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  1. #1
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    Default First attempts at prime focus astrophotography



    Seeing was pretty good last night. Got a couple decent shots tonight:
    Andromeda(long exposure):

    Jupiter(stacked video):


    Considering this is in a "white" light pollution area with no filter and a 5 inch f/11 mak-cass on an alt-az mount I guess it's not too shabby. I tried to clean up the shot of Andromeda but I am a total nub at image editing at least for now. Any critiquing is welcome.
    Celestron NexStar 127 SLT
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    dmbryan (08-16-2010),Joe Lalumia (08-16-2010),knichols99 (08-16-2010)

  3. #2
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    Default

    nice shots man.

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    Hi welcome to the site,
    great shots considering first ones and equipment You are on track to be a great astrophotographer!

    Planetary shot with Jupiter is great, what camera did you use to take the pictures?

    Pretty tight stars on the M31, can you post some more details on your exposure length/settings etc?

    Also did you do any stacking or editing?

    I am from a similar light pollution zone so I know the difficulty in getting deep sky objects, really impressive stuff considering.

    Clear skies!
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Thx for the comment knichols99.

    Sorry about posting in the wrong forum, I just figured since it was beginner shots I would post them in the beginner forum. Anyhow, all I did for the Andromeda shot was mess with the basic contrast/brightness settings in the editing software that came with the camera. For the Jupiter shot I did stack about 600 frames with registax but I didn't tweak any settings. I just played with the wavelet settings and contrast and came up with this image from the same video:



    Do you think it is light pollution that is limiting the view of Andromeda or aperture?

    Edit: M31 shot was taken with Canon T1i DSLR, 20 sec exposure, ISO 1600. I think 20 sec is about the limit for my mount, seemed to get noticeably unstable after that.
    Last edited by gremzor; 08-16-2010 at 08:32 AM.
    Celestron NexStar 127 SLT
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    Canon T1i DSLR

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    Thanks for the information great shot and stacking of Jupiter!

    for M31, I am in a white-red zone and I took several 10-13 minute shots and finally got some details.

    My first shots were similar to yours even up to 1 minute. If you get enough stacked you could bring up some details however it is tough.
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Yeah, I would have to get a EQ mount for that. I am sorta wishing I would have waited and got the C6-NGT scope. But it does weigh 54 pounds to my scope's 18 pounds. So maybe that will be my next scope...hah.
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    You can take short exposures and STACK them using the free software Deep Sky Stacker.
    DeepSkyStacker - Free
    ETX 125PE, Stellarvue 80mm BV & Televue TelePod tripod,
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  10. #8
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    Ah so if I take say 30, 20 second exposures and stack them. It will be somewhere near the equivalent of one 10 minute exposure? Logically I would think that it would not be anywhere near equal since the sensor is never "burning in" more than 20 seconds of light. Alas, I am a newb though and don't really know. Thanks for the suggestion though, I will defiantly give it a try, it sounds fun.

    Edit: Answered my own question when I read the FAQ at DSS:

    Are 100 x 1 minute and 10x10 minutes giving the same result?
    Yes when considering the SNR but definitely No when considering the final result.
    the difference between a 10 minutes exposure and a 1 minute exposure is that the SNR in the 10 minutes exposure is 3.16 higher than in 1 minute exposure.

    Thus you will get the same SNR if you combine 10 light frames of 10 minutes or 100 light frames of 1 minute. However you will probably not have the same signal (the interesting part). Simply put you will only get a signal if your exposure is long enough to catch some photons on most of the light frames so that the signal is not considered as noise.

    For example for a very faint nebula you might get a few photons every 10 minutes. If you are using 10 minutes exposures, you will have captured photons on each of your light frames and when combined the signal will be strong.
    If you are using 1 minute exposures you will capture photons only for some of your light frames and when combined the photons will be considered as noise since they are not in most of the light frames.
    Last edited by gremzor; 08-16-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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    Just finding m31 is a nice milestone, let alone getting a picture. Nice work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb32828 View Post
    Just finding m31 is a nice milestone, let alone getting a picture. Nice work.
    Thanks, before I purchased the scope I was mulling about it. Since 99% of the time I am stuck in a "white" light pollution area. But so far it has been pretty sweet considering the light pollution. Already got plans to take it to a "blue" area.
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