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Thread: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

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    Default Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night



    The Horsehead is one of those objects I have dreamed about imaging since I was a kid, and I have been disappointed to miss it over the past couple of winters since I have gotten my AP act somewhat together. Saturday night was clear, and the wind that had been whipping all day died off toward sunset, so I set up to give it a shot. The Moon was at about 18% and not casting much light across the sky.

    I had my first real experience with the Hotech SCA laser collimator with crosshairs. It was a real joy to use as the crosshairs take a lot of the guesswork out of centering the primary. Having a reference that extends outside the central hole in the target screen allows for a very precise adjustment.

    After my usual setup, I was off and running collecting 3 minutes subs for a few hours. I am reduced to dithering in RA only, and guiding DEC in one direction. I threw a meridian flip (manual) fairly early in the evening, as the Horsehead passed the meridian at 20:13. I saw my coldest sensor temps ever at 36 F, and had to shoot some darks, as I had nothing that low in the library. Ambient temp was about 21 F and I spent a lot of time inside while the rig ran.

    I would up with 43 useable 180 second subs, 11 Darks, 45 Flats, and my usual Master Bias (need to shoot a new one of those, as it is just over a year old now).

    Initial pass at Gradient Xterminator in PS, then on to StarTools for Bin, Develop, Wipe, Develop, Color, Sharp, and NR. Then back to PS where I masked the HH, and adjusted the color in that area a bit to make up for my unmodded DSLRs lack of infrared response. Finallly a light touch of Noise Ninja, and here it is.




    I am considering going for a cooled ASI071 OSC if I can convince the Boss that it will be beneficial - or a CEM60 - or both

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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Pretty awesome, Bob! The Flame is rather nicely rendered too!
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Pretty awesome, Bob! The Flame is rather nicely rendered too!
    Thanks, Bryan. The Flame just popped out, no special treatment needed. I could even see parts of it in my dirty brown subs, a nice thing to have happen every now and then .

    Bob
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Really nice capture Bob. All your alignment work paid off.

    Getting rid of LP with a complicated background like this one is really tough. It's also tough to do color calibration because it's hard to find any "neutral" background.

    Congratulations on accomplishing one of your life-long goals.

    PS: I assume you are doing RA-only dithering because of Dec backlash? I have that big time, but, have still been able to do dithering in RA and Dec as well as guiding in both Dec directions. I use Lowpass for the Dec algorithm. If you are ever able to Dither in both directions I believe it will help to eliminate the faint vertical striations that show up around the lower middle portion of your image.

    Steve
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Great image! Wl done!!
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Congrats on getting an image of the Horsehead, Bob!!! Well done.

    Like you, I had dreamed of one day getting an image of the HH. Some years back when I finally saw the HH show up on my lap top screen I was dancing in my driveway. I proved to my neighbors who already thought I was crazy that they were correct.
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Hi

    Very cool

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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Quote Originally Posted by STEVE333 View Post
    PS: I assume you are doing RA-only dithering because of Dec backlash? I have that big time, but, have still been able to do dithering in RA and Dec as well as guiding in both Dec directions. I use Lowpass for the Dec algorithm. If you are ever able to Dither in both directions I believe it will help to eliminate the faint vertical striations that show up around the lower middle portion of your image.

    Steve
    Thanks for the kind words, Steve. Yes, I am doing RA-only dithering as I have screwed up the DEC backlash trying to adjust it out to the point where I can't calibrate in PHD2. I just don't have the feel for the mechanical adjustments yet. Luckily I never change the orientation on my guiding setup, so I am able to restore my previous calibration and guide. I noticed the vertical pattern and agree that being able to dither on both axes could help. More time on target will also be useful there

    Bob
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    Great image Bob, nice round stars everywhere so your guiding and CC work fine. If I may make a suggestion, there is a color missing, I think green. Try to add some green so the purple halos become blueish, the flame may differentiate itself a bit more too.
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    Default Re: Horsehead and Flame on a cold Winters night

    That looks pretty darn good Bob. The flame stands out quite nice.

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