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Thread: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

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    Default Leo Triplet 04/27/2016



    I set up and then unplugged everything because the clouds were rolling in. Luckily I took my chances and left everything where it was because after getting dinner ready the clouds for the most part had moved out.

    Steve333 had asked me in another Thread if PEC Playback helped me or not. I'm still not sure but below is what I saw last night...

    Aligned with PoleMaster

    PHD2 Calibration but forgot to turn on PEC Playback
    PHD2 Guide Assist
    > I let it run for 4 minutes
    > Total RMS 0.43 arc-sec

    PHD2 Calibration with PEC Playback On
    PHD2 Guide Assist
    > I let it run for 6 minutes
    > Total RMS 0.38 arc-sec

    Not sure if 4 and 6 minutes are long enough to get accurate results. I also don't know what the difference of 0.05 arc-sec does

    I was asked by resq why I was only doing 300 second exposures now that I'm comfortable with the PoleMaster. As a test last night I ran my exposures at 600 seconds. Until I get an LP Filter I think 600 is my max. My Histrogram is close to the middle, rather than the Left 1/3. I am happy with my Stars at 100% but in BYEOS I look at everything at 400%; Stars still aren't "perfect."

    I'm still having issues with focusing. I feel dumb saying thing, but you never learn if you can't admit failures, but I don't know how to focus as far as getting a Zero reading with my Bahtinov Mask. In BYEOS I can get about as good as +/- 0.37'. When I try to get tighter than that I just end up spending more time trying to get back to being that far off.

    I used my wife's brand new 70D again and I still have major issues with stray light or something I can't even think of

    Target: Leo Triplet
    BYEOS: 70D | Hotech 2" T-Adapter
    PoleMaster Aligned
    PHD2 Guided: ASI120MC | Orion 50mm Mini

    100ISO
    1Hours
    600Sec x 06Frames
    Bias x 100Frames
    Darks x 06Frames
    Flats x 0Frames: I haven't taken any at 600 seconds yet

    PI
    PS

    Leo Triplet_04-28-2016_001_PS_Crop_High.jpg

    Leo Triplet_04-28-2016_001_PS_High.jpg

    Thanks for looking and all comments/tips/critiques are very welcome
    OTAs: Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition / The Little Guy (Celestron 90SLT) | Mount: Celestron Advanced VX | Gear: Canon 70D / Hutech LPS-D1-48 / ES 2" Field Flattener / QHY PoleMaster / Celestron GPS / ZWO ASI120MC / Orion 50mm Guide Scope / Telrad
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    They are nice sharp images of the targets. I see what you mean about some sort of light leak in the train. I'm sure you've already done this, but my favorite thing to forget is putting the little viewfinder cap that hides on the camera strap on the viewfinder. I'm sure you'll get it - this is a really good start.

    I feel your focusing pain as well. I have tried the FWHM function in BYE. I get it down to 3ish on a good night then screw it up by trying to tweak it just a bit more and spend time trying to get back to that mnimum level. Maybe a bigger knob is in order - seems like a cheap fix. Next time out, I'll play with the Bahtinov mask version.

    Bob
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Quote Originally Posted by bobharmony View Post
    They are nice sharp images of the targets. I see what you mean about some sort of light leak in the train. I'm sure you've already done this, but my favorite thing to forget is putting the little viewfinder cap that hides on the camera strap on the viewfinder. I'm sure you'll get it - this is a really good start.

    I feel your focusing pain as well. I have tried the FWHM function in BYE. I get it down to 3ish on a good night then screw it up by trying to tweak it just a bit more and spend time trying to get back to that mnimum level. Maybe a bigger knob is in order - seems like a cheap fix. Next time out, I'll play with the Bahtinov mask version.

    Bob
    Thanks Bob! I looked for the "cap" to cover the view finder but couldn't find it. I had put my beanie over the camera when I shot the Darks, but that either did nothing or the light leaking is happening before that.

    I like my focuser but I'm not sure if it isn't "good" enough or if I have more work to do on it...
    OTAs: Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition / The Little Guy (Celestron 90SLT) | Mount: Celestron Advanced VX | Gear: Canon 70D / Hutech LPS-D1-48 / ES 2" Field Flattener / QHY PoleMaster / Celestron GPS / ZWO ASI120MC / Orion 50mm Guide Scope / Telrad
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Hi,

    Great images. We all feel the pain of "my focusing just ain't right!"

    I'm curious as to why you are shooting at ISO 100? ISO 100 means you are throwing away valuable photons. Granted most of those photons are from LP but they are also from your Object of Interest (OI). At ISO 100 you are not getting less sensor noise, but what you are doing is lengthening your exposure time allowing tracking errors to potentially mess up the image. At ISO 800 you should get the same result from 75 second subs (if I did my math right). Like I said, just curious.

    Cheers and clear faster skies,
    JT

    PS where in SoCal do you do your imaging? jt
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Quote Originally Posted by jaetea View Post
    Hi,

    Great images. We all feel the pain of "my focusing just ain't right!"

    I'm curious as to why you are shooting at ISO 100? ISO 100 means you are throwing away valuable photons. Granted most of those photons are from LP but they are also from your Object of Interest (OI). At ISO 100 you are not getting less sensor noise, but what you are doing is lengthening your exposure time allowing tracking errors to potentially mess up the image. At ISO 800 you should get the same result from 75 second subs (if I did my math right). Like I said, just curious.

    Cheers and clear faster skies,
    JT

    PS where in SoCal do you do your imaging? jt
    Thanks JT!

    Glad to know I'm not the only one

    Much of what I do, I do out of ignorance (lack of knowledge or information)! I shoot at ISO 100 because that's the ISO that gives me the longest exposure time. I don't know if longer exposures are better than shorter with a higher ISO, so that's what I do. I will be getting an LP Filter as my next purchase, so these are good tests to see how far I can push my tracking once I can boost the ISO due to the Filter... Yes/No? I'd love to hear more about this!!!

    I image from my backyard in beautiful West Hills. I have Simi Valley to the NW and the LA Basin to the SE. Basically, a rim of LP with a small break from just East of the Meridian to almost due West when looking South...
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy1271 View Post
    Thanks Bob! I looked for the "cap" to cover the view finder but couldn't find it. I had put my beanie over the camera when I shot the Darks, but that either did nothing or the light leaking is happening before that.
    I like that, the "hat method"! Reminds me of the "hat trick" I used to read about for proper full Moon shot exposure which was to set up the shot and focus, cover the scope opening with a hat, open the camera on bulb, then flip the hat off the scope and right back on it In any case the viewfinder should be covers for all your shots; lights, darks, flats, bias, as any one of them can screw things up by letting weird light into the optical path.

    Bob
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Hi FB,

    Let me rephrase the statement of "throwing away valuable photons". This is not an accurate description. What you are really doing is under amplifying the photons that do hit the sensor. Here is an interesting article about the correct ISO for AP. Be sure to read the questions and answers at the end of the article.
    What is the best ISO for your DSLR for astrophotography? | DSLR Astrophotography

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Quote Originally Posted by jaetea View Post
    Hi FB,

    Let me rephrase the statement of "throwing away valuable photons". This is not an accurate description. What you are really doing is under amplifying the photons that do hit the sensor. Here is an interesting article about the correct ISO for AP. Be sure to read the questions and answers at the end of the article.
    What is the best ISO for your DSLR for astrophotography? | DSLR Astrophotography

    Cheers,
    JT
    Thanks JT! I will read this with great hopes of understanding more about this passion of mine!!!
    OTAs: Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition / The Little Guy (Celestron 90SLT) | Mount: Celestron Advanced VX | Gear: Canon 70D / Hutech LPS-D1-48 / ES 2" Field Flattener / QHY PoleMaster / Celestron GPS / ZWO ASI120MC / Orion 50mm Guide Scope / Telrad
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Well done with these! I agree that you can raise the ISO, possibly to 800 or higher depending on your target. With your comfort with the longer subs, the lower ISO will likely give you the truest color reproduction. I've seen some excellent work in this area. My problems usually involve being able to get the longest subs possible. The vignetting in your images will be a function of the exposure time as well. With the moon moving out of the way, your flats will be more effective. Just be sure to take them with an evenly illuminated surface.

    I have not spent significant time reading up on PEC training, however, I believe it is more important for those who image close to the full period associated with the worm gear in their mount. I think that runs around 10 minutes. For shorter subs, I have not seen the need yet to look for the one more thing I can do... (I have many such things to work on).

    Using a Bahtinov mask is very straightforward. Note that some scopes are fickle in their ability to hold focus over time. With a SCT such as mine, it is usually best to have the focus travel counter-clockwise for the last moment before stopping. I usually look for a magnitude 2'ish star nearby my target and then proceed to dial in the focus. When you think you have it, expose for about 15 seconds and magnify the small stars to see if they have the characteristic star-pattern, see attached.

    members/johnp_1-albums-my-equipment-misc-picture102021-focused-plaiedes-using-bahtinov-mask.jpg
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    Default Re: Leo Triplet 04/27/2016

    Really nice image. Congratulations!

    Haven't got to 600 seconds yet. It's a personal goal too
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