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JamesF

First Jupiter this season

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I've done hardly any planetary imaging since Mars started to drift away earlier this year, but the excellent conditions on Saturday night gave me the opportunity to get the 127 Mak out and capture my first shots of Jupiter this apparition. I struggled a bit with a sensor that needed cleaning (no idea why as it's sat all summer with an IR filter and cap over the end of the nosepiece), but here's a montage of my results.

127 Mak on a motorised EQ3-2, 2.5x Revelation barlow and extension, SPC880, 1800 frames @ 10fps for each image, preprocessed using PIPP, stacked in AS!2 and sharpened using wavelets in Registax v6.

Constructive criticism gratefully received :)

jupiter-2012-10-14.png

For comparison, and because it makes me feel good about my imaging progressing :), here's my last image of Jupiter, taken a year and two weeks ago:

jupiter-01_10_2011-01_29_43-1.png

James

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Looking sharp and crisp. And a nice step up from last year. Keep up the good work!

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I have to say they are some of the best shots I've seen with the 127 and philips cam. Great work James!

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I have to say they are some of the best shots I've seen with the 127 and philips cam. Great work James!

I agree lovely shots James! well done.

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Thank you very much, chaps. Much appreciated.

James

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Clearly you have got the art of getting the most out of your equipment. would love to see what you would get with the 7" Mak. Or larger scope. You ever thought about getting the 7" mak

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Clearly you have got the art of getting the most out of your equipment. would love to see what you would get with the 7" Mak. Or larger scope. You ever thought about getting the 7" mak

Actually, I do have a C9.25. It (and the NEQ6 and lots of other stuff I really want to play with again) is packed up at the moment though because we're a bit short of space thanks to ongoing "house improvements". My plan was to construct an observatory in time for this winter so I could have everything back in use, but, well, the planned site has been a mudbath for most of this summer and work has been a little busier than I expected, so it hasn't happened :(

James

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So impressive, my attempt pales into insignificance, 1st using my phone to take a picture through the eyepiece and the second with SLR tracking manually.

post-21891-0-92815000-1350340081_thumb.j

post-21891-0-88899500-1350340102_thumb.j

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Thanks for all the positive comments. They genuinely are much appreciated.

Part of me is still quite pleasantly surprised that such images can be produced using a second-hand (several times over, I think) 127 Mak and EQ3-2 with after-market motors and (what was, when I bought it) a £5 webcam. Oh, I bodged myself a motorised focuser for it, too. More than anything else I think that was the one thing that changed imaging from something that was hard work into something that I could work hard at.

James

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So impressive, my attempt pales into insignificance, 1st using my phone to take a picture through the eyepiece and the second with SLR tracking manually.

Well, as I said in the first posting, those five images are the result of stacking 1800 images each from a webcam. I've never tried afocal imaging and I tend to stick to wide field and full disc lunar/solar imaging with the DSLR. Having the volume of data to work with that a webcam provides makes life a bit easier. What I didn't say was that I also have four more runs of data that I've not bothered with because it's just not good enough, and over the course of the two years I've been imaging I've certainly abandoned more data than I've actually turned into images I was happy with. My philosophy has always been that each time I go out imaging I try to do a little better and learn a little more. I can cope with throwing away an entire night's data (and I've done so on plenty of occasions) if I end up understanding more about what I'm doing. As long as it doesn't happen too often, at least :)

So, if those are what you feel are your best efforts so far, be happy with them. Learn from what you think isn't as good as it could be and go and to do better next time. It really doesn't matter where you start. If you keep making progress you'll eventually get to where you want to be. For comparison, this is my first ever planetary image, taken fairly early during the winter 2010/11 apparition as far as I recall:

saturn.png

James

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very nice images. you really are getting the most from the equipment you are using, hang on a minute a c9.25 :eek: how do you resist the temptation to use that ?

also PIPP and A/S2 i have never used them, just registax i might have to give them a go!

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Geat images James. How do you get your pics that big? Resize them?

Radders

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Great detail from such a relatively small scope, gives me faith I can get something from my C6SE (though I might have to move to the west country ! )

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very nice images. you really are getting the most from the equipment you are using, hang on a minute a c9.25 :eek: how do you resist the temptation to use that ?

also PIPP and A/S2 i have never used them, just registax i might have to give them a go!

The problem with using the C9.25 at the moment is that I have nowhere to keep it (or the NEQ6) where it will be safe and not in the way or end up being used as a clothes horse or something :( The Mak is much easier to stick in a cupboard out of the way. It is frustrating though. I hardly had the chance to use it before we embarked on a new bathroom creation project that has taken considerably longer to complete than intended.

This is the first time I've used PIPP for planetary images. I've been using it for solar and lunar imaging since Chris got it to read RAW images from the DSLR and create TIFF output files because Registax can cope with TIFFs as input. I regularly experiment with Registax v5, v6 and AS!2 to see what produces the best results. They all seem to have their strong and weak points.

James

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Geat images James. How do you get your pics that big? Resize them?

That's exactly the size they came off the camera. I'm using the Revelation 2.5x barlow in the visual back, with an extension to give a little more magnification (actually the kit Skywatcher barlow with the lenses removed) and then the camera. Looking at the images from last year I realised that they're slightly larger because I used to leave the diagonal in thus moving the focal plane back which on the Mak increases the image size.

The barlow and extension push the effective focal length I'm using up to something like 4.5m to 5m which is what gives the image size. Your 130MD is only starting at 650mm focal length, so realistically you're not going to be able to get near that I'm afraid.

James

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Very, very nice set of images, it seems like everyone is stepping up their game this year!!!

There was a lot of interest in webcams earlier this year. Jupiter isn't exactly "work-friendly" at the moment, but as it gets higher in the sky it would be really nice to see more people having a go.

James

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Great detail from such a relatively small scope, gives me faith I can get something from my C6SE (though I might have to move to the west country ! )

I'd hope that planetary imaging would be more tolerant of the LP around London so moving may not be a requirement :) I guess there's the potential for all sorts of other issues relating to the stability of the seeing and air quality though. You'll never know until you get out there and have a crack at it :)

James

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I'd hope that planetary imaging would be more tolerant of the LP around London so moving may not be a requirement :) I guess there's the potential for all sorts of other issues relating to the stability of the seeing and air quality though. You'll never know until you get out there and have a crack at it :)

James

Indeed seeing is the limiting factor, the turbulence can be scary, throwing Jupiter around all over the place even at 1:00 am never mind the smaller scale bluring that occurs if there has been a hint of sun during the day, one day I will get to a dark sky sight ....

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