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Thread: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

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    Childersa's Avatar
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    Talking NGC 891 (No laughing!)



    First attempt at a galaxy and second time to try astrophotography. 17 lights at 15 seconds each. 10 darks. Registered and stacked in DSS and a quick crop, bin, wipe, and denoise with StarTools.

    I know focus is a problem because I’m using a stock focuser on my C8 and I don’t have a bhatinov mask yet. Really difficult to get a decent focus by just looking at the computer screen and a long delay. Is that why my stars seem bloated?

    Also, when taking subs, what should I be aiming for? A sub with a clear picture, a sub that is darker than what the final should be, or just something within the first 3rd of the histogram? I played with exposure and gain all night trying to figure out what to do!

    Anyway, thanks for looking and any comments (good or bad) are welcome. I’ll still be proud of it no matter what you say hah.

    B636FD4D-B303-4764-8C41-4340D15EEDF1.png
    Tony
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Looking good. At least you got something.

    You definitely need to get a B-mask. And you might want to try a brighter galaxy if you're limited to taking short subs.

    Joe
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    you look pretty much in focus, star bloat can be part of processing, sometimes i'll mask then stretch a target to avoid saturating stars .also longer focal length scopes will have larger stars and seem a bit "bloated" from what i'm seeing in other peoples images
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Thanks for the advice guys! You’re right, with my long focal length I need to focus on brighter targets. I also didn’t do a polar alignment routine, so I had significant drift so much so that I could see movement between each sub.

    As far as gain and length of my subs, am I right that I should be aiming to keep the histogram in the first 1/3 to 1/2?

    Thanks again!
    Tony
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    yes i use about 1/3 or just off the wall
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Youve managed to coax something out of the sky, I'd be very pleased with that. Congratulations, its all upward from here...
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Looks like a nice start. If you want to get more with short subs, just take more - lots more

    Bob
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Nice start Tony. I don't think anyone on this forum would laugh. Everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe with less results to show for it. The Jupiter in my avatar was my first attempt at planetary AP. Is the best I've done?...no. Was I proud of it at the time?...yes!
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Childersa View Post

    I know focus is a problem because I’m using a stock focuser on my C8 and I don’t have a bhatinov mask yet.
    Nice image. You can make your own mask. Before I went to autofocus I made one out of cardboard and tape.

    astrojargon - Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator: Version 0.4
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    Default Re: NGC 891 (No laughing!)

    definitely get/make a B-mask. I use BYEOS and thought the focus was good using their software focus tool. I bought a plastic one a few months ago for my ed-80 and immediately noticed the difference.

    take more subs, lots more. don't skimp on your darks, bias, and flats. take as many darks as lights up to thirty.
    at 15 seconds i would shoot for 120L and at least 30 of each calibration frame.

    make sure you mount is level before performing your polar alignment.

    don't be afraid of high iso or whatever the equivalent is for your camera.. you can reduce noise in post you cant increase detail you didn't capture.

    make sure the histogram is off the left wall is good enough. here is a nice illustration of histogram exposure from the lonelyspeck.com article on Milkyway photography. it applies to deep space as well.

    how-to-read-image-histogram-784x1024.jpg
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