Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lots of software and a long nights session

Installing ALL kinds of software to try out:

Unfortunately, all photos that I took so far don’t result in anything :-(
I couldn’t find a set of photos (lights, darks...) anywhere. So, I have to try to take another set tonight.
Installed the camera mount on the Celestron - in the process, I had to take off the sky finder - which means I’ll have to completely readjust it. Too bad, that the finder does not work at all during day time - I have to wait until it’s dark to do that.


But I found a very good step by step explanation of lights, darks, flats... and also how (especially in which order) to acquire them: http://www.saratogaskies.com/articles/cookbook/. That what I will try tonight.
Another set of instructions is http://astro.welsh-house.net/tutorial.html#c.


Just realized that with the camera now on top, I can tilt the telescope all the way upwards.

  1. Took my flat pictures (max ISO, ¼ sec) - 12. Didn’t focus infinitity - hopefully that doesn’t won’t screw these up. img0012 - img0025
  2. Re-calibration of the sky finder didn’t take too much time. But it feels as if the camera mount made this whole thing a little wabbly :-(
  3. Wow! Didn’t realize how much of an effect it has when I just set my focus to the “infinity end”. Turns out that there is indeed a focus length of “beyond infinity”. Correcting it (through the monitor of the camera - not the live view!) made a HUGE difference!
  4. Had to wait until 12:20 or so until all our backyard lights are out - need to set this to midnight
  5. Read over the instructions for flats - turns out I did it all wrong. Well,if I wake up tomorrow morning at dawn (unlikely!) then I’ll shoot some then, otherwise I’ll just do with the lights and the darks.
  6. 1st set (ISO 6400 - shutter speed 30s): lights: img0039 - img0066, darks: img0067 - img0075
  7. Second set of lights (ISO 1600): img0076 - img00, darks: img00 - img00
  8. Shit! The ISO 1600 pictures have quite the trails with 30 seconds. I checked the 6400 again - nothing (or maybe a little). I can’t believe that the lower ISO makes the trails come out more... Anyway, have to shoot the 1600 again with a slower shutter speed - 10 seconds seems to work well. Will take 9 instead of 3 sets now (to compensate for the shutter speed of a third).
  9. 2nd set (ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s): lights: img0104 - img0184, darks: img0185 - img0193 (almost forgot to take the darks!)
  10. 3rd set (ISO 400 - shutter speed 10s): lights img0195 - img0276, darks:img0277 - img0285
  11. Andromeda!!!
    (ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s): lights: img0295 - img0330, darks: img0286 - img0294
    These pictures were almost half covered by the big redwood tree - not sure if and how stacking and dark calibration will work.
  12. OK, one more: IC 1396
    With the big lens (300mm)
    ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s
    lights: img0331 - img0412, darks: img0413 - img0421

And that’s it. Almost 3am !!!