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Found 143 results

  1. Hi, Folks I am only a few weeks into astronomy and started off with a Celestron 9.25" Evo on the standard AZ mount. I guess with hindsight this wasn't the best place to start and also with hindsight I would have done better to have bought a GEM mount. Anyway, lesson learned and at 71 years old I have to speed up the learning process compared to younger enthusiasts I have 2 issues. 1/ Its a pain dragging the scope out into the garden and setting it up every time I think the fickled weather might be obliging. 2/ I now know that the mount I have is useless for long exposures and a wedge is fiddly to get polar aligned. My question is, though I gather wedges are a PITA to setup etc is if I was to build or buy a pier for the backyard and use my existing mount + a wedge is this a reasonable way to go? Though it's fiddly to set the thing up once set I could leave the mount, wedge, etc covered up and would just need to drop the OTA on when I wanted to use it. Is this reasonable or am I missing something fundamental down near the bottom end of my learning curve Any advice much appreciated and don't feel you have to spare my feelings
  2. So, I have gone and got myself a Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p, which has so far proved to be a very good little scope and I've had some very good results. I have now got the bug for imaging and have gone out and got myself a second hand Nikon D5100 and verious other equipment needed to do this, only to now find I can't get Prime Focus!!!!!!!! So the only way I can image is using a barlow x2 which obviously changes the F ratio from F5.5 to F11 slowing everything x2 this isn't to bad for planetary imaging but for DSO images not so good!!! After searching through lots of videos on to do this all I can find is...... I can either butcher the standard rack and pinion focuser that's fitted on it by cutting it down and rethreading it or by moving the primary up by 20-25mm, which seems a shame to do a brand new scope still under warranty! The only other option I have come up with is changing the focuser to a Skywatcher Low Profile Dual Speed Focuser For Newtonian Reflectors. Could anyone out there shed any light on this before I spend another £130 on the new focuser. Thanks
  3. Hi, this question has probably been done to death here, but can I ask the community to help me decide on a new camera? After struggling with my very glitchy QHY5LIIc camera for a while, as well as having a forced break from astronomy, I have decided to get a new camera. After all the problems I've been having with the QHY, I really don't want to use this manufacturer again. I know lots of people use them quite happily, but once bitten ... I have been looking at the ZWO cameras - OSC, as I haven't the time, clear skies, or patients to do LRGB imaging! I have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras. I mainly do planetary/Luna imaging, but I have also dabbled in a bit of DSO and would like to continue with both. I have a C9.25 and a ST80 guide scope. I know these aren't ideal for DSOs but please humour me! I think from the specs/information that the 224 is probably the best option. Although the resolution and QE are the worst of the three, the well depth and read noise are the best and the fps is pretty good too. I don't know if there are better/cheaper cameras using the same chips, such as Altair's range. I just don't want to make the same mistake that I did with the QHY!n Any help/advice you can give will be much appreciated.?
  4. Hey StarGazersLounge Forums, I am an amateur in astrophotography and have so far taken photos of the Moon and some planets with my camera. However, I am looking for a major upgrade in order to take astrophotography to a professional level as I have long been passionate about astronomy. My overarching aim with astrophotography is to take high quality photos of many planets and continue my interest with the universe. I would be very grateful if anyone could recommend the best set up regardless of the price at the moment as I will work from there. This includes a camera, mount and eyepiece for the Celestron 8se etc so I can get a good idea of what I need to get some amazing planetary shots. By the way, for the camera, I am considering the Sony a7r iii (good choice?) for astrophotography and nature photography as well. Any form of advice would be much appreciated. George
  5. Hi, I wan't to tell you about a relatively new open source imaging suite that I have been using for around 7-8 months now. Night time imaging n' astronomy or in short NINA! The new website is really quite informative, so check it out here: https://nighttime-imaging.eu/ As a software developer and IT professional I was blown away by this application these guys were creating, when I first stumbled upon it last year. It is a really feature rich application as the very long feature list below will show, and it is absolutely free! I was immediately drawn to the very simple but still quite information rich UI that was presented to me when I tried it the first time. Isbeorn (the developer), Dark Archon (massive contributor) and Quickload (big contributor) have really created something impressive here, and it is constantly being improved upon. It is quite normal to see these guys working on the next cool feature in the middle of the night As it is a "hobby project" and Open Source, and these guys don't have every model of every camera available - sometimes there can be glitches with new equipment, but it is usually sorted out in quick fashion. But this is where we "mere mortals" can help improve this amazing piece of software, by using it and providing feedback and logs (in case of errrors) via. Discord or the Issue tracker on bitbucket. In return for this you get a very comprehensive piece of astro imaging software for absolutely nothing! If anyone needs any help in settings this up, don't hesitate to write in this thread and I will try to help, or jump on Discord and join the "support" channel. I recommend taking the latest beta version, pretty much always, as it has the latest fixes and is generally stable. List of main features as grabbed from the webpage and personal experience (I surely missed some): Equipment control ASCOM Cameras Mounts Filter wheels Focusers Rotators Native camera drivers for Atik ZWO QHYCCD Altair Astro cameras Canon Nikon Touptek Can run multiple camera's and supports syncronized dithering (early version, but tested in the field!) Image analysis Image statistics Auto stretch Full image star detection with HFR calculation (used for autofocus as well) Exposure time recommendation Sequencing Multitarget sequence lists (image multiple targets automatically) Automatic mosaic capture as defined in framing assistant Light, Bias, Dark, DarkFlat, Flat frames of various exposure lengths and gain/iso Automatic filter change Autofocus using full image HFR calculations over time number of exposures Temperature change Automatic centering and rotation of targets using platesolving Save as raw (dslr), fits, xisf, etc. Customizeable filename pattern Automatic meridian flip Can automatically flip and recenter target after flip has been completed Sky atlas Sky atlas with more than 10.000 objects. Filtering on type, magnitude, size, altitude and more Altitude chars showing showing altitude over time for your location Framing assistant Can pull data from various skyserveys, to make framing and planning easier You can see a preview of your fov based on camera and scope details Mosaic planning mode Shows your mosaic tilesin the framing wizard Set desired overlap percentage Offline skymap shows gridlines and all sky atlas DSO's, constellations and coordinates ("Cartes du Ciel'ish") Sleek and customizable UI Imaging tab can be customized to show all the information you could possibly want to see image (duh! ;)) Statistics HFR history PHD2 graph and statistics Mount information Camera information Filter wheel information Platesolve information Weather data and more.. Quick switch between light and dark scheme Customizable colorschemes Flats wizard Set a desired ADU and tolerance for flats Simple mode or multimode where flats are captured for each filter Set minimum and maximum exposure time Guide to help you get the desired flats Can automatically capture matching darkflats Other cool features PHD2 integration with Dithering Weather data from OpenWeatherMap API List of bright focus stars for use with Bahtinov mask, clik and slew to it Polar alignment tools Configuration profiles, so different setups can be used A word about open source: The project is open source, this means that all source code is readily available from bitbucket, and anyone is free to contribute code. The developer is Isbeorn (Stefan) and as the repository manager he decides when and if a submission (pull request) is deemed good enough to enter a release..! There are a couple of other main contributors who do a lot of work, and put in a lot of their free time to this project. You are free to ask for features and request support and people are generally very helpful and quick to implement something if it is a good idea. BUT as this is a hobby project for these people, don't expect the same of them as you would of a company from whom you buy a product, IT IS UNFAIR! A word about Discord: Discord is a free chat (text and voice) platform that anyone can create a server on. Discord as a whole is not run by the people behind N.I.N.A., only the NINA server, and as such is not moderated by the developers.
  6. Guys, I have an order in for a Starizona Hyperstar for my 8” EdgeHD. What sub-1k camera would you pair with this kit? Also what is the learning curve involved, bear in mind I have no imaging experience? I have been looking at the Altair Astro Hypercam Pro TEC 183c, which seems to be getting some favourable comments. My intention is to use an INDI based platform, probably a StellarMate for image and focuser control. Paul.
  7. Hey everyone! I’m after some pretty wide-field DSOs that can be captured with an unmodified DSLR without too much struggle (apart from the Orion Nebula.) I can push my exposures up to around 3 minutes with no major star trailing but that’s about as far as I can go. Also I’m in the Southern Hemisphere so don’t have the luxury of choosing between many relatively bright Messier objects. Your suggestions are much appreciated!
  8. Hi everyone, One and a half clear nights for me early in the year and I focused on M45. As a naked eye visible target, I think subconsciously I never gave M45 the concentration it deserves, thinking I could always catch it another time. Anyway, despite lusting after the Horsehead, I kept my refractor pointed at the seven sisters in new moon skies and the result is below. I actually found it pretty hard to process...the seven sisters themselves were pretty well behaved, but I couldn't decide what to do with the background. I know this is a dusty region so I did not want to put DBE samples everywhere. But at the end the background seems a bit smudgy after tweaking curves - I'm not sure whether to darken the background or leave it as is. 3.4 hours of LRGB integration. Full details on Astrobin. Thanks for looking!
  9. Hi All, So I am new to astrophotography and was looking for some advice on what to buy, mainly the mount as I don't have a huge budget. I am currently using a SkyWatcher 102mm Telescope (500mm Focal Length) with a Canon 550d along with a EQ2 mount, so no motors as of yet. Any advice on what mounts to get would be great. Thanks
  10. Hello. I am using a Orion xt8 reflector telescope. I am wondering what optic / eyepiece set up I should be using for a mix of DSO and planets. I have a couple pictures which I have taken with honestly my cell phone on one of those (Omi cellphone adaptors for telescope) and they pictures don't come out to bad... but I am looking for something that I can actually put into the eye piece that will give decent looking pictures, or even one that I can hook up to my computer and look through it live. Price really is not the biggest issue but not really looking for something over $400. I know there might not be such a thing as I am describing. most of these pictures were taken with a 2x barlow and a 20mm The ones of mars I just took with a 5x barlo and the same 20mm. and I am unsure what this star formation I took a picture of is but It looked pretty cool and I am glad that I was able to take a picture of it.. But just looking for some help choosing what camera would be best. (Obviously using the phone camera the objects appear so bright and there is no way to pull the actual detail of the planet into focus for me) But any help would be great :) Thank you for any feedback you have and I cant wait to become more active on this forum!
  11. I now have a number of options for imaging this coming season. FOV ranges available with various scopes and lenses :- 1000mm FL MN190 Pro Mak-Newt 400mm FL Esprit 80ED Pro plus 2 x ST80 105mm (and others) Ex Asahi Pentax camera lenses 2.5mm fisheye for all sky My fields of view range from all sky through NB with 3 cameras and 3 lenses widefield to 400mm triple scopes and cameras to 1000mm single 190MN Mak-Newt. I have the following cameras :- 3x Atik 460EX ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool ZWO ASI178MM - currently on all sky camera ZWO ASI185MC And mounts :- EQ8 main mount in observatory NEQ6 with Skywatcher Pillar Mount currently uncovered. The all sky camera is mounted on an aluminium tube mast attached to the side of the warm room. ============================================== Now to the nitty-gritty - The main limitation as to what I can use will be the mounts. If I can get my head round it I could have two imaging sessions running at the same time plus the all sky camera. I currently have 4 projects on the books :- All sky camera - currently in progress Triple widefield narrow band imaging rig - on hold Triple 400mm narrow band imaging rig - also on hold Changing to Linux OS for imaging with Raspberry Pi - investigating I'm also keen to try the ASI1200MM-Cool camera which may not need guiding and thus could save a fair bit of hassle. I'm thinking of trying it with the MN190 or maybe the Esprit 80ED but I guess the wider aperture camera lenses would mean shorter exposures and no guiding. What occurs to me is that I'm trying to do far too much at a time and that I must concentrate on one or two things and leave the others until later (if at all). I have the NEQ6 mount on it's tripod in my living room so I can experiment with controlling that without going outside. Once I have things working I can hump the mount out onto the Pillar for an imaging session. I also have the PoleMaster PA alignment camera already attached to the NEQ6 which I can try once I put the NEQ6 outside.
  12. I have an old StarlightXpress Frame store that hasn't been used for years. After the order from "on-high" to de-clutter I was going to take it to the skip along with other old astro stuff, but thought I'd just check to see if it was working. It appears to work fine so if any use can be found for it I would rather donate it to someone than take it to the skip. For those not familiar with the SX original Framestore it is self contained and only needed a PC to save images. To do that there was rudimentary software and a card to insert into the PC. Of course, being the late 1990's it was designed for use with Windows 98. To save images would require an old desktop with Windowa 98 or maybe Windows 2000 on it. However, for taking short or long exposure images and displaying them on a screen no PC is needed. I did use it at a star party to do just that. Showing a group of people objects they couldn't see well, if at all, through the scope directly collected quite a crowd. In the spirit of reducing landfill, if it can be of any use to anyone who is prepared to collect it from Maidenhead I will happily give it away. I attach images of the setup taken last week. Ian B
  13. All set up to go with the sole aim of getting some Saturn images! To start off it was Jupes again to get some imaging done... The GRS superbly placed and looking Redder than a lidl tomato (subliminal advertising) After capturing some film it was time to properly align using Polaris and that wonderful on ya knees polar scope method!!! Boom!! three calibration stars and 'GoTo' whatever you wish for! Cygnus time - Check sheets and then give up and go and fetch Sissy Haas bible... 20 lovely doubles, not rushed just enjoyed and studied hard... working with my Starwave f/11 102 and for those difficult ones a 6.5 Meade HD and even with the 2.5 Revelation Barlow gave interesting views... 200x the recommended max mag on that Starwave, I squeezed more than that out of her. The stars looked round and colourful the companions sometimes hard to spot... But there's a great deal of satisfaction when you see them close by. I made some star symbol notes in the book when a true double of beauty made me smile, my top few were: Σ 2668 Superb 26 Gyg lovely 17 Cyg 19 Cyg Bright Red Ψ Cyg Σ 2687 Sharp 49 Cyg Faint 48 Cyg Wide H IV 113 Spot on (why did I write that?) 61 Cyg Nice Also - Σ 2760, 59 Cyg, 52 Cyg, O Σ 410, Σ 2705, Σ 2588, S 726, Σ 2578, 16 Cyg, δ Cyg So that's my haul for the night... By the time I had finished those it was 01:30 and cloud had covered what was left of Saturn. The great thing about that session was that I didn't have those long whiney scope movements around the sky, it was all within the constellation. I expect my neighbours with open windows were also grateful. Love that 102 f/11 Starwave scope.... A lot of the comments in Sissy Haas recommend a 150mm for some of the hits I made with my 102 so I'm happy... to get the colour is special as well... Not sure my alignment was that great because after entering RA & Dec the doubles were not always centered which resulted in me having to move towards the nearest double looking star a lot of the times. Didn't get -19 Cyg or T Cyg although I tried... Oh and on editing my images I notice I bagged both Europa and Io.... shame Jupiter disappeared behind next doors roof before the shadow made a transit! I've had to lighten one image to show the moons so beware you professionals ?
  14. Been meaning to post this for a while so here is my image from that night. So I set up the scope with a view to letting it cool a little longer than it had been already and looked at Jupiter Guide app on my iphone and saw that the GRS was just finishing transiting across the disc so I whacked the 2x TV powermate and ASI120MC on and messed about with focus quickly and fired off a total of 5 avis. Below is the best image. The avi was 3024 frames and put through PIPP. I then ran it through registax 5.1 which decided to stack 2475 frames then I did the wavelets in there too. I did a little Unsharp Mask in PS CS2 also. The seeing was a little better at times but still not great I dont think. The jetsream was above us still so I don't think that helped at all. 22.12.2013 2475 of 3000 withUS by Gattouomo161, on Flickr
  15. Hello stargazers! after fixing the ED80 focuser tilt and FFR spacing issues (http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/249588-sw-ed80-reducer-elongated-stars-problem/) I have some trail (i think) in all exposures i take but it takes a lot of time to really build up and manifests in the images even in the center of the field! It becomes slightly visible in 10mins, worse in 20mins and in my opinion unusable in 30mins exposures. Gear used : Heq5 Pro Modified finderscope with QHY5 bolted firmly (although on 3 screw baader rings on single shoe on one of the rings not on a plate) on top of the ED80 Pulse guiding through ascom + pec trained and applied corrections while imaging One shot of 1800secs from last night Here is the plate solve of the image if that is of any help. Image Plate Solver script version 3.5.1 =============================================================================== Referentiation Matrix (Gnomonic projection = Matrix * Coords[x,y]): +0.00059136 -3.35323e-005 -0.948749 +3.35667e-005 +0.000591379 -0.805052 +0 +0 +1 Projection origin.. [1676.147757 1266.175055]pix -> [RA:+02 54 45.62 Dec:+60 26 33.75] Resolution ........ 2.132 arcsec/pix Rotation .......... 176.752 deg Focal ............. 522.35 mm Pixel size ........ 5.40 um Field of view ..... 1d 59' 7.6" x 1d 29' 59.1" Image center ...... RA: 02 54 45.583 Dec: +60 26 33.36 Image bounds: top-left ....... RA: 02 47 15.353 Dec: +59 37 27.51 top-right ...... RA: 03 02 57.738 Dec: +59 44 03.24 bottom-left .... RA: 02 46 12.014 Dec: +61 07 05.13 bottom-right ... RA: 03 02 38.669 Dec: +61 13 59.48 =============================================================================== 200% crop of the centre of the image shows the problem clearly. And here is PhDLabs last night's analysis log. Second run does not look much different than the first one (to my untrained eyes at least). The phd graph did look at its best (flatline like) What do ladies and gents think? bad polar alignment, backlash on gears, differential flexure? If anyone has suggestions of the nature of the problem might be, I would be grateful.
  16. I currently have a Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking mount. I am looking at options to improve my accurate exposure time. My first option is autoguiding. What is an effective autoguiding solution for the Star Adventurer? Or am I better off completely upgrading to a Celestron Advanced VX without an autoguiding solution?
  17. Hello once again!! I'm ready to begin taking photos of the planets and deep sky and have a question or two. My telescope is a Ioptron 80mm. My camera is a Nikon D90. I just have the 18-55 lense, and the 55-200 lense, that came with it. My question is: do I need a t-ring, or a t-adapter to hook to camera up to the telescope? And are there any other accessories I need? Any advice you want to give is always greatly welcomed too! Thank You, Jon
  18. Hello all Im just started in imaging and I have to say I'm pleased with the first result BUT on closer inspection I see I have slightly oblong stars. So people know what I've got and done here it is http://www.astrobin.com/full/271950/0/?nc=user I have a baader coma corrector that I'm using set to 55mm from canon sensor and I have tried short exposures and I notice that it's still there in short exposures. Could it be collimation? It's the only thing I didn't do that evening. I would appreciate your input! Thanks Gerry
  19. Hi guys, I used to do a lot of astrophotography work when I lived in Plymouth but then I sold all equipment and lived in California for a while. Now I live in London and really miss doing some astrophotography but never really bothered because of the light pollution. The light pollution should not be such a big issue for planetary imaging and of course for solar imaging. I am thinking to either get a Coronado and try solar imaging or get a decent refractor and focus on lunar and planetary imaging. Does anyone have an experience with planetary imaging from London? What would you do? What equipment would you go for? Previously I had 10" computerised celestron but now I think refractor would be a better choice. Any advice very much appreciated, Martin Peniak
  20. Hi there, I'm hoping to buy an OIII filter for astro-imaging and i've read a lot of halo related posts and am unsure which to go for. Are the Baader OIII now halo-free? it sounds like OIII are notorious in general for halos and i want to be reasonably sure before i hand any money over. My astronomik ha 1.25" shows bad haloes, but the clip version doesn't although that one is newer. Will the astronomik OIII clip be halo-free? I am unable to reach the budget necessary for Astrodon, so i'm thinking the next best will be either Baader or Astronomik, is this pretty accurate or am i missing a manufacturer? Many thanks for any assistance in advance!
  21. Found an old (apparently USA model) celestron C8 SCT a while back, its a bit hit n miss with collimation and the optics - (some very strange star test shapes :P) but when it works it works well Here is a couple images from a couple months back. Thanks for looking. This particular night seeing was reasonably good, and collimation wasn't too bad either. Celestron C8 / ASI120MC / 2X barlow - captured in sharpcap2, stacked in autostakkert!2, wavelets in registax6
  22. Hi there, I have a DMK21AU04.AS mono camera which I wanted to start using for planetary imaging & I was wondering which filter I would need. I already have a IR pass filter but I was wondered if a IR/UV cut filter would be better? Any advice is appreciated. Cheers, Jeff
  23. Hey everyone, I searched the forum on this topic and was surprised to see that it wasn't being discussed! (at least not that I could find). I'll be using Skysafari pro to track its path, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find it... ... but then what's the best technique to image it? - Webcam? - DSRL in video mode? - Long exposure (guided)? What settings should we aim at? (ISO, exposure, etc) Anyone who hunted similar objects in the past who want to share their experience would be highly appreciated! Thanks Andrea
  24. Hi there, I am still new to amateur astronomy and astrophotography. I recently took my first steps towards moon and Jupiter photography. While I am satisfied with my moon pictures, I am struggling with Jupiter. I am a bit desperate, so I hope that maybe someone good give me a couple of useful hints so I can learn and improve. When shooting Jupiter without any barlow lense or eyepiece, I manage to get a sharp picture and am actually reasonably satisfied with the results (see attachments named "ok.."). I use Firecapture to shoot something like 3000 single images (mostly JPEG because I had issues with other formats.. maybe this is one of my first mistakes) and stack them afterwards. When recording AVI movies with Firecapture and dissecting them to single pictures afterwards, my results are less sharp than taking photos, so I sticked to recording images instead of movies. When the image is stacked, I continue with editing using Registax. After tweaking around, I obtain a sharp image of Jupiter as a result. Now to my issue: I want to obtain bigger images from planets, especially Jupiter, and therefore bought a premium 3x barlow lense. I tested it on the moon and was very satisifed when comparing the view (and images) to my cheap 2x barlow lense. So I think I managed to see the difference and I think that the new barlow lense does quite well. When putting the ASI ZWO cam into the barlow lense and shooting Jupiter, the effects of the seeing increases (as I expected) and the image starts getting more noisy, but the single frames I see within Firecapture are still ok (at least that is what I think, maybe I am wrong there). I play around with the values for gain and shutter speed, select the Jupiter profile and start shooting (max. 180s because of Jupiter's rotation, I receive around 20 - 50 FPS, depends on the shutter speed, ofc). After 3 minutes, I receive between 2000 and 4500 single JPEGs, depending on my settings. Of course I know BMP or TIFF should be better, however I often have issues with Firecatpure's BMPs/TIFFs when putting them into pre-processing software such as Pipp. I pre-process, stack and edit my images and then still have a blurry Jupiter in front of me (see attachment, images named "stack.."). No matter what I do and how I tune the settings within Registax, Jupiter won't become any sharper when using the stacks which were recorded through my 3 x barlow lense. Could this be because of my recordings (bad image format, not enough frames..)? Do I need more frames when recording through a barlow lense? Or can't I do any better under the conditions of my site (see below)? Are there any tricks when recording through a barlow, do I need other settings or shall I use another software? I attached the stacked image ("stack6_raw.tif") and am curious if someone could get more out of it. For me, this tif looks like the stacked pictures of the small Jupiter pictures, and I managed to get them sharper. So I wonder if it's me or if I simply can't expect more when using a barlow lense? If so, how can I shoot bigger and sharper pictures of Jupiter then (without having to switch my telescope, I know that my Newton is not the "planet killer"). I am greatful for all hints! My equipment and software I use: EQ6-R Pro with GoTo 8" inch Newton (200PDS 200mm 1000mm f/5) 3x Premium Barlow ASI ZWO 290 Color and cooled Recording: Firecapture Preprocessing: Pipp (Planetary, output in TIF) Stacking: Autostackert 3 Editin: Registax6 My site: Germany Small town, lots of light pollution, but it's still "ok" Mid - strong seeing on most days stack6_raw.tif single_stack6.tif single_small_jupiter.tif
  25. I am ready to purchase my laptop, it will be an Intel core i7 with all the trimmings, my questions is regarding drive space and typical imaging file size output. Many new computers have solid state hard drives, they are much faster but space is sacrificed as even the upper end laptops have 256gb SS drives. Somehow I feel that a 256gb drive will be low for an imaging laptop, I know I can add an external drive but I want to avoid carrying anything else. Maybe I should opt out of solid state and instead get one with a 1Tb standard drive?. Or, am I wrong, and 256gb SS drive will do the trick? I have no idea what a decent range is for typical nights imaging or solar imaging sessions.
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