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== DSO Imaging == ----The deep sky contains a vast number of objects to try and photograph. It can be challenging but ultimately very rewarding when you finish your first picture and see some lovely nebula or galaxy. There's a lot of learning to be done on DSO imaging with far more techniques and setups than we can cover in this wiki. One piece of advice we will offer - arguably the most important part of DSO imaging is the mount. As they are such faint objects you will often need to take exposures of many minutes in length. Guiding greatly improves on this. Without guiding the maximum exposure time for a mass produced mount is around 2 minutes, and with guiding you can go 15+. ---- === $800+ - Widefield, large DSOs === ----This is probably one of the cheapest ways to start on DSOs. This setup is designed as one to be upgraded as opposed to a true widefield setup - if you want that we'd recommend the Skywatcher Star-Adventurer or Vixen Polarie as opposed to a large mount. You could also try other mounts such as the Celestron AVX which has slightly worse performance to the Sirius and is less compatible with software later on. Lens focal length is important for your target size - the usual Canon kit lenses are 18-55mm which are only really suited to widefield but you may be able to find a camera bundled with something longer. Option 1: Mount: Skywatcher Star Adventurer (new) Approximately $250, can be found cheaper. Camera: Canon / Nikon DSLR (e.g. 500D, 550D, 600D etc): Approximately $200 on Ebay or Craigslist. Find one with a lens included. Option 2 (usable with telescopes for DSO/Planetary) * Mount: Orion Sirius (new): Approximately $1100 on [https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orion-Sirius-EQ-G-Computerized-GoTo-Telescope-Mount/rc/2160/p/116276.uts?keyword=sirius Orions Website], Can be found cheaper used. * Camera: Canon / Nikon DSLR (e.g. 500D, 550D, 600D etc): Approximately $200 on Ebay or Craigslist. Find one with a lens included. * Accessories: Dovetail to attach your DSLR on the mount - Approximately $40. * Software: [https://nighttime-imaging.eu/ NINA] - Free. Potential images: [http://i.imgur.com/BpaqNgA.jpg Scorpius region] ([http://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/27gknl/the_dark_horse_scorpius_region_widefield/ Credit]) ---- === $1400+ - DSOs === ----This is about the 'entry level' price for DSOs. A cheap but functional tracking mount, a DSLR and a telescope. Simple, but it'll let you get some great shots and hopefully last you a little while before you feel like an upgrade. * Mount: Orion Sirius (new): Approximately $1100 on Orions Website, Can be found cheaper used. * Camera: Canon / Nikon DSLR: Approximately $200 on Ebay or Craigslist. Find one with a lens included. * Software: NINA - Free. * Telescope: [https://www.astronomics.com/astro-tech-6-f-4-imaging-newtonian-optical-tube.html AT6in imaging newtonian]: $300 * Accessories: T-ring, T-adapter, dovetail, tube rings for 6” newtonian: Unknown price, check Ebay. The addition here is the AT6in telescope. This is a pretty nice imaging newtonian with a fast focal ratio and will let you get some stunning images even untracked. With the mount polar aligned correctly you may be able to go up to 60-second exposures before trailing occurs and at F/4 this will be a lot of detail. Newtonians, especially fast focal length newts can be difficult to use. A lot of people prefer 80mm APO refractors to newtonians as they are easier to use and don't require collimation, but they are usually more expensive than their equivalent newt and due to being around F/7 in focal ratio will not show as much detail unguided. As always it's best to do research and figure out the pros and cons of each. Potential images: [http://i.imgur.com/SgRts77.jpg Triplet in Leo] ([http://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/29r4gd/m51_the_whirlpool_galaxy/ Credit]) ---- === $2000+ – DSOs, but better === ---- * Mount: EQ5, Orion Atlas / EQ6r / EQ6 (new): Approximately $2000 on [https://www.skywatcherusa.com/products/eq6-r-pro Skywatcher USA], Can be found cheaper used. * Camera: Nikon/Canon DSLR: Approximately $200-400 on Ebay or Craigslist. * Software: NINA - Free. * Telescope: AT6in imaging newtonian: $300 * Accessories: T-ring, T-adapter, dovetail, tube rings for 6” newtonian: Varying prices, check online. Potential images: [http://i.imgur.com/r0bIyAP.jpg M51] ([http://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/29r4gd/m51_the_whirlpool_galaxy/ Credit]) ---- ==== Improvements ==== ----For a bit more money we can add a Coma corrector and an Autoguider. The coma corrector fixes distortions around the edges of the telescope and the autoguider will let you take longer exposures. If you are using a refractor, look for a Field Flattener. * Accessories: T-ring, T-adapter, dovetail, tube rings for 6” newtonian: Unknown price, check Ebay. * Coma corrector – Astronomics coma corrector for fast newtonians - $135 * Autoguider – [https://agenaastro.com/zwo-asi120mm-mini-cmos-monochrome-astronomy-imaging-camera.html ZWO ASI 120MM Mini] and [https://www.amazon.com/SVBONY-SV106-Multi-Use-Helical-Astronomy/dp/B07MPYDYLZ SVBONY 50mm Guidescope] - $230 (together) Note: For smaller setups (e.g. camera lenses), you can use a 30mm guidescope instead which saves weight and is easier to mount. For larger scopes (e.g. SCTs, RCs, large newts, etc), you will want to use an off-axis guider instead which uses a prism to redirect light to the guide camera, eliminating the need for a secondary guidescope. This setup is one that'll last you as long as you want. The slight downside is that the focal length of the AT6in is quite short for some targets and you may find yourself wanting a longer scope. For this budget you may wish to look at other telescope options such as 80mm apochromatic refractors (e.g. Orion ED80T, Skywatcher Evostar 80ED). The Sirius is an incredibly capable mount when coupled with autoguiding and a good polar alignment, mine will let me capture pinpoint stars for as long as I want it to. Potential images: [http://i.imgur.com/xskJkpy.jpg Flame nebula] ([http://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/2ii87x/the_flame_nebula/ Credit]) [http://i.imgur.com/liPWFKR.jpg NGC7661] ([http://www.reddit.com/r/astrophotography/comments/2j23oh/ngc7331_and_friends/ Credit]) [http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1407/m31_bers_1824.jpg Andromeda Galaxy] ([https://www.reddit.com/u/bersonic/ Credit]) ---- === DSOs above $2000 === ----This is around the price point at which we can't really give recommendations. You could go almost any route from here both mount and OTA-wise, anything from an Orion Atlas to a Paramount ME, a bigger astrograph newtonian to a richey-chretain. If you're considering spending this much we'll assume you know what you're doing :). Realistic future upgrades could include: * A mono CMOS/CCD and filter wheel for monochrome, low-noise imaging. * Astro-modifying your DSLR to capture hydrogen-alpha. * Hypertuning your mount to reduce periodic error. * Proper processing software - PixInsight is the gold standard for DSOs. * A bigger guidescope. * A better guidecamera and off-axis guiding. * Light pollution filters. A very common mono starter camera is the ASI 1600mm-cool or Pro, these are cooled and are the main imaging camera of many. Potential images: [http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Hubble_Sees_a_Horsehead_of_a_Different_Color.jpg Horsehead] ([http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130422.html Credit])
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