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First Ever Image (Jupiter tonight) Help Needed!!

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That's actually pretty good for a 1st attempt at planetary imaging i'd say (i'd be happy with it anyway). I guess that it's like anything - you'll get better with practice, but as you suggested the image quality may be down to poor seeing due to atmospheric interferance, light pollution or a number of other things.

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Poor seeing and possible poor focusing and collimation may all have contributed and, I suspect, over exposure.

You don't say which software you have used for capture, but it may simply mean you need to consider adjusting gain and shutter speed in software. I recommend craterlet for capture based on MS Amcap which will allow you to adjust the exposure settings. Don't accept the auto or default settings, but experiment until you see a good properly exposed image on screen.

Light pollution rarely has any undue effect on the bright planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn).

Good luck,


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The fact you managed to capture anything on you first try is a result in itself. Frame rate has a big effect on image quality, 30fps is high, try stepping down to 10 fps, also keep the gain as low as possible, otherwise there is a tendency to overexpose. Webcam imaging is a heap of fun and fairly easy once you get the hang of it (not that I have mastered it yet), you just need to experiment a little each time.

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Thats a nice picture, Especially it's your first time. but remember practise makes perfect.

I have my webcam but yet to use it cos of the clouds. Gonna try to use it on the moon as soon as...

I could make out the brown lines on the picture.

Edited by Lurker
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KevG is absolutely right about fps, as 30 is too high and will cause too much compression on the captured AVI.

I would go not go above 10fps but the rest of your settings are pretty good. These will, however, need to be tweaked depending on sky conditions.

I have got my best results using a 2 or 3X barlow and by keeping the capture time down to no more than about 1min 30 seconds (2 mins max).

Anything longer than this and you may actually end up with less detail on the final image due to rotation of the planet.

You have done a fine job if that is your first attempt (MUCH better than mine) and you will get better and better each time you try.

It is very much down to tweaking the capture settings, focus and sky conditions. Jupiter is now pretty much past its best now as it is low on the horizon by nightfall and therefore you are trying to capture an image through a lot of atmospheric disturbance.

You may want to try Saturn early in the morning if the cloud ever goes away and you can drag yourself out of bed at "ridiculous o'clock" in the morning. It will be great to see how you get on.

Kind regards


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I agree, in my experience with the Neximage 10 fps is about right for capture. There has been some suggestion that actually increasing gain slightly is better than reducing it entirely to avoid an "onion ring effect" that can sometimes occur (read about that theory in Astronomy Now a while ago but can't remember the reasoning for it). Stacking in Registax effectively eliminates the worst effects of the noise from increased gain.

This is my best image (not my largest, but best) taken of Jupiter in October 2009 when atmospheric conditions were good. I still have the original AVI which is just 1 minute long. As has been said, I think you can make the AVI too long.



Edited by Brinders
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