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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Hi folks,

I'm not sure if Photopic has been updated but if you press the "i" icon you get not only the constellations drawn in for easier navigation but if you hover the cursor above some of the objects you get that object's name and, often as not, a hot link to the appropriate Wikipedia page.

Useful to a point, if you'll pardon the pun, but I also found it helpful to use my planetarium software (TheSkyX) in conjunction with Photopic to help identify various objects and then use Courtney Seligman's Celestial Atlas which handily has links to photographs of many NGC, IC and PGC Objects.

If the object looks promising for my wide field of view with the Pentax 165mm lens (roughly 12.5° x 12.5°) I then fine tune the pointing to get the best out of the frame using TheSkyX again. Those coordinates get noted for use with MaximDL which actually controls the telescope, filter wheel and camera. It takes a little time to do but I'm hoping the results will justify the effort. Now for some clear skies as I've got many hours of imaging planned... 8)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Hi folks,

I came across the H-Alpha Sky Survey today. For some reason my poor brain needed me to flip the image and rotate it 180° before I could orientate myself properly but after doing so I saw this:
    Image
    Clickable for a larger version.
With that done the Orion Molecular Cloud complex is readily identifiable about 1/5th of the way in from the left and slightly below center and can be used as a starting point to identify other features of interest and potential targets. Of course some features will never be visible, depending on where on the planet one lives. :(

Even so I think the image is very encouraging for us Hα imagers (oh, it felt nice writing that 8)) as there is plenty to shoot at at all scales although some of the dimmer features would require a great deal of exposure time!

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Flipped or not I'm lost looking at that! Don't quite recognise anything, even Orion.

Ooh, seems clear tonight. I think I might try SII around Orion since I've sent back the OIII now. Got enough Ha last previously.

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Orion is out of the frame for me now. Instead I'm going for some black stuff at 4h, +52.5deg. The plan is a sequence of 1500 sec. exposures in H-alpha from about 11:30 and, if I'm lucky, some RGBs tomorrow if the H-alpha is worth it and the weather holds. I'm not sure if that bit of sky will prove worth the effort but that's part of the fun.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Going for something less known is more interesting, if a bit lucky dip if you don't know there is something there first!

Finally got the SII going now... the replacement OIII should be on its way although preliminary data from the other night in less than ideal conditions didn't reveal much of anything interesting.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Hmm, I'm rethinking now. I hadn't realised the Moon was already so adjacent to my target area. :roll:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:24 pm 
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I gave up on the SII early on. It doesn't seem to be pulling anything interesting so I'm trying deeper in Ha instead. Moon seems far enough away not to interfere with narrowband around Orion.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Good luck with the Hα. With nothing else to shoot at I may as well stick to my original target and time, if only to find out how badly affected the exposures will be. I think the received wisdom is that OIII is the least affected by moonlight so I hope you get your replacement filter soon.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:13 pm 
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I've set it going on 8 minute exposures while I had a hot bath... no idea how these will turn out! I should check on it now... might have to give up soon, as Orion is about to hide behind a tree.

In other news, I just looked up an online manual for the Astrotrac, and it does cover how to allow for movement of Polaris. I'm using the position where it was a decade ago! So if I use the right place perhaps I'll get better still. Also I rediscovered the lunar tracking mode so I might make use of that if the moon gets in the way!

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Hmm. Too close to the Moon! Background signal was high but the killer was the gradient and to cap it all cloud rolled in halfway through the first shot and then delayed the second shot by over an hour. So much for my intended 5 x 1500 second exposures but I wouldn't have done more than one once I'd seen the quality. Here are both the original and processed versions of the single 1500 second Hα that I did manage. Horribly noisy as, with one exposure, I was really scratching around trying to find the signal but I think there's enough there to suggest that, when the Moon is gone, the area would benefit from maybe 8 x 1500 second Hα exposures at f/2.8 as well as some RGBs.
    Image Image
    ................................................Nominally centered at R.A. 4h 00m, Dec. +52° 30m

    .Image
    ............................And here's roughly where I think it is on the H-Alpha Sky Survey.
It's difficult to identify some of the features visually but it seems pretty clear to me that, after cross referencing the position with the Sharples Catalog, I have Sharpless 205 (R.A. 03 48.5, Dec +52 54) just to the right of center and the brightest knot of nebulosity a little below center is Sharpless 206 (a.k.a. NGC 1491).

This is a thread about target planning but it's also helpful to know what you've finally got and, in addition to the Sharples Catalog already linked to above, I've just discovered the CCD Images of The Sharpless Catalog site, an invaluable resource. One might be discouraged knowing others have been there already but for most of us the journey is one of personal discovery. Just because someone has already photographed the Grand Canuon doesn't take any of the pleasure away of our doing it ourselves should we be lucky enough to visit!

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Hi folks,

Back firmly on-topic, the Hα Sky Survey Chart isn't at all easy to navigate. So step one was to add a Galactic coordinate grid to the chart - accuracy won't be perfect but it shold be good enough. It would have been nice to add R.A. & Dec. grid lines but that would take far too much time for me to compute but their is an alternative. First the modified chart:
    Image
No, my eyes aren't that good so if you click the chart you can view and/or download a much more eye-friendly sized version. For conversion to and from Galactic and J2000 coordinates head on over to NASA's HEASARC Object Position Finder, Coordinate Converter, and Separation Calculator. It shows you how to enter coordinates in the "Object Name or Coordinates" box and all one has to do then is select the right "Input Coordinate System" from the dropdown listbox and then press the "Find Target/Convert Coordinates" button and you'll get a full list of the equivalents in the other coordinate systems. If you get a message about the system being temporarily down instead of the expected output the chances are you made a syntax error when entering the coordinates initially. Yes, I did get just that a couple of times: it can be quite picky, particularly when it comes to leading zeroes!

Hope this helps to identify potential targets for your Hα photography. 8)

Bob.

P.S. I've now verified that my little green box in the previous post is roughly in the right place! :lol:

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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