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Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237

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  • Ivor Barker
    Hi Kevin, What F/R were you using? 3.3? I think your flats could do with longer exposure times, it appears that you have a bright spot in the center. I have
    Message 1 of 28 , Dec 3, 2000
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      Hi Kevin,

      What F/R were you using? 3.3?
      I think your flats could do with longer exposure times, it appears that you have a bright spot in the center.
      I have uploaded one of my flats, see what  you think.

      --
      Ivor
      At 12:50 AM 12/4/2000 +0000, you wrote:
      Good evening:

      I have uploaded jpeg images of my flat fields for anyone who would
      like to examine/comment on them.

      Clear skies,
      Kevin
      ksbtk@...



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      --
       Ivor Barker
      10" LX 200
      ST-237
      37 08 24 N
      121 36 25 W
      Please take a look at my Messier Project (updated daily - almost)
    • Ivor Barker
      Hi Kevin, Looks like you need a bit more exposure, also the center seems too light, I have just uploaded a f/3.75 flat. Cheers !! --Ivor ... -- Ivor Barker 10
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 3, 2000
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        Hi Kevin,

        Looks like you need a bit more exposure, also the center seems too light, I have just uploaded a f/3.75 flat.

        Cheers !!
        --Ivor
        At 12:50 AM 12/4/2000 +0000, you wrote:
        Good evening:

        I have uploaded jpeg images of my flat fields for anyone who would
        like to examine/comment on them.

        Clear skies,
        Kevin
        ksbtk@...



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        --
         Ivor Barker
        10" LX 200
        ST-237
        37 08 24 N
        121 36 25 W
        Please take a look at my Messier Project (updated daily - almost)
      • Kevin Dixon
        Good afternoon Ron: Thanks for your response. With your indulgence, I have a few more questions. ... Was this taken with the ST-237 in Fastar mode? The
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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          Good afternoon Ron:

          Thanks for your response. With your indulgence, I have a few more
          questions.

          >Here's a look at
          > one of my ST-237 flat fields:

          Was this taken with the ST-237 in Fastar mode? The reason I ask is
          because Fred Herman told me to put the dew shield on the C8 and set
          the lite box on top of the dew shield. That generated the images
          that I downloaded yesterday.

          For the heck of it, I also set the lite box directly on the ST-237
          while in Fastar mode. I'll download that image if you could please
          take a look at it. I'll put it in the same folder in the files. It
          is drastically different from the images when using the dew shield.

          BTW, I have seen the pattern of lines that are in the flat fields in
          some of the raw images I have taken with the ST-237 in fastar mode.

          Am I correct in assuming that the proof is in the pudding <g>? In
          other words, if I subtract the flat fields from the raw images and
          they look okay, does that mean the flats are acceptable?

          Please see one additional question below.

          > --> Yes. But they can vary within the norms for a flat field, as
          you can
          > (and should) take steps to normalize your background levels in the
          RGB
          > images before you combine them anyone. Typically, you simply
          subtract from
          > the background to get them all in the same range (I use 50 units
          for the
          > background with the ST-7/8; I might drop that to 25 for the ST-237).

          You lost me here, due to my lack of understanding of calibration
          fundamentals. Can you elaborate on normalizing background levels and
          how this is done. Do you mean to conduct the calibration and
          determine if the background levels are similar? What do you do if
          they are not? Do you simply subtract again? This is complex stuff
          but I sincerely appreciate your help with it. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE
          BOOK!

          Clear skies,
          Kevin
          ksbtk@...
        • Ron Wodaski
          Yes: the bottom line is in how effective the flat field is. No matter how weird it looks, if you get an even average background value, you have a good flat
          Message 4 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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            Yes: the bottom line is in how effective the flat field is. No matter how
            weird it looks, if you get an even average background value, you have a good
            flat field. It took me about a year to really nail it down. And I'm still
            fighting with certain aspects of getting an even field. <g>

            Ron Wodaski
            The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



            -----Original Message-----
            From: Kevin Dixon [mailto:ksbtk@...]
            Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 12:40 PM
            To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
            Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


            Good afternoon Ron:

            Thanks for your response. With your indulgence, I have a few more
            questions.

            >Here's a look at
            > one of my ST-237 flat fields:

            Was this taken with the ST-237 in Fastar mode? The reason I ask is
            because Fred Herman told me to put the dew shield on the C8 and set
            the lite box on top of the dew shield. That generated the images
            that I downloaded yesterday.

            For the heck of it, I also set the lite box directly on the ST-237
            while in Fastar mode. I'll download that image if you could please
            take a look at it. I'll put it in the same folder in the files. It
            is drastically different from the images when using the dew shield.

            BTW, I have seen the pattern of lines that are in the flat fields in
            some of the raw images I have taken with the ST-237 in fastar mode.

            Am I correct in assuming that the proof is in the pudding <g>? In
            other words, if I subtract the flat fields from the raw images and
            they look okay, does that mean the flats are acceptable?

            Please see one additional question below.

            > --> Yes. But they can vary within the norms for a flat field, as
            you can
            > (and should) take steps to normalize your background levels in the
            RGB
            > images before you combine them anyone. Typically, you simply
            subtract from
            > the background to get them all in the same range (I use 50 units
            for the
            > background with the ST-7/8; I might drop that to 25 for the ST-237).

            You lost me here, due to my lack of understanding of calibration
            fundamentals. Can you elaborate on normalizing background levels and
            how this is done. Do you mean to conduct the calibration and
            determine if the background levels are similar? What do you do if
            they are not? Do you simply subtract again? This is complex stuff
            but I sincerely appreciate your help with it. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE
            BOOK!

            Clear skies,
            Kevin
            ksbtk@...





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          • Kevin Dixon
            Hi Ivor: I was using the ST-237 in fastar mode so I was at a focal ratio of 1.95. Keep in mind this means that the camera is on the front end of my SCT, where
            Message 5 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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              Hi Ivor:

              I was using the ST-237 in fastar mode so I was at a focal ratio of
              1.95. Keep in mind this means that the camera is on the front end of
              my SCT, where the secondary mirror normally is. This presents a bit
              of a unique situation in regards to creating flat fields with the
              litebox.

              > I think your flats could do with longer exposure times, it appears
              that you have a bright spot in the center.

              When I went to longer exposure times, I exceeded the 2000 unit
              guideline that Ron recommended.

              > I have uploaded one of my flats, see what you think.

              If I get a chance tonite, I will set my SCT up in a similar mode as
              you and see how the flat fields compare.

              Thanks for you help with this.

              Clear skies,
              Kevin
              ksbtk@...
            • Ron Wodaski
              Another point about flat fields: if you are using a chip with antiblooming (this includes the 237), then it is even more important to stay below the 50%
              Message 6 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                Another point about flat fields: if you are using a chip with antiblooming
                (this includes the 237), then it is even more important to stay below the
                50% threshold. ABG chips are non-linear past the 50% point, and a flat
                field, to properly equalize your image, must have linear data. That is, a
                point that is 10% brighter in reality MUST be 10% brighter in the flat
                field. If the flat field is too bright, this relationship will be lost, and
                the flat field will be ineffective.

                Fortunately, the ST-237 does not have aggressive ABG settings; the chip does
                remain linear a bit above the 50% line. This was probably done in the design
                because of the 12-bit data stream -- 50% of 4096 was seen as too low. With
                65,000 values, 50% is seen as safer (better control of blooming with a lower
                changeover point).

                Ron Wodaski
                The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                -----Original Message-----
                From: Kevin Dixon [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 1:27 PM
                To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                Hi Ivor:

                I was using the ST-237 in fastar mode so I was at a focal ratio of
                1.95. Keep in mind this means that the camera is on the front end of
                my SCT, where the secondary mirror normally is. This presents a bit
                of a unique situation in regards to creating flat fields with the
                litebox.

                > I think your flats could do with longer exposure times, it appears
                that you have a bright spot in the center.

                When I went to longer exposure times, I exceeded the 2000 unit
                guideline that Ron recommended.

                > I have uploaded one of my flats, see what you think.

                If I get a chance tonite, I will set my SCT up in a similar mode as
                you and see how the flat fields compare.

                Thanks for you help with this.

                Clear skies,
                Kevin
                ksbtk@...





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              • KSBTK@HOME
                Ron: If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                Message 7 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                  Ron:

                  If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat
                  fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                  effective? I'll wait to hear from you before downloading. Thanks.

                  Clear skies,
                  Kevin
                  ksbtk@...

                  From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                  > Yes: the bottom line is in how effective the flat field is. No matter how
                  > weird it looks, if you get an even average background value, you have a
                  good
                  > flat field. It took me about a year to really nail it down. And I'm still
                  > fighting with certain aspects of getting an even field. <g>
                • KSBTK@HOME
                  Ron: Understood - I ll try several experiments this week including using the ST-237 through the C8 D and then imaging a sparse open cluster. Any suggestions
                  Message 8 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                    Ron:

                    Understood - I'll try several experiments this week including using the
                    ST-237 through the C8 D and then imaging a sparse open cluster. Any
                    suggestions as to a good cluster of this type for this time of year?

                    Also, did you creat flat fields with the ST-237 while in fastar mode? I'd
                    be interested to see what they look like.

                    I will download the images into the feedback file folder. I will include
                    images of the horsehead as well in case this would be more useful than the
                    M51 image. They should be available soon. Again, many thanks for all your
                    help.

                    Clear skies,
                    Kevin
                    ksbtk@...

                    From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>


                    > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                    > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                    > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                    > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                    > setup.
                    >
                    > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                    > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                    > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.
                  • KSBTK@HOME
                    Ron: I have just finished uploading 10 files into the Feedback folder in a folder entitled ST237 images, dark and flat fields. These include single RGB
                    Message 9 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                      Ron:

                      I have just finished uploading 10 files into the Feedback folder in a folder
                      entitled "ST237 images, dark and flat fields. These include single RGB
                      images of the horsehead, M51, a dark frame and the RGB flat fields.

                      It'll be most interesting to see what your evaluation yields.

                      BTW, any other comments about the raw images are most welcomed.

                      Again, infinite thanks.

                      Clear skies,
                      Kevin
                      ksbtk@...

                      From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                      > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                      > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                      > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                      > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                      > setup.
                      >
                      > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                      > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                      > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.
                    • Ron Wodaski
                      Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light pollution
                      Message 10 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                        Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                        is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                        pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                        field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                        setup.

                        So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                        can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                        field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.

                        Ron Wodaski
                        The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                        Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 2:15 PM
                        To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                        Ron:

                        If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat
                        fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                        effective? I'll wait to hear from you before downloading. Thanks.

                        Clear skies,
                        Kevin
                        ksbtk@...

                        From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                        > Yes: the bottom line is in how effective the flat field is. No matter how
                        > weird it looks, if you get an even average background value, you have a
                        good
                        > flat field. It took me about a year to really nail it down. And I'm still
                        > fighting with certain aspects of getting an even field. <g>





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                        ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      • Ron Wodaski
                        There is a Fastar flat field sample on this page, about half way down: http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/review_fastar.htm I recently took images of M34 and M38;
                        Message 11 of 28 , Dec 4, 2000
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                          There is a Fastar flat field sample on this page, about half way down:

                          http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/review_fastar.htm

                          I recently took images of M34 and M38; both are relatively open. M34 is the
                          more sparse. But just about any random star field outside of the Milky Way
                          will do the job. if it is near the zenith and in the darkest portion of your
                          sky, even better; fewer light pollution issues to deal with.

                          Ron Wodaski
                          The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                          Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 2:59 PM
                          To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                          Ron:

                          Understood - I'll try several experiments this week including using the
                          ST-237 through the C8 D and then imaging a sparse open cluster. Any
                          suggestions as to a good cluster of this type for this time of year?

                          Also, did you creat flat fields with the ST-237 while in fastar mode? I'd
                          be interested to see what they look like.

                          I will download the images into the feedback file folder. I will include
                          images of the horsehead as well in case this would be more useful than the
                          M51 image. They should be available soon. Again, many thanks for all your
                          help.

                          Clear skies,
                          Kevin
                          ksbtk@...

                          From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>


                          > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                          > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                          > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                          > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                          > setup.
                          >
                          > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                          > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                          > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.





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                        • Ivor Barker
                          Yes Kevin, let me know it will be interesting to see what the comparison is. I have just arrived in Las Vegas, so my emails may be a bit erratic until
                          Message 12 of 28 , Dec 5, 2000
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                            Yes Kevin, let me know it will be interesting to see what the comparison is.

                            I have just arrived in Las Vegas, so my emails may be a bit erratic until Thursday.

                            Cheers !!
                            --Ivor
                            --
                             Ivor Barker
                            10" LX 200
                            ST-237
                            37 08 24 N
                            121 36 25 W
                            http://www.employees.org/~ibarker/Astronomy
                            Please take a look at my Messier Project (updated daily - almost)
                            http://www.employees.org/~ibarker/Astronomy/Messier.html


                            At 09:27 PM 12/4/2000 +0000, you wrote:
                            Hi Ivor:

                            I was using the ST-237 in fastar mode so I was at a focal ratio of
                            1.95.  Keep in mind this means that the camera is on the front end of
                            my SCT, where the secondary mirror normally is.  This presents a bit
                            of a unique situation in regards to creating flat fields with the
                            litebox.

                            > I think your flats could do with longer exposure times, it appears
                            that you have a bright spot in the center.

                            When I went to longer exposure times, I exceeded the 2000 unit
                            guideline that Ron recommended.

                            > I have uploaded one of my flats, see what  you think.

                            If I get a chance tonite, I will set my SCT up in a similar mode as
                            you and see how the flat fields compare.

                            Thanks for you help with this.

                            Clear skies,
                            Kevin
                            ksbtk@...




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                          • KSBTK@HOME
                            Good evening Ron: Have you gotten an opportunity to work with the images that I uploaded yet? I played around with them a bit and I think the flats are going
                            Message 13 of 28 , Dec 5, 2000
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                              Good evening Ron:

                              Have you gotten an opportunity to work with the images that I uploaded yet?
                              I played around with them a bit and I think the flats are going to work
                              correctly. Of course, this is a "newbie" opinion.

                              I was going to try to image M34 tonite and create more flats but the wind
                              chill factor is about 10 degrees and the wind is gusting up to 30 mph so I
                              don't think the telescope will be very steady. I'll have to try again
                              tomorrow night instead.

                              Looking forward to your comments.

                              Clear skies,
                              Kevin
                              ksbtk@...

                              From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                              > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                              > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                              > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                              > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                              > setup.
                              >
                              > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                              > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                              > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.
                              >
                              > Ron Wodaski
                              > The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                              > Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 2:15 PM
                              > To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237
                              >
                              >
                              > Ron:
                              >
                              > If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat
                              > fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                              > effective? I'll wait to hear from you before downloading. Thanks.
                              >
                              > Clear skies,
                              > Kevin
                              > ksbtk@...
                            • Ron Wodaski
                              Not yet; hopefully this evening. Had some emergency surgery to do on the ATWB site. Ron Wodaski The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com ... From:
                              Message 14 of 28 , Dec 5, 2000
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                                Not yet; hopefully this evening. Had some emergency surgery to do on the
                                ATWB site.

                                Ron Wodaski
                                The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 2:59 PM
                                To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                Good evening Ron:

                                Have you gotten an opportunity to work with the images that I uploaded yet?
                                I played around with them a bit and I think the flats are going to work
                                correctly. Of course, this is a "newbie" opinion.

                                I was going to try to image M34 tonite and create more flats but the wind
                                chill factor is about 10 degrees and the wind is gusting up to 30 mph so I
                                don't think the telescope will be very steady. I'll have to try again
                                tomorrow night instead.

                                Looking forward to your comments.

                                Clear skies,
                                Kevin
                                ksbtk@...

                                From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                                > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                                > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                                > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                                > setup.
                                >
                                > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                                > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                                > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.
                                >
                                > Ron Wodaski
                                > The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                > Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 2:15 PM
                                > To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237
                                >
                                >
                                > Ron:
                                >
                                > If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat
                                > fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                                > effective? I'll wait to hear from you before downloading. Thanks.
                                >
                                > Clear skies,
                                > Kevin
                                > ksbtk@...





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                              • Ron Wodaski
                                I m downloading your images now; will have critique later today. I ve been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing that is a prototype
                                Message 15 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
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                                  I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.

                                  I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                  that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                  Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.

                                  Ron Wodaski
                                  The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                  Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 2:59 PM
                                  To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                  Good evening Ron:

                                  Have you gotten an opportunity to work with the images that I uploaded yet?
                                  I played around with them a bit and I think the flats are going to work
                                  correctly. Of course, this is a "newbie" opinion.

                                  I was going to try to image M34 tonite and create more flats but the wind
                                  chill factor is about 10 degrees and the wind is gusting up to 30 mph so I
                                  don't think the telescope will be very steady. I'll have to try again
                                  tomorrow night instead.

                                  Looking forward to your comments.

                                  Clear skies,
                                  Kevin
                                  ksbtk@...

                                  From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                  > Sure. But what you are looking for is the lack of a radial gradient (that
                                  > is, the central bright spot). You may still have a linear gradient (light
                                  > pollution induced, usually, and brighter on one side or the other); a flat
                                  > field doesn't fix that, just the brightness variations in your optical
                                  > setup.
                                  >
                                  > So if you have a bright, extended object in the center of the frame, you
                                  > can't really evaluate a flat field with that. An image of a random star
                                  > field is far better, or an image of sparse open cluster.
                                  >
                                  > Ron Wodaski
                                  > The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                  > Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 2:15 PM
                                  > To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Ron:
                                  >
                                  > If I were to download an image of M51 and the corresponding dark and flat
                                  > fields, could you play with them to see if you think the flat field is
                                  > effective? I'll wait to hear from you before downloading. Thanks.
                                  >
                                  > Clear skies,
                                  > Kevin
                                  > ksbtk@...





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                                • KSBTK@HOME
                                  Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it. I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do you expect this to improve the tracking
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
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                                    Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it.

                                    I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do you
                                    expect this to improve the tracking capability of the mount, particularly
                                    with respect to CCD imaging? What scope are you using with the mount? The
                                    FSQ-106 by chance?

                                    Clear skies,
                                    Kevin
                                    ksbtk@...

                                    From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                    > I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.
                                    >
                                    > I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                    > that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                    > Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.
                                  • Ron Wodaski
                                    The goto version uses server motors, not the Hurst steppers that have been problematic for some. I tested last night for visual only -- no real polar
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      The goto version uses server motors, not the Hurst steppers that have been
                                      problematic for some. I tested last night for visual only -- no real polar
                                      alignment, just sighted Polaris through the borehole. I got really good
                                      pointing accuracy, could have put objects on an ST-7E chip in the FSQ-106.

                                      I had the FSQ-106 on it, with the Megrez piggy-backed to add some weight to
                                      really test it out. I will image with it on the next clear night. So far, my
                                      experiences have been pretty positive.

                                      Ron Wodaski
                                      The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                      Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 3:00 PM
                                      To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                      Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it.

                                      I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do you
                                      expect this to improve the tracking capability of the mount, particularly
                                      with respect to CCD imaging? What scope are you using with the mount? The
                                      FSQ-106 by chance?

                                      Clear skies,
                                      Kevin
                                      ksbtk@...

                                      From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                      > I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.
                                      >
                                      > I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                      > that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                      > Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.





                                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                      ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                    • Ron Wodaski
                                      Make that servo motors. Ron Wodaski The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com ... From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@nwlink.com] Sent: Thursday,
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
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                                        Make that "servo" motors. <g>

                                        Ron Wodaski
                                        The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Ron Wodaski [mailto:ronw@...]
                                        Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 3:27 PM
                                        To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                        The goto version uses server motors, not the Hurst steppers that have been
                                        problematic for some. I tested last night for visual only -- no real polar
                                        alignment, just sighted Polaris through the borehole. I got really good
                                        pointing accuracy, could have put objects on an ST-7E chip in the FSQ-106.

                                        I had the FSQ-106 on it, with the Megrez piggy-backed to add some weight to
                                        really test it out. I will image with it on the next clear night. So far, my
                                        experiences have been pretty positive.

                                        Ron Wodaski
                                        The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                        Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 3:00 PM
                                        To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                        Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it.

                                        I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do you
                                        expect this to improve the tracking capability of the mount, particularly
                                        with respect to CCD imaging? What scope are you using with the mount? The
                                        FSQ-106 by chance?

                                        Clear skies,
                                        Kevin
                                        ksbtk@...

                                        From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                        > I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.
                                        >
                                        > I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                        > that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                        > Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.





                                        To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                        ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com






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                                        ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                      • KSBTK@HOME
                                        Ron - if I may be so bold - when you do image with the FSQ-106, could you please acquire some images with the ST-237. This is a combination that I may add to
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Ron - if I may be so bold - when you do image with the FSQ-106, could you
                                          please acquire some images with the ST-237. This is a combination that I
                                          may add to my wish list, pending your review.

                                          Clear skies,
                                          Kevin
                                          ksbtk@...

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>
                                          To: <ccd-newastro@egroups.com>
                                          Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 6:27 PM
                                          Subject: RE: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                          > The goto version uses server motors, not the Hurst steppers that have been
                                          > problematic for some. I tested last night for visual only -- no real polar
                                          > alignment, just sighted Polaris through the borehole. I got really good
                                          > pointing accuracy, could have put objects on an ST-7E chip in the FSQ-106.
                                          >
                                          > I had the FSQ-106 on it, with the Megrez piggy-backed to add some weight
                                          to
                                          > really test it out. I will image with it on the next clear night. So far,
                                          my
                                          > experiences have been pretty positive.
                                          >
                                          > Ron Wodaski
                                          > The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                          > Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 3:00 PM
                                          > To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                          > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it.
                                          >
                                          > I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do
                                          you
                                          > expect this to improve the tracking capability of the mount, particularly
                                          > with respect to CCD imaging? What scope are you using with the mount?
                                          The
                                          > FSQ-106 by chance?
                                          >
                                          > Clear skies,
                                          > Kevin
                                          > ksbtk@...
                                          >
                                          > From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>
                                          >
                                          > > I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.
                                          > >
                                          > > I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                          > > that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                          > > Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                          > ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                          > ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Ron Wodaski
                                          Oops -- looks like I ve already given it a try. However, the only thing I attempted was in image of Jupiter using the Extender Q:
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Dec 7, 2000
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Oops -- looks like I've already given it a try. <g> However, the only thing
                                            I attempted was in image of Jupiter using the Extender Q:

                                            http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/images/ST_237/Jupiter_st237_fsq_eq.jpg

                                            Not bad, but that's all I have so far. Based on experience with various
                                            cameras and scopes and mounts, it's a good combination if you get a mount
                                            good enough to give you 2 minutes unguided exposures at f/5. Say a G-11 goto
                                            if they pan out... <g>


                                            Ron Wodaski
                                            The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                            Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 4:35 PM
                                            To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                            Ron - if I may be so bold - when you do image with the FSQ-106, could you
                                            please acquire some images with the ST-237. This is a combination that I
                                            may add to my wish list, pending your review.

                                            Clear skies,
                                            Kevin
                                            ksbtk@...

                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>
                                            To: <ccd-newastro@egroups.com>
                                            Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 6:27 PM
                                            Subject: RE: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                            > The goto version uses server motors, not the Hurst steppers that have been
                                            > problematic for some. I tested last night for visual only -- no real polar
                                            > alignment, just sighted Polaris through the borehole. I got really good
                                            > pointing accuracy, could have put objects on an ST-7E chip in the FSQ-106.
                                            >
                                            > I had the FSQ-106 on it, with the Megrez piggy-backed to add some weight
                                            to
                                            > really test it out. I will image with it on the next clear night. So far,
                                            my
                                            > experiences have been pretty positive.
                                            >
                                            > Ron Wodaski
                                            > The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                            > Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 3:00 PM
                                            > To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                            > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Thanks Ron - I sincerely appreciate it.
                                            >
                                            > I am extremely interested in your evaluation of the G-11 with goto. Do
                                            you
                                            > expect this to improve the tracking capability of the mount, particularly
                                            > with respect to CCD imaging? What scope are you using with the mount?
                                            The
                                            > FSQ-106 by chance?
                                            >
                                            > Clear skies,
                                            > Kevin
                                            > ksbtk@...
                                            >
                                            > From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>
                                            >
                                            > > I'm downloading your images now; will have critique later today.
                                            > >
                                            > > I've been unexpectedly occupied; I had a mount arrive for review/testing
                                            > > that is a prototype that a lot of folks will be interested in (G-11 with
                                            > > Gemini goto). So far, have only used it in visual testing scenarios.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                            > ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                            > ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >




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                                            ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                          • KSBTK@HOME
                                            Good Morning Ron: Did you get an opportunity to evaluate the images? Sorry to pester you about this but I don t want to do any further imaging until I feel as
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Dec 8, 2000
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Good Morning Ron:

                                              Did you get an opportunity to evaluate the images? Sorry to pester you
                                              about this but I don't want to do any further imaging until I feel as though
                                              I am genereating useful flat fields. Looking forward to your comments.

                                              Clear skies,
                                              Kevin
                                              ksbtk@...

                                              From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                              > There is a Fastar flat field sample on this page, about half way down:
                                              >
                                              > http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/review_fastar.htm
                                              >
                                              > I recently took images of M34 and M38; both are relatively open. M34 is
                                              the
                                              > more sparse. But just about any random star field outside of the Milky Way
                                              > will do the job. if it is near the zenith and in the darkest portion of
                                              your
                                              > sky, even better; fewer light pollution issues to deal with.
                                            • Ron Wodaski
                                              Yes, I did. The flat fields look to be quite good; certainly, on the Horsehead image, I couldn t find any flaws. However. On the green image of the Horsehead,
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Dec 8, 2000
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Yes, I did. The flat fields look to be quite good; certainly, on the
                                                Horsehead image, I couldn't find any flaws.

                                                However. On the green image of the Horsehead, your dark frame is very
                                                ineffective, leaving many uncorrected hot pixels that show up as green dots
                                                scattered all over the final image. I have no idea why this should be, but
                                                it's a good example of why taking three of each type of image and median
                                                combining helps.

                                                FWIW, rather than apply the various flat fields to their corresponding color
                                                light image, I averaged (median combined in maxim) all three together to get
                                                a clean, less noisy flat frame, and this was very effective.

                                                The red and blue images are nicely corrected by your dark frame, BTW; it's
                                                just the green channel that is weird. I did notice that the actual
                                                temperature for the camera was 0.5 degrees warmer for the green exposure;
                                                that may have something to do with it.

                                                This is not bad at all for a single set of 60-second exposures, but having
                                                10-20 sets of RGB images would really take this to another level. <g> I
                                                strongly urge you to get at least three of each calibration image. You have
                                                hardly any dust bunnies on your optics, so I think you can safely use the
                                                same flat field for your clear/R/G/B images.

                                                I uploaded my color combine, with no Photoshop corrections, just histogram
                                                scaling in Maxim, here:

                                                http://www.egroups.com/files/ccd-newastro/Feedback/ST237+images%2C+dark+and+
                                                flat+fi/HroseRGB.jpg

                                                That's long enough that it will split onto two lines, so you'll need to
                                                reconstruct the URL. <g>

                                                Ron Wodaski
                                                The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                                Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 3:26 AM
                                                To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                                Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                                Good Morning Ron:

                                                Did you get an opportunity to evaluate the images? Sorry to pester you
                                                about this but I don't want to do any further imaging until I feel as though
                                                I am genereating useful flat fields. Looking forward to your comments.

                                                Clear skies,
                                                Kevin
                                                ksbtk@...

                                                From: "Ron Wodaski" <ronw@...>

                                                > There is a Fastar flat field sample on this page, about half way down:
                                                >
                                                > http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/review_fastar.htm
                                                >
                                                > I recently took images of M34 and M38; both are relatively open. M34 is
                                                the
                                                > more sparse. But just about any random star field outside of the Milky Way
                                                > will do the job. if it is near the zenith and in the darkest portion of
                                                your
                                                > sky, even better; fewer light pollution issues to deal with.





                                                To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                                ccd-newastro-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                              • KSBTK@HOME
                                                Good evening Ron: Thanks for examining the flat fields/images for me. Based upon your evaluation, I will continue to generate the flats as I di when in Fastar
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Dec 8, 2000
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Good evening Ron:

                                                  Thanks for examining the flat fields/images for me. Based upon your
                                                  evaluation, I will continue to generate the flats as I di when in Fastar
                                                  mode.

                                                  I have a few questions about your observations, included in the text below.

                                                  ----- Original Message -----

                                                  > However. On the green image of the Horsehead, your dark frame is very
                                                  > ineffective, leaving many uncorrected hot pixels that show up as green
                                                  dots
                                                  > scattered all over the final image. I have no idea why this should be, but
                                                  > it's a good example of why taking three of each type of image and median
                                                  > combining helps.

                                                  Based on an earlier recommendation from you, I routinely take 5 dark frames
                                                  for each exposure length that I am using. I simply sent one so as not to
                                                  overburden you with the favor that I had asked.

                                                  Question - for "ultimate" calibration, how many dark frames and flat fileds
                                                  do you recommend?

                                                  > FWIW, rather than apply the various flat fields to their corresponding
                                                  color
                                                  > light image, I averaged (median combined in maxim) all three together to
                                                  get
                                                  > a clean, less noisy flat frame, and this was very effective.

                                                  Question - is this how you recommend the flat fileds be utilized or is it
                                                  better to use each for each color?

                                                  > The red and blue images are nicely corrected by your dark frame, BTW; it's
                                                  > just the green channel that is weird. I did notice that the actual
                                                  > temperature for the camera was 0.5 degrees warmer for the green exposure;
                                                  > that may have something to do with it.
                                                  >
                                                  > This is not bad at all for a single set of 60-second exposures, but having
                                                  > 10-20 sets of RGB images would really take this to another level. <g> I
                                                  > strongly urge you to get at least three of each calibration image. You
                                                  have
                                                  > hardly any dust bunnies on your optics, so I think you can safely use the
                                                  > same flat field for your clear/R/G/B images.

                                                  I actually collected 25 each of RGB. I need to collect additional clear
                                                  images.

                                                  Question - When I combine these, should I do them in groups of 5 (or some
                                                  similar number)?

                                                  Again, thanks Ron!!!!!

                                                  Clear skies,
                                                  Kevin
                                                  ksbtk@...
                                                • Ron Wodaski
                                                  For the hubble, I believe that use something on the order of 50 or so frames before averaging. Feel free to use as many as you like. You need at least
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Dec 8, 2000
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    For the hubble, I believe that use something on the order of 50 or so frames
                                                    before averaging. Feel free to use as many as you like. <g> You need at
                                                    least three to do a median combine. 4, 5 etc. are better because they reduce
                                                    noise. But each additional image has less impact than the one before it, and
                                                    you rapidly get diminishing returns. The most I use is around 8, sometimes
                                                    12 for flats if there are some variations due to lighting conditions.
                                                    Generally speaking, I'm often pleased with 3, and will do up to 5 for
                                                    special occasions or important images.

                                                    It is optimal to take flats for each color. But I couldn't see any visible
                                                    difference in your case because the optics looked really clean. So it
                                                    depends; if you like the results you get with averaged colors, or just the
                                                    clear filter, you can use it. One would have to test to see the difference.
                                                    Another approach would be to carefully balance the average levels in the
                                                    flats, and then subtract one from another to see what's left. That
                                                    difference would tell the story.

                                                    When I am doing a color combine in maxim, I load all of the images into
                                                    Maxim at one time. In some cases, that is 30 or more images. I then
                                                    calibrate all of the images (or, more properly, as I learned today, do a
                                                    data reduction <g>), and then do an alignment using ever single image I've
                                                    collected at one time. I do 95% of my alignments manually because with most
                                                    packages, I can do a better job than the software can. I will do down to .1
                                                    pixel in up/down/left/right, and down to 0.01 pixel on rotations (for long
                                                    sequences, subtle rotation can occur from even the very slightest
                                                    misalignment to the pole). I then save every file adding " cal align" to the
                                                    end of the filename so I can retain my original data.

                                                    Then I combine each channel (LRGB), all of the files for that channel at one
                                                    time. I never do summing these days, just median combine, so I can do as
                                                    many at one time as I like. I get very smooth, low-noise images this way. I
                                                    posted comparison M33 images a while back in the alt.binaries.pictures.astro
                                                    newsgroup that showed how dramatically better median combining is to
                                                    individual images. I've done various summing/median combine comparisons, and
                                                    I can never see any substantive differences, and median combining is very
                                                    much easier to do, and is often better because it is very good at cleaning
                                                    out data extremes such as cosmic ray hits and satellite tracks.

                                                    This yields a single master image for each channel. I subtract a value that
                                                    gives me a 50-count average background using Pixel Math in Maxim, to get all
                                                    of the files so they have the same background level.

                                                    NOTE: If there are significant variations in background level, I will adjust
                                                    background levels of all of the individual images after I calibrate and
                                                    before I align. This greatly assists visualizing the exact degree of
                                                    misalignment; with equal background levels (this is called normalization),
                                                    the stars are also of equal brightness and it is easier to overlap them
                                                    exactly. When you do this, there usually isn't any need to do it again at
                                                    the late stage mentioned above. It appears that one gets better clarity and
                                                    smoothness in images that are normalized for average background value prior
                                                    to a median combine.

                                                    Ron Wodaski
                                                    The New Astronomy Book Site - http://www.newastro.com



                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: KSBTK@HOME [mailto:ksbtk@...]
                                                    Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 3:02 PM
                                                    To: ccd-newastro@egroups.com
                                                    Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Flat fields with the ST-237


                                                    Good evening Ron:

                                                    Thanks for examining the flat fields/images for me. Based upon your
                                                    evaluation, I will continue to generate the flats as I di when in Fastar
                                                    mode.

                                                    I have a few questions about your observations, included in the text below.

                                                    ----- Original Message -----

                                                    > However. On the green image of the Horsehead, your dark frame is very
                                                    > ineffective, leaving many uncorrected hot pixels that show up as green
                                                    dots
                                                    > scattered all over the final image. I have no idea why this should be, but
                                                    > it's a good example of why taking three of each type of image and median
                                                    > combining helps.

                                                    Based on an earlier recommendation from you, I routinely take 5 dark frames
                                                    for each exposure length that I am using. I simply sent one so as not to
                                                    overburden you with the favor that I had asked.

                                                    Question - for "ultimate" calibration, how many dark frames and flat fileds
                                                    do you recommend?

                                                    > FWIW, rather than apply the various flat fields to their corresponding
                                                    color
                                                    > light image, I averaged (median combined in maxim) all three together to
                                                    get
                                                    > a clean, less noisy flat frame, and this was very effective.

                                                    Question - is this how you recommend the flat fileds be utilized or is it
                                                    better to use each for each color?

                                                    > The red and blue images are nicely corrected by your dark frame, BTW; it's
                                                    > just the green channel that is weird. I did notice that the actual
                                                    > temperature for the camera was 0.5 degrees warmer for the green exposure;
                                                    > that may have something to do with it.
                                                    >
                                                    > This is not bad at all for a single set of 60-second exposures, but having
                                                    > 10-20 sets of RGB images would really take this to another level. <g> I
                                                    > strongly urge you to get at least three of each calibration image. You
                                                    have
                                                    > hardly any dust bunnies on your optics, so I think you can safely use the
                                                    > same flat field for your clear/R/G/B images.

                                                    I actually collected 25 each of RGB. I need to collect additional clear
                                                    images.

                                                    Question - When I combine these, should I do them in groups of 5 (or some
                                                    similar number)?

                                                    Again, thanks Ron!!!!!

                                                    Clear skies,
                                                    Kevin
                                                    ksbtk@...






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