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CKemu

Saturn @ 24°10’39” | June 7th | 23:26:53 UTC

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Friday the 7th was my last chance to photograph Saturn, as light conditions and position become increasingly less favourable for imaging. Indeed, it's pretty bad already, as the following images from that session where shot directly through the strong halo of a "beautiful" and "oh so useful" street lamp.

I went for full on luxury that evening, with a deck chair and a table for the laptop, might as well treat myself as I gaze at a planet a billion and a bit kilometers away! The evening was even more delightful as I set the scope up to have the neighbours kids curiously ask me what I was doing and thus I took the time to show them the view of Saturn, much to their delight - and mine, I love sharing this stuff with interested minds.

Saturn has not been well positioned for us here in the UK, with it peaking at just over 25 degrees in the sky, but at this peak, around 22:25 UTC, it's pretty light outside.

I have only just started imaging using the ASI120mc, but finding it a joy to use with FireCapture 2.3b. Indeed I can't wait for a little bit of Moon or for Jupiter season to start!

Overview of Imaging

Seeing:

http://youtu.be/UUbr1KKhsTc

(Video is RAW Footage, but Debayered GRGB for colour)

Hardware:

Meade LX90 8" SCT | Drift Aligned with no computer guiding

Meade 2x Shorty Barlow

ASI120mc @ 30ms | Gamma 50 | Gain 62 | ROI 496x320

Software:

FireCapture 2.3b

PIPP: Colour Debayer GRGB | Crop | Center

Registax: Align | Stack best 30% | RGB Align | R/B Correct

Photoshop: Levels | Saturation | Smart Sharpen | Soft De-Noise

I have also included an RGB split of the RAW TIF file (with a basic smart sharpen applied) - I note that R,G are sharp (R being the sharpest), yet the B channel is particulary fuzzy. I assume seeing, it's low position and possibly the street lamp have caused this?

post-9886-0-39836300-1370810644_thumb.jp

post-9886-0-34357200-1370810646_thumb.jp

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Hi,

Nice post, good to see the start and end of the process and a nice final image.

I have been working on Saturn myself for the past couple of weeks (my efforts here), only really started imaging over the past few weeks and still working my way though capture and processing. I had not thought of checking the RGB split - did this on my image and same result on the blue channel, have a fair bit of LP and imaging pretty close to the rooftops.

My source capture was about the the same exposure, still early days on imaging so still working of what the exposure and useful to have something to compare against. Had a more stable image but smaller scope and no barlow but still looks like I was lucky with the conditions.

Thanks for this, I found this very useful

Trevor

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CKemu,

nice capture and some good detail - the raw video looks pretty good compared to a lot I've captured this apparition. Very respectable result, though perhaps tad off balance with yellow and green in the final image (not that I can quote any great expertise in this area). Blues a pig at this elevation and from my attempts I feel its best to shoot blue channel at as high a frame rate as possible taking perhaps double the number of frames for a bigger stack to offset the noise at higher gains. Though I'm shooting mono which allows some more flexibility, but at 62% gain you perhaps have room to increase this and perhaps shrink the ROI to achieve higher frame rates.

Nice detail in your OP by the way.

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Yes nice. Your AVI image is so much better than anything i've ever captured, the seeing must have been very good.

James

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Thank you all for your kind words, I'm suffering insomnia currently so just processed the other videos from that night to produce a more "wide field" view of the planet and thus a few of it's moons.

post-9886-0-35269700-1370910075_thumb.jp

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post-9886-0-52805400-1371161517_thumb.jp

Unable to sleep tonight, so re-processed my data:

Differences:

  • Restacked, but used 60% of the best frames, and no cropping in PIPP
  • Histogram was stretched in Registax first, not Photoshop
  • Rings and planets body are processed seperately
  • I used the R channel as a L channel, with a slight Gaussian blur

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