Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Saturn: plenty of disk activity...plus Mars...

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 05 July 2016 - 07:59 AM

Hi all, very limited chances to image in South Australia lately due to the weather: arrived home last night & was greeted with a real deluge as over 2 inches of rain fell within a few hours...this is a virtual "cloudburst" down here! ;)

 

Imaged at Carrieton & I created havoc & carnage while we were there: testing some new equipment which is progressing nicely but at one stage stepped down from a step-ladder right onto my power box that distributes the 12 volts from our battery bank...very lucky to be able to make a patched-up repair to continue, which requires more work now that we're home... :(

 

Mars showed good detail & a nice onscreen feed but there was a constant high-speed jitter in all the captures which probably took the edge off of them...the first r-g-b set looked like the best & I haven't even bothered processing the rest yet...

 

Swung the C14 over to Saturn & although the jittering was still there the images onscreen were noticeably sharper...captured 2 sets plus an iR610nm image before returning to Mars to see what that looked like as it began to drop significantly...

 

Biggest regret was being too tired to get up to image Neptune & Uranus  later at around 4:30am...we were extremely tired from a lot of work at home plus it was literally freezing at that time...will just have to wait to try & image the storm spots again another night...  :(

 

Very pleased to pick up a lot of disk activity on Saturn where the onscreen feeds also displayed plenty of Saturn's banding...here are the Saturn images, & the RGB with the individual channels...

 

Click on the thumbnails for the full-sized images...

 

s2016-07-02_12-59_rgb_dpm@200%_TILT.png

 

s2016-07-02_12-27etc_r_g_b_dpm.png


  • Sunspot, Magellanico, Ron Walker and 37 others like this

#2 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 05 July 2016 - 08:00 AM

...an iR610nm image of Saturn also from the same night before turning in...

s2016-07-02_12-57_ir_dpm.png
  • Sunspot, Magellanico, Angela G and 15 others like this

#3 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 05 July 2016 - 08:02 AM

Finally for now the 2 Mars images...taken over 1.5 hours apart: reasonably pleased to at least get something after all the lousy weather..! ;)

 

m2016-07-02_11-42_rgb_dpm@225%&100%.png

 

m2016-07-02_13-18_rgb_dpm@225%&100%.png


  • Sunspot, Magellanico, ArekP and 31 others like this

#4 RunningMan

RunningMan

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 417
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011

Posted 05 July 2016 - 08:40 AM

Beautiful images, as always!

#5 Dobermann

Dobermann

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 146
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Minsk, Belarus

Posted 05 July 2016 - 09:01 AM

Splendid images!



#6 Mert

Mert

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5742
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Spain, Pamplona

Posted 05 July 2016 - 09:07 AM

Your "something" is way out of reach for me!!

It is always a pleasure to see your work Darryl, excellent!!



#7 coopman

coopman

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5378
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 05 July 2016 - 09:51 AM

These are outstanding.  Well done!



#8 Toddeo

Toddeo

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2012
  • Loc: Sierra Vista, AZ

Posted 05 July 2016 - 10:51 AM

Excellent images!!!



#9 RBChris

RBChris

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 397
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 05 July 2016 - 12:33 PM

Beautiful images! I especially appreciate the fine banding detail on Saturn  :waytogo:  :waytogo:  :waytogo:  :waytogo:

 

Randy



#10 rigel123

rigel123

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15968
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 05 July 2016 - 10:07 PM

Amazing!



#11 DesertRat

DesertRat

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6235
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Valley of the Sun

Posted 05 July 2016 - 10:27 PM

Those are really good Mars captures Darryl! :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

 

The Saturn iimage is outstanding! :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

 

The fine banding with some undulations and spots showing is amazing.  Cannot touch this at the planets elevation from this n hemisphere!

 

Glenn


Edited by DesertRat, 05 July 2016 - 10:28 PM.


#12 Az Frank

Az Frank

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2153
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Tucson Arizona

Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:02 PM

Amazing detail you capture in all three filters for Saturn Darryl! My red filter is always my best, your blue looks like my red. Excellent job on Mars as well!



#13 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:23 PM

Thanks from Pat & me to dada, the A/Minsk fellas, Mert, Clay, Randy, Warren, Glenn & Frank - it's always nice to hear/read complimentary comments! ;)

 

I'm a bit "wounded" atm being honest (btw, I deliberately avoided "atm btw" :lol: ) but the new scope required a step-ladder in its present incarnation & until I "got smart" on the 2nd night & fitted an RACI finderscope I was stooping/crouching on the steps with my body contorted a lot of the time during testing...that's how I stepped down straight onto my power box & it has also introduced some severe back/leg/shoulder/neck - heck, entire body pain which hasn't subsided much yet... :fingerscrossed:   

 

To top that off on the 2nd night when we took these images I must have knocked the C14's finderscope completely off-kilter & I ended up on the ground under that scope with the camera removed to find Mars in the C14 via its naked illumination to get everything properly aligned - that completely stuffed my ageing body up..! :shocked:  :(

 

We had intended to collimate on Spica but simply couldn't find it onscreen...eventually "discovering" a faint star which we collimated on pretty successfully in hindsight: I thought slewing to a brighter Mars would make finding it easy so we could align the finder & start imaging but it wasn't so - resorting to my "on my back" position...I'm too old for that sort of plurry caper, really!!! :ohmy:  

 

On the plus side the star-testing suggests this 18" Skywatcher has a good mirror.....well, I can already state that it is infinitely better than that *%$#@! OOUK 16" Newt...we took some early Mars captures, but I was stunned how terrible the alt/az field rotation is at high elevations: this won't be an issue as it will very soon be on a GEM when we finish this fabrication work...

 

We got the scope at a very discounted price on the understanding it would go straight back if its optical qualities weren't up to our expectations - & had no intentions of keeping it on the alt/az drive for any more time than that needed to ascertain its optical merits...little did we realise that the motor firmware needed replacing & the time to get this from China etc was a p.i.t.a: unfortunately I can also report that AS!2's "experimental" field de-rotation function does not work but only seems to rotate everything excessively...Emil gave me no guarantees on that btw. ;)

 

I did "chop" the start of the avi into a small, 40 second segment & this negated the field rotation...I might try doing this throughout an avi sometime & compile the results in the next few days when I have some spare time :lol:  to see the outcome of a full avi capture...we were using the ASI224MC for simplicity & the seeing was much poorer earlier that night for our first actual captures with this scope - but that small segment did show a promising result... :fingerscrossed:

 

Will we get better images than those from the C14? - who knows...it might well be that only on really first-rate seeing situations this big scope will deliver with its lower gain etc - & I am quite conversant with just how well the C14's seem to perform in comparison to most bigger Newts...cooling doesn't appear to be an issue with this very interesting primary mirror but with such a new beast, until we made our minds up we couldn't set up the additions to accurately monitor factors like temperature etc...but there have been a lot of revelations getting to grips with the fundamentals...I couldn't work out why our intial home testing had the collimation go right out from static with a Cheshire to the star-images...until I discovered purely by accident that the big threaded retainer ring that holds the central, threaded metal core of the primary in its cell had slightly loosened...allowing the mirror to shift when altering its inclination - that was an easy fix once we knew what was happening & I made a "spanner" to tighten it...although S/W have no specific torque value for said ring...

 

Still a lot of work to do & I now realise just what a tiny scope the C14 is - seriously!!! Just the unit for our dotage probably...but while there's life one dreams...as long as all this is not actually an indicator of senility..! :lol:


  • RedLionNJ likes this

#14 R Botero

R Botero

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2149
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Kent, England

Posted 06 July 2016 - 02:08 AM

Your Saturn detail and colours are the stuff of dreams Darryl! :waytogo:

#15 Petrus351

Petrus351

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 331
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Spain

Posted 06 July 2016 - 11:35 AM

I have no words to explain how good your pictures are.  I was in Australia in February, but I dind´t bring my scope with me, and it´s a pitty.  Where in Australia were the captures taken from?



#16 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 07 July 2016 - 01:25 AM

...I have no shame when it comes to planetary imaging btw! :lol:

 

This'll probably send me back to the "Newbies School" :graduate: but despite all the factors against us when trialling the Skywatcher 450mm Newt we drew quite a bit of confidence from the tests at Carrieton where we used the C14 for the images at the start of this thread - I won't call it a "dob" even if it was acting like one :ohmy:   ...& within a few days it will be swinging on the EQ8.

 

The seeing was a lot poorer than for the C14's captures 2 hours later & I had not attempted any mirror cooling/equalisation...the temperatures literally drops like a stone at that time of the night up in those areas & we already had the C14 on ice (again, literally) waiting for it to get down to equilibrium whilst we mucked around with the S/W...smashing my power box & stuffing up my back completely during this time.

 

I'd worked out the primary shift problem by the time we attempted collimation with this beast but with the seeing - & I'd have to say my ability with Newt-collimating nowhere near the level of my SCT capabilities - I was not really satisfied with my results therein... :(

 

Quite a lot was of course the seeing, but also the alt/az drive's penchant to "lose" the planet onscreen: I did a star alignment which does help the tracking but with something new & (obviously) unfamiliar tracking peccadilloes I spent a lot of time at the finder getting the planet back onto the sensor - hence my stuffed neck, shoulders, legs et al!!! :(

 

Intra & extra focal star-patterns looked very consistent despite the seeing's influence on their clarity & it displayed nice, circular diffraction rings: a bit hard in those conditions to gauge just how symmetrically I'd adjusted them (especially when the planet disappeared!) but I really feel that on a good night - or later that same night - I could have performed a much better collimation...I just wasn't prepared to spend all our time with this particular scope playing around due to the paucity of opportunities we've had with the weather recently...& of course with our high speed fan blowing on the back of these quite thin, exposed & "layered" mirrors I have no doubt when we attach temperature probes we'll readily get it down to ambient for optimal operation fairly easily...

 

As I said above "who knows whether it will produce better images than the mighty C14..?" - but I think there's a durn real chance it might in the right conditions - & once a few more aspects are sorted out...

 

The really big issue that night was the field rotation...a 6 minute capture was pushing things rather hard I realise (who, me?!? :lol: ) & unfortunately AS!2 didn't derotate the frames - it actually rotated them further!!! :shocked:

 

I'll contact Emil to see if I haven't made one of my regular bloopers, but I'm pretty sure I didn't... :confused:

 

The answer was to chop the avi up into (roughly) 40 second segments, process each separately & then bung them into WinJupos - this solved the field rotation which is a good thing to know...even if I won't have this issue the next time we go out.

 

W/J just allowed me to drop each subsequent stack straight in & with the "ControlH" apparently took care of field rotation...well, tbh that's my assumption of what happened. At least WJ always seems to allow subsequent images to drop into perfect positioning once you get the AF right...that's easy with a very gibbous Mars. So I'm presuming this is what happened...

 

Anyway, regardless of the outcome I think we're onto something once we sort out those things we know we can improve significantly...such that the image-outcomes "should" improve from the image below markedly. :fingerscrossed:

 

Here's this "Newt Newbies'" result re this...

 

ALLStacks-2016-07-02-0945_1_LD=0-R6dLumHsrtch0-200FIN@150%&100%#2.png


  • Magellanico, JMP, Angela G and 4 others like this

#17 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:07 AM

...oops - thanks also Roberto & Petrus - appreciated fellas! :)

 

I'd quickly processed the 18" Newt images this afternoon - if you can "quickly" segment an avi into 10 sections, process each, measure & recompile in WinJupos etc..! ;)

 

I'm sure I can do better & the post-processing after WJ was very slap-dash tbh...we ran off 4 avi's using the 18" & I chose this first capture merely because the planet was onscreen for the entire duration...it went AWOL several times during the other captures & it was easiest segmenting this avi to see whether WJ would handle the field rotation.

 

Also, I added 20 seconds to the last timestamp for WJ because I'd simply calculated the timestamps by dividing the segments, presuming them as 36" captures & started from the capture start-time...FireCapture supplies an "average" FPS & this means the actual midpoint UT's of each successive segment "drifts" across as it advances over the full avi's entirety, causing the errors.

 

I don't think this would've made much difference but of possible greater impact was that I could see some of the segments had much better outcomes than others & one characteristic of WJ is that lumping poorer image-stacks with better ones degrades the outcome significantly at times...so taking all the previously mentioned factors into account I have considerable optimism that this scope will prove worthwhile... :fingerscrossed:  :fingerscrossed:  :fingerscrossed:

 

Other aspects like reducing the secondary mirror size (the stock one is pretty large tbh!) should assist...I'm making a very lightweight upper & lower OTA tube from 0.8mm polypropylene  to replace the awkward supplied material shroud...making mirror defogging a bit easier & by extending it further at the top hopefully slowing down secondary fogging a bit more...also replacing the steel 2-piece truss tubes with single-piece ally units.

 

On the truss tube aspect I'm quite impressed with how it seems to hold static collimation & whilst it might seem funny this scope is very easy to set up...our most difficult element is the EQ8 but I have an all-ally pier that I will convert the top of to accommodate the EQ8 head...this ally-pier has removable legs/stays & will be much lighter than the steel EQ8 stock pier...I just need to work out a good compromise height for it for both the C14 & 18" Newt - it is far too tall atm.

 

Anyway, enough rambling, got to get back to the EQ8 bracket for this Newt, repair the power box, make those lightweight baffle tubes...etc, etc: might re-pro this avi from the 18" or look at one that might yield better results with a bit more care even if I find the time :lol: ...my real objective with this new scope is hoping it might provide some real benefit for the Uranus & Neptune apparitions as they move into "better" night-time imaging hours... :)


  • RedLionNJ likes this

#18 Dragon Man

Dragon Man

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3381
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Snake Valley, Australia

Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:12 AM

Darryl!!! So this is where you have been hiding for the last few years! In here and I didn't even know  :lol:

 

Mate, they are stunning results!  :waytogo:

 

Cheers

Ken



#19 RickV

RickV

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1810
  • Joined: 17 May 2013
  • Loc: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Posted 07 July 2016 - 03:54 PM

A 450mm (17.7 inch) Newt? :confused:

IMO, this is a only a tiny step up from a C14. :undecided:

Seriously, you need to go to at least 20 inch to even gain an extra stop (double) of light.

 

Come on Darryl, you're a Big Boy...take a Big Step!

e.g. Have you considered a 106cm (~42") SCT?

http://www.cloudynig...di-observatory/

 

Darryl, I won't tell you that your C14 images are rather good... because you likely have enough trouble passing through door frames with your head all swollen from all the recent compliments that you received. :lol:


Edited by RickV, 07 July 2016 - 03:56 PM.


#20 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:18 PM

How are you Ken! :)

 

Good to hear from you - I knew you'd gotten deep into this "EA" stuff...err, I think that's what it's referred to...

 

Always thought about you as we passed the Snake Gully road/turnoff on the main Adelaide-Melbourne drag, but Pat's Mum passed away a few years back at the ripe old age of nearly 98 so we haven't been over that way for quite a long time...

 

I'm closing in on 67 now but still managing to hobble about - hope you're still going strong - it sounds like you are! :)  :waytogo:

 

Rick, we widened the doors years ago...but your newbie status will allow me to overlook your ignorance of our prowess!  :lol:

 

Actually 18" - regardless of your maths...& me leaving off the few extra mm's above...but speaking of "status" this "gaining an extra stop" stuff is only reinforcing your newbie credentials brother! :lol:

 

Btw, thanks fellas. :)



#21 RickV

RickV

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1810
  • Joined: 17 May 2013
  • Loc: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:55 PM

RE: "newbie status", "status", "newbie credentials"

Oh yeah...

Well Darryl, did you get a "status watch" when you bought your C14?  No, eh?

What can I say?  So sad...

 

 

When I bought my "professional" C11 it came with the a commemorative time piece!

Now that's "status"!

Mickey Mouse Watch-1.jpg



#22 HentySky

HentySky

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 173
  • Joined: 22 Apr 2013

Posted 07 July 2016 - 10:55 PM

Darryl, your image of Saturn is just stunning, the cloud banding is incredible.  I can't even get close to that (and the weather over here is not helping).  You are proving what the C14 can really do so I will just have to keep at it.  Well done mate.  Cheers Brett



#23 Kokatha man

Kokatha man

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12234
  • Joined: 13 Sep 2009
  • Loc: "cooker-ta man" downunda...

Posted 08 July 2016 - 07:59 PM

Thanks Brett - we've had pretty lousy weather here with very sporadic imaging opportunities...had to drive out to Murray Bridge to get the major service on our car yesterday & by the time we got home I realised imaging would've been a chance - too late to cool the scope down for early planets & too tired for N & U however...

 

Not the clear with low Jetstream type we most crave but that type where the jet-bands are fairly "smooth & straight" - but atm we'd take either when we are able to... ;)



#24 Baron

Baron

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 684
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Rome, Italy

Posted 09 July 2016 - 10:51 AM

Fantastic images Darryl, as always!




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics