IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

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decay
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Germany, NRW

IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by decay »

Hi all,

not sure, if a new mount can have it’s ‘first light’, but after long hesitation I decided to go on with AP and bought a new mount. Anyway, it was no real option to quit since I’m for sure addicted to AP since several years. It’s much too cool. But to go on with my much too weak EQ5 was no option either. Without GOTO I sometimes spent 1 or 1 1/2 hours just for searching the objects (which I most times can’t see in finder scope nor with main scope). Guiding was some kind of game of luck, sometime it worked, other times not. And the gear of the stepper motor equipment I used has some strong frequency components with a period of just a few seconds – too short to mitigate with guiding.

So now I'm very happy with my new EQ6 R Pro. It’s awesome! I still encountered some pitfalls, but later on more on this. Thanks to Martin, Stefan and Jochen who helped with advice to choose a new mount some time ago.

For the first light I had a go at IC 5070:
IC_5070-all-1-1.jpg
IC_5070-all-1-1.jpg (428.53 KiB) Viewed 12736 times
This is data gathered on three nights. Due to problems with dew forming on the secondary mirror unfortunately only about 1.5 or 2 hours for each night. One night I used the hair dryer of my wife (I don’t need one any more :lol: ) to warm up the mirror and it helped to go on for about one hour more. So this is the next problem I have to solve.

This time I used some reference images found in the internet for processing in ST. I spent quite a lot of time setting the final stretch with OptiDev. This object shows so much dynamic range! I increased Detector Gamma and Shadow Linearity quite a bit (normally I don’t use them) and I tried about 25 different ROIs I think. But in the end think it was worth the time and I met the reference images and managed to assign most of the dynamic range in a reasonable way.

I omitted Contrast but I used HDR to bring out the small(er) structures mostly using the default settings. SV Decon worked well out of the box, but I had to lower [UNKNOWN] ;-) (Linearity) to 2% (!) to get rid of most of the ugly halos. The other two related sliders do not work for me.

The two bright stars show large halos, caused by the above mentioned dew forming on the secondary. Because I don’t like giant green star halos, I decided to choose [H(H+O)O Duoband 100R,50R+25G+25B,50G+50B] for colour rendering. I think, this looks quite nice, not too much apart from some SHO images I saw. I guess this is because there is probably not much S glowing in there. I reduced H/red in order to dial in a nice balance between H and O to show the distribution and weighting of the two gases.

Any thoughts? Is it overcooked? Comments most welcome! :)

TL;DR ? ;-) For anyone, who is still on track and interested, some more words about of how I wasted lots of my time during the last weeks …

Because it has always been a problem to leave the windows notebook outside I decided to set up a Raspberry PI and to move to INDI, KStars and EKOS. I used a precooked Astroberry image:

https://www.astroberry.io/

At a first glance, this seems to be a great software stack and since I’m a fan of open source software I will give that a try. And while consulting the INDI forum, I saw that our friend Steve @alacant :greetings-waveyellow: is a member and busy contributor there as well :) AP seems to be a small world ;-)

Sometimes I had problems with focus position and so on top I decided to build an auto focuser DIY:
d2bf465ca1962b13aafe204c59735ed4bf72f01385abd7fb576fed3185b789ec.jpg
d2bf465ca1962b13aafe204c59735ed4bf72f01385abd7fb576fed3185b789ec.jpg (225.46 KiB) Viewed 12736 times
There is a tiny 28BYJ-48 stepper motor inside which is controlled with an Arduino Nano.

And again, I did this with some help of an open source project. No need to code stepper motor control by yourself; this works right out of the box:
https://github.com/fehlfarbe/arduino-motorfocus

Autofocus worked quite well with UV/IR cut filter, but I will have to do some more tuning with my duo band filter in place. The case and the attachment are just a temporary solution until I’m sure that it works reliably enough.

All at once this has been to much for me and my fading brain :roll: . It took quite some time to dial in all the parameters of the new software and to figure out how all this works together. There has been a small oscillation on Ra axis which drove me nuts as I had no idea why this was the case. Much too late I realised that I entered a wrong focal length for my guide scope: 2050 mm instead of 205 mm! :doh: So this is the explanation why the stars in above image are a bit prolonged.

Best regards, Dietmar.
fmeireso
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:46 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by fmeireso »

Congrats on the new mount, Dietmar. EQ6 pro should be a great mount and quite an update from a EQ5.

I think the image is great.Great detail in the nebulae and nice colors.
The only thing i don't understand is the small blue line running a bit diagonal. I wonder were that comes from...

CS
Freddy
Stefan B
Posts: 430
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:59 pm

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by Stefan B »

Hi Dietmar,

congrats on the new mount! The EQ6R is a robust companion in my experience with good tracking/guiding out of the box without the need to 'hypertune' it.
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm Without GOTO I sometimes spent 1 or 1 1/2 hours just for searching the objects (which I most times can’t see in finder scope nor with main scope). Guiding was some kind of game of luck, sometime it worked, other times not.
I can so relate to that!!! Before the EQ6 I used a EQ3-2. In my eyes it's a great mount in its own right but it has it's limitations. First, the 6'' newt was a bit big and it has no goto. For some sessions I had 300 (!) 10 sec test shots for finding the object (I used a red dot finder for pointing...) and framing it (centering and rotation). You get to know the sky and your scope by that but ... boy ... that was frustrating at times ... fainter objects are out of the game anyway without goto. So again, I feel your pain! ;)
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm One night I used the hair dryer of my wife (I don’t need one any more :lol: )
Well, unfortunately I can also relate to this ...

Anyway, first of all: Awesome image! It's a great first light (yes, a mount can have its first light in my world ;) ). It shows that you mastered the switch really well! I like the overall nebulosity, colors appear fine and subtle, details are well visible. You even got hints of the shock front of one of the Herbig Haro objects. That's probably even more evident in the non compressed image.
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm This object shows so much dynamic range! I increased Detector Gamma and Shadow Linearity quite a bit (normally I don’t use them) and I tried about 25 different ROIs I think. But in the end think it was worth the time and I met the reference images and managed to assign most of the dynamic range in a reasonable way.
I'd have guessed you wouldn't even need a ROI since the image contains so much nebulosity. Did you try that? I often get away with that when using the IFD slider in combination so the noisy parts of the image get ignored und not stretched.
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm I omitted Contrast but I used HDR to bring out the small(er) structures mostly using the default settings.
Certainly fine! On the other hand, I often have the impression that contrast does a good job balancing the brightness of particular regions of the image, especially when using the 'expose dark areas' option (which is activated by default).
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm The two bright stars show large halos, caused by the above mentioned dew forming on the secondary.
Not so sure about that. Both star are notorious for halos. I usually never have issues with halos using my l-eNhance (which you are using, too, right?) but they were very prominent in my image of the same object (https://www.astrobin.com/wdomyh/). So maybe we just have to live with them. Or invest 500 EUR for some of the new duo NB filters from Antlia or PlayerOne which are said to have no halo problem.
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm Because I don’t like giant green star halos, I decided to choose [H(H+O)O Duoband 100R,50R+25G+25B,50G+50B] for colour rendering. I think, this looks quite nice, not too much apart from some SHO images I saw. I guess this is because there is probably not much S glowing in there. I reduced H/red in order to dial in a nice balance between H and O to show the distribution and weighting of the two gases.
I think you did a great job in terms of colors and gas balance.
decay wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:31 pm I used a precooked Astroberry image [...] Sometimes I had problems with focus position and so on top I decided to build an auto focuser DIY
I wouldn't have dared to change so many things at once. But very cool you succeeded!

Looking forward to you upcoming images!

Regards
Stefan
decay
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Germany, NRW

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by decay »

Thank you, Freddy :) Oh yes, you too gave advice, I think a vote for an iOptron mount (like Jochen did). I'm sure these mounts are of high quality, but of course, they are more expensive, too. My budget for astronomy is limited ;-)
fmeireso wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 6:17 am The only thing i don't understand is the small blue line running a bit diagonal. I wonder were that comes from...
I asked myself the same question. At first I thought, this would be trails of Mr. Musks Starnet ... ahemm ... Starlink I mean ;-) ... satellites. But the line has the same direction as the diffraction spikes and so I guess it's some kind of light shining from one side into the tube. :think: I will keep an eye on it.

Best regards, Dietmar.
decay
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Germany, NRW

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by decay »

Stefan B wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:02 am So again, I feel your pain! ;)
Thank you, Stefan, I'm feeling very much better now ;-) The first GOTO slew triggered an awesome feeling - like a little child on christmas. :lol: And plate solving with EKOS works like a charm. Even the little Raspberry Pi only needs a few seconds. But you're right - something is missing now. My daughter told me to go on searching objects the old way. Just to keep this skill alive ;)
Stefan B wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:02 am You even got hints of the shock front of one of the Herbig Haro objects.
I did not know about Herbig and Haro objects. Thanks! I read the Wikipedia article and the comments at your fine AstroBin image. Very interesting. I knew about dust bubbles around forming young stars, but not about these jets.
Stefan B wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:02 am I'd have guessed you wouldn't even need a ROI since the image contains so much nebulosity. Did you try that?
Yes I did and it was quite OK, but I had problems to find a reasonable stretch for the brighter parts. Maybe together with using the Contrast module? I'm not very experienced using the Contrast module; most times it's just trial and error for me :( Will have to practice!
Stefan B wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:02 am Not so sure about that. Both star are notorious for halos. I usually never have issues with halos using my l-eNhance (which you are using, too, right?) but they were very prominent in my image of the same object
Yes, I used the l-eNhance filter. (I forgot to post the technical details.) But I'm quite sure, that it most of these halos are a result of the dew. I can see how the halos are getting stronger and stronger from one sub to the next:
2023-09-19 20_24_37-Window.jpg
2023-09-19 20_24_37-Window.jpg (37.48 KiB) Viewed 12654 times
Best regards, Dietmar.
fmeireso
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:46 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by fmeireso »

decay wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 6:29 pm

Thank you, Stefan, I'm feeling very much better now ;-) The first GOTO slew triggered an awesome feeling - like a little child on christmas. :lol: And plate solving with EKOS works like a charm. Even the little Raspberry Pi only needs a few seconds. But you're right - something is missing now. My daughter told me to go on searching objects the old way. Just to keep this skill alive ;)


Best regards, Dietmar.
Yes, it is amazing is'nt if that stuff all works...i get thesame feeling. I am always overwhelmed when ASTAP solves now my image in 2-4 sec and that on an old over 10 years old laptop... :mrgreen:

Also my capturing program APT does a great job. the more i used it the more i like it. Now with the new astrocam it works even better then with my DSLR...

the only thing i make sure off that my capturing laptops are NOT connected to the internet...i don't want Win updates spoiling all the fun...which soetimes you can read about on CN... ;)
Mike in Rancho
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by Mike in Rancho »

Very nice, Dietmar! :thumbsup:

The H(H+O)O is often very nice and seems to visually help reveal more detail than the tired old salmon-and-teal HOO.

Am I seeing a little star egginess here and there? I believe I saw something similar in Stefan's otherwise crisp Perseus Double Cluster. Could be tilt, backspacing, who knows, so many possibilities.

As for the extra blue streak: Elementary, my friends. Notice that it is aligned with all the stars' diffraction spikes. So, what might be uber-bright but off-screen, such that you could draw a straight line to and match the streak? I'll put a dollar on mag 1.25 Deneb. What do you guys think?

I've seen this happen before, but I'm not real clear on the mechanism. How can the spider diffract a star that isn't coming down the tube to the sensor? Off-axis/angled photons? :confusion-shrug:
decay
Posts: 448
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Location: Germany, NRW

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by decay »

fmeireso wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:32 am Also my capturing program APT does a great job.
Yeah, I too really like it and I used it up to now, Freddy. Great piece of software, but unfortunately it is Windows only. :(
fmeireso wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:32 am the only thing i make sure off that my capturing laptops are NOT connected to the internet...i don't want Win updates spoiling all the fun
These forced updates since the forever last version 10 of Windows (haha!) are a pain the neck! You would have to upgrade to Ultimate, Professional or whatever to get rid of them :(
decay
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Germany, NRW

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by decay »

Mike in Rancho wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 4:53 pm Am I seeing a little star egginess here and there?
Yes, Mike, I guess most of it is due to my problems with a small (self-inflicted) oscillation on Ra axis (I mentioned it at the end of my (very extensive :D ) post).
Mike in Rancho wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 4:53 pm I'll put a dollar on mag 1.25 Deneb. What do you guys think?
I already thought about the same and looked it up in Stellarium. But I thought this star would be much too far away?! :think: Even Alnitak in my horsey does not show such enormous spikes. So this is why I thought it could be a nearby light shining into the tube/spider from the side. Hm. I would love to hear more opinions on this :)
fmeireso
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:46 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: IC 5070 Pelican Nebula HOO (first light EQ6)

Post by fmeireso »

decay wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 6:00 pm
fmeireso wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:32 am Also my capturing program APT does a great job.
Yeah, I too really like it and I used it up to now, Freddy. Great piece of software, but unfortunately it is Windows only. :(
fmeireso wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:32 am the only thing i make sure off that my capturing laptops are NOT connected to the internet...i don't want Win updates spoiling all the fun
These forced updates since the forever last version 10 of Windows (haha!) are a pain the neck! You would have to upgrade to Ultimate, Professional or whatever to get rid of them :(
No you don't

Easy solution. In any browser set it to 'proxy server' ip address 127,0,0,1. that is the local host. No internet. Nothing goes out, nothing goes in (so no malware either). and off course no updates...what a relief.... :D

should you want to update, it is an easy change...when it is convenient for you.
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