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Venus, Neptune, Uranus 8/17/13

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#1 sfugardi

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:00 PM

Had some decent seeing last night and I tried to capture all 7 planets in 1 night. Only with tree blockage and early morning clouds I stopped after 5, not being able to see the dim 1.5mag Mars in daylight.

Here's my first UV-RGB Venus using the ZWO camera. Seeing was marginal so I opted for prime focus. I used the Schuler UV filter which is quite dark but seems to work fine with the ZWO. I combined IR-RGB then resplit out RGB and recombined with UV-RGB showing some reasonable cloud capture.

Regards,
Steve

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#2 sfugardi

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:05 PM

Here's my attempt at Neptune, taken at prime focus late in the evening at low altitude, after wasting too much time collimating and trying to figure out the Compustar computer glitch. 500frames RGB stacked from 20fps data, resized 3x,

Regards,
Steve

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#3 sfugardi

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:13 PM

Attached is my best Uranus capture to date. Seeing was excellent and 2 moons were easily visible at the 312X eyepiece, which I can never remember ever seeing before. IR685 filtered data ran for 28min and I stacked 3000frames. Between the drift going left and a moon alignment with WinJupos, north is approx 1pm on these images. Some detail can be observed. 2000frames RGB were also combined out of 5000frame avis, making the IR-RGB image.

Regards,
Steve

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#4 sfugardi

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:15 PM

Last night was my first attempt at collimating with the ZWO and IR685 filter using Metaguide. Results were numerically the best I have ever recorded.

Regards,
Steve

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#5 Sunspot

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

Steve,

Quite an awesome night you had there! Definitely memorable.

I am "enjoying" a dust storm right now, so all the scopes will stay under wraps.

Paul

#6 wenjha

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:09 PM

Very nice especially the Uranus

#7 lcd1080

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:30 PM

A real tour de force Steve, no one works harder at achieving technical perfection than you and it shows!

Pete

#8 sfugardi

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:34 AM

Paul, Sam, Pete, thanks for the compliments! I really appreciate them.

Venus has always been challenge for me since the best views from my observatory are in the west and I have to fight heat buildup from my concrete. I locked onto Venus around 4:30pm and as it dropped in altitude, the seeing improved until I took this shot after 5pm. I am thinking of rigging up an old air conditioner from the garage to pre-cool my dome to ambient.

For focusing on Uranus, I tried to use Metaguide, but the software would not lock onto the disk so I focused by eye. This is probably not the best method for precision. With the sun coming up, I only had time for 1 avi run. At least it still very early in the Uranus imaging season...

Regards,
Steve

#9 Pete Gorczynski

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

Nice results, Steve.

Have you looked for Triton hiding in the noise of the Neptune image? Also you may want to look at your red capture a little closer to see if you detected any subtle brightening in the south polar region. I did Uranus captures that night as well. I ran a 30 minute avi run with an IR742 filter capturing 12000 frames. As far as I could tell, I could not see any real detail. A foggy river valley in Connecticut is not exactly the same as a mountain top in the Pyrenees!

Regards,

Pete G.

#10 sfugardi

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:20 AM

Pete, thanks! I went back to the Neptune R data and could not find Triton. I suspect 2hrs past transit and a marginal focus is to blame. I have seen Triton on the computer screen in the past with longer exposures. With Nepture peaking at 1:30am, there is still a good couple of months left to recapture it. I think the deeper IR742 filter would have an advantage on Uranus as long as the fps rate doesn't drop off too much. For sure, it seems to work well on Mercury based on your recent excellent images. With Venus being so bright you should be able to go IR802 with no issue.

Regards,
Steve

Regards,
Steve

#11 rolo

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:36 AM

Great set of images! I particularly like the Venus image.

#12 Kokatha man

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:46 PM

Sounds like you've taken any respite needed and are up and running with full-scale imaging forays there Steve - that's quite an effort for one night..! :waytogo:

#13 Kecktastic

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:04 PM

Well done Steve, for sure a top effort and demonstrates your dedication to our field.

Regards
Trevor

#14 sfugardi

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 08:23 AM

Rolando, Mo, Trevor, Thanks for the positive feedback! I'd have to cut down some more trees to improve my eastern view, but for some reason my family wouldn't appreciate it... It's been over a year since my last Venus attempt and I completely forgot how difficult it is to focus. I am hoping for another chance or 2 this week.

Regards,
Steve

PS: My Jupiter data from that morning was terrible, apparently it does not capture well in the daytime.

#15 DesertRat

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:29 AM

That's remarkable work Steve. One of the best Venus images I've seen. Very well done!

Glenn

#16 sfugardi

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:51 PM

Glenn, thank you very much! I'm hoping to recapture Venus tomorrow. I've got the 1.8x barlow glass screwed to the short 2.0x body, so I am estimating a "1.6x" equivalent. Assuming conditions hold up. There's been a flurry of good seeing here in CT lately. The next 2 nights will be above average, so I need to get a couple hours of sleep and head out after 1am.

Regards,
Steve






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