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Christopher Davenport

First attempt at stacking the moon

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Hi all

This is my first attempt at imaging the moon with my QH5l (Planetary Webcam)

I took about 2000 raw frames at 14bit through my 80ED with a 0.5FR (to get the moon into the frame)

I have stacked at 25% in AS!2 and done minimal wavelets and RGBautoalign in Registax.

I have played a bit with the gamma and midtones via filters to try to even out the brightness.

gallery_32740_2960_32060.jpg

Rotated moon and placed against a black background and reduced the size for this forum.

Any advice as how to reduce the bright spots without loosing the detail.

Or is this what it is supposed to look like?

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Im no expert but i always try to under expose the Moon when its bright by shooting it at much lower ISO settings but i use a DSLR so not sure about your planetary cam. 

Very good for your first attempt tho!

have you had a play with the colour curves in Photoshop?

Edited by LeeWilky
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Hi Christopher, 

It looks quite nice to me. Just wondering what capture software you used with the qhy5?

Scott

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Hi Christopher, 

It looks quite nice to me. Just wondering what capture software you used with the qhy5?

Scott

I used EZplanatery for qhy, very temperamental but once you get used to it, allows for squeezing the most out of the cam.

See my blog post on Jupiter preparation in my Sig on how to up the frame rates.

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Im no expert but i always try to under expose the Moon when its bright by shooting it at much lower ISO settings but i use a DSLR so not sure about your planetary cam. 

Very good for your first attempt tho!

have you had a play with the colour curves in Photoshop?

Not taken this image into ps5, still trying to get to grips with ps5 to be honest.

Could you explain what to do with colour curves

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I use PS Elements but all you do with colour curves is adjust the slider bars in small amounts and it will lighten or darken certain areas of the surface. You just keep doing small adjustments and click ok then do it again and keep going until you happy with the image.

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I use PS Elements but all you do with colour curves is adjust the slider bars in small amounts and it will lighten or darken certain areas of the surface. You just keep doing small adjustments and click ok then do it again and keep going until you happy with the image.

Thanks I will investigate it.

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It can take a bit of practice to get the exposure right.  I always favour underexposing a little with the Moon.  Not sure what you do if you already have the camera down at minimum exposure though.  Stick a Moon filter on the front?

James

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It can take a bit of practice to get the exposure right.  I always favour underexposing a little with the Moon.  Not sure what you do if you already have the camera down at minimum exposure though.  Stick a Moon filter on the front?

James

The exposure on this is right down, never thought of using my al cheapo moon filter that came with my eyepieces.

Tried it once with Jupiter, but it messed up my colours, so I have just left if for visual.

Next time i am playing with the moon, I will put it on and give it a bash.

There are definitely areas that are over exposed.

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I'm no expert, but do images of the Moon need to be stacked? Getting the exposure right is tricky i agree. Nice detail along the terminator. 

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I'm no expert, but do images of the Moon need to be stacked? Getting the exposure right is tricky i agree. Nice detail along the terminator. 

You dont need to stack the Moon but you do get much higher detail from stacking.

Heres an example both taken using my DSLR and x2 Barlow.  The First image is a single exposure and the second is a stacked and cropped image of the same area.

post-33248-0-31753100-1389911876_thumb.jpost-33248-0-37967300-1389911706_thumb.j

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Thanks guys for the advice, weather has been bad lately. I am going to have another go at this a bit later.

I will attach my moon filter and then drop the exposure as low as it will go and retry.

You have all been a great help.

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Thanks guys for the advice, weather has been bad lately. I am going to have another go at this a bit later.

I will attach my moon filter and then drop the exposure as low as it will go and retry.

You have all been a great help.

Good luck and look forward to seeing the results :)

I spent 5 hours out last night shooting Jupiter and waiting for the Moon to get high enough to have a go but as soon as the Moon came into view clouds rolled in and never left :(

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I'm no expert, but do images of the Moon need to be stacked? Getting the exposure right is tricky i agree. Nice detail along the terminator. 

Any form of digital imaging , whether Lunar , Solar , Planetary or Deep Sky requires stacking to get a decent result ...  :smiley:

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Looks good to me ,it's not easy with a near fm there's dark and bright areas to deal with ,but at least your on your way

Pat

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Looks good to me ,it's not easy with a near fm there's dark and bright areas to deal with ,but at least your on your way

Pat

I think it is because you shoot through the turbulence of the atmosphere, so many images can be averaged to reduce the noise introduced by the turbulence. 

A good story about how you can take a DSO picture with DSLR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0JSTF8SGi4

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I use a gradient layer mask in PS to reduce the highlights without losing the darker areas. I'm not sure about PS5 as I'm using PS CS2, however I'm sure the process is the same. I normally duplicate layer (so I can refer to the original), select Layer>New adjustment layer> Brightness contrast, make your adjustments until you're happy with the highlighted areas, then use the gradient tool to select what parts of the layer mask should be visible, i.e. the layer should be over the illuminated side, fading towards the terminator.

Hope this helps!

Ryan

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Very nice first shot. I think it looks a bit too stretched, so some work with curves or gamma could perhaps tease out a bit more detail

Thanks for the tip, I think I will start again from the stacked image and play with curves gamma to see effect.

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