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I am only a few weeks into astronomy and started off with a Celestron 9.25" Evo on the standard AZ mount. I guess with hindsight this wasn't the best place to start and also with hindsight I would have done better to have bought a GEM mount. Anyway, lesson learned and at 71 years old I have to speed up the learning process compared to younger enthusiasts I have 2 issues. 1/ Its a pain dragging the scope out into the garden and setting it up every time I think the fickled weather might be obliging. 2/ I now know that the mount I have is useless for long exposures and a wedge is fiddly to get polar aligned.
My question is, though I gather wedges are a PITA to setup etc is if I was to build or buy a pier for the backyard and use my existing mount + a wedge is this a reasonable way to go? Though it's fiddly to set the thing up once set I could leave the mount, wedge, etc covered up and would just need to drop the OTA on when I wanted to use it. Is this reasonable or am I missing something fundamental down near the bottom end of my learning curve
Any advice much appreciated and don't feel you have to spare my feelings
Hi, this question has probably been done to death here, but can I ask the community to help me decide on a new camera?
After struggling with my very glitchy QHY5LIIc camera for a while, as well as having a forced break from astronomy, I have decided to get a new camera. After all the problems I've been having with the QHY, I really don't want to use this manufacturer again. I know lots of people use them quite happily, but once bitten ...
I have been looking at the ZWO cameras - OSC, as I haven't the time, clear skies, or patients to do LRGB imaging!
I have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras.
I mainly do planetary/Luna imaging, but I have also dabbled in a bit of DSO and would like to continue with both. I have a C9.25 and a ST80 guide scope. I know these aren't ideal for DSOs but please humour me!
I think from the specs/information that the 224 is probably the best option. Although the resolution and QE are the worst of the three, the well depth and read noise are the best and the fps is pretty good too.
I don't know if there are better/cheaper cameras using the same chips, such as Altair's range. I just don't want to make the same mistake that I did with the QHY!n
Any help/advice you can give will be much appreciated.?
Hey StarGazersLounge Forums,
I am an amateur in astrophotography and have so far taken photos of the Moon and some planets with my camera. However, I am looking for a major upgrade in order to take astrophotography to a professional level as I have long been passionate about astronomy. My overarching aim with astrophotography is to take high quality photos of many planets and continue my interest with the universe.
I would be very grateful if anyone could recommend the best set up regardless of the price at the moment as I will work from there. This includes a camera, mount and eyepiece for the Celestron 8se etc so I can get a good idea of what I need to get some amazing planetary shots. By the way, for the camera, I am considering the Sony a7r iii (good choice?) for astrophotography and nature photography as well. Any form of advice would be much appreciated.
I wan't to tell you about a relatively new open source imaging suite that I have been using for around 7-8 months now.
Night time imaging n' astronomy or in short NINA!
The new website is really quite informative, so check it out here: https://nighttime-imaging.eu/
As a software developer and IT professional I was blown away by this application these guys were creating, when I first stumbled upon it last year.
It is a really feature rich application as the very long feature list below will show, and it is absolutely free!
I was immediately drawn to the very simple but still quite information rich UI that was presented to me when I tried it the first time.
Isbeorn (the developer), Dark Archon (massive contributor) and Quickload (big contributor) have really created something impressive here, and it is constantly being improved upon.
It is quite normal to see these guys working on the next cool feature in the middle of the night
As it is a "hobby project" and Open Source, and these guys don't have every model of every camera available - sometimes there can be glitches with new equipment, but it is usually sorted out in quick fashion.
But this is where we "mere mortals" can help improve this amazing piece of software, by using it and providing feedback and logs (in case of errrors) via. Discord or the Issue tracker on bitbucket.
In return for this you get a very comprehensive piece of astro imaging software for absolutely nothing!
If anyone needs any help in settings this up, don't hesitate to write in this thread and I will try to help, or jump on Discord and join the "support" channel.
I recommend taking the latest beta version, pretty much always, as it has the latest fixes and is generally stable.
List of main features as grabbed from the webpage and personal experience (I surely missed some):
Equipment control ASCOM Cameras Mounts Filter wheels Focusers Rotators Native camera drivers for Atik ZWO QHYCCD Altair Astro cameras Canon Nikon Touptek Can run multiple camera's and supports syncronized dithering (early version, but tested in the field!) Image analysis Image statistics Auto stretch Full image star detection with HFR calculation (used for autofocus as well) Exposure time recommendation Sequencing Multitarget sequence lists (image multiple targets automatically) Automatic mosaic capture as defined in framing assistant Light, Bias, Dark, DarkFlat, Flat frames of various exposure lengths and gain/iso Automatic filter change Autofocus using full image HFR calculations over time number of exposures Temperature change Automatic centering and rotation of targets using platesolving Save as raw (dslr), fits, xisf, etc. Customizeable filename pattern Automatic meridian flip Can automatically flip and recenter target after flip has been completed Sky atlas Sky atlas with more than 10.000 objects. Filtering on type, magnitude, size, altitude and more Altitude chars showing showing altitude over time for your location Framing assistant Can pull data from various skyserveys, to make framing and planning easier You can see a preview of your fov based on camera and scope details Mosaic planning mode Shows your mosaic tilesin the framing wizard Set desired overlap percentage Offline skymap shows gridlines and all sky atlas DSO's, constellations and coordinates ("Cartes du Ciel'ish") Sleek and customizable UI Imaging tab can be customized to show all the information you could possibly want to see image (duh! ;)) Statistics HFR history PHD2 graph and statistics Mount information Camera information Filter wheel information Platesolve information Weather data and more.. Quick switch between light and dark scheme Customizable colorschemes Flats wizard Set a desired ADU and tolerance for flats Simple mode or multimode where flats are captured for each filter Set minimum and maximum exposure time Guide to help you get the desired flats Can automatically capture matching darkflats Other cool features PHD2 integration with Dithering Weather data from OpenWeatherMap API List of bright focus stars for use with Bahtinov mask, clik and slew to it Polar alignment tools Configuration profiles, so different setups can be used
A word about open source:
The project is open source, this means that all source code is readily available from bitbucket, and anyone is free to contribute code.
The developer is Isbeorn (Stefan) and as the repository manager he decides when and if a submission (pull request) is deemed good enough to enter a release..!
There are a couple of other main contributors who do a lot of work, and put in a lot of their free time to this project.
You are free to ask for features and request support and people are generally very helpful and quick to implement something if it is a good idea.
BUT as this is a hobby project for these people, don't expect the same of them as you would of a company from whom you buy a product, IT IS UNFAIR!
A word about Discord:
Discord is a free chat (text and voice) platform that anyone can create a server on. Discord as a whole is not run by the people behind N.I.N.A., only the NINA server, and as such is not moderated by the developers.