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Found 28 results

  1. Another Mars image ... in this one I have managed to record Olympus Mons which did not show in earlier images I made of the same longitude. The seeing seemed good, but the sky was hazy and cloud-free as I set up. By the time I was ready to image, some cloud had come over, and instead of clearing it developed into 100% cover and an unexpected heavy shower. As I was dismantling the now very wet telescope the sky cleared again offering a tempting view of Mars so I put all the bits back, aligned on Mars and took a series of videos. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. 20% of 5000 fromes, processed in Registax6. I also tried a x2 Barlow but those images did not turn out well - looked out of focus.
  2. Many of my Mars images show a ghosting around the planet (see sample image). This was taken with a CPC800, ASI224MC and x2 OMNI Barlow lens. If I get a clear evening I can try narrowing down the cause before the Mars opposition & closest approach. The problem is obvious only when using the Barlow lens, but it seems present in some non-Barlow images but much harder to see. It is only obvious in processed images like this one, not in the live raw image. I have imaged Mars both with & without an ADC and once or twice with a flip mirror assembly (i.e. no diagonal or Barlow or ADC in the light path), without nailing the problem. I have swap outs for almost all the parts (including the telescope) but to pin down the problem could be time-consuming, so would appreciate a heads-up.
  3. On 14 Sept I tried EEVA imaging a number of planetary nebulae and other objects, with 102mm f5 achromat and ASI224MC camera on alt-az SLT mount & wood tripod. Among the most interesting were M76 and part of the Veil nebula. The Veil is just visible in the image. Skies are Bortle 6 here.
  4. I set up my CPC800, with ASI224MC camera in the early hours to get some Mars images. There was cloud about but mostly Mars was in the clear. I did not use an ADC as Mars was at an altitude of 44 degrees, but the barlowed colour images stil needed a tweak of colour alignment in processing. Larger images are with x2 Omni barlow lens. Monochrome image taken with infrared pass filter. 5000 frame videos, best 20% processed in Registax6, and Photoshop Elements. Mars now has an apparent diameter of 19", getting closer to its opposition size. The South Polar Cap seems to be getting smaller. The surface features at 0430 AM BST match well with the Mars Mapper.
  5. Just wondering what other people have experienced with this camera. I'm using a MacBook Pro, and want to use this camera with my Celestron 8SE. Primarily interested in the planets and the moon, but some deep sky images would be great if it's up to it. It seems to be out of stock every where, but at $249 is about what I can afford to spend (no income at the moment). All of the research I've been able to do on this camera indicates it should work well with my set up. I'm just curious if you have had any issues or problems. Thanks in advance!
  6. Some quick results on Mars from the morning of 20 July. The seeing was good and Mars at a good altitude. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC with IR-cut and IR-pass filters, ADC. The surface features show more clearly in infrared. I forgot to try a Barlow lens on this small target, but have not had any good results with the cheap Skywatcher x2 Barlow in the past. So these images are kinda small; I was going to x2 them in Photoshop but am having a problem with my network just now. The surface detail checks out as Syrtis Major and Hellas with the southern icecap.
  7. An image of Jupiter with a transit of Io, showing the moon and its shadow, plus another moon (Callisto). This was the best of a number of images. I used shorter runs of 3000 images while contending with thin moving cloud, then 5000 when the cloud moved away. But the seeing seemed to deteriorate, so this is the best image. I left the gear out in hopes of imaging Mars later but by 3am on the 18th, the sky had totally clouded over. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC, processed in Registax6. Best 20% of 3000 frames. The "Wavelet" section of Registax has six sliders. I have been in the habit of using just the top one, but adding some action with the second one definitely improved last night's set of images.
  8. Here are images of Jupiter and Saturn taken around 00.30hrs BST on 11 Jul 2020. They turned out relatively well, unlike a set I took a few days ago. I suspect 'seeing' is a major factor. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC, captured with Sharpcap, processed in Registax6, best 20% of 5000 frames. The monochrome Saturn image was taken in infrared. I did not have a sightline for Mars, or for Comet Neowise.
  9. Some more images from my session on 15 Dec with 102mm achro f5, ASI224MC camera and SLT mount. The two NGC clusters were too large for the field of this setup. All images are live-stacked, and all show more than one would see visually with a small or medium-sized telescope.
  10. Finally some clear skies on the 7th and I did not have to be anywhere else, so set up my EEVA rig to have a go at three comets, + M33 and M1. Rig = 102mm Startravel achro, SLT mount, permanent wooden tripod and ASI224MC camera. This is not a 'designed' setup, just gear I owned already. With the aid of Precise GoTo, Platesolver2 and some live stacking in Sharpcap, I obtained images containing faint fuzzy blobs for the comets C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS), C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) and C/260P McNaugt. Turning to M33 (which I have never seen before despite trying on a number of occasions including in rural Scotland), I got a stacked image of some faint nebulosity. Definitely something there but not spectacular. I had likewise never seen M1, but using the gear showed an unmistakable grey oval blob which became clearer with some stacking. Altogether a satisfactory night's work. Typical stacks were 5 x 6sec exposure. Moon - gibbous. Semi-urban sky. Platesolver2 solves in about 1 second on a Dell Vostro laptop.
  11. On 22 Oct I had a go at EEVA with the moons of Uranus, using my CPC800 and the ASI224MC (and flip mirror) The image with about 5 sec exposure looked exciting, with several little dots in a line around Uranus's overexposed blob. But when I analysed it later I found that I had imaged several 13th mag. background stars, and noted Oberon as a definite ID and Ariel as possible. The seeing was bad. The moons are clearly within the range of this setup, so I will try again sometime and see if I can secure a set of stackable images. The Sharpcap live stacking wouldn't work on this occasion. I needed Calsky to identify and eliminate the background stars, but it unhelpfully notes the moons as 'beyond the range of amateur telescopes.' The Sky & Telescope tool identified the moons.
  12. Last year I took some snapshots of planetary nebulae with my ASI120MC camera and Sharpcap v3.1. These were .png files and I had no problem debayering them in PIPP to output colour TIFF files. This year I tried the same with my ASI224MC camera and the results remained obstinately mono even when I repeated the snapshots on a second night. In the end I connected up both cameras in my kitchen with the fisheye lenses and got the following: (I have omitted the settings which seemed to make no difference). All with Raw8 ASI224MC: .ser selected (defailts to .png for still: Mono .png selected: Mono FITS selected: colour with GBRG debayering TIFF: unsupported compression error 5 ASI120MC: .ser selected (defailts to .png for still: Colour with GRBG debayering .png selected: Colour with GRBG debayering FITS selected: Mono TIFF: unsupported compression error 5 To me these results make no sense at all. I presume there is some way of converting a FITS to a .jpg or TIFF if I need to do that for distribution? (Also note that the debayering setting apparently differs between the cameras.)
  13. Here are some EEVA-style images made with a 102mm f5 Startravel, SLT mount and ASI224MC planetary camera. I don't claim that they are very good, but would point to the modest equipment used (the camera cost more than the OTA did) and the fact that these are single exposures of about 5 seconds. I have previously tried imaging globular clusters with a C8 but the results were dire. One should also compare them with the eyeball view through a telescope of twice the size. I also tried imaging the region of Pluto, but on interpreting the result it appears that I missed the planet's position and also was not giving enough exposure to pick out objects that faint.
  14. Saturn on 14 July. The main division is not as sharp as I would have liked, but the inner ring shows up very bright and one can see symmetrical shadows of the planet on the rings. Altitude about 14 deg. Imaged with CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC
  15. Good afternoon, I'm still new to astronomy in general, my setup is explained in my previous post. I am trying to get plate solving working. I can get results from Astrometry.net, and I can get All Sky Plate Solver to solve when given an image file, but I am trying to get it to work with my ZWO ASI224MC direct. When I try "Click, Solve & Sync" I get an error "Camera array data unsupported." I have my camera connected with ASCOM as ASI Camera (1). The Image Type options are Raw8, Raw16 and Y8. Raw16 is selected and seems to be the default. I have tried the others and they all produce the same error. I've tried it with and without MonoBin. Binning is set to 1 and Subframe to 100% (50% tried). Filter is blank. I can connect to the camera in SharpCap via ASCOM (although it warns that it prefers native drivers). I've also tried the SharpCap native Plate solver with the astrometrics install from ASPS, it tries to solve takes a while, but can't find a solution. I also tried AstroTortilla, that reads from the camera but just returns "No solution in 0.0s". I've tried a Google search for the ASPS error but it doesn't find anything. I have checked only one application has the ASCOM camera at once. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  16. Jupiter from the 8th of April 2017. 6 x 2 minute avi (50% of 3000 frames each) derotated in Winjupos. C9.25 with ZWO ASI 224MC and ASH ADC.
  17. Here are a couple of live-stacked images made with: 102mm f5 achro refractor, ASI224MC camera and Celestron SLT mount. The mount was acting up so I had to do plate-solves to check where I was aiming. One can see why the allegedly bright planetary NGC1501 was impossible to spot visually with an 8" SCT. If the faint halo was not visible, the central dot would look exactly like a very faint star.
  18. Here is an image captured EEVA style with my 102mm achro refractor (Startravel), ASI224MC camera and SLT goto mount. This was a live stack of 21 frames, 3.6 seconds each. I used "precise goto" to find the comet and was then able to see a likely object on the screen. A platesolve indoors later confirmed the fuzzy object marked was the comet. Part of the open cluster NGC1528 also appears in the image.
  19. An EEVA-style image of Saturn's moons. 14 July, 22:07 UT, taken with CPC800, ASI224MC +ADC. Exposure 5 secs. The faintest moon visible is Encelasus, mag. 11.7 Next night I looked visually with an 8" SCT and could not make out any moons at all. Our Moon nearby was near full. Saturn is severely overexposed in order to get the moons.
  20. I have been using the ASI120MC quite happily but wondered if it would be worth up dating to the ASI224MC? Has anyone done this and what did you find - was it worth it? ZWO say yes but they would wouldn't they. I am thinking in terms of planetary imaging. Any thought would be appreciated. Peter
  21. I'm hoping someone has already solved this. I'm trying to control an ASI224MC on a MacBook Pro running VMWare Fusion with Windows 10 and FireCapture 2.5. I'm using the latest ASI drivers - V2.0.1.3 although I've also tried with the previous set ( with the same results. This laptop only has USB 2.0 ports. I'm getting a large number of "Capture Failed" messages to the point where it's nearly impossible to make any progress. I've tried setting the USB Traffic slider to its lowest (40). I've tried 2x2 binning, which doesn't help much. I've also tried Hardware Binning, which does seem to help but does not eliminate the problem. Generally using a small ROI works reasonably well, although I use the full frame to find the target and center it first. Is anyone successfully running this combination? Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere? The next step will be to set it up on a straight Windows system, although I'd prefer to get this working if possible. Thanks, Dave
  22. First good results with newly purchased ASI224MC camera. Using: CPC800, ASI224MC (USB3), ZWO IR cut filter, ZWO ADC. Conditions: planets low (15 deg or lower), near full moon, some haze. Time : around 04.40 BST. A few hours earlier I tried Mars but the results were poor asides for demonstrating the higher frame rate available with the new camera. In case you are wondering (as I was) what the difference is between an ASI224MC and an ASI120MC, the former does not appear to be any more sensitive so far as I could see (exposures no shorter) but the potential frame rate even with USB2 is higher. And the ASI224 has a deeper body for some reason. And this set of Saturn images is clearly my best ever.
  23. Managed to salvage this from last nights disaster, SW150P & ASI224MC, 350 of 648 frames stacked using PIPP> AS!2> Registax & Photoshop. Seeing was not great at all but considering the problems I was having with Firecapture, I am fairly happy with it. Long way to go yet though!
  24. On 31 Aug I took some images of the Pluto region with 102mm achro f5 refractor, ASI224MC. With the SLT mount synced to Saturn, the mount placed Jupiter and several Messier objects well in the camera field of view, so I was confident it should be capturing the region of Pluto. Next day I plate-solved one of the Pluto images successfully and identified the brightest star near the position. Pluto does not show up though - too faint. The 15 sec exposure shows the sky background.
  25. Hi, I am considering to buy an ZWO ASI 224mc for planetary imaging. Currently I use an ZWO ASI 120mm-s with Baader RGB filters, Powermate 5X / barlow 2.5X in a Skywatcher 200pds on a Skywatcher NEQ6Pro. I am happy with my results but I am considering the 'upgrade' to the 224 for the following reasons: - clearer lunar zoom photos with the powermate and barlow, using an IR-pass filter to fight the seeing - I would like to try videoastronomy and was told that this is a good camera for this purpose. - I can still do good RGB imaging (with in IR-cut filter) in one shot to also simplify my image processing workflow. My telescope this summer will be located in the Mediterranean and my budget is about 400 pounds (camera and essential filters),. Do my arguments make sense? Does the choice of camera model make sense? or should I stick to my existing setup? Many thanks to all. astroexplorer
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