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Jupiter & Io, Jan 23rd

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#1 ToxMan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

What can I say? Another night out, another 30Gb of data, another dismal set of results. It is official. I don't know what I'm doing. I must be killing my data. It was 3 of 5 seeing and the best we've had in awhile.

I stacked video in R6 and AS. Tried 1.5x drizzle in AS. Wavelets. Deconvolution in AI. Photoshop galore. Replaced old processing techniques with new found ones in tutorials. Haven't quite got to WinJUPOS. Oh well.

C14, 5800mm FL, DMK21, 2400 frames

I'll be out the next clear night! :roflmao:

Paul

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#2 Rankinstudio

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:37 PM

That just looks like bad seeing to me. Not a bad image :)

#3 ToxMan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:37 PM

Here is nearIR 685nm with 1.5x drizzle

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#4 ToxMan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

Thanks, David.

Ya, the seeing here has been terrible. It is frustrating. I have not had a decent planetary image with the big scope since March. Or, since getting the C14. I enjoyed your Registax tutorial.

Yes, I think I will have some cheese with that whine. :drinkspit:

#5 Kokatha man

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:59 AM

.....it'd be nice to see a screenshot of AS!2 with your best frame from the best capture Paul.....if you like you could just load that avi into AS!2, set the MAPs boxes and run "Analyse" then click the "Clear" box to get rid of the boxes and take a screenshot of both AS!2 windows to show the best image & the graph for some of us to opine an opinion.....only if you're interested in said, that is! :grin:

I think you're possibly being a bit hard on yourself if the seeing isn't co-operating - this planetary imaging can be a pretty frustrating activity at times! :o

#6 sfugardi

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

Paul, It is possible that with Jupiter peaking in the sky very early that your mirror is not at thermal equilibrium? I was out on 1/18 with 3/5 seeing and I also collected 30GB of bad Jupiter data. I blamed it on a test where I actually added foam insulation around the rear of the OTA, which turned out to be a very bad idea. It's hard to tell the quality as you are capturing it, but when its extra hard to focus, its a problem. In my case, I cooled my scope and observatory for 1 hour with mutiple fans but it was not enough. My setup really needs 2+ hrs. At this point, I would recommend doing a star test with a R filter and running Metaguide to verify collimation and actual resolution. Is you scope permanently mounted or do you bring it out each time?

Regards,
Steve

#7 ToxMan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

Thanks, Darryl.
I will try to set it up for a screen shot. The problem I have with AS is that I don't really know how to select alignment points (other than picking spots and clicking.) It seems very arbitrary. And, I don't know how to read the quality graph. Usually, I have better results with Registax simply because it is a program I am more familiar. And, understand the controls better. (I included the screenshot for the IR image above) Honestly, since I perceive no difference, it seems to be a waste of time to stack in one program, sharpen in another, (deconvolute in yet another, then, derotate in still another. My brain is over-loaded.) In good seeing, I can't tell from images which program was used to stack.

Steve, I use a Cool Edge fan system that goes in the secondary hole and holds the secondary, cooling the whole OTA and mirrors at the same time.

The tube went out at sundown. It was 72 degrees inside the house and 72 degrees outside at that time. About the next hour or 2 while setting up scope and other equipment, the Cool Edge is running and cooling the mirrors to the ambient temp outside. It only takes about an hour for temps to equilibrate. Temps did not drop rapidly that night. When it does, I set up the Cool Edge again and run it for about 20 minutes. But, each time I take the secondary out, I have to go through the procedure to check collimation. I waited til Jupiter was at meridian to start capturing, as I didn't want to have to swing the scope around for a meridian shift.

The last 3 sessions, I spent an hour getting Aldebaran on the screen, defocusing and looking at airy disk and adjusting collimation. This was the first of the last 3 times I set up and actually got video. Before that, I could satifactorily collimate. But, conditions and seeing are so bad, I folded up. So, taking 2 to 3 hours to diligently setup the scope and getting nothing for a majority of the sessions is frustrating. If I can't get some decent grabs right away, I don't sit out there hours, pushing buttons and being cold.

I wish I had it permanently mounted. That was the goal and still is. I think it would help shorten setup. And, eliminate a few problems.

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#8 sfugardi

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Paul, the cool edge is a very impressive system! Unless you have verified the actual temps with thermocouples, however, 1hr may not be enough time, I'd try 2hrs next on your next outing. For resolution checking, you need to download http://www.astrogeek...liss/MetaGuide/
and see what your really getting. I've found that it works best with at least 3/5 seeing. I have never been able to reach the theoretical value of .45, but have seen a few 0.50 but mostly 0.6-0.7arsec resolution nights with R. Higher than 0.7 results in poor images. In the end, you may have just gotten sandbagged by the CSC prediction. This morning, for example, at my house CSC called for 4/5 transparency and yet there were thin clouds everywhere. It may not update as much as we need it too. I give you a ton of credit setting up the C14 every time, that's is a big effort.

Regards,
Steve

#9 ToxMan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Regarding the Registax screenshot, the graph shows the frame I selected is not too far to the right of the "best" frame in the stack. If that "gap" is large, I will re-stack using the best frame. If the data doesn't look so hot, its automatic. I got this from Asimov.

The following image, was the next AVI set. Rather than stack and drizzle 1.5x, I simply stacked and sharpened. But, it was difficult to sharpen without causing over-saturation in the RGB combine. I reduce the intensity setting of each color channel output in the AstraImage combine. I apply deconvolution either to the individual channels before the combine, or on the final RGB combine depending how I like the looks. With crummy data, I find the noise I take out because I'm trying to avoid graininess, deconvolution adds it back in...I think I skipped it in this one.

I find I like increasing the image size in either stacking program using drizzle. (Is resampling better?) Then, sharpen. It is easier to see the wavelet effect on the image. If the data is really good, I don't shrink it back down later in Photoshop. (That almost never happens.)

In Photoshop, I use tools like despeckle, hue/saturation, gamma, mostly experimenting until I get what "looks natural." (By whatever measure.)

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#10 ToxMan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

Great tip, Steve. Thanks!

My hand control box for the focuser has thermometer for outside temp. The thermocouplers "on" or "in" the tube? Is there a DIY kit?

I feel like a barn-stormer flying by the seat of his pants, rather than the precision aviator. :lol:

Setting up each time has been the biggest drain on patience. I should put it away until it has a proper home. :john:

#11 DesertRat

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

Paul,

I think the image shows promise. It is very similar to what I get on a night of average to below average conditions. So chances are very high the problem you have been experiencing is seeing. Forget CSC predictions frankly for the mountain west, it is much more predictive to look at pressure map forecasts.

Along with dodgy seeing comes uncertainty in focus, so unless you do stick it out there for hours your chances of getting lucky are diminished. If the image is a hopeless blur after cooling and has been that way for an hour, chances are pretty good that it just is'nt meant to be that night. If some good details are seen but the image is morphing and jumping a bit, it is possible there will be a period sometime that night it will settle down.

Most of us here have experienced long stretches of poor seeing, in addition to runs of bad luck with everything else that matters in this pursuit. These long stretches can make you doubt your scope. And then a night comes along and the telescope displays its full potential. Details are shown you had not thought possible from a backyard scope. I can assure you its a mind changing experience.

This Jupiter season for example I have not had one session of VG seeing, and only a very few nights of good seeing. Chances are I missed out on a couple of VG nights. Last Jupiter season I had one night of VVG seeing, it lasted for no more than 10 minutes!

Your scope can image details on Jovian moons with ease, but you'll have to be patient. This assumes a scope that is well collimated, and that all its elements are working as designed, with proper separations and not under any strain. So hang in there buddy!

Glenn

#12 ToxMan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

Thanks, Glenn. Venting (aka whining) is not pretty...like the seeing. I consider very good seeing a Blessing...sometimes spared for whatever reason. Let's commiserate. :lol:


If the image is a hopeless blur after cooling and has been that way for an hour, chances are pretty good that it just isn't meant to be that night.


I'll usually give it a go for at least an hour or 2 before I pack it in. The moon really illuminated a good portion of the OTA interior, indirectly. Towards the end of the session, very light thin clouds started moving in. I knew a front of water vapor and thin clouds were headed my way. CDS is ok. Agree, one has to look at other resources on the conditions to gauge the chances of being successful.

By the way, the screen shot above is frame of full chip and image is 100%. And, I'm grossly estimating my focal length. Close enough?

#13 sfugardi

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

Paul, I use a 2-channel usb temperature logger, http://www.omega.com...H66U&Nav=teml06 with 1 thermocouple stuck to the back of the mirror and the other sticking out parallel to the mirror face approx 1" above to measure the boundary layer. It comes with the USB software which runs and shows the temps while imaging. Ideally, you may want to consider a 4-channel unit which isn't much more. It has definitely helped me optimize the thermal conditions.

Regards,
Steve

#14 Kokatha man

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Paul - a couple of things: is this colour image the full 640X480 of your sensor and Jupiter displaying its' size therein..?

I would've though it at least your 5800mm f/l although I'm starting to get a bit hazy about what the 618 chip presented as... :gramps: :question: :lol:

Glenn makes some very good points but I also think that image representing the best frame in Registax looks pretty reasonable to work from...

As to AS!2 Emil has been online and who better to ask about "MAPs boxing" on it than the author...although I think he has quite a few examples in his long-running thread on AutoStakkert anyway.

But here's a little sequence I've put together that shows you one of my favourite placements - #1 to #4 shows me first placing a "300" size box followed by another "200" box right at the centre.....and then 4 more "200" boxes which are essentially positioned midway from the centre cross/dots to the edges of the planet (these and the others won't show as being midway because of the overall window I work in...)

I then place another 4 "200" size boxes in between these last 4 shown in image #2 such that they "radiate" out from the centre cross.

Finally I go right the way around clicking "120" size MAPs boxes midway between this "circular" pattern of "200" sized boxes and the planets edges (again they "radiate" out from the centre and won't appear midway actually - the important thing as Emil says is to keep them well clear of the actual edges)

The image in the next post shows just that outer "circle" of "120" boxes without all the others for the sake of clarity.....

This has served me well for a lot of Jupiters this apparition and of course you will use the debayer options in AS12 also! :)

If you have trouble reading the graphs just grab that scrollbar at the top of the Right hand window after "Analyze" is complete and drag it from left to right and watch the figures in black background on Jupiter' top left change.....the frames will start at "1/5000" and give "100%" meaning that is the first/best frame of 5000 frames loaded and has the relative value of 100% (ie, the best)

This way you can select how many frames you want based upon the % value of the last frame relative to the first of those you choose to stack.....

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#15 Kokatha man

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

.....the "120" MAPs boxes by themselves for a bit more clarity! :)

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#16 ToxMan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

Thanks, Steve. This should help tremendously with temp control. I'll research further and decide how I want to go. My local scope shop builds the Hyperion astrograph. So, I think Dean can help me with installation questions.

Darryl, you are the man! Thanks for taking the time to show me around AS and the MAP feature. I was dotting the planet with a ring of 10 to 12 boxes that overlapped each other. I never thought of altering box sizes within the same stack run. Or, trying areas more inside the planet's image. (I'm at work now, and our AV software is suppressing your screen grabs...nevermind...comin' thru now)

The images are all cropped. Only the screen shot of Registax shows full chip and planet. I had trouble controlling image size. (I liked your creation.)

It is gonna be cloudy and rainy for a few days. So, time to re-work processing routines. I still have 20 some odd gigabytes of video to play around with.

#17 mak5

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

If you're shooting at 5800mm the image is undersampled. You need f/19 for the C14 and 5,6 micron pixels so a 2x barlow should be fine. Of course, seeing is a factor too.

#18 ToxMan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

Thanks, mak5. I got an adapter on order for my TV Powermate. I can't use it properly until I have it. The image is too large. I'm looking to "copy" Darryl's device. I'm sure he hasn't filed his patent in US yet.

#19 DesertRat

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

Steve made a good point about thermal issues. It might seem to you that the temp was not falling much, but monitoring at least the tube temp is a good idea, and I think you might find it drops well below ambient especially on winter nights. Interesting Steve had the back end insulated and then rejected the idea. My scope tube is insulated, but not the back end - which I have thought about doing as well!

Currently my practice is to set the scope up at sundown, sometimes earlier if its in the shade of one of my trees, and start running the fans then. I have Ed's Tempest system which runs all night. I monitor the tube temperature normally, but have 4 other channels if I want to know everything. :)

In good seeing it does'nt really matter much what program you use for stacking. For less than good seeing I find AS!2 gives superior stacks. For align boxes and your image scale I'd recommend sizes 80-120 placed in a staggered overlapped fashion covering belts, spots and other features. If a moon is visible click on it with a smaller box. Use gradient 4 or 5 and stack anywhere from 25-60% of the frames depending on seeing. The key is to experiment while its cloudy - like now!

Glenn

#20 ToxMan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

This temperature control is going to be a mission. The Cool Edge is nice, Glenn. But, I can't run it all the time because it is occupying the space of the secondary and the secondary is inside the Cool Edge device cooling too. The black OTA has a metal backing. And, Dean has tools to modify for something different. There is a CN thread for modifying the OTA of larger scope to accept a cooling system. I want to work inside of a budget. Otherwise, I should have bought a Edge C14. Who knows? I might have ended up having to modify OTA of the Edge, too. Although it is vented, there is no active movement of air.

#21 BKBrown

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

Hang in there Paul, that's a credible attempt under the circumstances. How do you feel about the collimation with the way you cool the OTA?

Clear Skies,
Brian

#22 ToxMan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, Brian. I really am not upset and whiny. I have to poke fun at myself or I'll go crazy. I believe there is a mathematical relationship between aperture and problems and it is directly proportional one. The bigger the aperture, the more the problems...

Even though the secondary "cradle" is indexed, because I am taking the secondary out and putting it back in, I will usually recheck collimation or wait and perform collimation after the cooling. Fortunately, I haven't seen it change or lose it. Taking the camera, filter wheel and barlow in and out seems to affect collimation a lot more than playing around with the secondary to set up the Cool Edge. Installing some cooling system that is more permanent is probably going to be the way to go. And, get it permanently mounted as I planned.






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