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Automatic Lunar Mosaicing?

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#151 dziki

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 01:23 PM

Thank you for your answer. I did not use MoonPanoramaMaker yet but I am planning to try, because from what I have read this tool is very useful :)



#152 jeffry7

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 09:52 PM

Hi Rolf,

Has there been any further attempts at autofocus?

I have read about two methods for solar system work.

One is offered by BackyardEOS although it only gives a focus # and leaves the focussing to the user. You take a portion of the frame and calculate the standard deviation of the pixels there. A higher deviation indicates better focus. By selecting several points around the focus, you should be able to plot a curve where the peek is the ideal focus point. I know this simple method gets more complicated when seeing gets involved, but possibly averaging several frames at a given focus would do the trick.

A different technique is to take JPEG images at different focal lengths. The largest file has the best focus. Apparently NASA uses this for the Curiosity rover. Here is a link discussing this and other methods.

https://stackoverflo...cus-calculation

#153 Euphonia

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 04:27 PM

Hey Rolf, 

 

This thread is a bit cold, BUT I just want you to know that Moon Panorama Maker is going strong here in California.

 

CPC1100 HD with a pro Wedge, running the Celestron PlaneWave suite, alongside Firecapture and Moon Panorama Maker. It's a pretty hefty setup for a one person setup in the field, but once it's up, it works really smooth.

 

Seeing where this is all going, I now need to seriously beef up my hard drives. 500gb field SSD is a mere "amuse bouche" for Moon Panorama Maker!

 

Again, thank you for putting in the work


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#154 Rolf

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 03:45 AM

Hi Tobias,

 

Thank you very much for your post, even if the thread is "a bit cold". It is very valuable for me to know how many people are using my software. With PSS I have the impression that a lot of users have tried it already, but with MoonPanoramaMaker I think that not many went through the whole process to get it working in their environment. The biggest obstacle is not MPM itself, but the ASCOM infrastructure it relies on.

 

For me MPM works flawlessly for more than four years already. I could not imagine capturing a big lunar panorama without it, and I really pity those who try to do it manually. The nicest feature of MPM for me is that I can capture several (usually up to three) complete panoramas in a row. Then for each tile I have the choice of three videos, and I can select the one where the seeing was best. This can only work if "tile 27" is always exactly at the same place. And that is a hopeless undertaking in manual mode.

 

I understand your SSD capacity problem very well! In my laptop I have two SSDs with 1 TBytes each. This was okay before I got my new ASI290MM camera. That camera fills the disk six times faster than my old ASI120MM-S, so I hit the limits of my SSDs regularly. Another problem is archiving all raw data. I never throw away the raw videos. As soon as I have processed them, I move them from my NAS system to a professional LTO6 tape archive tape. One tape cartridge holds 2,5 TB of data, and the tapes are supposed to stay okay for 30 years. That should be sufficient. smile.gif

 

Having all the raw data is extremely useful for me. Actually, at the moment I work again on my full moon data of January 20, 2019. I started from the raw data, processed them again with my (meanwhile much better) PSS software. I also made much progress in my LRGB workflow, so I hope to end up with a greatly improved result. So: Never throw away raw data!

 

All the best,

 Rolf

 



#155 Euphonia

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 06:27 PM

I must say, there's something extremely satisfying watching the automated rig do it's thing.

 

I use the 290mm with a 650nm filter and the 178mc for color. I also use a Sony A7sii for a "basic starter backdrop template".

 

CPC1100hd on a wedge is not the easiest to setup in the field for one person, but once it's setup it works really nicely now.

The big game changer for me (previous bottle neck) was the PlaneWave software integration with the CPC1100. Finally Celestron has worked out the most of the kinks and it's all working in concert now. Focuser / Starsense and mount finally communicates properly with all other ASCOM software (including MPM). Also, having automated focus help when using 2x barlow with the 290mm is a huge step up.

 

We've had a bit of rain here in CA, but now the weather is super clear. Hardly any smog at all in CA due to Covid19 quarantine. I'm hoping to exploit this a bit this week and do a field trip up into the mountains to do some imaging at elevation.

 

Any thoughts on the ASI533MC Pro as potential "moon candidate"? Small pixels, square sensor and a slightly larger FOV. Speed is probably a little bit limiting, but since its color data I'm thinking that it's probably in favor to prioritize FOV to avoid any ugly color seams in the mosaic stitching.

 

Cheers!


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#156 Rolf

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 02:22 AM

Hi Tobias,

 

Thank you very much for your report on your telescope and software setup. Reading that I'm kind of becoming envious of your equipment and the much more favorable location in Califormia. Here in Germany during the summer it does not make any sense to observe the moon, so I have to wait until end of August.

 

I'm glad that MPM seems to work flawlessly with your mount and telescope. I know that with the complicated ASCOM interface it's not just "plug and play", and I'm afraid that many users are not willing to invest the effort needed to sort all issues out. But I agree with you that it is very satisfying watching the telescope work its way through a big panorama without any manual intervention. By the way: Are you using the "auto alignment" feature? For me that was the major breakthrough, becuase my mount is not top quality (Vixen Sphinx SXD), and so I would need to do a manual alignment every few minutes.

 

The ASI533MC Pro is certainly a very good camera. For me, however, it would not work for two reasons: First, I'm using a C11 (not the Edge HD version), so the field is not flat enough for the large sensor. And second, because the Pixel pitch (3.75 micron) is too large for an f/10 system to get maximum resolution. I would need some kind of Barlow with a small factor (some 1.3). My Baader FFC only works at 3x or more. That is why for my C11 I prefer a camera with pixels at or below 3 micron, such as the ASI290MM.

 

As to color: I did some experiments with an ASI 178MC, but I never got a uniform color across the entire panorama. I guess the problem was that I changed the exposure time between terminator and rim, and that changed the color balance as well. Therefore, I now prefer using a full-frame DSLR mounted to a long-focus APO refractor for color. It does not matter that the resolution is lower than the Luminance channel if one uses the adequate LRGB workflow. (It took me a while to figure that out, though ....)

 

I wish you many successful observing sessions, now that for the first time in decades there is no smog at al in CA.

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#157 Euphonia

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 12:30 AM

Auto align is brilliant. Especially when going deep with a 2x Barlow.

 

I'm still figuring out best workflow practice.

I wish there was a manual button or command to cycle through the landmarks and the edges of the disk, just as a quick check to make sure MPM has all the coordinates. ( I know you can use the landmark, but I've had instances where I missed the edge due to alignment drift). Right now I simply adjust the overlap and edge margins to compensate, and together with auto align seems to do the trick.

 

On a different note. True moon color ( I know this is not directly MPM related, but its part of the same quest)

In video and filming I'm used to color reference calibration cards. Easy way to get consistent accurate natural colors between cameras and scenes.

I'm wondering if there is something similar for the moon. Like a Pantene soil calibration swat from the various moon soils? I've tried to look for boxes of soil and clay samples ( I know Hollywood sometimes uses these types of things as reference for color consistency when building real life sets and then combining with CGI). This would somewhat bypass any coloration by the atmosphere and or incorrect over processing (Googling "moon mineral colors" will assault your retinas with an onslaught of bright neon color moon images that has nothing to do with reality). We already know what the various soil types are on the moon, but how does true iron / titanium oxide regolith look like in the flesh without the interpretation of various cameras, atmosphere and processing? At the moment I use the LRO images as a reference, but even the LRO images are interpreted through bandpass filters, electronics and various human artistic processing. So... How do we relatively accurately calibrate /estimate true moon color?



#158 Tom Glenn

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 12:54 AM

At the moment I use the LRO images as a reference, but even the LRO images are interpreted through bandpass filters, electronics and various human artistic processing. So... How do we relatively accurately calibrate /estimate true moon color?

Tobias, there have been many discussion about this on the forum.  And I agree with you that most "mineral moons" do not appropriately reflect any relevant geology of the Moon.  Most often, the colors represent color balance inaccuracies, atmospheric effects, and processing artifacts.  In "true" color, the Moon is actually quite bland, with most regions having slightly more R and G signal than B.  I like to use the following version, provided by the LRO, but created to simulate colors perceived with human vision.  

 

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4720


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#159 Euphonia

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 01:59 AM

That's a good one. Love the files size too!

Key word "adjusted for human vision", love that

 

This is an interesting investigation regarding color. The most hands on attempt I've seen so far.

 

https://www.aulis.com/mooncolour.htm

 

I just wish there was some color numbers to be had in a palette form. And i still dream of a proper lunar regolith simulant sample box.



#160 Tom Glenn

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:01 AM

That's a good one. Love the files size too!

Key word "adjusted for human vision", love that

 

This is an interesting investigation regarding color. The most hands on attempt I've seen so far.

 

https://www.aulis.com/mooncolour.htm

 

I just wish there was some color numbers to be had in a palette form. And i still dream of a proper lunar regolith simulant sample box.

Tobias, there will never be an agreed upon standard.  It's impossible.  That article is interesting, although I'm a bit troubled by a quote contained within where the author makes a claim about "pre-production" and a "studio stage".  Is this person a conspiracy theorist that believes the Moon landings were faked?  If so, I will not engage is any conversation about it, because that is complete garbage.  Also, his claim of 7-8% albedo of the Moon is not correct.  It's a good bit higher when you normalize for phase.  More like 12-13%, but reports will vary.

 

Putting aside the seriousness (or lack thereof) of your linked article, it is absolutely true that the color films used by NASA did not accurately portray the color of the lunar soil.  Here is a short article describing some of the difficulties encountered processing those films, and how they had to rely on the reports given by the astronauts as to their perception of the lunar soil.  All of the men who walked on the surface of the Moon described it as slightly different shades of gray, without any strong color tones, but with some variation.  

 

https://history.nasa...pollocolor.html

 

It's also worth noting that even if you did have a good color spectrum of lunar soil over the entire surface of the Moon, this would not translate well to calibrating amateur images taken from Earth.  Images from Earth are greatly affected by the lunar phase.  The LRO color mosaics are all normalized, both for phase, as well as angle of incidence of solar irradiation.  If these calibration steps are not done, color cannot be compared between different images.  



#161 Tom Glenn

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:07 AM

OK, I just did a Google search, and the author, Leonid Konovalov, is a conspiracy theorist that believes that the Moon landings were faked.  Sadly, his writings are themselves filled with errors, and have no place in a serious discussion of anything.  


Edited by Tom Glenn, 13 May 2020 - 03:08 AM.


#162 Rolf

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 06:22 AM

Hi Tobias,

 

Auto align is brilliant. Especially when going deep with a 2x Barlow.

 

I'm still figuring out best workflow practice.

I wish there was a manual button or command to cycle through the landmarks and the edges of the disk, just as a quick check to make sure MPM has all the coordinates. ( I know you can use the landmark, but I've had instances where I missed the edge due to alignment drift). Right now I simply adjust the overlap and edge margins to compensate, and together with auto align seems to do the trick.

I'm glad that auto alignment works with your hardware as well. This was the most complicated single feature to implement and test! But every time I watch my telescope take a large panorama without manual intervention, I know that it was worth the effort!   wink.gif

 

I can assure you that MPM has all the coordinates if the user has done the alignment on one selected landmark right. MPM then computes where the landmark is located with respect to the apparent center of the lunar disk, and then knows where to locate the tiles to be captured. In the algorithms I developed for that I even compensate for the parallax caused by the observer not watching from the earth center, because this effect can shift the displacement by some 10".

 

The only source of trouble can come from this first alignment being incorrect. Worst of all, the user could have misidentified the feature, although he or she is shown a photo of the surroundings. Then, of course, the whole panorama will be grossly misaligned. Another, more subtle effect can result from a large backlash in the declination gear. When during alignment you center the landmark in your camera, you will have approached the place, say, from the south. MPM will remember the location and take it as reference for subsequent positionings. If the mount in a "goto" operation, however, approaches the target from the other direction (i.e. from the north in our example), it will misplace the telescope by the amount of declination backlash. The only way to avoid that is to approach the landmark in a manual alignment from the same side as the goto operation.

 

If all this went well, MPM should leave a uniform amount of black space in all four coordinate directions. Nevertheless, it i s a good idea to add not too few margin pixels in the camera configuration dialog. The main reason for this is wind or non-uniform guiding. After all, the stacked frame only contains the intersection of all video frames.

 

As to alignment drift, it is absolutely essential to let MPM measure that drift before starting the panorama. For this, the user should repeat the manual alignment every once in a while for at least some 15 minutes after MPM startup. Here, again, is a subtle source of error: The first manual alignment happens just after MPM steered the telescope to the moon. At this point in time, the camera will not be oriented properly yet. After the first alignment, MPM drives the telescope to the edge where the edge should run vertically through the FoV. At this point the user must unfasten the screws holding the camera, rotate the camera, and fasten the screws again. Of course, this shifts the position of the camera with respect to the telescope. Therefore, I usually do a few manual alignments after rotating the camera (to let MPM compute the drift compensation), and then discard the first alignment (in the drift dialog). Sometimes in this dialog you see that all alignment points are on a line, with only the first one not fitting well. Now you know why!

 

I hope you found those details useful for optimizing your workflow!

 

All the best,

 Rolf

 


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#163 Coconuts

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 08:10 AM

Rolf:  I just stumbled onto this other thread, where you have again created very helpful software.  Could you please point me to the latest version of MoonPanoramaMaker, and its documentation? 

 

I have a Meade 10" LX-200 on a well aligned AP Mach2 GTO mount, and will shortly receive a Starizona LF (large format) reducer/corrector, which provides a full frame (43 mm) corrected image circle: I will be pairing this with a ZWO ASI6200MC Pro full frame camera (OSC), which has 3.76 um pixels.  So perhaps I have enough resolution to image and stack using your wonderful PSS without any need to mosaic.  But MPM assumes the use of FireCapture, and probably small sensor higher frame rate USB video cameras.  The ASI6200MC does allow smaller ROIs at higher frame rates, and perhaps this would help with fast "lucky imaging" and stacking.  But I don't think that it interfaces with FireCapture.  And maybe I should be thinking about a Barlow, and not a reducer/corrector.  You can see that I don't quite know what to do, so any guidance for high resolution lunar imaging would be appreciated.  Your work is inspiring!

 

All the best,

 

Kevin



#164 Rolf

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 09:33 AM

Hi Kevin,

 

Your Meade 10" telescope is an f/10 system, so at its prime focus you need something less than 3 um pixel pitch to get diffraction limited images. In the past I used an ASI120MM-S camera on my f/10 system (C11), which resulted in a slight undersampling. That is why I upgraded to an ASI290MM with 2.9 um pixels.

 

With your camera you definitely don't need a reducer for high-resolution lucky imaging. On the other hand, using a ROI in the camera and then combining the videos into a panorama looks like a strange idea to me. The only reason why this could make sense is that you could avoid using the reducer/flattener (smaller field of view), and thus capture at the full f/10 focal length.

 

If you are interested in MPM, you will find the User Guide document and the software on Github. Before you try the software on your telescope, I strongly recommend trying it with an ASCOM simulator first, like I described e.g. here earlier in this thread. Because of the realtime interaction with telescope and camera, getting MPM to run well in your environment is definitely not "plug and play".

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#165 Euphonia

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 12:20 PM

OK, I just did a Google search, and the author, Leonid Konovalov, is a conspiracy theorist that believes that the Moon landings were faked.  Sadly, his writings are themselves filled with errors, and have no place in a serious discussion of anything.  

Tom, thanks for the source checking. My in the moment enthusiasm didn't think to question his motifs.


Edited by Euphonia, 14 May 2020 - 03:32 AM.


#166 Euphonia

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 08:31 PM

Here's an image from Friday's super moon "parking lot" MPM test run.

92 panels ASI290mm  in 650nm and 8 panel RGB with Sony A7sii. CPC1100hd

 

Cheers!

Tobias

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • PlanetMoon LRO2.png

Edited by Euphonia, 13 May 2020 - 10:06 PM.

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#167 Rolf

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 01:47 AM

Hi Tobias,

 

Here's an image from Friday's super moon "parking lot" MPM test run.

92 panels ASI290mm  in 650nm and 8 panel RGB with Sony A7sii. CPC1100hd

 

Cheers!

Tobias

Great picture. Thank you for sharing it with us!

 

I'm glad MPM worked well, so there are no "holes" in the panorama. Did you use the PlanetarySystemLRGBAligner for the alignment of the luminance and color channels?

 

Because of the size limitations in ths forum the picture does not show its full resolution. Can I download a high-res version somewhere?

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#168 Euphonia

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 03:25 AM

This image is honestly nothing too special. No crazy high resolution (yet), just a first "dry run" from the parking lot outside my studio. Seeing was relatively poor due to warm ground air etc. That said, fun test and it all worked out really nicely in terms of workflow and functionality. I'm honestly super excited to bring the rig to some higher elevation.

 

91 panels gave me a fairly generous overlap, so no "holes" at all. I used 1000 frames per panel, but next time I will probably opt for 2x1200 frames for each panel. 2400 frames seems to be the sweet spot for the Ram buffering / SSD speed. Gives the system enough time to buffer the ram while slewing to the next panel. 

 

AS3 with a 10% and 20% stack for the "L" ( I use the 10% borderline under sampled stacked image to create the high pass sharpening masks, and the 20% stack for the masked frequency separation )

 

RGB was only 8 panels with 20 frames per panel with 15 of best frames used per set ( color is def an area with room for improvement )

 

Panorama Maker Pro was used for the 91 "L" panels, and for the RGB I was lazy and used Photoshop.

 

Initial alignment and re-scaling of the RGB in Photoshop

 

And your RGB aligment tool for the final RGB / L alignment  ( Rolf, this is a seriously brilliant tool )

 

I created a simple 8 point color tonal mapping adjustment palette, based on the NASA LRO link Tom Glenn sent, and applied to the frequency separated color masking layers.

 

Here's a link to the full res images

 

https://www.dropbox....qj4n3YEWEa?dl=0

 

Cheers!

Tobias


Edited by Euphonia, 14 May 2020 - 03:52 AM.

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#169 Rolf

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 06:04 AM

Hi Tobias,

 

Thank you very much for the details on your LRGB workflow. Here are "my two cents worth":

 

  • The ASI290 is a very fast camera, so I take many more frames. Usually I set the time limit for each video to 20 seconds. This corresponds to more than 3000 frames. With so many frames I have much more freedom to choose the optimal stacking rate, without the risk of getting a noisy summation file.
  • Even with so many frames per video, I try to t let MPM cycle throuth the entire panorama at least twice. Especially if the seeing is variable I can then select the better of the two results per tile.
  • You used AS3 for stacking!?! What was the name again of that wonderful new and modern stacking tool, especially for moon imaging???   smile.gif
  • For RGB I use lots of frames per tile, at least 150 to 200. And, since sharpness is less important than color noise reduction, I set the stacking rate relatively high. In the end I stack at least 50 frames. This is important because later I increase the color saturation to reveal the tonal variations. In doing so, I don't want the slightest trace of color noise to shine through. With my setup (Refractor 130/1200mm, Canon 5D MKII, Baader FFC) I can capture the full moon with four tiles. Sometimes I end up with about 1000 full-frame DSLR shots.

I wish you good luck with your first serious observing session in a favourable environment with good seeing!

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#170 Euphonia

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 07:34 PM

Just saving dessert for last!

 



You used AS3 for stacking!?! What was the name again of that wonderful new and modern stacking tool, especially for moon imaging???   smile.gif

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#171 Ihoujin

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 09:31 PM

I would very much like to try MPM on my Raspberry Pi running Raspbian Buster 18.04. What steps do I need to take to compile it for ARM processors?

Thank you.



#172 Rolf

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 04:38 AM

Hi,

 

I would very much like to try MPM on my Raspberry Pi running Raspbian Buster 18.04. What steps do I need to take to compile it for ARM processors?

Thank you.

I have no experience with installing Python software on a Raspberry Pi, but I know that some Python libraries do not work there. So, if you try this yourself, you can use the MPM source code (available at Github). I will not be able to give you any support, though.

 

Good luck!

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#173 spereira

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 08:28 AM

Since this topic has been re-activated, I'll move it over to Lunar Observing & Imaging.

 

smp




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