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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 12 Dec 2016 (Monday) 12:13
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Noitca's Astrophotography Attempts

 
TinysMav
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May 30, 2017 03:09 |  #16

I appreciate the fact that you've been able to include your son. My little fella loves to go out and lie back and stare at the stars, so now I just have to convince the wife!




  
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Noitca
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Jul 21, 2017 06:14 as a reply to  @ TinysMav's post |  #17

OK, Finally there was an alignment between a clear(ish) night, my schedule (sort of), and my lack of fatigue (at the time). Now, I feel like the walking dead at work.

My son and I pulled the scope out last night and looked at a few things. I let him help me setup as much as possible.

1st off, learning to setup the scope. Polar aligned again, turned out pretty good overall. Everything was pretty straight forward last night in terms of getting close to the intended target (star). We took extra care to make sure we had the spreader bar engaged completely with all the legs, which helped I think. Note for next time, we noticed a discrepancy between two 1D bubble levels on the tray (which we used to level it) and the 2D bubble level on the wedge. Next time, use the wedge level.

Target 1: Jupiter. It started out pretty close to the tree line. We looked for maybe 5 to 10 minutes. When I was looking at it for the 3rd time, it disappeared in the eye piece, like completely. I told my son, what the heck just happened. Scope is still on. I don't think it would just fall out of focus like that. Then, after investigating the scope for a good 30 seconds to a minute, we realized... It went behind the trees. My son got a huge kick out of that.

Target 2: Saturn, what we were really wanting to see. FAIL! I didn't set up far enough down the road, it had went behind some other trees. vmad

Target 3: M63. With high precision pointing on the scope, we looked at a nearby double star, which was cool. We looked where the scope ended up pointing with no corrections... didn't see anything. I think it was too bright, but we may also have been slightly off.

Target 4: M16. This one we hooked the camera up to the scope. Took 20 or so 30 second shots, haven't processed them yet. I tried to do something quick in DSS last night after coming in, but I was doing something wrong. It would only want to stack 9 out of 20 or something. When I forced it to stack all/most of them, it produced nothing (like a flat grey image). ?? It was late and I was tired.

Things to note:
Setup more in the middle, not so close to my driveway.
Want to try the focal reducers at some point.
Need to figure out how to turn off my street light when I want to.
Need to get my binoculars and put them with the telescope stuff. I don't use them for anything else anyway.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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Noitca
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Jul 22, 2017 20:44 |  #18

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Stars/i-trjQWfT/0/650c828c/XL/M16%20try%201-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …20try%201-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

Result from trying M16...

Sort of.

T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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Noitca
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Dec 30, 2017 07:40 |  #19

Woah, it's been a while since I have posted here.

Unfortunately, finding an open spot in the schedule to use the scope with church, work, my son's sports schedule, and the weather seems like a near impossibility.

Scope uses since last post.

Solar Eclipse. Had a little bit of work prior to the eclipse just getting things set up. We ended up using 2 cameras that day. My T1i on the back of the LX-200 with the F/6.3 field flatener/focal reducer. That put the full disc of the sun in view through the scope. We also had my son's Nikon B-700 piggybacked at a wider view. Everything went fine except the following issues, which ultimately were pretty minor.

1. I had tried to plan for a power issue, so I loaded the scope up with batteries for backup power in case the 12V DC power supply was yanked out. it was hot so right at the beginning of the eclipse, my wife and son were seeking some relief in the truck with the A/C going. Then, when it started, they turned the car off completely. Apparently the scope doesn't switch from 12V DC to battery seamlessly. Quick recovery though.

2. Had the T1i tethered to the computer, with the computer basically streaming live view. That didn't work. I ended up draining and over-heating a battery very quickly. Had battery backups though, and would just trigger a picture manually and the last picture would pop up on the screen. As a result, have ordered a power adapter for the camera.

3. Apparently the LX-200 doesn't have the sun in it's database, nor the sun's slew rate. I wish I would have been prepared to input the correct slew rate. Had to keep adjusting, but it was set to the moon, so the updates weren't so bad.

Here is my son next to our setup. I posted some of our eclipse pictures to the eclipse thread.

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Great-American-Eclipse/i-q2hH3s3/0/b39785be/XL/IMG_20170821_124723247_HDR%5B1406%5D-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …5B1406%5D-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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Noitca
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Post edited 5 months ago by Noitca.
     
Dec 30, 2017 08:24 |  #20

Next... nothing until just this past week.

Packed up the telescope and took it to my parent's house in Trenton, FL, which is not super dark relative to "dark sites" but is way darker than my house in metro Atlanta. Didn't get to use it as much as I wanted to and ran into some issues.

When setting up there, I wanted to keep the mounting plate on to piggy back a camera. This however caused a problem with the mount for the finder scope, which was just removed for the eclipse. So, I reversed the mount for the finder scope, which meant that I had to realign the finder scope. Ugh. That was more difficult than it sounded. I think I have it now, but next time I need to do it with something on the ground, not a target in space.

Ultimately, was able to get in two nights of scoping.

Night #1. Set everything up with the wedge and what not, and was planning on using the f/6.3 focal reducer. First issue is with me. Good gravy I need to learn my sky. When I set up at home, there is so much light pollution that I get everything set and pointed generally correct that Polaris is easily found. Remove some of the light pollution and add in some clouds near the horizon and I am lost. I check and recheck the compass on the mounting plate (which I have always thought was off a bit) and it is pointing dead north, even after some taps. So I align to a star that the telescope is generally pointing at but just doesn't seem right. Then tell it to go to something that I know..... and it's way off. Like bad. This coupled with me messing with the finding scope and I am just lost. After a couple of hours, I am just frustrated. My Aunt was there and had never looked through the telescope, so we just used the hand controller to go around to some of the things I could actually find. She really enjoyed it though I knew it could have been better. No images taken.

Night #2. Breathe and reset. My dad didn't want to watch the movie everyone else was watching so he was helping and hanging out with me. We pulled up a compass app for an independent assessment of the mounting plate compass. CONFIRMED. The mounting plate compass was off by a few degrees. Something in the tripod must be influencing it. Doesn't matter. It has been removed and tossed (the adhesive holding it to the plate was really good and we had to basically destroy it to take it off). Now, getting it to real north, we find Polaris easier. Go through the setup and also make some final adjustments to the finder scope. Spent the next hour+ looking through the scope at various things in the night sky. Targets: Moon, M42, Rigel, Betelgeuse, M45, and some others. Then he went in and didn't really have a ton of time left to do some imaging, so got the following:

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Stars/i-TRJLZNK/0/866991ec/XL/IMG_0017-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …/IMG_0017-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

Single shot of the moon. Took multiple shots at different exposures to try some things, but not a lot. Will see what comes out.

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Stars/i-dzd89tJ/0/59d4884e/XL/M42%20Orion%20Nebula%203%202017-12-27-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …017-12-27-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

I took 100 or so shots at 13 seconds, iso 1600 with the f/6.3 focal reducer. Also took 10 or so darks. Stacked with DSS and some additional processing with PS. DSS used only 90 of them. Total exposure time was 19 minutes 33 seconds. Had a slight position update at shot 50.

The rest of the time was cloudy.

I have a f/3.3 focal reducer that I want to try, soon.

T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 30, 2017 08:32 |  #21

Looks like great fun!

Trenton eh? I'm right next to there. Skies are fairly dark out of the city.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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AdamT
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Dec 30, 2017 08:36 |  #22

Appreciate the insights in the thread, also in GA and my son is interested in space, looking at just starting out with astrophotography. Keep the updates coming!




  
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Noitca
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Dec 30, 2017 14:50 |  #23

Yeah, Trenton is a rough estimate. They are really between Trenton and Newberry, just in Gilchrist County.

AdamT. This has been a blast, but it certainly requires a lot of patience. I will admit, there are some really nice features of this particular telescope that mask what I don't know, which is really nice. BUT, when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong because you have to know what you are looking at without the computer stuff to correct it.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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Noitca
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Feb 01, 2018 11:38 |  #24

No images to update with this post, but we are going to get a lot of use out of our scope in the near future. My son is in a target class in 5th grade (basically, a gifted class). They are doing a "genius hour" project where they get to pick a topic and explain things about it and show the results of some work regarding it.

So, my son's genius hour project is along the lines of "how to use a telescope to view objects in the sky". He is going to learn and convey through "how to" videos stuff like the differences between telescope types, regular mount and tracking mount, alignment and setup, the meaning of some optical terms, and finally using that to view various basic objects in the sky. We are going to focus on 3 items to use for viewing objects. Our LX-200 and it's tracking mount, a cheapo refractor on a basic cheap tripod, and some binoculars, and we will try to highlight the differences between them when viewing a common target.

Aside from this, he will also get to learn a little bit about webpage design (simple stuff) and video editing.

Should be a fun project, and it is an excuse to get the scope out more.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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monty28428
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Feb 07, 2018 21:15 |  #25

Plus maybe he will teach you something :-)




  
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Noitca's Astrophotography Attempts
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