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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13
      #5925159 - 06/17/13 10:21 AM Attachment (106 downloads)

Hey everyone.

Had a fantastic night last night. I believe I captured my best Saturn to date (only 3rd attempt) and also imaged the moon for the first time.

I started a little early on the moon since I need to get to bed at somewhat of a decent hour since I have to be up for my shift at 5:30am. But all in all I'd say I got a lot accomplished. Even though some images may be saturated, I kept a log of how each image was captured for future reference.

Hope y'all enjoy.

1st, and for my 7 month old son, an image of Mickey Mouse with a detached ear.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925163 - 06/17/13 10:22 AM Attachment (62 downloads)

The rest are just random bunches of craters, since I have yet to get my Lunar atlas in from Amazon.

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925164 - 06/17/13 10:23 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

And another.

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925166 - 06/17/13 10:24 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

And

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925167 - 06/17/13 10:24 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

And finally the northern region.

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925169 - 06/17/13 10:26 AM Attachment (74 downloads)

And Last but not least, Saturn, in all its glory.

Hope y'all liked them.

I'd love some feedback on lunar imaging.
Thanks


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925173 - 06/17/13 10:28 AM

Also, I cleaned the camera like someone (can't remember who) suggested, using the air can. There was some particles on the sensor.

And as far as the "cut" frames issue: That only did it in any of the 640 modes.

All images were captured using 512x400


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sfugardi
Post Laureate


Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: CT
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925357 - 06/17/13 12:01 PM

Matt, excellent image set! I especially like the Saturn. Very impressive for only the 3rd try. Thanks for posting

Regards,
Steve


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: sfugardi]
      #5925371 - 06/17/13 12:10 PM

Thank you very much Steve. I am just trying to hone in capture and processing waiting for Jupiter and Mars.

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28 N, 81 W
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925437 - 06/17/13 12:37 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Quote:

And Last but not least, Saturn, in all its glory.

Hope y'all liked them.

I'd love some feedback on lunar imaging.
Thanks




Your Saturn is way better than I can hope to get with my NexImage 5 / C8. Did you use a Barlow? I'm considering getting the ASI120MC. What frame rate do you use on Saturn and what focal ratio?

I brightened up your Moon picture a little. I put it into RegiStax and in the histogram feature I brought the right side in. Then I used the gamma feature to brighten the low end without making the bright things brighter.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5925562 - 06/17/13 01:40 PM

Steve, watching your vid on youtube a month ago is how I learned to best process in registax. So I thank you for that.

Last night I took detailed notes during capture for future reference and for any questions.

I used a 2x powermate, and used FireCapture
EX 10-100ms
Gain: 30
Exp (ms): 37
Gamma: 70

This made it 27 fps actual.
I used 3000 frames at 512x400.

Registax:
Used 22 Alignpoints
45% stack
and Level 1 100%, Denoise .25 / Sharpen .140

I noticed that at .150 on sharpen, the Cassini Division is very crisp, but the C-ring gets lost. at .130 the C-ring is very prominent, but the CD is blurred.
.140 seemed the best of both worlds. I have seen superb images with the NI5.

Although, i must admit, I would have a helluva lot more difficulties if I hadn't stumbled upon your vid. Thank you for posting it.
And I HIGHLY recommend the ASI120MC.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925571 - 06/17/13 01:44 PM

With the Lunar images, I tried several different settings on the same area. I had 10 lunar images total, those were the best out of the 10.

I tried to play around and make it look natural. The histogram toyed with me in the polar regions with that black background and terminator being black, but I really loved the 3-D effect the craters made on the curvature of the moon before the horizon hits deep space.


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28 N, 81 W
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5925589 - 06/17/13 01:50 PM

Quote:

And I HIGHLY recommend the ASI120MC.




Yeah, I will get one soon. Right now they are out of stock and also, here in Florida, we are having rain all the time. Summer is a bust here, we just pack our scopes away for several months. Fortunately there is Cloudy Nights.


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joelimite
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Reged: 09/01/08

Loc: Fayetteville, AR
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5925780 - 06/17/13 03:30 PM

Matt, your Saturn is terrific! Very good colors and processing. The lunar images are a little dark, in my opinion, but look great otherwise. I agree the ASI120MC is an awesome camera.

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: joelimite]
      #5925794 - 06/17/13 03:36 PM

Thanks Joel.

Yea, last night was a kinda "trial-n-error" night. But I noted all settings used for the images, so next go round I can up the exposure a tad.

Next Saturn plan: animation.


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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5925965 - 06/17/13 05:08 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

That is a lovely Saturn. I really can't complain about how it turned out, but there were a couple of things with your capture settings that I would like to comment on.

1) "Gain: 30
Exp (ms): 37
Gamma: 70"

I have the 8SE + ASI120MC, and I am only using an Orion Shorty Barlow instead of your Powermate. It looks by scale between your Saturn image and one of mine, the powermate nets an image about 90% the size of mine. (maybe f/18 instead of f/20). Nevertheless, with your capture settings your Gain seems a bit low and Gamma is a bit high. I think Sam says you should stay at 50 for Gamma.

When I shot Saturn on Friday, I had gain at 100, exposure around 33ms and gamma at 50. That gave me around 50% on the histogram. Was your histogram around 50 also?

I did a direct comparison with your image and mine (You had a lot better seeing than I did, it was about average here) after resizing and rotating, and it looks like the disc of Saturn looked a little bit flat, which I think is caused by the high gamma setting. But like I said before, your image is fine, but wanted to point out some things just because you are starting out with the camera.

Wanted to point out a couple of things about your moon images. I'm guessing you used Registax wavelets for the processing? It took me a while when I first started doing moon images, that Registax may not be the best way to sharpen the images. I would take images that I had and compared them to images of others and I found them lacking. For me, sharpening with wavelets in registax made the images too contrasty, and it would goof with some of the finer details. That is what I feel is happening in your moon images.

When I was reading about processing back in the day, I ran across this great procedure for using a bit of unsharp masking in combination with high pass filters to get better results. I tried to find the page again and it looks like it is gone. The procedure was called "Goodbye Wavelets" by Tony Gondola. An example on how it is a bit better can be found here. I really cant remember the steps now so I cant help. Maybe Bart Declercq still remembers? I know he posts here in the forums every once in a while.

I forgot how to do the high pass filtering routine mainly because after I found the lucy-richardson deconvolution routine in AstraImage, I havent tried anything else. I seem to get better results out of it than wavelets or high pass filtering. At the bottom ive attached a quick process of a moon image I took on Friday with a 2x barlow. On the left, I did some wavelet sharpening, on the right, I did a quick l-r deonvolution. I took the image around 6pm local and desaturated the colors because everything was blue!

I found that I had to try a lot of different settings and routines for sharpening before I found a way I liked. Just looking in the registax window or what a single image looked like is really not enough. You kinda need to process/save/tweak the settings/save/andsoforth, and then flip between the images to find which one looks best.

Just two other things before I let you go. .
1) were you using the latest FireCapture Beta for capturing?
2) If you didn't know already, you can use a Cut-out in FC that floats around the planet and will allow for smaller file sizes.
3) It appears that you only captured for ~120s. With Saturn, you can capture for quite a bit longer, I actually capture for 5 minutes. That gives me ~9000 frames and I stack just about half of them.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5926008 - 06/17/13 05:38 PM

Thanks zAmbonii,

Thats ALOT to take in on the moon. HAHA.

The Saturn image is exactly why I took notes last night. My previous usage, I didn't, then I couldnt remember HOW I did it.

I will try those settings maybe tonight if the clouds stay away.

I was just playing around with the moon captures and settings, to see what I could accomplish. I have seen many a good lunar images and just as many over-saturated ones. I was trying to be gentle. And yes, I was using registax for wavelets.

Yes, the latest version.
Didn't know about the cut-out.
and never knew how many frames to take, just kinda went with my gut. HAHA.

I really appriciate the feedback. And I will definately continue keeping that log book with me. Anything else to share? I can always use more secrets.


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Smittty692k4
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5926016 - 06/17/13 05:42 PM

And I have the Shorty Barlow, just left it at home.... Darnit. I checked out your Flickr, and your last Saturn does seems to be just a tad bigger. Who woulda thunk it, Orion beating a powermate.

What kinda settings are you using on the moon, if I may ask.


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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5926207 - 06/17/13 07:39 PM

I just looked on the TV site about the 2x Powermate. Looks like the FL doesnt change much with the Top distance to the chip. So I am guessing you were at f/20, and I was at F/22 just because of distance from the barlow element. ( see here). With the shorty barlow, the further away (like using an extension) the larger the image will be. I probably should do a calculation from the image size to confirm I was at f/22 or something.

Don't worry too much about the overload of information. A lot of time, the best thing is to try and tweak this and that to find a comfortable procedure for yourself. Experience is really the key, but it is also nice to know a starting point on where to tweak things.

For the last moon images, I used the same settings on all of the frames for the mosaic (the two other images I have came from frames of the mosaic). After getting things in focus, I found the brightest spot on the Moon and then adjust the exposure to around 80-85% of the histogram. You have a bit of latitude in gain and exposure rates. Higher gain will be higher noise. Because I was capturing full resolution my max framerate would have been 35fps. so I basically could have used any exposure from 1/35s (28.5ms) to 0, and ajusted gain to give me the 80-85% on the histogram.

These are the settings I had for one of the captures that I took:

Duration=30s
Frames captured=1053
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Binning=no
ROI=1280x960
FPS (during start of capture)=35
Shutter=3.479ms
Gamma=50 (off)
WBlue=99
Gain=14
WRed=51
USBTraffic=100
Brightness=0
Histogramm(min)=45
Histogramm(max)=186
Histogramm=72%
Noise(avg.deviation)=10.12
AutoAlign=false
PreFilter=none
Limit=30 Seconds

If you don't want to do a mosaic and just want to capture individual areas of the Moon, just choose an exposure combination that will give you around 80-85% on the histogram (I usually don't want to go higher on the histogram so I don't blow out any really bright areas).

BTW...of those 1053 frames, I stacked 800 of them because seeing was pretty good that night.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Moon and Saturn. 8SE/ASI120MC 6/16/13 new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5926333 - 06/17/13 08:52 PM

I haven't used the histogram during capture. I guess that would be a handy bit of info to use huh? LOL.

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