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Mars captured with HD webcam 9th Feb


samtheeagle
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I already posted this in the http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/96400-hd-webcam-modification.html thread, but figured it could go in the proper planetary imaging section too :p This is a crop from the 1280x720 image, so the scale is 100% as captured.

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Captured with my Sky-Watcher 150PL, using the 2X Barlow that came with the scope. Attached to the camera was an IR/UV blocking filter and a 25% ND filter, to stop the image over exposing. A couple of sharpen iterations were applied to the stacked image at the end, and one gentle noise reduction to clean up the fuzzy edge a bit.

I had a nightmare capturing this, as my set up under perfectly clear skies turned into cloud city once I started trying to capture ;) Still, even just grabbing 20 seconds or so everytime there was a break in the clouds seems to have given me my best Mars yet, so I am pleased. It also shows that this Microsoft HD camera is a good contender as a Toucam replacement. Ok, so it's not got an LX mod but it's a fine planetary cam, and that's all I want it for...

Oh yeah, and just for good measure, once I had packed 90% of my kit away the skies were absolutley crystal again! ;) I HATE CLOUDS, and I think they hate me too!

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Hi nice capture when you say you needed a filter to stop over exposure, did you try with the exposure at its fastest setting. another approach would have been to up the mag a little, to dim the target, though i realize, harder to get a sharp result, just waiting for this dammm weather to change so i can get a stab with the lifecam too. just out of interest what codec was this ?

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I captured uncompressed data with the video pin set to YUY2, maximum res @10fps. The files were HUGE ;)

I played with both the exposue and brightness values, but found that the ND filter did a great job of bringing the colour back, otherwise it was just too white and washed out for me. If memory serves I had the exposure set to -8 and the brightness slider was in the mid 80s. Those settings gave me good colour and detail, along with the 25% ND filter.

Oh yeah, and I did try a 4X barlow, but it was too much. I settled with the 2X for this image.

Edited by samtheeagle
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