- PixInsight - seems to work better then on the Mac, but I still believe it’s WAY too advanced for me. The instructions at http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/86150-pixinsight-calibration-and-stacking-help/ help to walk through the process, but I have no idea what it’s doing...
- DeepSkyStacker - this seems to have a good feature set
- Nebulosity - even on Windows I can’t figure out how to use it. With the next set of pictures I’ll try http://www.stark-labs.com/help/nebulositytutorials/files/Processing_HowTo.pdf
- MaxIm DL (which requires the Ascom Celestron Drivers and the Ascom Platform) - http://www.cyanogen.com/help/maximdl/MaxIm-DL.htm
- ImagePlus - http://www.mlunsold.com/ILProcessing.html
Unfortunately, all photos that I took so far don’t result in anything :-(
I couldn’t find a set of photos (lights, darks...) anywhere. So, I have to try to take another set tonight.
Installed the camera mount on the Celestron - in the process, I had to take off the sky finder - which means I’ll have to completely readjust it. Too bad, that the finder does not work at all during day time - I have to wait until it’s dark to do that.
But I found a very good step by step explanation of lights, darks, flats... and also how (especially in which order) to acquire them: http://www.saratogaskies.com/articles/cookbook/. That what I will try tonight.
Another set of instructions is http://astro.welsh-house.net/tutorial.html#c.
Just realized that with the camera now on top, I can tilt the telescope all the way upwards.
- Took my flat pictures (max ISO, ¼ sec) - 12. Didn’t focus infinitity - hopefully that doesn’t won’t screw these up. img0012 - img0025
- Re-calibration of the sky finder didn’t take too much time. But it feels as if the camera mount made this whole thing a little wabbly :-(
- Wow! Didn’t realize how much of an effect it has when I just set my focus to the “infinity end”. Turns out that there is indeed a focus length of “beyond infinity”. Correcting it (through the monitor of the camera - not the live view!) made a HUGE difference!
- Had to wait until 12:20 or so until all our backyard lights are out - need to set this to midnight
- Read over the instructions for flats - turns out I did it all wrong. Well,if I wake up tomorrow morning at dawn (unlikely!) then I’ll shoot some then, otherwise I’ll just do with the lights and the darks.
- 1st set (ISO 6400 - shutter speed 30s): lights: img0039 - img0066, darks: img0067 - img0075
- Second set of lights (ISO 1600): img0076 - img00, darks: img00 - img00
- Shit! The ISO 1600 pictures have quite the trails with 30 seconds. I checked the 6400 again - nothing (or maybe a little). I can’t believe that the lower ISO makes the trails come out more... Anyway, have to shoot the 1600 again with a slower shutter speed - 10 seconds seems to work well. Will take 9 instead of 3 sets now (to compensate for the shutter speed of a third).
- 2nd set (ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s): lights: img0104 - img0184, darks: img0185 - img0193 (almost forgot to take the darks!)
- 3rd set (ISO 400 - shutter speed 10s): lights img0195 - img0276, darks:img0277 - img0285
(ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s): lights: img0295 - img0330, darks: img0286 - img0294
These pictures were almost half covered by the big redwood tree - not sure if and how stacking and dark calibration will work.
- OK, one more: IC 1396
With the big lens (300mm)
ISO 1600 - shutter speed 10s
lights: img0331 - img0412, darks: img0413 - img0421
And that’s it. Almost 3am !!!