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Webcam Imaging with Small Telescopes

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:19 PM

Webcam Imaging with Small Telescopes

by Erwin Matys and Karoline Mrazek

#2 joelimite


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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:45 PM

Great article, Erwin! As some who images planets, the moon, and sun with small apertures (6 inches or less), I enjoyed the read.

#3 ScottAz


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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:58 AM

Wow, really nice article, Erwin. Other than a few solar system and lunar pics with an SLR and eyepiece projection (some years ago) I have always been a visual observer.

But now you've got me convinced that I need to check this out. I just also happened to look at some of Joel's solar pics ... so that is where I might start with my astronomy students as outdoor temperatures start to moderate here in Wisconsin.

Again, thanks for the nice write up. Now I need to learn more!

#4 slyke


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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

Thanks for the article.
Are webcams able to capture deep sky objects like the brighter star clusters and emission nebulae?

#5 RedLionNJ


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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

One caveat - don't always use the highest webcam framerate available. There are two common exceptions to this:

1. If the highest frame rate involves some sort of lossy compression, don't use it. For example, with a ToUCam, the quality really suffers when using more than 10-15fps.

2. If you need to really crank up the gain to get a good enough histogram with a high frame rate, you're usually better off lengthening the exposure (i.e. lowering the frame rate), especially in very good seeing. The noise added by high gain on, say, a DMK just isn't worth it. Some cams can handle higher gain better than others. Experimentation is strongly recommended in this area.

Seeing, of course, remains king. There are far too few nights with excellent seeing in most locations. So when you get that really good seeing - try to make the most of it!


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