Dec 182014

Click on image for full size

Managed to get this winter’s first shots of M42 last night with my Canon 1100D/Nexstar 4SE OTA/HEQ5 combo. Clouds and poor alignment meant I only got 36 decent shots of 10s at ISO6400 at prime focus. Stacking was done in DeepSkyStacker with post-processing in StarTools.

 Posted by at 1:38 pm
Dec 072014

I have now dusted down my winter observatory and I did a quick test mosaic using DSSR. This comprised about 100x 10sec videos which my HEQ5 zipped thru in about 15 minutes. The videos were batch processed in AviStack 2 and merged in Microsoft ICE. Click on image for full size.

Click for full size image

 Posted by at 1:48 pm
Jul 282014

A brilliant cloud free day in Inverness, Scotland allowed me to capture 7 hours of solar activity with my PST telescope. This is played back here at 375x real time and then as inverted. It then plays back at 1200x real time several times to show the plasma movement.

Captured with a PST and DMK21 and PowerMate2.5x combo.

 Posted by at 2:42 pm
Jan 012014

m42b2 gimp

Just tried out my new 1100D at prime focus thru my 4SE’s optical port in alt-az mode. I captured 90 frames (each 20s x ISO6400) using Canon EOS Utilities and then used AstroKam to filter them down to 56 good frames. DeepSkyStacker did its stacking magic and then Star Tools brought out the detail and colors.

Click on the image to see the original or click this link to see a zoomable version.

Update: I actually captured in 3 batches to give a total of 114 good light frames. Below is the new result and it looks like the extra frames give more detail in the fainter regions.

m42 ST threshold 5 114 frames median filter jpg


Again, here is a zoomable version.

 Posted by at 9:11 pm

DVS Tips

 Tutorials  Comments Off
Dec 062013

We recently got a request to help a user align a series of full disk Sun images while keeping the Sun’s position static. The normal method of aligning on a surface feature would result in the disk moving sideways as the Sun rotated. We came up with the idea of using the entire Sun as the alignment target and it worked like a charm. You can see how this works in the screenshot below. This is really stretching DVS so you need to give it time to work thru each frame.



The second tip was suggested by the user who came up with the idea of having 2 sets of processed images for hard-to-align image sequences. The first set has the contrast or sharpness or gamma cranked up so that DVS can easily lock onto the alignment targets and perform an alignment pass. The second set is processed normally to give the desired images for the final animation. The trick is now to load the second set of images and load the first set’s alignment results using the Data button. This will align the frames and you can now export your animation.

Big thanks to Matthias Mass for these suggestions.

 Posted by at 10:56 am

AstroKam M42

 CHDK AstroKam, Deep Sky  Comments Off
Dec 052013

Here is my latest AstroKam shot of M42 in Orion taken with my £50 Canon A810 mounted on my Nexstar 4SE in alt-az mode. AstroKam automatically slewed to M42 during an all-night survey and spent 60 minutes shooting lights, darks and offsets. The best 43 lights were selected using AstroKam’s Sort module and stacked in DeepSkyStacker and processed in the beta version of Star Tools.

Click for full size image


 Posted by at 5:46 pm