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First timer Jupiter & Io


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OK.. So what is wrong with the Universe.. I only ordered a ASI120mm the other day, and it (and the 4x powermate) only turned up today and so I found myself in the ridiculous situation of new toys and clear skies.. I am still stunned!

Anyhow, a complete newbie planetary imager I have great fun capturing the King tonight. I originally started out with the 4x powermate but decided the conditions maybe didn't quite suit (or didn't suit my skill, one of the two) so in the end I went down to 2x. I also played with lots of different exposures, gain, and frame rates during capture (using FireCapture). I used the VX10 for capture (so F9.6 at 2x).

It eventually clouded over about an hour or so later, and my HDD was starting to strain with the gigabytes of data I had captured so I came in and read some quick tutorials on processing and so here are the results of a whirlwind first stab:



I definitely want to work on better focusing techniques, and it was a chore to initially get the target on the chip, especially at 4x. In the end I used my 21mm Ethos to get the planet approx in the middle and then switched to a 12mm alignment eyepiece. I then centred the planet and swapped in the ASI and focused, which is tricky when any vibration is super amplified. I can see why people invest in electric focusers. The mount behaved very well though and it was in AltAz mode.

I used PIPP to preprocess the raw AVIs to remove the rubbish frames. I think the 1024x768 at 50FPS have come out best. The 640x480 image was captured at 100FPS. Might just have been the steadier conditions at the time, but I played more with exposure and lowering gain with the 1024x768 captures.

The preprocessed frames were then processed using Registax6. I have applied no other image processing. I'll probably have a further play over the weekend, but given this is a real first go and with very little research beforehand I am quite pleased with the result.

Lots to learn, and looking forward to doing so!

I have the intention of getting a filter wheel down the line, but for the time being quite happy learning my way with mono captures!

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I can definitely see how planetary imaging can get a little addictive!

Was back again this morning for more punishment on Saturn:


This was slightly out of focus, I went to the Moon after taking this and it was obvious I was a little out. I am happy for a first attempt though!

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Nice for a 1st attempt Paul.

Give Auto stakkert a go after running your avi through Pipp, a lot lot better than Registax & faster as well.

As for focus either use the moon as a good gauge or a star, failing that a Bahtinov mask is invaluable.

I have to use my 2x Barlow to centre & then switch to 3x, but in IC Capture i have the histogram on screen & can see if the graph spikes at all if i do have to still search around for Jupiter.

Very dynamic & beautiful object i am sure your going to enjoy going back time & time again.

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Addictive doesn't even start to describe it! Showing an image like that, telling someone it's 370 million miles away and you imaged it from your back garden - that never gets old :D

Just don't expect other people to understand. :)

Great first images by the way!!

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Thank you all for the kind comments!

I'll give Auto Stakkert a go on the same data - I have heard a few people mention they prefer it to registax. I also think I'll be looking to make a Bahtinov mask, there is a nice template generator online so should be no problem.

I have found friends and families reaction to the planetary (I also took some lunar pictures too) images far more receptive, with more wow's and amazement and interest in what they are looking at. I also do a lot of video imaging (using software I have been developing) of DSOs and I tend to find the reaction there a bit more hit and miss. I think it because more people are aware of the moon and planets, but seem less aware of galaxies and nebula so aren't quite so blown away but them. Weird - its all fascinating!  :grin:

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