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This is my first post on stargazer’s lounge, so forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask.
I have a SkyWatcher AZ-GTi mount (with a firmware update + eq wedge so that it can run in eq mode). I also have a Raspberry Pi 4 with INDI, KStars, and Ekos tools. I don’t have a guidescope (and my budget is extremely limited), so I was wondering if there was a way to polar align my DSLR using just the software running on the Raspberry Pi.
I’m also competent in Python, if that could be useful for anything.
By Cosmic Geoff
I imaged Jupiter, Saturn and Mars this morning around 3.30am in the interval between 'high enough' and dawn. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. Captured with Sharpcap, processed with Registax6. Used best 20% of 5000 frame videos.
It's so long since I did any planetary imaging that I had to re-learn what to do. The Jupiter and Saturn images seem under-exposed.
By Victor Boesen
Yesterday I managed to climb out of bed at a little past 3:30AM to get my small portable rig out to a small nearby park and setup to observe Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. I got the Skywatcher Evostar 72ED DS-Pro last summer so I was especially excited to see how it would perform on Mars because of its red wavelengths which many small fracs often have trouble with handling.
At first it was partly cloudy but I persisted and was out and setup on the field at around 4AM. The sky was already surprisingly bright here in Denmark but Jupiter was shining bright and Saturn faintly visible almost right besides Jupiter. Fortunately for me it wasn't too cold, but I was happy I brought some gloves anyways;)
This picture was taken at 5AM while I was observing Mars.
I remember from last year that my scope didn't perform great on Jupiter for some reason, and the view of the gas giant wasn't anything different this time either. Using my 4.7mm ES 82 degree eyepiece not much detail visible except the two main bands and its moons. I would later return to Jupiter after the scope had cooled down a little and the view was perhaps a little sharper.
Pointing the scope at Saturn, which I was very satisfied with last year, I was amazed of the detail the small scope managed to squeeze out. It doesn't compare to the view I had last year with my 10" dob under great conditions at 255X but I was able to easily spot surface banding on the planet itself, and the Cassini division was also surprisingly stable. I really enjoy the stable and consistent view through the small refractor! I observed Saturn for quite a while until I eventually set out to try to find Mars. At this point I couldn't even see Saturn with the naked eye but I was fortunate that Saturn and Mars were approximately the same elevation above the horizon.
After a few sweeps across where I though Mars would be I finally located the small red speckle, this time with my 6.7mm eyepiece so I had a larger FOV. Switching to the 4.7mm, though still very small, I was surprised that I could pick up a dark surface marking across the disk on the lower southern half of the disk. Furthermore, the southern polar cap was really pronounced and you couldn't miss it. I watched Mars drift through the FOV until about 30 minutes after sunrise where the contrast between the planet and the sky became too low and the dew started to set on the lens element.
Using my small refractor for observing the planets I have always wanted to magnify things a little bit more, and I think the telescope would have no problem doing so. A Nagler zoom 3-6mm has been on my wish-list for a couple of years now, but the upcoming planet season really makes me want to find one second hand
Here's a video I've made that covers what I've written above with some footage I tried capturing through the eyepiece:
I hope everyone on here is still doing well despite the current situation!
I've been having another crack at DSO imaging lately, and I've managed to produce this from 6 hours of integration:
I'm quite pleased with it but I'm very new to image processing, so I'd be incredibly grateful if someone wouldn't mind having a go at processing my data!
Lights: 46x4min + 66x3min Stacked with Dark, Flat and Bias frames Stacked in DSS and processed in GIMP Taken under Bortle 7/8 skies Gear:
SkyWatcher ED80 0.85x Reducer Astro-Modified EOS 600D ZWO ASI 120MM Mini Guide Camera with 9x50 Finderscope HEQ5 Pro Mount There's some dust bunnies and other artefacts on the image that I know I could spend more time removing, however I'm wondering if I'm doing my data justice in processing!
So on Tuesday night I spent the evening imaging the moon with my Celestron 9.25 SCT and DSLR as shown below and am happy with the images I collated (I only took images as I did intend to take capture video but I got carried away and time was getting on).
I have approx 350 jpeg (and the equivalent in raw) images and have used the Microsoft image composite editor to stitch the frames together without editing them first etc but I wonder if I'm going the images an injustice?
I'm not ready to pay for editing software as I know there is a lot of very good free downloads out there and I'm asking for recommendations. Should I be processing the frames before/after stitching and what software would you recommend? Please offer any advice you have.
I will post the resulting image once I'm happy with the outcome 😁
Thanks in advance!