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twin-kle1007

First Astro Pic on a budget scope

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I have a Celestron Astromaster 130eq. I have become really interested in the concept of Astrophotography. Last night, I took my first Image and now I'm really looking forward to experimenting further and eventually upgrading the scope. I didn't really know what to expect from my scope, if anything, as it has been a pain to even achieve focus. But here it is. Not brilliant, and lets face it, dwarved by some of the amazing images on here but I'm quite proud of what I achieved with this entry level scope. I have also read Steve Richards' Book "Making Every Photon Count" (recommended by an SGL User) and I extremely recommend the Book.

Equipment used -

Celestron Astromaster 130eq

Nikon D40 DSLR with remote shutter

2x Barlow

61 various images

Stacked in Registax 6

Cropped and adjusted in Gimp 2

Filter applied using Instagram

Objects from left to right - Callisto, Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter, Io

Sorry but for some reason I couldn't import a larger image so the moons are difficult to see on this scaled down version.

post-12814-0-66522800-1358257057_thumb.j

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Great start and it is just practice. Jupiter is very bright compared to it's moons so if you try and get both in the shot, either moons are faint or Jupiter is over-expossed. I would try the following:

Set your exposure for Jupiter and take as many frames as you can manage, stacking them to produce one image. Don't worry about the dim moons.

Then take about 1/3 more frames with the exposure cranked up a bit to get the moons and stack these, using one of the moons as the reference for stacking. Don't worry about Jupiter at this stage.

Then merge the two by cropping the good picture of Jupiter, plus a bit of black sky over the over-expossed Jupiter on the second image. Feather or merge the edges and hey presto one image perfectly exposed.

Nice camera by the way. I have a D40x that I used to use, great camera, low noise and a CCD (not CMOS). The only problem is there is very little software to control it (apart from Nikon's own) and as such there are very few people using it for astrophotography.

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Well done ! Onwards and upwards :grin:

If you can get your hands on a cheap webcam and adapters it's possible to record a small movie and satck those frames to form a pic - keep the capture to about 90 seconds worth for Jupiter to avoid the blurring of details as it revolves in orbit.

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I bought a modified Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 on ebay and then downloaded Wxastrocapture software so I'm eager to try that avenue also, but I just haven't had the chance to test it yet.

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You may also want to give SharpCap a try. I used both SharpCap and wxAstroCapture but found I preferred SharpCap.

James

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Very nice image! I never tried any planetary stuff since it seems very difficult...

Thumbs up!

/Jesper

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Thats a great start, don't stop trying. I started out and kept at it and with the same telescope as yourself but using a barlow and webcam it's possible on a good night to get this kind of detail. I'm by no means an expert but I just keep plugging away - some nights I get some good footage but most nights end in near failure to capture anything other than the bands.

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Great start, if you want more detail on jupiter lower your exposures, you may lose the moons but once stacked should be good. a webcam will significantly improve your results if your budget ever allows it in the future :)

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Hey, i was recently gifted with the celestron astro master 130eq for christmas and loving it (my first scope) made this image last thurs, afocal with my compact, made up of two images, edited in photoshop.

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