxy).

And here they are:

Canon EOS 300D ISO400 Total of 3 min. Processed using Deep Sky Stacker and Paint.NET.
I kept the Iridium Flare (not purposely photograped) as I think it adds to the image.

Canon EOS 300D ISO400 Total of 6 min. Processed using Deep Sky Stacker and Paint.NET.
You also have M32 (top) and M110 (bottom).

Both images are taken at Prime Focus using an Orion ST80 400mm f/5.

Obviously if I had gathered more data these images would show much more detail, but for my 2nd outing I think they hold-up.
I also tinkered with FITS Liberator (the NASA imaging tool) but I need to spend more time with this.

Clear Skies.

UPDATE 25-SEP-2014: I realised when processing that GIMP only works in 8bit even though it can read 16bit files and that is why I did not use it. I have just found today that Paint.NET is the same. So I really need to get PhotoShop!!

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