First light (deep sky) on my Orion Starshoot II imager, on my new Celestron CG-5 mount. Back to the drawing board. I must have done something wrong. I did a rough polar alignment.....I think I was reasonably close. The scope found M64
(the Blackeye galaxy) without fanfare.
I decided to experiment with a 30 second exposure, and set the camera to record 20 frames. All seemed to be going well. The frames were recorded.....although frame #2 doesn't want to open. And I inadvertently stopped the capture at 19 frames. Then I tried the same 20x 30seconds on M65/M66. That also seemed to go well.
I can see that my polar alignment was a bit off, but nothing like the issues I was dealing with, with my old alt-az NexStar mount.
As this was the very first night out with the Starshoot, and in the interest of learning, I did not take any darks....nor did I use the cooling function on the camera. Apparently that was a mistake, but theoretically, I should have been able to get a decent image without either.
Here are the results.
1. 18 frames aligned and stacked in Maxim DL -No processing
2. From absolute trash to a recognizable image.....not good, but vastly improved. Paint Shop
Pro Photo to darken (hide the airbrush strokes) and hide the large smudge, MS Paint
to airbrush out the hot pixel streaks, Photo Shop Carboni Tools to clean up.
* Where did all those weird artifacts come from in the aligned and stacked image.......obviously I did something very wrong somewhere in the process. I am not sure if there was a problem in capturing the images or in the aligning and stacking process. Frustrating!
The stars are a bit square, even in the aligned and stacked image, but I think that is my scope and/or my focus. Don't think it's the camera's fault.
* PROBLEM SOLVED.......WELL, MORE TO THE POINT, PROBLEM UNDERSTOOD. NEIL HEACOCKS FIGURED IT OUT. BECAUSE I DIDN'T TAKE AND SUBTRACT ANY "DARKS", THE IMAGES CONTAIN 'HOT PIXELS'. THE MAXIM DL SOFTWARE TRACKED THE 'REAL' STARS TURNING THE HOT PIXELS INTO STREAKS.