The Raging Sandwich

Astrophotography Mega Thread

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Here on this thread, you can show your pictures of stuff through your telescope or binoculars, tell what sort of astronomy equipment you use, and ask questions about astrophotography. I'll occasionally add my own photos here. If there is already a thread about this (I've never seen one), feel free to lock it moderators. 

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9041bae5-bc3c-4fe0-beca-d2e5ffa14bac.jpg

Plate camera on the 24" (0.6m) Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector at the Capilla Peak Observatory. It was before we installed the CCD. It had been used for years with a photometer, and we stuck the old plate camera on and messed around with it. The plates had been in the fridge for a LONG time, and many were moldy (notice blob lower right). I took the image (hand-guiding the scope), an developed the plate as well in the darkroom (chemicals were also pretty ancient).

 

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I forgot to say it was the Great Nebula in Orion, lol, as it's so obvious.

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Plate camera :-) I still have my darkroom equipment from student times stowed in the garage ... no large negative sizes, just 6*7cm. Did you try to smear it off with the finger ? You could sell the blob as a comet @tater !

But ... dear mods, would it make sense to merge the

in here ?

I got my christmas present 2 days ago, a monochrome CCD cam. That night was really good and i tried it out immediately, doing more than 4 hours of LRGB-exposures. Just to realize the other day that i should check the distance of the optical elements (reducer/camera chip) as well as focus each filter separately (refractor) ... would have been too high an expectation if the first try had just worked.

More soon(tm), weather dependent ... :-)

 

Edited by Green Baron

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I might have tried to wipe it off. I took that image... 32 or 33 years ago. (how can I have done anything that long ago? This should be in the what makes me feel old thread.)

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1 hour ago, Green Baron said:

Plate camera :-) I still have my darkroom equipment from student times stowed in the garage ... no large negative sizes, just 6*7cm. Did you try to smear it off with the finger ? You could sell the blob as a comet @tater !

But ... dear mods, would it make sense to merge the

in here ?

I got my christmas present 2 days ago, a monochrome CCD cam. That night was really good and i tried it out immediately, doing more than 4 hours of LRGB-exposures. Just to realize the other day that i should check the distance of the optical elements (reducer/camera chip) as well as focus each filter separately (refractor) ... would have been too high an expectation if the first try had just worked.

More soon(tm), weather dependent ... :-)

 

Can't expect to have a clear night and have everything work well on the first night!

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U know this right?

l9oTGLZ.jpg

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Open cluster M45, Plejades and reflection nebula

First try with my new toy. Adjustments are not right yet. UV/IR-cut filter (limunance channel). Color channels RGB didn't come out correctly yet. 20*5min exposures, 16 bias frames, 16 dark frames. More soon(tm). Stacked with deepskystacker, gamma adjusted with fitswork.

Edit: Version 0.1.

wRmBNyg.jpg

 

Edited by Green Baron

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The 8th astrophotography contest of La Palma closed on 15th of november, these are the winners:

http://elapuron.com/noticias/sociedad/97799/austriaco-gerald-rhemann-logra-primer-premio-del-octavo-concurso-internacional-astrofotografia/

If you're interested in timelapses, watch this guy. Scroll down a bit for the real nice clips, and lean back ...

http://www.elcielodecanarias.com/timelapses/

A showcase for the latest works of amateur astrophotography http://www.astrobin.com/ is a nice link. Most people include telescopes, mounts, guiding, cameras, filters, exposure times, software in the description.

English speaking community discusses on http://www.cloudynights.com/page/index.html and forums.

 

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Been taking a break from modding last few weeks to use my telescope, since I haven't imaged in over a year. Recently picked up a 550D and removed the LPF-2 filter to get better Hydrogen Alpha response.

Messier 33 (Triangulum Galaxy)
Canon 50D (unmodded)
160x45second light frames @200ISO
Darks, Bias, Flats
Stacked in DSS, processed in PixInsight. Slowly ditching DSS since I have been getting way better stacking using PixInsight

 

Done in a Red Zone light pollution area via an EdgeHD 11" with Hyperstar focal reducer

3qYv2k5.jpg?1

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I have a four inch reflector and have tried to photograph m45 but since I don't have live view it will take ~30-45 minutes to frame it and focus it.  I don't know what happened though and got terrible star trails.:(

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On 12/14/2016 at 2:44 PM, munlander1 said:

I have a four inch reflector and have tried to photograph m45 but since I don't have live view it will take ~30-45 minutes to frame it and focus it.  I don't know what happened though and got terrible star trails.:(

 

any detail on the mount you are using? without live view, you can always take a quick exposure to test the framing, and then use the hand control to nudge it, and then take another test shot.

what exposure lengths/focal length are you getting star trails with?

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10 hours ago, cxg2827 said:

 

any detail on the mount you are using? without live view, you can always take a quick exposure to test the framing, and then use the hand control to nudge it, and then take another test shot.

what exposure lengths/focal length are you getting star trails with?

I am using a 4 inch tasco with a 15mm eye peice. The focal length was 500mm and the apature is 114 millimeter. I forget the exposure that j used though. I am using the crappy mount that came with the telescope. It is not a motorized mount. I am on my phone but I may be able to pull the images off my computer though.

I am looking into getting Orion's 10 inch astrograph. I would also like to get the atlas motorized mount. And any realtivly cheap (<200dollar) camera recommendations?

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Anyone tried taking pictures of Venus? It's been very bright for the past few weeks. I wanted to look at it through my telescope, but either didn't have time or weather wasn't favourable here in Poland recently.

Edited by Veeltch

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Hello Veeltch,

i had a look a few days ago, didn't take pictures. I don't find it that interesting and am more (trying to get) into deeps sky objects. It's around half-Venus, bright and white. For planet pictures i wait for Jupiter to return in spring (or so).

I'm having weather problems here on La Palma island too. Since 3 weeks now i'm trying to adjust my photo equipment. Either the moon was out, it was cloudy/rainy or too windy. And now the neighbour has hung a terribly flashing christ-mess illumination over his terrace. His house is 100m away, yet it flashes in scintillating colours all night long. Energy is far too cheap !

The next days shall be windy/rainy they say. And i hope that the light show is over soon ... but then the silly moon returns.

sigh ...

Edit: Venus in greatest elongation on 12th of January, i read

Edited by Green Baron

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14 hours ago, munlander1 said:

I am using a 4 inch tasco with a 15mm eye peice. The focal length was 500mm and the apature is 114 millimeter. I forget the exposure that j used though. I am using the crappy mount that came with the telescope. It is not a motorized mount. I am on my phone but I may be able to pull the images off my computer though.

so you were doing eyepiece projection? or did you have a T-adapter and attached a camera to the focuser? Yea, unmotorized mounts, you have to do high ISO, short focal length and short exposures so minimize streaking.

 

14 hours ago, munlander1 said:

I am looking into getting Orion's 10 inch astrograph. I would also like to get the atlas motorized mount. And any realtivly cheap (<200dollar) camera recommendations?

you going to need a fairly beefy mount for that kind of weight. Rule of thumb is to load up a mount no more than 50% of its listed capacity for astrophotography. a 10' astropgraph is listed at 25lbs, and then add another 5-10lbs for camera, adapters, viewfinders and you are getting close to the 100% rating for a atlas EQ-G (assuming this is the one you are looking at?)

what is your overall budget for camera/telescope/mount? what specific photography are you looking into (widefield/DSO/planetary)?

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On 14.12.2016 at 8:44 PM, munlander1 said:

I have a four inch reflector and have tried to photograph m45 but since I don't have live view it will take ~30-45 minutes to frame it and focus it.  I don't know what happened though and got terrible star trails.:(

If you want pointy stars then you will need a tracking parallactic (german/equatorial) mount and a means to adjust it exactly parallel to earths axis. A polar finder is a must. That'll be good for 2-4min exposures in most cases. I strongly recommend to use an autoguider, either off-axis or through a small guiding scope if you're into deep sky objects (like nebulae, clusters, ...) because you easily run into 10min exposures and longer, even with a decent CCD-Cam.

As @cxg2827 said a mount at its limit will make a photographers life miserable. I know what i'm speaking of, now i have two mounts, a cheap small one and a "real" one. For a ten inch mirror of 12kg + 5 kg equipment i'd recommend a mount that can carry at least 25kg. A Skywatcher EQ-6 on the cheap end, a Losmandy G11 for life or anything in between.

If it's the Orion 10" f/3.9 Newton you're dreaming of (what makes it an astrograph, i don't see any correcting equipment ?) then be warned: collimating a f/4 Newton can be sporty and you'll probably do so multiple times over the night as temp changes. Also a Newton has the camera sticking out to the side which makes for a terrible balance. If the tube and focuser aren't extremely sturdy then you'll have a distorted picture field. Also you'll need a coma-corrector if your cameras chip is 4/3s or larger.

btw., in most cases the scope (if it's not a sexy apochromatic refractor) is not the most expensive part in a photographic setup. It's the mount or the camera.

Visit cloudynights.com and browse the forums for more info ;-)

 

Edited by Green Baron

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1 hour ago, cxg2827 said:

so you were doing eyepiece projection? or did you have a T-adapter and attached a camera to the focuser? Yea, unmotorized mounts, you have to do high ISO, short focal length and short exposures so minimize streaking.

 

you going to need a fairly beefy mount for that kind of weight. Rule of thumb is to load up a mount no more than 50% of its listed capacity for astrophotography. a 10' astropgraph is listed at 25lbs, and then add another 5-10lbs for camera, adapters, viewfinders and you are getting close to the 100% rating for a atlas EQ-G (assuming this is the one you are looking at?)

what is your overall budget for camera/telescope/mount? what specific photography are you looking into (widefield/DSO/planetary)?

I did do eyepiece projection. I do have the peice that would allow me to bypass the eyepiece section though. Are there any benefits to the latter?  I am also looking at the EQ-G mount. I would like do DSO and planetary. I don't have a specific budget budget but when it is possible I would like to go cheaper. And would you recommend I go with the 8 inch astrograph?

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12 hours ago, munlander1 said:

I did do eyepiece projection. I do have the peice that would allow me to bypass the eyepiece section though. Are there any benefits to the latter?  I am also looking at the EQ-G mount. I would like do DSO and planetary. I don't have a specific budget budget but when it is possible I would like to go cheaper. And would you recommend I go with the 8 inch astrograph?

DSO and planetary are mutually exclusve if you don't have a very flexible equipment with correctors/reducers and telecompressors. I will post a photo of my setup for DSO later. My equipment is ready now but the weather, according to the season, bad. In the meantime, what you can do, is visit astrobin.com and have a look at what people are doing with amateur astrophotography and what equipment they use.

Really, it is difficult to recommend a single telescope. If you do want a Newton then pls. search the web for Newton telescope setup and collimation. You'll need that knowledge in the dark and with sleepy eyes. On the one hand you get a lot of aperture for little money but in exchange you must adjust scope as well as balance which can be frustrating in the beginning.

You mentioned a piece to bypass the eyepiece. Is that a field corrector ? Or just a camera adapter without any optical elements ? The latter is used to bring the camera chip into the primary focus of the scope, which is easy. The first is an optical element to correct the image away from the optical axis (off axis aberration, aka coma). Your sporty f/4 Newton will probably show heavy coma depending on the size of your camera chip. These correctors have a distance at which they deliver a corrected and sharp image, and that must be met very exactly (sub-millimeter). That usually leads to a stack of rings and adapters.

There are many systems to connect a camera to a scope. For sub-fullframe one of the most used is T2, which is a special M42*0.75 thread. Other, larger ones are based on the 2" tubes (M48) which is ok for APS-C chips, the larger 2.5" or 3.5" focusers that are used for full frame camera chips (36*24mm)* are based on M63 or even much larger. You will have at least one adapter for your camera on the one side and the scope, or, in most cases, the corrector on the other side. That is the setup many (most ?) people use who have bought their struff one by one, telescope, mount, corector(s), camera, filters if applicable etc.

 

@cxg2827 uses a setup with a Celestron C11 and Hyperstar, which is very special to the telescope brand he uses. The correctors are built in (Schmidt-Design or the Hyperstar-Corrector). It is very flexible and could be used for DSO and if you switch camera position and focal length for planetary imaging as well. But see what a C11 EdgeHD with Hyperstar and a huge mount (CGE-M ?) costs and weighs. Success would probably be faster with such a setup (though i personally like apochromatic refractors, but that's religion if you know what i mean :-)).

 

I don't want to talk bad about a the Newton, it's just a sporty machine (especially a short and "fast" one like f/4) for someone who likes huge apertures and who is ready to dive deeper into the matter. Visit the hobby astronomers forums for more confusion info :-)

 

* Newer generation chips are often quadratic (why not round i ask myself ?)

 

Edited by Green Baron

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Too bad i cant have a good look at start clusters and stuff, the population is dense here in The Netherlands, and dense population+technology=light pollution.

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