NGC 1977 / The Running Man

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decay
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm

NGC 1977 / The Running Man

Post by decay »

Hi all,

this is my first image submission, so please be kind to me :)

This image was already captured end of February and actually I only wanted to do a test of my new guide scope. This target was chosen more out of embarrassment and our beloved ancient hunter was already going down into the light dome of the nearby small town. So I was quite positive surprised about the outcome …
ngc1977-2.jpg
ngc1977-2.jpg (130 KiB) Viewed 161 times
GSO Newton 200/1000, EQ5
EOS 2000D (unmod.)
Baader MPCC
ASI 120 MC, 50/200 Guidescope
APT, PHD2, DSS, ST7

only 15 x 120s lights, ISO 800
flats, bias

This was a long way for me, I started some years ago with the toy grade scope (60/700) of my daughter. One fine summer evening I saw the ring of Saturn (I will never forget that moment!) and some weeks later I modified a webcam and my journey into astrophotography began …

@Ivo: Thank you for sharing this fine software. Somewhere in the internet I read, that ST would be “the masterpiece of a genius” and I can only agree. I am working in software development for many years and I have a quite strong background in mathematics and natural science as well, but this is really outstanding.

And I really like this group of nerdy people on this ST forum ( :shock: hopefully no one feels offended, sorry!) spread all over the world doing these crazy things!

Best regards, Dietmar.
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admin
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:51 pm
Location: Melbourne
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Re: NGC 1977 / The Running Man

Post by admin »

decay wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 7:10 pm only 15 x 120s lights, ISO 800
flats, bias
That's a respectable Running Man, with good coloring and fantastic round stars. Is this a crop, or most of the dataset? If not mostly a crop, you have your guiding dialled in well by the looks of it and the field appears nice and flat. :thumbsup:

Did you use SVDecon at all? It may be able to bring out some more detail and tighten stars even more, particularly in M43/M42.
This was a long way for me, I started some years ago with the toy grade scope (60/700) of my daughter. One fine summer evening I saw the ring of Saturn (I will never forget that moment!) and some weeks later I modified a webcam and my journey into astrophotography began …
I started pretty much the same way with the modified webcam :)
@Ivo: Thank you for sharing this fine software. Somewhere in the internet I read, that ST would be “the masterpiece of a genius” and I can only agree. I am working in software development for many years and I have a quite strong background in mathematics and natural science as well, but this is really outstanding.
I don't know about masterpiece/genius :P, but ST is a definitely a deliberate and much needed re-think of astronomical signal processing. It came about by precisely walking the same path you describe above for yourself, and fundamentally trying to understand what is happening, at every step of the way, to the signal as it made its way to my - then - webcam and beyond.

Wipe was the first module I wrote, so I could remove light pollution. It was immediately obvious to me that manual sample setting I saw in PI (DBE) was a very naive and subjective way of approaching the problem, and a better, more objective way would be to have an algorithm separate background/gradient from detail.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention; the more I looked for software solutions to my AP problems, the more disappointed I got with the state of things, so I wrote more and more modules, and it all snowballed from there.

Signal evolution Tracking was the culmination of this effort, making ST more than just the sum of its modules.
And I really like this group of nerdy people on this ST forum ( :shock: hopefully no one feels offended, sorry!) spread all over the world doing these crazy things!
AP'ers are probably the most generous, considered, modest and intelligent people I know. Personally, I've found AP and astronomy not only intellectually rewarding (the learning and discoveries never stop!), but also good for my mental health. Staring at things that are vastly bigger than my little world, things that were there long before I was born, and will be there long after I'm gone, makes my troubles feel insignificant. I hope this too is indeed universal amongst AP'ers.

Clear skies!
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
decay
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm

Re: NGC 1977 / The Running Man

Post by decay »

Hi Ivo,
admin wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:12 am Is this a crop, or most of the dataset? If not mostly a crop, you have your guiding dialled in well by the looks of it
Thanks for your kind worlds! This is most of the dataset, only slightly cropped. Unfortunately I'm still struggling with guiding, sometimes it works fine, other times not that good. But that's part of the game, I'm still learning and for now I'm quite satisfied with it.
admin wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:12 am and the field appears nice and flat.
Yes, takings flats is the best thing since the invention of the wheel ... or maybe better :)
admin wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:12 am Did you use SVDecon at all? It may be able to bring out some more detail and tighten stars even more, particularly in M43/M42.
You are right, that was only a very basic workflow. I did a rework, applying those things I learned with the help from @Stefan B and @Mike in Rancho (thanks!). This time I used ASTAP for stacking (a fine green result, without colour balancing :mrgreen: ), bin down only to 50% (and afterwards to 66%) and then almost the full row of modules. Many of the stars are burned, so finding a suitable set for SVDecon was a small challenge :roll:
ngc1977-astap-1.jpg
ngc1977-astap-1.jpg (114.36 KiB) Viewed 75 times
admin wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 1:12 am Staring at things that are vastly bigger than my little world, things that were there long before I was born, and will be there long after I'm gone, makes my troubles feel insignificant. I hope this too is indeed universal amongst AP'ers.
Yes, I guess that's true in fact. Sometimes I regret that I spend most of my time staring at the display of my notebook instead of staring at the wonderful night sky with my own eyes ... ;)

Best greetings to Down Under, Dietmar.
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