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Stellarium landscape image of my back porch

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#1 ChadGray

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:34 AM

Last night's cloudy night led me down the path of creating a "landscape" image of my back porch so I can use it in the software Stellarium.

I love this software and I hope it will help me locate objects quicker and plan my night's observing.

I used a $10 door peep hole lens and attached it to my point and shoot camera to get a cheap fisheye lens. Mounted the cobbled assembly to a tripod and shot straight up. It capture the big oak tree, roof of my house and other trees in view.

Tweaked it in Photoshop and tweaked the settings in the software and now I have a good simulation of what I see on my back porch.

http://chadgray.info..._landscape2.jpg
http://chadgray.info..._landscape1.jpg

It is not the prettiest image, but I can get a reference of the trees and my roof line to help me find objects.

I might do a write up on the process if I find it accurate, but so far when I go to the porch the moon was right in the oak tree where the software said it would be.

#2 TMK

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:40 AM

Thats quite intresting.

Can you switch the landscape picture to a custom one even with the free download?. How does one do this?

#3 ChadGray

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:48 AM

You can replace existing landscapes in the software. So i replaced the fisheye example "Trees" in the software. I have not figure out how to add to the list of default landscapes yet.

Page 27 of the manual is the best place to start.

http://voxel.dl.sour...de-0.10.2-1.pdf

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 10:16 AM

I used a $10 door peep hole lens and attached it to my point and shoot camera to get a cheap fisheye lens. Mounted the cobbled assembly to a tripod and shot straight up. It capture the big oak tree, roof of my house and other trees in view.


Great idea! :waytogo:

#5 Bagged Star

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 11:54 AM

ChadGray, this is a very neat way of getting a fish-eye lens! :)

nobody special: the free version is the only one that is there. And yes, you can add new landscapes without replacing the existing ones.

In the Stellarium Wiki, there's a list of user-created landscapes available for download:
http://www.stellariu....php/Landscapes

Reading the user guide is a good idea, though it is slightly outdated and the information about landscape creation could have been written more clearly.

So i replaced the fisheye example "Trees" in the software. I have not figure out how to add to the list of default landscapes yet.


Make a copy of the "trees" directory in the same "landscapes" directory and rename it to something else, e.g. "backporch". Then open the "landscape.ini" file inside the directory with a simple text editor (e.g. Notepad) and change the "name = Trees" line to "name = Back Porch".

#6 ChadGray

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 01:26 PM

That makes sense! I should have figured that out. I assumed there was a master INI file that contained a list of what landscapes to load up.

If you google "DIY fisheye lens" there are a lot of people that give examples of ways to do it. I just used some electrical tape to secure it since i only wanted to use the fish eye for this one picture. One thing I wish I could do is paint the internal barrel black. Mine is brass and it hurts the optics.

My peep hole lens was 200 degrees, but i used 160 for FOV in the INI file.

When the stars come out tonight i should be able to see how accurate my settings are.

#7 ChadGray

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:01 PM

I should have done this earlier. Here is the image i produced with the peephole lens.

You can see a hole in one of the branches; i left the sun in the image so i could rotate the image and see how close it was to the sun in Stellarium. This helped me get the image just right for the software.

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