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mloffland

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Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Norman, Oklahoma
SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5
      #3584989 - 01/26/10 12:53 PM

SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5

By: Craig Stark


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Deep13
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/25/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: mloffland]
      #3587438 - 01/27/10 03:16 PM

Huh. I guess I thought Nyquist was a cough syrup.

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ccs_hello
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Deep13]
      #3588524 - 01/27/10 11:31 PM

Great series on S/N from Prof. Clark!

It would be great to see more articles from the true pro!

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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galacticphoto
super member


Reged: 11/12/09

Loc: Huntsville, AL and Atlanta, Ga
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: mloffland]
      #3590964 - 01/29/10 08:26 AM

Good sequence, well worth reading.

Robert


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Barry E.
super member


Reged: 12/27/08

Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: galacticphoto]
      #3676390 - 03/12/10 09:57 AM

How do we quantitatively measure limits for our equipment and our skies? Can I take a set of exposures from a recent run and somehow measure the average FWHM?

For lack of a better method, I had Nebulosity grade a set of images. The only way I could get the grading data was to examine the file names, since Neb. prepends the HFR of the image to the file name. Here's what I ended up with. Is this an accurate measurement of my skies and tracking?

# Images: 44
HFR Range (Min-Median-Max): 2.08-2.22-2.38
Pixel Size: 1.18"/pixel
HFR Median: 2.22*1.18 = 2.62"


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Barry E.
super member


Reged: 12/27/08

Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Barry E.]
      #3677001 - 03/12/10 03:40 PM

I really hope this thread isn't dead because here's what would be extremely helpful to me:

Should I purchase the mono or color version of a given CCD camera, taking into consideration my sky and mount limitations?

Mono is supposed to give improved resolution since each pixel adds to the resolution instead of being covered by a Bayer color filter, but if my skies/equipment won't support that high of a resolution, it would be much less work to use the OSC (narrowband imaging aside).

This is a very practical question that could be answered quantitatively based on an individual's skies and equipment, but how?


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Barry E.]
      #3677755 - 03/12/10 11:29 PM

Barry,

That's a fine way to get an estimate on your seeing + guiding error. If you like, you can try it on some shorter (say 10s exposures) to take guiding out of things.

Also, keep in mind, this is HFR. "HFD" (half flux diameter) is going to be 2xHFR (half flux radius). The FWHM is typically going to be between these two. So, if your HFR is 2.6", your HFD is 5.2" and your FWHM is going to be between them.

As for OSC vs. mono -- there's a lot more to consider than the resolution. Yes, it's better on mono, but it's not the 2:1 some people quote.

http://www.stark-labs.com/craig/articles/assets/Debayering_API.pdf

Craig


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3677800 - 03/13/10 12:07 AM

BTW, the exact translation between HFR and FWHM will depend on the star shape. A rough estimate will be FWHM = HFR / 0.6 or so. That would put you just a bit above 4" in those shots.

Try some shorter shots and see how things look. BTW, you can use ImageJ to get a nice read on the FWHM for any star (Neb can give you the HFR for any star in the Pixel Stats). Load your image (it can load FITS), selected a box around a star, then make a copy of just that area (Image, Duplicate. Then, Plugin, FWHM, plot FWHM. The plugin is from here: http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/science/astronomy/jwest/plugins.html

Craig


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Barry E.
super member


Reged: 12/27/08

Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3678493 - 03/13/10 12:17 PM

Thank you for replying, Craig!

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photonovore
Moonatic
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Reged: 12/24/04

Loc: tacoma wa
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3678562 - 03/13/10 12:54 PM

Isn't myth#2 simply a restatement of the futility of oversampling the prevailing seeing?

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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: photonovore]
      #3678964 - 03/13/10 03:50 PM

Mardi,

Well, for it to be futile, we'd just be saying that you're not going to get any more resolution than the seeing provides. This is going beyond that to say that this oversampling is coming at a cost of the SNR. You will need to make up for the loss of photons and the ensuing loss of SNR with more data when you sample at higher rates.

Craig


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photonovore
Moonatic
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Reged: 12/24/04

Loc: tacoma wa
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3679205 - 03/13/10 06:50 PM

I see...more data being more photons--from a brighter target, yes?

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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: photonovore]
      #3688186 - 03/18/10 12:49 AM

From a brighter target or from more arcsec of that target being packed onto a single pixel.

Craig


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dsnay
professor emeritus
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3779237 - 05/01/10 07:41 AM

So are we saying the old adage of trying to keep your sampling rate to something close to half your visual limited magnitude is not correct?

They way I understand it is that if the faintest star you can see visually is a magnitude 4 star, then you should try to keep your imaging resolution as close to 2" per pixel as possible.

Am I totally off base on this?

Dave


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: dsnay]
      #3779742 - 05/01/10 01:49 PM

Dave,

I think you may be mixing adages here. The adage I know is to have your sampling at about half the seeing, not half the limiting magnitude. The limiting magnitude will be tied to your light pollution and not tied to your turbulence or blur level. Bright steady skies can support higher magnifications (higher sampling rates) than dark turbulent skies.

Craig


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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3779931 - 05/01/10 03:49 PM

Hi Craig,

I want to compare to setups resulting in the same number of photons delivered to each pixel on average. I am limited by the precision of my mount to a certain length subexposure for a given focal length. I can either buy a lens 1 stop faster or I can take twice as many subexposures. The resolution should be identical. Is the SNR lower for the slower lens? If so, is it because the subexposure is twice as long or because there are twice as many subexposures?

Thanks,

Gale


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dsnay
professor emeritus
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Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3779997 - 05/01/10 04:48 PM

Hi Craig,

Quote:

Dave,

I think you may be mixing adages here. The adage I know is to have your sampling at about half the seeing, not half the limiting magnitude. The limiting magnitude will be tied to your light pollution and not tied to your turbulence or blur level. Bright steady skies can support higher magnifications (higher sampling rates) than dark turbulent skies.

Craig




I hate when I get confused this easily.
So how does one go about determining the seeing conditions? I always thought you based in on the faintest star you could see visually. For me that's the faintest star in the little dipper, which is just shy of 5th magnitude.

Dave


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
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Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: dsnay]
      #3780114 - 05/01/10 06:30 PM

You can do it by measuring things like the FWHM in your images (grab a 10s image for example). Since I know you're a Neb2 user, you can get FWHM by taking the HFR reported, multiplying by 2 to get HFD (R=radius, D=diameter) and then by about 1.15 to get to FWHM (close enough for government work). Or you can use any of the programs that actually calc FWHM (I use an ImageJ plug-in). Metaguide will read it for you (make sure your exposure is good so as to not saturate and not have a black background either). This page has a pretty nice set of comparison shots at measured FWHM and rated Pickerings (there may be more sites that have this comparison):
http://revans_01420.webs.com/seeingimaging.htm

Craig


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Barry E.
super member


Reged: 12/27/08

Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3780132 - 05/01/10 06:46 PM

Craig,
Does this method of measuring the seeing work accurately with a DSLR since it has a Bayer matrix and an anti-aliasing filter? For example, the seeing is 2", but you are imaging at 2.5"/pixel. You won't be able to measure seeing below the image resolution will you?


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dsnay
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: SNR: Image Sampling Myths - Part 5 new [Re: Craig]
      #3780919 - 05/02/10 08:24 AM

Thanks Craig. I did as you suggested and came up with a seeing value of roughly 4.5, pretty close to my naked eye guesstimate. I guess I just got lucky. I prefer your method, except that it assumes one already has a camera.

What do you suggest for someone that is trying to figure out the right combination for their environment before they purchase?

Dave


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