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Neptune and Triton in mono and RGB


Martin Meredith
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Here's a quick shot of Neptune from a few moments ago before the clouds rolled in. This is a 4x15s each in RGB using live spectral combination in StarlightLive using my 8" f/4 Newt with the Lodestar X2 mono camera. Triton is clearly visible at magnitude 13.8. I was hoping to catch the faint moon Nereid too. I've marked the approximate position according to SkySafari. There's a rather nice reddish star in the field too. This is a long period variable (10.3-11.1 over 413 days).

Neptune_Annot.png

Here's a mono capture (8 x 15s). After checking on ALADIN it seems that what I thought was Nereid is likely to be a faint star. I guess the only way to be sure is to take a pair of images some time apart.

There are a couple of billion light year distant galaxies in the field too.

Neptune_mono_annot.png

Now, do I wait for the clouds to clear (possibly, unlikely), or do I turn in with a good book and a glass of Talisker? Hmmm.

Martin

Edited by Martin Meredith
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Very wow indeed! 

And following my affection for small things, I'm loving that little triplet of stars ( some colour difference there, or it's my screen? I take it 'mono' means black and white?) above right of the B-V star on the first pic...*lovely!*

Edited by ghostdance
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Martin, I expect using RGB filters keeps from Neptune totally exploding pixels in your first SLL pic.  I've always wondering if the 0.20s restriction in SLL was removed, then the app could be used for image capture like this.

Edited by Ain Soph Aur
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Thanks Jim and Dave.  Brandon, yes, the filters must have helped but my exposures were too long (15s) to avoid saturation (I was more interested in seeing if I could pick up the faint moon). I'm getting a hint of blue from the fringe I think. At the start of the session I was planning to look at Uranus too and pick up a colour contrast but clouds put paid to that.

I'm not sure if the 20 ms limit in SLL is hardware or software-related. Download time has to be an issue (the SX website mentions typical download times for full resolution of 200 ms). 

Martin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice work Martin!

I have been looking at sneaking a change into V3.3 which switches over to the H/W exposure timer in the camera, this would allow the minimum exposure to be 1ms. Originally I had dismissed anything less than 1s simply for focus and finding stars for mount alignment but I think you have  a genuine case here for observing use. Will see what I can do!

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  • 3 weeks later...

 In a nutshell - you can now select 1ms exposures (text below I have copied from Issue #4 which I raised to track adding this functionality).

Modified exposures of 1 second or less to be timed via the H/W based timer in the camera as opposed to timed by S/W. This facilitates exposures of 1ms or greater. User interface has been modified to permit minimum exposure time of 1ms which is the smallest permitted by the camera. Exposures of greater than 1 second are stilled timed by S/W such that periodic ping and cooler read-out, in addition to exposure progress bar update still occur. Exposures of less than 250ms on interlaced cameras are no longer at half resolution. Non-binned exposures less than 1 second on interlaced cameras will expose for the required time on the odd field and then the required time on the even field. Therefore the time to take the exposure is double, but the total exposure time for the whole sensor is as requested. This does not apply for binned exposures which complete in the exposure time period.


Test build TEST-BUILD-161223 available to test functionality (see https://bitbucket.org/Paul81/starlightlive/wiki/Home). I have only tested this on OSX, hopefully it should work on Windows too.... Let me know how it goes and look forward to seeing some shots with the reduced exposures :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote

Test build TEST-BUILD-161223 available to test functionality (see https://bitbucket.org/Paul81/starlightlive/wiki/Home). I have only tested this on OSX, hopefully it should work on Windows too.... Let me know how it goes and look forward to seeing some shots with the reduced exposures :-)

I tested the latest TEST-BUILD-170102 last night and the issues with Windows OS and 1s and less exposures look to be resolved. I was able to run 1ms exposures for over an hour with no issue. 

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