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LX90 8" for solar system/planetary imaging


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About a year ago I bought a Meade LX90 8" ACF for the Perfumed Ayatollah, she though hasn't really been interested so I thought could use it for solar system/planetary imaging, is this realistic. I don't really want to change the fork arms for the wedge setup and realise I would be limited to length of subs etc and truth be told I don't want to spend a fortune. Was hoping perhaps in the purchase stakes I would need obviously the camera, some spacers and a focal reducer. Any thoughts would be great.

Thanks in advance.

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14 minutes ago, Borderline Bob said:

About a year ago I bought a Meade LX90 8" ACF for the Perfumed Ayatollah, she though hasn't really been interested so I thought could use it for solar system/planetary imaging, is this realistic. I don't really want to change the fork arms for the wedge setup and realise I would be limited to length of subs etc and truth be told I don't want to spend a fortune. Was hoping perhaps in the purchase stakes I would need obviously the camera, some spacers and a focal reducer. Any thoughts would be great.

Thanks in advance.

No wedge required for solar system imaging, and no worries about anything limiting exposure time either - you will want to be using very short exposures (in the 10's of milliseconds or lower).

You don't want a focal reducer either; depending on which camera you buy, you may want the opposite to a focal reducer - a barlow or powermate - to increase the f ratio. You'll see different values given for this, but I use:

target f ratio = pixel size (um) × 5

The 8" should provide some good results once you get it all up and running though - it'll be worth it!

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1 hour ago, The Lazy Astronomer said:

No wedge required for solar system imaging, and no worries about anything limiting exposure time either - you will want to be using very short exposures (in the 10's of milliseconds or lower).

You don't want a focal reducer either; depending on which camera you buy, you may want the opposite to a focal reducer - a barlow or powermate - to increase the f ratio. You'll see different values given for this, but I use:

target f ratio = pixel size (um) × 5

The 8" should provide some good results once you get it all up and running though - it'll be worth it!

Thats great, thank you. Any recommendations as to the camera, I do have a ZWO ASI 120MM Mini USB 2.0 Mono Camera that I use as a guide camera in another ota but I am not really a fan of it and would like something a bit better. 

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1 hour ago, Borderline Bob said:

Any recommendations as to the camera,

The ASI120MM will work, but the results will be mono (OK for the Moon).  

I used an ASI224MC for a couple of years.

I now use an ASI462MC which works well. It has a smaller pixel size than some other cameras (+less need for a Barlow).  There are probably even newer cameras worth considering.  You will need a UV/IR cut filter for this camera, and you may as well buy an IR-band pass filter as well for IR imaging.  You will also need an ADC (atmosphere dispersion corrector) for best results.

I use an alt-azimuth fork mounted SCT. 

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17 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

The ASI120MM will work, but the results will be mono (OK for the Moon).  

I used an ASI224MC for a couple of years.

I now use an ASI462MC which works well. It has a smaller pixel size than some other cameras (+less need for a Barlow).  There are probably even newer cameras worth considering.  You will need a UV/IR cut filter for this camera, and you may as well buy an IR-band pass filter as well for IR imaging.  You will also need an ADC (atmosphere dispersion corrector) for best results.

I use an alt-azimuth fork mounted SCT. 

That's great, thanks Geoff

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4 hours ago, Borderline Bob said:

Thats great, thank you. Any recommendations as to the camera, I do have a ZWO ASI 120MM Mini USB 2.0 Mono Camera that I use as a guide camera in another ota but I am not really a fan of it and would like something a bit better. 

I can't make a personal recommendation (I haven't done any planetary for a couple of years now), but the 462mc seems quite popular. ZWO have recently released a whole new bunch of cameras though, so not sure what the general consensus is these days. You could drop a message in the planetary imaging section for some solid advice. 

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2 hours ago, The Lazy Astronomer said:

I can't make a personal recommendation (I haven't done any planetary for a couple of years now), but the 462mc seems quite popular. ZWO have recently released a whole new bunch of cameras though, so not sure what the general consensus is these days. You could drop a message in the planetary imaging section for some solid advice. 

Thank you, will probably go with the ZWO ASI462MC  as seen quite a few youtubes reviews and its just in the price range I am not that unhappy with.

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