Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.



  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


ArmyAirForce last won the day on November 16 2016

ArmyAirForce had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1,905 Excellent


About ArmyAirForce

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    WW2 Aviation and History, Military Vehicles, Modelmaking ( radio controlled aircraft, plastic models and railroading ), Photography.
  • Location
    North East England - Bortle Dark Sky Scale 8 to 9
  1. In the CONTROL box of settings, there's a grey tab with a small gear wheel and MORE written on. Click on there and it should open up options for High Speed, USB traffic and a number of other settings. I think it's in there but can't be 100% sure without a camera plugged in. @Marc jacobs EDIT - Just plugged my ASI camera in. In the CONTROL box on the left of the capture screen, you have the GAIN and Exp sliders. Under that is a grey button with GAMMA and a slider. Click on the GAMMA button and a pop up menu gives other options ( Auto Exp, Auto Gain, Brightness, WRed, WBlue, USB Traffic, Overclock, High Speed, Software Gain, Auto Histo FPS ). Those are the options on my ASI120MC-S camera. Clicking on the USB Traffic option turns the slider in the CONTROL section to operate the USB Speed, rather than GAMMA. You also want to check the HIGHSPEED option if using USB3.
  2. Seeing was poor in the North East of England on the evening of 11/12th July, but despite that, I went out to catch some planets. Jupiter and Saturn are too low in the sky for my observatory to see, so I tried a Skywatcher 130M on a motored EQ2 in the front garden. Results were as expected for targets so low ( around 12 degrees ). Mars however was going to be high enough for the observatory, so later in the night, I opened that up and started shooting in both colour and mono IR. Seeing got steadily worse through the evening and I wondered if I was going to get anything worth while, but an initial quick stack between captures showed promise. Mars was still only 17 degrees altitude by the time it was getting light and I took a walk to find Neowise. The following day, I started stacking and processing and was pleasantly surprised at what came from the captures. See two brief clips of the capture videos below.
  3. Lovely image. What time of day are you shooting Venus and approximately what altitude is it? I've shot Venus both daytime and evening, but only in IR. I haven't tried daytime since buying the UV filter.
  4. I was imaging Venus the same evening and got that bright area. I wasn't sure if it was my processing, but since you've caught it too, it must be real!!
  5. The last time I remember good seeing was at Solar maximum in 2014. Since then is has gone further and further down hill. I'll be interested to see if it improves as we head back to the new solar max.
  6. I've normally found that red or Infra-red gives the best result on the Moon, unless there's lots of moisture in the air, then the IR struggles. The IR comes through the atmosphere with the least distorsion. I did this test 6 years ago. Now for the Sun in white light, Green or Solar Continuum wins out.
  7. The Baader Solar Continuum filter will enhance the white light view. Failing that, a green filter is the next best thing.
  8. Here's a white light sun spot group using Baader film. I think this was on my 8 inch reflector, possibly stopped down to a 4 inch opening ( too long ago to remember ). Daytime seeing can be a challenge, especially on a warm day. I usually try for mid morning, once the Sun has a bit of altitude, but before the heat of the day has built up.
  9. Quite subtle detail in this one, but I quite like it. It's nice to see Venus in a new light after several years of a featureless phase.
  10. Thanks for the interesting interpretation of the image. With Jupiter and Saturn too low for me to image, seeing clouds on Venus has been a fascination for some time, but I've only recently had the money to justify the filter purchase!
  11. A second Venus with clouds capture from March 20th. 20,000 UV frames were captured and 50,000 in IR. All the captures during the evening needed to be paused due to multiple passing clouds. 1,000 frames of each channel were stacked. Captures were done on my 200PDS scope with x2 TAL barlow. Despite the passing clouds, I had more time to mess around with the settings and by pushing up the UV gain to 95%, I was able to lower the exposure and speed up the capture rate to 30fps, but still very slow compared to the 263fps of the IR captures. While my laptop has an SSD to capture onto, it only has USB2 ports, so even with a small region of interest, capture rate is limited. I was about to try capturing the IR channel through the x3 Televue barlow for a larger image, but using the x2 data for the UV channel enlarged in processing, but a large wet looking cloud was approaching and the rain began part way through closing up the observatory.
  12. It was the Skywatcher 200PDS with TAL x2 barlow. I didn't have time to try the Televue x3.
  13. I think........I've done it. Seeing the nice blue sky late afternoon, and seeing the forecast for overcast imminently, I dashed out, popped open the observatory roof and set up my new IR/UV filter tray in the Skywatcher. After a couple of camera connection problems down to the cable, I started my first IR capture on Venus. 10,000 Infra-Red frames were captured at 136fps, then I switched to UV, re-focused, slowed down the exposure until the histogram looked ok and began capturing at a maximum of 12fps, even with very small region of interest. Despite my camera being the ASI120MM-S version, my laptop only has USB2 ports, so this limits the frame rate. From the first IR capture to overcast, was only 11 minutes; so very little time for the UV focus and exposure adjustment. Everything was a little rushed. During capture in UV, I could see a darker area in the lower part of the phase and another smaller dark area in the upper part of the phase, both near the terminator. While subtle, there definitely appears to be cloud detail there. Checking the forums, I haven't seen any other Venus images or sketches from the 15th for comparison and confirmation. On the live camera feed, I could see a notable variation in tone across the phase from the UV filter, compared to the even tone of the IR filter. I'm convinced it was cloud structure, even if my processing hasn't done it justice just yet. Very early days learning to use this CaK 395nm ( UV ) filter, but a promising start.
  14. Never one to spend money if I can help it ( and reluctantly when I have it ), I've done some astro DIY over the last 24 hours. My manual filter wheel has moved to my recently purchased QHY163m deep sky camera, and now contains my Luminance, RGB and Hydrogen Alpha filters. That left my ASI120MM-S camera with the 742nm Infra-Red Pass filter for lunar images. Now that I have the Calcium K filter for the Sun and clouds on Venus, I didn't want to have to keep swapping them over. Also, if I'm shooting Venus, I'll want to switch between the IR and CaK filter for a clean planet image and cloud detail. So being too tight ( and broke ) to buy another filter wheel, I decided to make a two position tray for the IR and CaK filters. I had a spare camera nose piece and another camera adapter that I could use and the rest was made from acrylic sheet and styrene from the scrap box - by hand! The good old fashioned way. A small hole in the side of the tray contains a ball bearing under a compression spring. The spring pushes the bearing towards the filter tray where it locates in a small hole, allowing the tray to click into position for each filter, ensuring they line up under the camera. A small cover plate holds the spring in place. It was finished today, so now I just need some clear sky to test it. Looking at the forecast, that could be the longest part of the project!
  15. Calcium K Line and White Light Sun - 12-03-20 It was a blue sky this morning, nice and sunny.....and blowing a monster gale, but I had new astro gear to test, so wasn't going to let that put me off!! So armed with my Evo 80ED scope, the Baader ND3.8 solar filter, Baader Calcium K Line filter and ASI120MM-S camera, I ventured outside in the hope my observatory was where I left it! It's four years this week since I built it. I wasn't expecting fantastic results for several reasons. It was my first try at CaK imaging, the Sun wasn't that high, it was blowing a gale and the seeing was terrible due to the jetstream so the UV wasn't going to get though cleanly. However, I had a 45 minute session starting about 09:25hrs. So the first solar capture is a five pane mosaic in false colour in the Calcium K Line. This was shot at the native 600mm focal length. A mono version of the same image follows. The mono CaK image can be more easily compared to the third disc which was a White Light image with the Baader Solar Continuum Filter. This is also a five pane mosaic with the same camera, scope and ND3.8 solar filter. Two more close up images follow, shot through my TAL x2 barlow, giving 1200mm focal length. Stacking for the full discs was 25% of 3,000 frames while the close ups were 25% of 5,000 frames. I normally use Gaussian-Linear wavelet settings for the Sun, Moon and planets, but found I could get better detail in UV with Default-Dyadic wavelet settings. Things may change with better seeing, but for now, I need to approach the processing slightly differently to my usual images. So, it was only a quick test in very poor conditions, but it already shows that CaK can show much more detail than White Light. I'd considered getting my Ha scope out, but the conditions didn't make the effort worth while, so a session capturing Ha, CaK and WL will have to wait for another day. I'm looking forwards to better seeing and further Sun spots from the waking Solar Cycle 25.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.