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geoff_k

It can be frustrating

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Looking back at an image of Saturn I did at roughly the same time last year with pretty much the same equipment. Setting the rings aside (in a manner of speaking) I can get nowhere near a decent image this time around.

Drat and double drat!

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Im the same Geoff

Mars was a bit of a flop and Saturn is proving illusive in giving up detail.

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i started imaging Planets about 8 yeras ago , my first year was wonderful capturing some good seeing, from then on i have not done a decent image of a planet, its all down to capturing the right moment ,right time ,careful study of the weather , etc , scope tuned just right , i got fed up with the waiting, and now the PLanets are,nt good for imaging , a few more years and they will be ,

No planets for me now , DSO and maybe some lunar shots

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That's quite a difference - I suppose the rings being less edge on makes quite a difference. I've been pretty ruthless with the number of frames binned and that seems to have improved things a bit - I was very disappointed in my own Mars attempts.

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Its a bit more difficult for me to compare. I am now using a different barlow and camera compared to last year.

First image last year.

Second this year.

John

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John

Your second image is miles better than mine.

I did a little experiment with my Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow and although it makes the focal length about F10, I reckon the end result is my best thus far especially with a bright Moon about.

Just shows how big a factor seeing conditions are.

sat180208_01.bmp

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The Ultima is a excellent barlow but it still gives you only just under F10.

My scope is F6 and I have found about F30 is needed to get a decent image scale. I ended up with the 5X TeleVue Powermate - expensive but it seems to be the barlow of choice among planetary imagers. Changing to the mono DMK camera ( rather than the colour TouCam) and doing separate R,G and B frames also improved results. Some form of 10:1 focus reduction makes accurate focussing a bit easier.

John

PS - As you said seeing is the other major factor.

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John

You are absolutely right about the sort of focal length required but the F10 image is indicative of the conditions down here as it was the best I could do.

Anything more and the image was untenable. Sadly, this has been the exception rather than the rule in the last few months. Bet I miss the one good night of seeing (or perhaps I already have).

Geoff

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Ah - did not realise the seeing was that bad in your area.

I suppose the seeing in the Peterborough area has been reasonable in comparison.

John

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Its a bit more difficult for me to compare. I am now using a different barlow and camera compared to last year.

First image last year.

Second this year.

John

Please forgive me for being dumb, but are these true colour photos? Same goes for all the pics on this forum. Do some people add colour in photoshop, or whatever? Thanks.

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Its a bit more difficult for me to compare. I am now using a different barlow and camera compared to last year.

First image last year.

Second this year.

John

Please forgive me for being dumb, but are these true colour photos? Same goes for all the pics on this forum. Do some people add colour in photoshop, or whatever? Thanks.

It's an interesting question. Given all of the images are taken through ccd and cmos chips with quite a bit of variation in brightness, saturation and other settings it's hard to get a "natural" look so a fair bit is open to interpretation. Observing the planet through a powerful telescope gives some reference to what the natural look would be - though it's rather bright. It's very subjective to what a given image should look like - you can see this in the variation of colouring in images of M42. The planets are a bit more standard probably due to the images from the space probes over the last two and a half decades providing an excellent reference.

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It's definitely down to individual interpretation in many cases.

I have attached a frame of the original AVI from last year (unfortunately, I ditched the AVI from the most recent attempt).

Another area where this also plays a part is DSOs. I know this is the planetary section, but by way of illustration, here are two images of M57 I took recently. The first was in July last year and the second in October, both with the same camera and fairly similar settings as far as I can recall. The post-processing probably did differ, however.

My personal feeling is that the second is more 'natural', whatever that means.

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