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99% illuminated moon mosaic in 18 frames


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I took this image on the 4th Nov over the space of about half an hour from 2215UT. This mosaic is made from 18 frames, each of them is 3000 frames, with the best 12% stacked within Autostakkert2. Total data size was 52.6GB - all using an ASI120MM through a 350mm newt at f4.52 with a 742nm nr-IR filter.

Each of the frames was processed identically in Registax6 with Wavelets, etc. and then saved as a fits file. At this point, I took the images into ICE and combined them into one large mosaic, and then post processed in PS (levels, slight smart sharpening, curves and background levels). I did also try using photomerge in PS CS4, but interestingly, ICE did a better job (marginal, but there were a couple of edge artifacts with photomerge). 

Beware for those on slow connections: the full size file is quite big at 7.3MB, even as a jpg...thanks for looking!

Moon_ice_stitch_proc.thumb.jpg.499ed08dd912c7c67b38279a7349a010.jpg

Edited by coatesg
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Nice panorama! (As perhaps some of you have noticed, I especially like moon panoramas. :smiley:) This one shows much detail and covers the North Pole region very well.

My first thought was: How is it possible that you covered the full moon with just 18 frames, using a 14" telescope. But then I realized that the camera was probably at prime focus of the short Newtonian. That makes sense. With my C11, using the same camera, I need at least 60 frames!

I agree that photomerge in PS isn't a good choice. I got the best results with Panorama Studio 3 Professional. But your result with ICE is very good as well. I didn't see any merger artefacts. Very good!

- Rolf

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Thanks Rolf! Yes - a fast-ish Newtonian: less frames, but doesn't make the collimation easy compared to say an SCT! I'm also probably a bit more liable to local air currents (though being a truss, it does cool a bit quicker and doesn't have currents passing up a tube). Mirror needs another clean though...

I'll take a look at the trial version of Panorama Studio - ICE worked well here, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of control over the way the images are stitched - there are a couple of slightly soft areas which would be good to revisit, but I think I perhaps needed a bit more overlap between frames in a couple of places. 

I also need to have a look at your Firecap plugin! Very impressive work and have downloaded it already, but I didn't have a huge amount of time to look at getting it working - next full moon I'll see if I can get the process automated! Cheers!

Edited by coatesg
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On 07/11/2017 at 00:03, coatesg said:

I took this image on the 4th Nov over the space of about half an hour from 2215UT. This mosaic is made from 18 frames, each of them is 3000 frames, with the best 12% stacked within Autostakkert2. Total data size was 52.6GB - all using an ASI120MM through a 350mm newt at f4.52 with a 742nm nr-IR filter.

A really excellent image, I love being able to scan over the full moon at this level of detail.

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51 minutes ago, coatesg said:

Thanks Rolf! Yes - a fast-ish Newtonian: less frames, but doesn't make the collimation easy compared to say an SCT! I'm also probably a bit more liable to local air currents (though being a truss, it does cool a bit quicker and doesn't have currents passing up a tube). Mirror needs another clean though...

I'll take a look at the trial version of Panorama Studio - ICE worked well here, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of control over the way the images are stitched - there are a couple of slightly soft areas which would be good to revisit, but I think I perhaps needed a bit more overlap between frames in a couple of places. 

I also need to have a look at your Firecap plugin! Very impressive work and have downloaded it already, but I didn't have a huge amount of time to look at getting it working - next full moon I'll see if I can get the process automated! Cheers!

Hi Graeme,

Newtonians usually give better image quality as compared to SCTs of the same size. They need a stronger mount, though. For my Vixen Sphinx the C11 is, therefore, easier to handle. Otherwise I would love to use a large Newtonian, too. :sad:

Panorama Studio Professional 3 gives you lots of control. For example, you can edit the keypoints which are used to stitch the images together. But even in fully automatic mode it usually works very well. As far as I remember only the "professtional" version supports 16bit, which of course is important.

If you want to experiment with MoonPanoramaMaker, I very much recommend that you first get familiar with the process using the ASCOM telescope simulator and Stellarium. The exact details are described in the "Cloudy Nights" thread. Taking panoramas fully automatically is a complicated process. One should be well prepared when first trying this at the telescope.

All the best,

 Rolf

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