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Thread: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

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    Default Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking



    I took some images of 46p/Wirtanen last night and i'm trying to stack them. I can't seem to get DSS, Autostakkert, Registax or Photoshop to stack the images. DSS can't do it because it can't find stars. I was guiding on the comet so I have star trails.

    I have (29) five minute exposure light frames and darks/bias frames taken as well.

    Anybody able to help?
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    In DSS, select "Settings" on the lower left, and choose Stacking Settings. On the pop up window, click the Comet tab and choose Comet Stacking.

    Load your lights, darks/bias, etc.

    On your list of frames, click on the first light frame, and then over on the right, you should 4 icons: Custom Rectangle Mode, Edit Stars Mode, Edit Comet Mode, and Save Changes.

    Select Edit Comet Mode. This will allow you to specifically select the comet. Once you select, then Save. You will need to repeat this process for every light frame.

    Once you have that done, register and stack and you should be ready for some stretching, etc. in Photoshop.
    Bryan

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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    I had already tried that unfortunately and it won't stack because it can't find stars. Keeps complaining saying it is stacking only 1 frame.
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    I think unfortunately you have come across a situation where the comet is moving so fast compared to the background stars that you need to limit your exposure time to give you round(ish) stars so DSS can actually stack your image. I kept my exposure times to 150 seconds for that very reason. As a result, DSS was able to stack my Wirtanen images. So make your exposures shorter and take more of them.

    This is the same concept we use when imaging Jupiter. It spins so quickly that you have to limit your video frames to no more 3 minutes worth otherwise Jupiter's rotation becomes obvious and ruins your image.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    I'll try tomorrow night but at 150s i'll barely be able to capture it. I'm in a red zone with lots of light pollution.
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    You'll most likely need to make a gain adjustment to account for the shorter exposure times. JT
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    Sometimes, you just can't autostack. You can stack the images you already have manually in Photoshop.

    I have a tutorial on my web site :

    http://joe-cali.com/astronomy/articl...hop/index.html

    If you have darks and bias, you could skip the adjustment layer step, merge the layers in Photoshop then import that image back to your favourite astro program and apply them to the image. You can also apply them in Photoshop using layer calculations although that is a bit fiddly.

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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    If you tracked on the comet, you should be able to just stack the images without registration since the comet should be in the same place in all of them. What I tend to do with these kinds of things is to just make a movie. Here's an example -

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcrowson/44504843702

    If you want to stack on stars, you'd have to pick a star to guide on and then take exposures long enough to catch the comet but short enough to not get trailing. You can find the exposure length with your arcsec to pixel ratio and the larger of the amount movement in Ra or Dec of the comet. For example, with my AT90EDT at 600mm, it is about 15 seconds tonight (the comet is really moving!). These numbers can be exceeded some because this assumes 1 arc/sec seeing and doesn't take into account the core blowing out hiding trailing.

    ([arcsec to pixel for setup]/(+[higher of the Ra or Dec Rate in arseconds]*60))*60

    I just plug the numbers into a spreadsheet.

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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    If you take regular pictures guided on a star, the comet will be moving in your shots. DSS can stack such pics with either the Comet stationary and the star trails, or merge a Comet only and the Stars only picture in the Comet+Stars mode. All this learnt recently thanks to Bryan's post.
    I found my star trails too dim in the Comet mode. The Comet+Stars mode takes forever but worked for me. Here is what I got with a 80 mm achromat and a Canon T3i.

    https://500px.com/photo/285887075/pw...er_id=50039841
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    Default Re: Help With 46p/Wirtanen Stacking

    The comet option in DSS assumes that you are guiding on stars, not the comet. If you guide on the comet, you need to take exposures short enough that the stars don't move significantly, in order to have round stars.
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