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Planetary imaging - what am i doing wrong?


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Hi! This is my first post :)

I'm just getting into planetary imaging and my first target was Saturn. I was trying to get some decent shots (videos>registax>jpg) in the past weeks, but the best I could do is this:

saturn.jpg

I used a Celestron Omni 127 SC XLT, 6mm eyepiece and a Sony Nex7 DSLR attached to it recording a video, and then processed in registax. The original video is here:

...but with this equipment much better results should be possible.

I do not have tracking.

I was doing everything from an urban area but light pollution should not have a big effect on planetary imaging?

The image was focused best possible before recording.

When I try to do the same with an 12mm lens, I get a sharper image/focus, longer recording time, but the end results are not much better (and the image is of course smaller).

Do you have any tips howy i can improve?

Thanks!

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It's not bad for a first attempt. Since you don't have a tracking mount, try practicing with manual tracking. It's hard to say, but it appears as if your colimation is off making the image blurry. But I can't say for sure since I haven't used that scope before. Since the object is moving across the screen, before using registax, try using Castrator or PIPP to center the image in your video. (It's free software)

Use AutoStakker 2 to stack the images, and use registax to apply the wavleets. Makes it easier.

Also seeing conditions play a huge part in the quality of the images. You have done well as a first attempt, just takes a bit of practice to get that one good image your going for.

Your image appears stretched because the image didn't center/align properly in registax.

Edited by Atlas
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For a first attempt I'd say that's not too bad in terms of the video. You do need much longer, really. With Saturn I'd really be attempting to capture at least five minutes worth of video. I've no idea what the DSLR is like in terms of video capture. Often DSLRs are not that great for planetary imaging because they lack the necessary sensitivity. Cameras with larger pixels often work better.

James

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Saturn is not an easy target and no tracking isn't helping too (and it makes webcams nearly unusable as they have much smaller field of view). Try on the Moon - that should be much easier to catch bright and with good detail.

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thanks again for the help! this is my first saturn (with same equipment) after following your tips :) collimation was indeed a bit off but i still have to practice collimating. and a tracking mount would definitely help a lot becase at higher magnifications it is very hard to find target, to focus it and to track it manually.

saturn.jpg

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thanks again for the help! this is my first saturn (with same equipment) after following your tips :) collimation was indeed a bit off but i still have to practice collimating. and a tracking mount would definitely help a lot becase at higher magnifications it is very hard to find target, to focus it and to track it manually.

saturn.jpg

Wow what a difference two days makes. Your first image is similar to mine. Your second image is something i aspire to. Focus is off a tad, but what a great image compared.

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