6 months in

SgtBilko

Member
Aug 27, 2019
8
2
I am 6 months into this pastime. After hours of reading, watching Youtube, Adam Block videos, setting up, fettling, getting it wrong, getting it right, sending the mount back..... blah blah blah Here is an image of NGC6946. Taken over 3 nights on MX+, FSQ106, NiteCrawler, ASI1066MM-Pro. 85 x Red (60-75s), 85 x Green (35-45s) and 85 x Blue (35-45s), with 255 x Lum (10-15s). I would welcome constructive critism as all I get from family is awe and wonder !!!!

I think maybe a bit of star de-emphasis also I would like to get the nebulosity of the galaxy to pop a bit more.

Thank you
Ian
 

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dave_galera

Well-known member
Hi Ian,
If you have only been at it for 6 months then I assume this is your real first image, in which case it is very very good.

I find that the stars are a bit overpowering and detract from the the main subject which is the galaxy. I also notice that the exposure times are very short and would expect them to be more in the region of 300s, however, I have never used a CMOS camera with variable gain, I only use a CCD camera so I may be way out on this point.

To be honest as a first serious image you have picked an object which is not an easy one as it does not have that much signal, there are other objects that are larger and have a lot more signal making it easier to process until you get use to it.

But very well done as a first image!!
 

SgtBilko

Member
Aug 27, 2019
8
2
Thanks Dave, much appreciated.

It’s probably the 5th or 6th, but the 1st "serious" one. The others were “trial and error” learning exercises i.e. getting the hardware set up and working, learning the software etc.

I did a lot of research on exposure times (thank you Dr Robin Glover and Jon Rista amongst others) and the short times are more to do with light pollution than type of sensor, although the relatively low read noise of CMOS is a factor.

So…. Some sort of star de-emphasis ?

Ian
 

dave_galera

Well-known member
Ian,
From when I decided to take up astrophotography to producing the first image that almost matched the image I saw from others took me almost 2 years, and along the way changing mounts, cameras etc.

Its a very very steep learning curve, I have undertaken many very technical hobbies over my years but astrophotography takes the biscuit, my gear nearly ended up in the the local river many times LOL

You may try using StartNet to remove the stars, then you can reduce the size of the stars using Morph Transformation in a separate image then add them back in. This also allows you to work on the Galaxy without blowing out the stars.

Another comment on the Galaxy, it seems to be a bit noisy, which again leads me to think it is lacking in exposure.