It's starting to click

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It's starting to click

Unread post by Pete » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:52 pm

Observing log of Friday, 25/26 Jan 08

Today has been a beautifully clear day and tonight’s forecast is just as good. I’ve been working in the observatory most of the afternoon correcting problems discovered during the last session out. The focus knob is now 3â€
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Unread post by Galactus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:47 pm

Neat, Pete! You are indeed getting it! I will have to bring the Canon over this weekend if skies are clear...tryto see how it workswith the Hyperstar!
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Unread post by Mark G » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:08 am

Pete it sure does look like you are "getting it". Each of your imaging sessions show improvements. 8) :D

Perhaps I missed it but you modified the guidescope focuser? Or refer to the 3" focus knob on the 14"?

I like the spiral arms you've captured on your galaxy shots. The wider field of the f/2 systems sure seems to frame them well.
The major dust motes are gone. Are these dead pixels, or dust further up the optical train?

They don't look like dead pixcels to me. They look like dust specs that are in focus. Maybe on the CCD chip? Or close to the focal point. I'd also look at each piece of glass & mirrors in your optical train and clean them to if needed. How is the primary on the 14" now Pete any dust on it? Perhaps the hyperstar installation have caused some flecks of something to fall on the primary?
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Unread post by AstroGeek » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:18 am


Now you're cooking!! Your presentations of M67, M81, and M51 are quite nice indeed! Glad to see that you are placing more attention on mastering your techniques in B & W rather than diving into color stuff at this point.

I have never seen black specks like that before. I thought it was dirt on my contact lenses at first. They seem to be in rather sharp focus, which differs from 'dust motes' on the CCD chip cover glass. As Mark suggests, they must be present somewhere in your optical path. BUT, they seem to be missing from your latter images. At any rate, they are easily removable with the PhotoShop clone tool.

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Unread post by Bruce D » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:00 am

Really nice Pete, you have some fine images here.

The black specks are puzzling to me as I don't see them in the other images or are they less prominent and I missed them?
I'm wondering since that area has dark nebula could they be Bok globules or whatever they call those little round dark nebula?
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Unread post by Pete » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:08 am

Thanks all.

George, as I said, I have an adapter that will mount Cannon cameras to the Hyperstar. But with the camera up on the nose of the scope you must have complete control of the camera via computer.

Mark, those tiny black spots might be dead pixels. Or they might be tiny dust specs on the chip itself. I'm expecting my secondary back today so I'll be doing some further cleaning and inspection when I do the re-installation.

Steve, I Photoshopped the black spots from the better images.

I'm saving everything in tiff format now, and after processing I save the original in tiff as well as a downsized version for posting in jpg. Slightly larger and more detailed versions may be found at

I'm really getting off on how deep this camera is going. More on that in my posting of last night's observing activity. Only problem is I don't know where to post something like this. Under Winter or under Imaging?
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Unread post by WCGucfa » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:03 pm


The black spots on your NGC 1977 image appear to be stars that for some reason or another didn't register. It's almost as if they appear negative black rather than positive white. :shock:
This has happened to me in other applications. Usually when I'm messing with the gradiant map in PS.
As far as all the images, I feel you've got this thing nailed down. Beautiful work!

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Unread post by Rotorhead » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:45 pm

Really super shots, Pete! Wow, you are seeming to find every glitch that could be possible. I'm truly impressed that you soldier on, keeping your sense of humor (at least in your reports :lol: ) and finding solutions. The image of M67 is really nice, and the shots of M81 and M51 are superb. Nice detail, good stars, lots of nebulosity at the fringes of the galaxies.
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Unread post by NGC7000 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:06 pm


Your images really reflect your excitement. I am learning from you as you go. I have yet to make the leap with my DSI imager. Still in the box for months now. This is very inspiring.

The black patches....I have encountered exactly the same problems at times in my dslr work. My theory is that they are dark subtraction frames at various temperatures not coinciding with the lights' temperatures. I know this might be way off as i believe the subtraction frame happens right after the light with the dsi- yes?

in any case, i would like to learn that application you use to remove the black. nice job, Pete!

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Unread post by Pete » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:38 am

Hi Tom,

One of the reasons I got to imaging late the other night was that I first took a series of dark frames at 60, 90 & 120 seconds. The DSI creates a file that stores darks for different exposures at different temperatures.

The nice thing about DSI imaging is that when you're imaging you click on "subtract dark" and every individual image that appears has already been dark processed when it appears on the monitor. There's no fancy "subtract darks" routine that you have to go through in post processing.

As for post processing, I'm using Carrie's old Photoshop 5, and learning from Ron Wodaski's The New CCD Astronomy. This is THE book as far as astrophotography is concerned.

I still have a lot to learn from Steve, but I'd be happy to turn the observatory controls over to anyone who wants to learn the basics of DSI use, and talk them through it.

Clear skies,

Pete P.