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I canny do it!

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Planetary imaging! I tried last night and managed to get Sirius on the chip of the cam with the 2X Barlow in - I then used the Baht mask to make sure focus was perfect. So...... Here is the result :) I dont know how others are getting such good images of Mars - it aint focus and I am pretty sure the collimation os good if not spot on so is it the camera or my processing:icon_confused:

I can upload the video that I captured if anybody wants to have a go and see if they can do any better. I would just like to narrow it down to my processing or camera or whatever!


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What equipment did you use (telescope, camera, length of capture)


It was a Meade 8" SCT with a 2X Barlow and an Orion Starshoot solar system imager. I stacked it in Registax 5 I think it was a stack of 175 out of 1365.

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I really feel for you mate - I always found planetary imaging blumming hard, compared to DSO!

Got nice visuals the other night though - you should try it ;)

Getting it on the chip - nightmare. Focusing - the epitome of frustration. Processing - pot luck.

If it makes you feel any better, this was my stab at Mars 2 years back... :)



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There are a zillion carpy images to every 10 good ones Craig, so I'm sure it won't get you down as frustrating as it is for you.

Difficult to weigh your Image up, it's like the centre has been over exposed, but the outer area has detail there. It's Weird.


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How high was it in the sky? It looks to be slightly out of focus. I'm not a great processor of images, but if you want to upload it, I'll have a go... Which version of the OSSI you got? There appears to be a few models out there with different chips on them.

One thing I will say is those that are having success with the planets appear to be using CCD based cameras....

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It's a good start Craig... it's very hard... I'm very happy with my first attempt, but given I got any detail at all with it... and compared to the good shots posted... mine is rubbish. Don't compare though... are you happy with what you achieved ?

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One thing you could do is to check what face of Mars was showing. I have stuggled with images, only to find that at that time the features were at the periphery, and not on the face sho

Edited by MishMich
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I'm not sure what happened to the rest of my post. The QHY is the same camera as the Starshoot, I believe, (although mono), and despite dust-bunnies I did manage to get some detail out of it:

Stargazers Lounge - MishMich's Album: imaging - Picture

(reprocessed as an RGB image following Starman's comments)

You may find it best to do as much of the processing in registax itself - the wavelets sharpening (LHS) is very powerful, and I always run the RGB algnment option before doing anything else (that often makes a remarkable difference in itself).


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Nice first effort, as said before, albums on the net only show "typical results" :). A few tips (some/most of which you may already know):

  • try a 3x barlow or even higher (f20 is rather short for Mars)
  • Use a high frame rate (work best on Mars in my experience)
  • be very careful to set the shutter speed as high as possible for the frame rate,
  • then reduce the gain to optimize contrast: the background should not be entirely black (though still quite dark) and the planet should be showing detail. No burnt-in white regions
  • try to get larger stacks, this reduces photon noise (I recently use 1663 out 0f 3106 frames).
  • fiddle around with wavelet options, no one set of options works on all images
  • Get a CCD-based imager (like my old SPC900, or the Celestron Neximage (has same sensor), or one of the DMKs of course).
  • pray for good seeing:)
Edited by michael.h.f.wilkinson
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