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Ceph and Cass

imaging the planets


mindburner
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hi all

I have been able to take some reasonable (for me) images of DSO's etc with my current kit. A meade 127ED, Atik, 428EX OSC and EQ6.

I see the superb images of Jupiter and Saturn in the planetary imaging section as would love to have a bash.

Do I need to invest in some new kit, kit a dedicated planetary imaging camera. Most folks also seem to use the large aperture c11's etc. Is my refractor up to the job.

I suppose I could just have a go but planetary imaging seems to be a whole new learning curve. I wanted to get an idea of kit before I started off.

Any help or advice appreciated:)

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I would start off with the SPC880NC and the 300 Dob in your sig.

The tracking of the Go-To Dob should be fine for the 3-4 minute AVi's required and the 300mm aperture will enable use of a 2x or 3x Barlow and should give good results without the need to go jumping in with new kit.

Saturn is fairly low in the sky this year ( and for the next few years ) and the main limiting factor will be the atmosphere , which has thwarted attempts by even the best kit this year.

The steady , cool air scenario is a rare thing in the summer , it's just a case of plugging away and hopefully catching a period of decent seeing.

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I would start off with the SPC880NC and the 300 Dob in your sig.

The tracking of the Go-To Dob should be fine for the 3-4 minute AVi's required and the 300mm aperture will enable use of a 2x or 3x Barlow and should give good results without the need to go jumping in with new kit.

Saturn is fairly low in the sky this year ( and for the next few years ) and the main limiting factor will be the atmosphere , which has thwarted attempts by even the best kit this year.

The steady , cool air scenario is a rare thing in the summer , it's just a case of plugging away and hopefully catching a period of decent seeing.

hi I managed to get a reasonable if smallish Jupiter with a philips webcam and the 300p. The mount was just too wobbly and a real pain to be honest. Once I swapped to a barlow, the whole thing was practically impossible to operate. I must try again with the dob though.

I was hoping the refractor may have a future with this as it gets good marks for planetary visual use. But I must say visually it's just does not seem to be a patch on the dob.

I did try to put the 300p tube on the mount, although not recommended, worked. I just would need 3 men an a wee lad to get it on an off. Not practical and very hard on the EQ6. Worth a try though

Edited by mindburner
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Sound advice by Steve. Aperture is everything in planetary AP, so the 300 dob will be a lot better. You could get an ASI120MC camera, if you can afford it. Very good cameras for planetary!

Thanks for the help. I may try and get a 10 inch carbon reflector for the EQ6. The push pull of the dob mount is pretty hard to manage. The EQ6 is just great for DSO's so I was hoping to use this.

I will check out the ASI120MC camera. I take it the 428EX OSC will not really be any use for planetary?

cheers

Alan

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Hi Alan

I had the 250mm flextube and would say it was better than my C11 for the planets. The dobs are simpler in design and therefore easier to set up in terms of collimation and I just think I got better results. Unfortunately, I sold it when I bought a C11, so can't really do a comparison. Tracking wasn't a problem once I got the clutch set correctly, even with a 5x barlow. I used an Imaging Source DFK31, but recently bought a more sensitive DFK21, but any of the 'planetary cameras' should be fine, even a SPC880.

I am glad to see your signature, I have been thinking about a new Atik, slightly off topic, but how does your 428 compare to the 1100d in terms of sensitivity and noise?

Robin

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I do not think the Atik 428EX supports the frame rates you really need to get required number of frames in a sufficiently short time (there is no harm in giving it a shot, I suppose). A (slow) 16 ADC is not that useful in the comparatively low dynamic range world of planetary imaging.

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Hi Alan

I had the 250mm flextube and would say it was better than my C11 for the planets. The dobs are simpler in design and therefore easier to set up in terms of collimation and I just think I got better results. Unfortunately, I sold it when I bought a C11, so can't really do a comparison. Tracking wasn't a problem once I got the clutch set correctly, even with a 5x barlow. I used an Imaging Source DFK31, but recently bought a more sensitive DFK21, but any of the 'planetary cameras' should be fine, even a SPC880.

I am glad to see your signature, I have been thinking about a new Atik, slightly off topic, but how does your 428 compare to the 1100d in terms of sensitivity and noise?

Robin

hi

I have not tried the dob in a while to be honest as I have been deep space imaging, when night are good and I get a chance with work etc. The dob still gives a duper view of the planets, especially when using the bino viewer.

I may try again with the sp900 and invest in a barlow. The one I have is only 2x so maybe a 4. I just love imaging with the refractor as I can get 10 min subs now, so I was hoping to use it for planets. Once I get the barlow, I will try again with the refractor.

I have got the Atik camera now. It's great but takes a bit of getting used to.

I managed to wreck my canon t3/1100d. I had originally modded it by removing the factory IR filter and it was a great success. I then decided to do a cooling mod on the camera using a cold finger and a peltier cooler. This worked very well, almost too well as the main issue I had was condensation on the sensor face. This was a pain and meant the sensor had to be cleaned. I did a resistor heating mod to sort this out. I did have major power supply issues using a switched mode PSU. The thread is here:

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/173580-thinking-of-doing-a-dslr-cooling-mod/

During the modding I killed the main board of the canon and had to get a replacement. After fitting the noise was pretty bad:( compared to the original PCB. I had another non modded 1100 and tried a noise test on it. This was also bad.

My canon was a US import and a refurbished model. It had super low noise. The UK model seems to have much higher noise. Where as the US model had practically no hot coloured pixels the UK model had lods on a 600s exposure.

This seems not very plausible but is seems to be the way it is, or else I was lucky and had a good un to begin with. I compare both circuit boards and codes etc were the same. I also recreated custom settings used on the original board with no improvement.

I plan to buy a US 1100d once I get some spare cash.

So to cut a long story short.. the canon is retired due to the noise. The Atik is great and has lower noise but I miss the larger sensor. I also need to take more exposures to get a noise free image which I though was strange. The FITS files produced are easy to handle once the right software is used. There are some images on my web site.

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I do not think the Atik 428EX supports the frame rates you really need to get required number of frames in a sufficiently short time (there is no harm in giving it a shot, I suppose). A (slow) 16 ADC is not that useful in the comparatively low dynamic range world of planetary imaging.

I have never seen any planetary imaging with the likes of the Atik OSC camera, so there is probably a good reason:) but I will have a go and will buy a decent barlow. I can get 5p sized Jupiters with some detail with the dob but I was after the large detailed Jupiters I drool over on this forum.

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hi all

I have been able to take some reasonable (for me) images of DSO's etc with my current kit. A meade 127ED, Atik, 428EX OSC and EQ6.

I see the superb images of Jupiter and Saturn in the planetary imaging section as would love to have a bash.

Do I need to invest in some new kit, kit a dedicated planetary imaging camera. Most folks also seem to use the large aperture c11's etc. Is my refractor up to the job.

I suppose I could just have a go but planetary imaging seems to be a whole new learning curve. I wanted to get an idea of kit before I started off.

Any help or advice appreciated:)

Hi,

You don't need anymore telescopes, mounts or anything else. You need a decent planetary camera ( Webcam ) and you already have a brilliant 127 mm ED scope that is more than capable of resolving very fine detail on Saturn with a real decent barlow, the dob is also great but a bit awkward to handle. The SPC 900 is a decent webcam but personally I wouldn't pair a very expensive ED scope with an cheap webcam, it will just not give you the high frame rate of capture that you need in planetary imaging. The Atik is of no use as it is a single shot. The ASI 120 is an OK camera, I have one as are some of Imaging Source cameras so do your research. If you have a filter wheel and fancy doing LRGB imaging go for a camera with a Sony ICX 618 mono chip, it has the potential of giving you more resolving power , it is more work and time consuming and ofcourse more expensive.

Regards,

A.G

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Hi,

You don't need anymore telescopes, mounts or anything else. You need a decent planetary camera ( Webcam ) and you already have a brilliant 127 mm ED scope that is more than capable of resolving very fine detail on Saturn with a real decent barlow, the dob is also great but a bit awkward to handle. The SPC 900 is a decent webcam but personally I wouldn't pair a very expensive ED scope with an cheap webcam, it will just not give you the high frame rate of capture that you need in planetary imaging. The Atik is of no use as it is a single shot. The ASI 120 is an OK camera, I have one as are some of Imaging Source cameras so do your research. If you have a filter wheel and fancy doing LRGB imaging go for a camera with a Sony ICX 618 mono chip, it has the potential of giving you more resolving power , it is more work and time consuming and ofcourse more expensive.

Regards,

A.G

hi that ASI120 looks great. Some of the images are superb taken with it. I must invest in one and try it with my current 2x barlow. I also have designs on a Televu 5x powermate. I did try imaging Jupiter last year but the results were a bit underwhelming with 2x on the 12 inch dob. It was so hard to keep on target.

This is the best I could get

post-11156-0-95556700-1369245751_thumb.p

Edited by mindburner
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