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Soft edges on Jupiter using ROI with FireCapture

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#1 John Verderame

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:01 PM

I've been doing a lot of imaging of Jupiter lately before the monsoon season hits this week here in Arizona.  I'd say I am intermediate as far as skill level at this point.  I've noticed that on many of the images taken with both a ZWO ASI224MC and my recent upgrade to an ASI290MC, when using the ROI in FireCapture, the planet's disk has soft edges - almost like vignetting.  Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?  I've attached an image taken with my Edge 9.25HD.  Processed in AutoStakkert!2 and RegiStax.  Good seeing and transparency, with Jupiter near the meridian, scope at ambient temp., excellent tracking.  Here's the log info.  Thanks for any suggestions.

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=43.32"
Magnitude=-2.42
CMI=269.7° CMII=332.7° CMIII=206.0°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=1850mm
Resolution=0.32"
Filename=Jup_214809.avi
Date=100618
Start=214739.769
Mid=214809.783
End=214839.797
Start(UT)=044739.769
Mid(UT)=044809.783
End(UT)=044839.797
Duration=60.028s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=2557
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=576x430
ROI(Offset)=520x464
FPS (avg.)=42
Shutter=23.47ms
Gain=66 (11%)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
Gamma=10
WBlue=90
USBTraffic=80
HighSpeed=off
AutoHisto=75 (off)
AutoExposure=off
Brightness=0
WRed=50
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=161
Histogramm=63%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=60 Seconds
Sensor temperature=27.6 °C

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jup_214809_g4_ap3 JPG.jpg


#2 Kokatha man

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:13 PM

Nothing to do with ROI's whatsoever John!

 

For starters you have gamma at "10" - this will impact marked on the end-images in ways you describe...gamma default is "50" in FC which is unity in other terms.

 

Wred should be 52 & Wblue 95 btw...

 

I looked at your "Gain" & thought that was very low but then noticed a good histogram due in part to the short focal length you used (FC said 1850mm f/l & 63% histo - you don't need anymore than that value btw) but then realised you were capturing with a very low frame-rate. (42fps)

 

Set gamma at 50, lower your exposure value, push the Gain right up to 300 or so for a 55% - 60% histo & give yourself a proper frame-rate accordingly for better outcomes - & for heaven's sake record for at least 3 minutes at that sort of image scale mate!


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#3 aeroman4907

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:42 PM

 

Wred should be 52 & Wblue 95 btw...

 

Darryl, how do you know what those values should be?  Aren't they very sensor dependent?  I'd just like to know for my own knowledge...



#4 Kokatha man

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:52 PM

...there's a bit of variation tolerance in the figures I quoted but as to how I know, I took Sam's advice: we've regularly corresponded for quite a few years now & I think I asked him to confirm them at one stage a long time ago now - so I put them in a Word doco & stuck it on the screen of my pc's so I wouldn't forget! :lol:

 

They're embedded into the FC settings for our 224MC naturally...

 

I also believe these values apply to all the ZWO "MC's" btw... ;)


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#5 aeroman4907

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:04 PM

I tried a daylight calibration with a color card but my moon images brown so I'll need to rethink my approach. I have a QHY183C.

Edited by aeroman4907, 11 June 2018 - 10:05 PM.


#6 John Verderame

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:31 PM

Shoot!  Gamma keeps coming back to bite me.  I was experiencing some washed-out images before, and noticed we had the gamma higher, but in some older images, one of which had beautiful definition and vivid colors, we had it at 1!  (I say "we" because I do all the mechanical stuff while my wife runs the FC program).  This time apparently we had left the gamma on 10.  But we did take one image NOT using ROI and gamma 50, and it came out sharp, but I figured it had something to do with ROI because that image was much smaller in diameter, so I wondered if it had something to do with losing resolution on the larger scale.  Here's the image I'm talking about. We also did notice that with a lower red and higher blue the colors came out much better and truer, so thanks, we'll use your levels next time and get that gamma back up.  As far as three-minute exposures, would a derotation program be necessary then?  From my reading, about 2 minutes is the max before that becomes necessary.  I'm not ready for that yet!! ohmy.gif

 

Here's the beef on that one.

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=43.32"
Magnitude=-2.42
CMI=268.4° CMII=331.4° CMIII=204.7°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=2050mm
Resolution=0.29"
Filename=Jup_214600.avi
Date=100618
Start=214530.552
Mid=214600.561
End=214630.571
Start(UT)=044530.552
Mid(UT)=044600.561
End(UT)=044630.571
Duration=60.019s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=1647
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=1936x1096
ROI(Offset)=0x0
FPS (avg.)=27
Shutter=23.47ms
Gain=52 (8%)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
Gamma=50
WBlue=90
USBTraffic=80
HighSpeed=off
AutoHisto=75 (off)
AutoExposure=off
Brightness=0
WRed=50
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=166
Histogramm=65%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=60 Seconds
Sensor temperature=26.9 °C

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jup_214600_g4_ap9 JPG 20%.jpg

Edited by John Verderame, 11 June 2018 - 10:34 PM.


#7 Kokatha man

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:01 PM

A 3 minute capture requires no derotation whatsoever - just look at any Jovian image on our website to dispense with the ridiculous notion of "rotational blur" that gets my gander up - mentioned constantly - mainly by those without a clue tbh..! :lol:

 

At your image scales you could easily run for 4 minutes to be utterly straight with you John..!



#8 John Verderame

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:49 PM

Ok, I'm doing some imaging now (actually, I'm typing now, letting the scope cool down a bit more) and will try out your ideas.  As for the derotation issue, as you can imagine, I'm fine with your viewpoint wink.gif   Thanks!  So what do you think about using a derotation program for lunar libration?

 

Just kidding!  Calm down!  lol.gif

 

John



#9 John Verderame

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:11 PM

Here's the image I got the other night, with the log.  More frames, more gamma, but less color and clarity.  I must be doing something wrong.

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=43.23"
Magnitude=-2.41
CMI=104.2° CMII=159.3° CMIII=32.9°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=2100mm
Resolution=0.28"
Filename=Jup_224813.avi
Date=110618
Start=224713.933
Mid=224813.940
End=224913.947
Start(UT)=054713.933
Mid(UT)=054813.940
End(UT)=054913.947
Duration=120.014s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=2506
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=1936x1096
ROI(Offset)=0x0
FPS (avg.)=20
Shutter=1.129ms
Gain=300 (50%)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
Gamma=50
WBlue=95
USBTraffic=80
HighSpeed=off
AutoHisto=75 (off)
AutoExposure=off
Brightness=0
WRed=52
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=147
Histogramm=57%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=120 Seconds
Sensor temperature=32.0 °C

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jup_224813_g4_ap4 JPG.jpg


#10 Tom Glenn

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:38 PM

John, you are using a huge region of the sensor to capture your image.  I understand if you are trying to get the moons in frame but it is killing your frame rate and that is the major cause of your noisy image.  Your image has a lot of potential but you need way more frames than you are getting. You only collected ~2500 frames.  You need to be collecting more like 20,000 frames and stacking at least 2500 or more.  You were only getting 20 frames per second, but if you draw a small regions of interest around Jupiter, just a few hundred pixels in diameter, you should get to frame rates upwards of 200 and increase your number collected by an order of magnitude.  


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#11 John Verderame

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:54 PM

Thanks, Tom.  Yes, I wanted to get the moons in there.  But still don't understand why, with the higher gamma, I can't seem to get the coloration, and why I was suddenly not able to use the Gaussian function in RS.  We did do some ROIs that same night, and they had a gazillion frames, but still did not come out clear, and I could not use the Gaussian function on them, nor get good coloration.

 

Let me try again in a few nights when it's clear again.  Will make sure seeing is good, scope is at ambient, will take a few shots using different paramaters, and we'll see what happens.  Thanks for your help.  I really want to get Jupiter right, because Saturn's now rising higher each night, and Mars is not far behind, and once I have Jupiter figured out, I'm hoping to do some nice images of the latter two also.  Have wanted all my life to take a good shot of Mars, and that's what I'm practicing for.



#12 Tom Glenn

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:33 PM

John, settings in Registax can vary from session to session, and can be quite tricky to get figured out when you are getting started.  If you think part of the problem is with processing, I have no doubt that folks on this board wouldn't mind taking a look at your raw stack to see if the problem is the stack itself, or just the way you are processing it.  Regarding color, the initial stack will look very bland.  You will need to increase the saturation and vibrancy, and then apply a small amount of "curves" manipulation to create contrast.  This is what your capturing at altered gamma values was doing, but it is better to do this in post, as it gives you more flexibility rather than capturing the data with altered levels.  



#13 RedLionNJ

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:55 PM

ROI is really, really large, particularly for such a tiny Jupiter. Lot of useless black space around the interesting bit.  Try using the cut-out feature in FC.

 

 

As far as gamma goes - you can set it differently for the screen display vs what's used for the actual data capture. I set my FC display differently to increase contrast for ease of focusing. But the underlying capture value remains at 50/off.

 

Are you capturing in raw mode and letting AutoStakkert re-assemble a color image (with knowledge of the Bayer pattern used)? This is the way to retain maximum resolution with a OSC cam.

 

You're most likely going to find the seeing varies significantly from night to night, hour to hour and even minute to minute. Try to only record during the best seeing.

 

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for Mars this season, between the combination of extreme southerly declination and the series (?) of dust storms which appear to be bent on circling the planet!

 

Best of luck (& good seeing!)



#14 Kokatha man

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:31 PM

John, just replied to your email - continue here or there later if needed...



#15 John Verderame

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 10:40 AM

You guys are great!  Thanks for all the help and tips.  What I'm going to do is, next night of good seeing, which should be Sunday or Monday, I'm going to take some images at different settings (as I have done before, actually, but just was not able to draw any firm conclusions) and see what develops, or does not.  The shot I took above was full-frame, yes, just to see how it would turn out using certain settings.  I have done ROI cutouts, even for getting the moons, and they've come out nicely - sometimes.  Again, I can't seem to figure out how to get consistent results.  So we (wife runs the computer while I run the scope) certainly have learned a few important lessons, though, namely that both seeing and ambient temperature are bigger factors than I even thought before.  Until I started imaging with an SCT I did not realize just how much those two can affect image quality.

 

Oh, and I use a Bahtinov mask for focusing.  I could not believe what a headache it was to try to get a good focus with an image going from blurry to somewhat clear on a computer screen, and Mr. B solved that problem for me, and it's fun to use too.

 

As for some other questions that have come up (both here and in one private conversation) yes, I do use RAW and capture in black and white, then allow AutoStakkert to apply Bayering (once or twice I've had to force it and have no idea why).  And, as stated above, I do use the ROI sometimes even to catch the moons in a narrow strip and cut down on processing time.

 

As for Mars, my prediction fingerscrossed.gif fingerscrossed.gif (read: hope) is that the current dust storms will be over by the end of July.  Even if I don't get a Hubble image, I'll still be contented getting any half-decent one, given I've waited all these years just to be able to even attempt such a feat.

 

Thanks again, and I'll be back next week hopefully with some good news.


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#16 kevinbreen

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:27 AM

All great advice here, but don’t use a Bahtinov Mask, Darryl will throw a wobbler 🤪🤪😬😉
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#17 John Verderame

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:31 AM

Whatsamatta with a Bahtinov mask?  Seriously!?  Is there some reason not to use one?  Of course, I use it on a star like Vega or Spica, lock everything down, then slew to the planet.  Seems to work great.  I tried other methods of focusing before that, and this one worked best for me.  Don't make me give up those pretty spikes!



#18 RedLionNJ

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:26 PM

Whatsamatta with a Bahtinov mask?  Seriously!?  Is there some reason not to use one?  Of course, I use it on a star like Vega or Spica, lock everything down, then slew to the planet.  Seems to work great.  I tried other methods of focusing before that, and this one worked best for me.  Don't make me give up those pretty spikes!

Covered quite a bit in other threads over time, but the reasons I don't use one are:

 

1. the scope's focal plane is going to move as the OTA cools - affecting focus such that you may benefit from refocusing even every 15 minutes or so. Do you want to slew back to a bright star for this on a regular basis?

 

2. the mask works great for DSO type imaging where you want a "pretty good" focus within the tolerance of the Airy disk and the seeing. This will even work pretty well for planetary (Darryl, don't sic a drop bear on me for saying that). But I believe the very finest focus is achieved when you get a brief moment or so of better-than-average seeing and quickly spin through focus and back a few times, only to realize you can make out even MORE detail in a slightly different focus position from where you just were.

 

3. [Only applicable with mono imaging] - it's unlikely the R, G and B filters will all bring light to focus at exactly the same point. You really don't want to be slewing away and back again for every filter change.


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#19 John Verderame

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:26 PM

Thanks RLNJ.

 

I find that almost everything is covered in threads here.  It's an excellent resource.  But sometimes it's hard to find exactly what you're looking for, so easier to just start a new thread.  I was trying to do some research on questions I had about Hyperstar.  Lots of stuff on CN, but you have to wind through the threads to find the responses you need, and sometimes that takes lots of time.

 

Re: Reason 1, I do refocus about every 15-20 minutes (less frequently as time goes on and things cool down), slewing to a nearby bright star.  But even before the Bahtinov I used to do that for the very reason you mention, though not with the slewing part, which doesn't bother me and also gives me some clue as to how well the scope is aligned and pointing.

 

Re: Number 2, it was driving me batty trying to "catch" those moments of good seeing.  Problem was, even when I did, was it "good enough?"  Rarely.  So, I'd just keep focusing and refocusing till I thought I got it right.  Then, with my wife also giving input, she would see "clear" and I would see "refocus," or vice-versa.  We both pretty much agree when the Bahtinov looks just right.  And I'd say 9 times out of 10, I get better focus using it than not. 

 

Re:3, I don't do mono, but interesting point!


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#20 John Verderame

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 03:04 PM

If you guys don't mind, I'd like some advice on something else that might be connected here.  I have a GSO 2" dual speed focuser on my Edge (now an Edge 11" that has replaced my 9.25").  I knew that that increased the focal length, hence f/ratio, but did not realize how much till doing some research on it this morning, thanks to a link a friend sent me.  I like the focuser, but it is bulky and heavy, and I'm wondering if it's any better than just substituting a micro focuser for the focusing knob, which would be lighter.  I also figure that since the Edge has mirror lockdown knobs, that would help with concerns about shift.

 

I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but figured I'd throw it out for opinions anyhow.  Appreciate any advice.



#21 Tom Glenn

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 03:41 PM

John, the mirror locks aren't useful unless you are getting a Crayford style focuser that doesn't move the primary mirror to focus.  Otherwise, if you focus and then lock down the primary, the act of locking down the primary will actually cause it to move enough to destroy your focus.  So it's not very useful.  Reaching rough focus, locking the mirror, and then reaching fine focus with a Crayford, however, would be an excellent option.  With regards to the focal length increase, how much distance is your current focuser adding to the optical path?  The increase in focal length on an SCT is on the order of 3x the increase in optical path, so even a 10cm increase from a large accessory is only going to add 300mm focal length, which shouldn't be a deal breaker here.  



#22 John Verderame

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:06 PM

Hi Tom,

 

I think you're right about it not being a deal breaker.  I haven't rechecked, but I think it adds about 14cm.  Perhaps that's actually better for lunar and planetary, but maybe not so much for DSOs.  I was considering getting a focal reducer, but for my current purposes and situation, I'm leaning more toward a Hyperstar at this point, and just playing with that rather than taking long exposures using an autoguider.  I've not done that yet, but do want to try my hand at it eventually.

 

I do check, using the Bahtinov, if the lockdown affects focus, and have not seen any radical issues there, and I do then use the Crayford coarse and fine tuning, just as you suggest above.  I think the lockdown actually helps with avoiding mirror shift and am glad the Edge incorporates it.

 

One of my concerns with the focuser though was the additional weight on the rear of the OTA.  With the 9.25 it wasn't an issue.  I'm just looking for ways to pare that down, as the CGEM can only take so much.  Probably going look for a mount with higher weight capacity eventually.


Edited by John Verderame, 15 June 2018 - 08:54 PM.


#23 John Verderame

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:24 PM

Ok, guys, since my last post here I've had a few shooting sessions, one with the C11 Edge, and one with my Brandon 94mm refractor.  I've come to the conclusion, corroborated by at least one other local astronomer, that the seeing at my location is hopelessly affected by concrete, asphalt, rooftops, and even some local hills.  There is nowhere I can turn to avoid any of that.  So, I'm now convinced that my images just simply are not going to come out any sharper than what I've seen so far.  Even with the scope at ambient temperature, with Jupiter near the meridian, and with what the Clear Sky Chart would call "Good" seeing, the seeing at my current location just ain't that good.  However, I do occasionally get a decent shot despite that.  I've done images with 10-20K frames, and others with 2-5K, and am not seeing a whole lot of difference in the quality of the processed images as far as detail is concerned.

 

I guess we each have to find what settings work best for us, and I have found that setting gamma lower than the recommended 50% gives a less washed-out looking image, with brighter colors.  And setting red at around 42 and blue around 85 seems to be my sweet spot for coloration.  I also did try using a blue #80A filter, and that brought out a little more detail.  But I think some of the best advice so far has been to bring the potential maximum fps and the actual fps counts to about par by adjusting other parameters.  That has helped quite a bit with frame rates.

 

For your consideration, here are three images, approximately 4K, 8K, and 11K frames, the 11K at 50% gamma, the other 2 at 25%, each stacked in AS!2 and processed in RS using wavelets, etc., but no further processing.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jup_223905_g4_ap7 JPG.jpg
  • Jup_223428_g4_ap6 JPG.jpg
  • Jup_222208_g4_ap7 JPG.jpg

Edited by John Verderame, 26 June 2018 - 01:30 PM.

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#24 John Verderame

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:29 PM

Sorry, the text files did not come out as I thought they would, so here they are from smallest frame count to highest:

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=42.50"
Magnitude=-2.37
CMI=282.0° CMII=276.1° CMIII=151.8°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=2350mm
Resolution=0.26"
Filename=Jup_223905.avi
Date=190618
Start=223835.461
Mid=223905.465
End=223935.470
Start(UT)=053835.461
Mid(UT)=053905.465
End(UT)=053935.470
Duration=60.009s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=4171
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=640x480
ROI(Offset)=584x464
FPS (avg.)=69
Shutter=14.36ms
Gain=103 (17%)
Gamma=25
Brightness=0
AutoHisto=75 (off)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
WRed=42
USBTraffic=80
WBlue=85
AutoExposure=off
HighSpeed=on
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=143
Histogramm=56%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=60 Seconds
Sensor temperature=30.9 °C

 

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=42.50"
Magnitude=-2.37
CMI=279.2° CMII=273.3° CMIII=149.1°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=2400mm
Resolution=0.25"
Filename=Jup_223428.avi
Date=190618
Start=223358.041
Mid=223428.041
End=223458.042
Start(UT)=053358.041
Mid(UT)=053428.041
End(UT)=053458.042
Duration=60.001s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=8452
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=640x480
ROI(Offset)=584x464
FPS (avg.)=140
Shutter=7.074ms
Gain=162 (27%)
Gamma=25
Brightness=0
AutoHisto=75 (off)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
WRed=42
USBTraffic=80
WBlue=85
AutoExposure=off
HighSpeed=on
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=147
Histogramm=57%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=60 Seconds
Sensor temperature=31.1 °C

 

 

FireCapture v2.5  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI290MC
Filter=L
Profile=Jupiter
Diameter=42.50"
Magnitude=-2.37
CMI=271.7° CMII=265.9° CMIII=141.6°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=2550mm
Resolution=0.23"
Filename=Jup_222208.avi
Date=190618
Start=222138.090
Mid=222208.085
End=222238.081
Start(UT)=052138.090
Mid(UT)=052208.085
End(UT)=052238.081
Duration=59.991s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT -7h
Frames captured=11412
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=640x480
ROI(Offset)=584x464
FPS (avg.)=190
Shutter=5.252ms
Gain=169 (28%)
Gamma=50
Brightness=0
AutoHisto=75 (off)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
WRed=52
USBTraffic=80
WBlue=95
AutoExposure=off
HighSpeed=on
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=139
Histogramm=54%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=60 Seconds
Sensor temperature=30.9 °C



#25 John Verderame

John Verderame

    Mariner 2

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 06:55 PM

Just stopping by to share this because I'm as excited as can be that I was able to even do something like this after all these years.  Had a good night on June 29th, and my wife and I took a lot of images, tried some new settings, and it was great seeing how some of them turned out.  These were taken with the 11" Edge HD using a Tele Vue 2.5x Powermate, ZWO ASI290MC, processed in AutoStakkert!2, RegiStax, and Venus was touched up in PhotoShop..  Venus was particularly hard to process as it was taken kind of low toward the horizon, right above a rooftop and looked like someone was playing with silly putty in the video, not to mention all the color fringing..  Anyhow, hope you like it - I'm tryin'!!!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn 29 June 2018.png

  • Scott Beith and FlankerOneTwo like this


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