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Methods to keep planets in frame, mount or guide camera or both?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 markm75c

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:51 PM

Im still somewhat starting out with the 8SE scope + its alt/az mount.  I have a few GEM's in mind in the future and an upgrade to an 11" edgehd at some point.  I'm finding, as expected i guess, that when i'm doing CCD imaging, for instance on jupiter, for the duration of each 180 seconds i'm constantly manipulating the hand controller to keep it centered.

 

What is the best method to "automate" keeping it centered, ie: a GEM mount or would a guide camera be of any help with an Alt/Az mount in my case.  IE: i want to keep doing longer overall sessions to get say half a rotation, but it can be very painstaking to get through a 2 hour set in this way.

 

Just looking for a few suggestions.

 

Thanks in advance



#2 baron555

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:56 PM

For planets, you take videos, not photos. 



#3 markm75c

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:04 PM

For planets, you take videos, not photos. 

Yep I do using firecapture . I was under the impression a guide camera helped keep things centered 



#4 bdyer22

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:41 PM

If you're using SharpCap there's a feature tracking feature - in the pro version but it's not expensive.

 

Other option:  Add extra alignment points and/or do a sync on a star local to your target that you can identify.  It'll give you better tracking in that local region.  Hope it helps!

 

https://www.sharpcap...eature-tracking

 

NexStar Sync feature:
The Sync feature can be used to improve pointing accuracy in a specific region of the sky. Sync is a very useful feature especially when used in conjunction with the Constellation tour and Identify feature in which you will be exploring smaller areas of the sky. To Sync on an object:
1. Select the desired star (or object) from the database and slew to it.
2. Once centered, press the UNDO button until you are at the main menu.
3. With NexStar SE displayed, press the ALIGN key on the hand control.
4. Use the Up/Down buttons and select the Sync option and press ENTER.
5. Align the Sync object in the center of the finderscope and press ENTER.
6. Carefully center the object in the center of the eyepiece and press ALIGN.
Your telescope’s pointing accuracy will now be improved in that area of the sky.
NOTE: Sync can improve your telescope’s pointing accuracy over a wide area or over smaller areas of the sky depending on the quality of
the initial alignment, as well as where the telescope was pointing when the Sync was done.


Edited by bdyer22, 18 June 2019 - 09:42 PM.

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#5 OldManSky

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:36 PM

Guiding won’t help on you alt az mount.

It wound on an equatorial.

 

^ what I get from typing on an iPad and letting it "autocorrect..." :(

 

Guiding won't help on your alt-az mount.  

It would on an equatorial.

 

:)


Edited by OldManSky, 19 June 2019 - 12:57 PM.


#6 Alex McConahay

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:40 PM

Mark,

 

With an Alt-Az mount, the object, if centered in the first place, should stay centered. 

 

It will show a field rotation and the objects that are not in the center will rotate around the field over time. 

 

But the center object should stay in the center. 

 

If it is not, then you are not set up correctly, or the mount is not tracking correctly. 

 

To start, be sure your mount base is level. The azimuth and altitude motors will assume this. If you are not level, then the azimuth motion will change the altitude and vice versa, and you cannot properly track.

 

Then, make sure your mount is running at the proper speed.

 

It needs to run at the proper speed mechanically and electronically, of course, but it will change its speed depending on where it thinks it is pointing. So, you have to make sure it knows where it is pointing.

 

Having said all this, realize that in the long run, for longer exposures, you will suffer field rotation. Guiding may be able to track one point in the frame, but everything that is not that point will suffer.

 

Alex



#7 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:10 PM

FireCapture will keep the planet centered, more or less, if you turn on that feature. I believe it only works when equatorially mounted. North must be up (or down). FireCapture watches the planet and if it drifts too far away from the center it will adjust the mount to move it back to the center.



#8 RandallK

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:55 PM

With an equatorial ASCOM controlled mount and FireCapture, you can actually use Saturn or Jupiter to act as a guide star on itself, thus keeping these 2 planets in a stable position while imaging...it works quite well, but you have to be polar aligned as well.



#9 APshooter

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 02:03 PM

Randallk beat me to the Post. Firecapture has an excellent guiding program within it. And you need to load an Ascom driver for your mount into fire capture and you need to calibrate it one time. But once that's done you can click on the planet and it will guide on it as if it was a star. It does very very well. I've guided Mars over an hour and never have touched the hand controller.

#10 RandallK

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 03:55 PM

Sorry, I forgot to include Mars as well...thanks!



#11 jgraham

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:18 PM

I believe that manual is the only option for an altaz mount. I have used a guide camera with my equarorial system, but the sudden corrections from the guider can be a bit of a problem, but it does work. For long sequences I use the sequence function in SharpCap while guiding with PHD.



#12 markm75c

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:10 PM

Yeah, ill have to wait until i get to that gem mount for better options, thanks for filling me on that.  Hoping to get to the cem60 soon.

 

Meantime i'm going to go with the asi 290mm mini + zwo 60mm guide scope for guiding in general at this point, only really useful for DSO till i get to the gem.




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