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I have a ton to learn

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13 replies to this topic

#1 BobW55

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:56 PM

This is my first ever attempt to photo anything.  I was not expecting high quality first time out, but I wasn't expecting the learning curve either.

ES AR-102 Scope,  CEM60 mount, Celestron Nextimage 5 imager.

I just upgraded all the firmware in my mount yesterday.  Clouds cleared just enough to get it polar aligned.

Used Icap imaging software, I also have PHP and a guide scope, but still trying to figure that part out.

Found that my mounts tracking is way off,  I was hoping to image Jupiter, but tracking was off.  Switched to the moon, tracking still off.  Set tracking rate to lunar, still off, but better.

So I decided to shoot 100 images anyway and stack them with registax. 

Just trying to figure out the software is almost as intimidating as trying to figure out my tracking issue.

So have a good laugh...... I kinda did.  I have my work cut out for me tomorrow.

 

 

Firstmoon .jpg

 


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#2 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:49 AM

Use AutoStakkert for stacking and RegiStax for wavelet sharpening. Watch my video Using iCap.


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#3 sg6

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 02:31 AM

Not sure how you have used the camera. says you cokkected 100 frames whereas I would have expected a video of (say) 60 seconds at 30fps (1800 frames) good and bad ones and then stacked the best 200.

 

Also read the camera can/will work out itself the good frames and basically keeps just the good ones.

 

The initial post reads that you collected and stacked all the frames. Likely that means that youi stacked poor frames as well as good ones.

 

When stacking I suspect that you will have to reduce the number of alignment points.

 

For Jupiter you will likely need a barlow or powermate, I would not go overly mad and try a 3x as maximum, you will need a decent one just to keep the image quality adaquate. Video should be around 60 to 90 seconds.

 

I half suspect that any problem you have is more using the items you have in the right manner, possibly working out how the camera does things is part of it. Sometimes the idea that the camera determines what is good/bad is not the simplest approach. Just another complication or factor to take into account.



#4 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 04:44 AM

Full Moon is not a good time for imaging the Moon since you are looking perpendicular to its surface and few shadows are cast by features on the surface.  If you stay up very late or get up very early, wait two or three days when the Moon is a waning gibbous and there may be some pretty nice features visible along the Terminator, 


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#5 nimitz69

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:32 AM

hmmmmmm ..... I doubt Your CEM 60 ‘Tracking was way off”,   More likely you didn’t do a Precise enough star alignment and///or polar alignment.  If you happen to own a DSLR you might try imaging the moon with that.   It’s bright enough that you can take single short exposure images.   Also,   What method are you using to focus?   Focusing is one of the most important skills to learn since no matter what else you do right if the image is out of focus its worthless.

 

 


Edited by nimitz69, 19 June 2019 - 06:34 AM.


#6 BobW55

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for the input:

Now that I have slept on it:  For the Mount, I updated the firmware, but failed to reset/set a zero point.  will have to do that today.

And yes, I had a heck of a time doing a 2 star align. was clear to the south, but cloudy to the north.   Finder scope does NOT have a right angle EP on it.  Will have to see if I can swap it out, or mount my celestron one that does. (will make note of that for next scope I buy)

 

For the scope, I know not the best for AP,  but for me this is a learning process. 

I had trouble getting jupiter to focus in the center of a 25mm Plossl.  not sure why,  a little off center and it would clearly focus.  Switched to a mead 2" MH50 and things were nice and clear.   When using the camera on Jupiter, I could never get a clean focus on the screen,  more like a yellow/white ball with 4 dots (moons).  Will need to get a focal reducer, or a longer focus tube so I can get rid of the right angle EP holder. (not sure if this is normal or my scope).

 

For the software, I was just happy I got it to take some pictures.

Still have to figure out the PHP, once I get my mount zeroed out and realigned.  

I have budgeted for better equipment once I get what I have working.  Assuming I really like this.  I have made a semi permanent mount location on my back deck, so I can leave the mount out, but take the scope in at night, saves me the polar alignment step.

 

Trust me, there will be more questions to come.


Edited by Bow55, 19 June 2019 - 10:12 AM.


#7 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 05:46 PM

Jupiter and its moons are very different in brightness.  If you set the camera exposure so that the moons are visible, the planet will be way over-exposed.  Those gorgeous images you see with both the planets and its moons are always composites of two or more images, using different exposures.



#8 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 05:49 PM



Jupiter and its moons are very different in brightness.  If you set the camera exposure so that the moons are visible, the planet will be way over-exposed.  Those gorgeous images you see with both the planets and its moons are always composites of two or more images, using different exposures.

I used to think that. I made these images of Jupiter and two moons with the same exposure. Click to watch the animation.

 

get.jpg?insecure


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#9 OldManSky

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:40 PM

Hang in there, work one problem/issue at a time, and don't be impatient.  You'll get there!  I predict in 3 months you'll be wowing us with your very cool images.

 

FYI, it's PHD (the guiding software), not PHP (the web development language).  There, one issue solved already! :)



#10 BobW55

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:16 PM

FYI, it's PHD (the guiding software), not PHP (the web development language).  There, one issue solved already! smile.gif

 

 

 

LOL, I should not write things late at night, or early morning.

Shame there is not a club local to me, I think closest ( I am north of Detroit) is over 2 hours away.

Next several days will be out due to clouds.  First thing I want to do is a star test for culmination.  Not 100% sure if mine is good or not. 

Did manage to reset the zero position of my mount, so that much is fixed.


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#11 BobW55

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 10:56 PM

 

Managed to actually get an image/video of jupiter tonight.

Solved my tracking issue, I had forgot to reset the ZERO position after the firmware up-date.  

Got PHD up and running, held the view rock solid.

I know my Neximage5 camera is a beginners camera, but I seem to have a focus issue, just can not get a nice tight image on the screen.

Did a 10 minute video anyway, just so I can start to figure out the software.

 

Jupiter1
 
I am using a ES AR-102 scope, while not the best for AP, I am beginning to think it has issues.  I can not get a good focus on Jupiter, Moon, or Saturn. In any EP I use.
Maybe a few more cloudy night to come, will have a look at the scope later.
 
Next time out going to play more with the camera settings.  Man this is not point and shoot photography.

 



#12 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 11:31 PM

No, it is definitely not point and shoot photography, but actually, you are doing very well.  That is what Jupiter looks like.  You won't get a single image to look like what is sharp; that only comes after a lot of processing.

 

It's easiest to focus using a bright star.  Vega is a good one.  Take your time and adjust things slowly.  Make sure it's centered in view, and tell the mount you're pointed at it (alignment process). 

 

Now, after aligning the mount and focusing on Vega, move a little down and to the right by telling your mount to go to M57.  Crank up the Neximage to max for this, but be prepared with a pillow on the ground for when your jaw drops. 

 

Warning:  This is what I did, and how I got hooked.


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#13 BobW55

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 11:45 PM

Greg,

 

Thanks for that.   

I am finding the point, focus, and track part is easy.

The software part is not.  

 

M51 is what I would like to see next.


Edited by Bow55, 20 June 2019 - 11:46 PM.


#14 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:11 AM

Greg,

 

Thanks for that.   

I am finding the point, focus, and track part is easy.

The software part is not.  

 

M51 is what I would like to see next.

M51 is good, but dim.  It was a challenge even with my DSLR.  M57 is easier, M13 easier still.  Small and bright, relatively.  Those were my first two deep sky objects, using a planetary camera (Skyris 236C in my case). 

 

Note that you will be making the significant transition from planetary photography to Deep Sky AP.  They're very different.  Different size and brightness of the targets, so different equipment (ideally, yes, the camera) and more importantly, the imaging process.  You won't be taking movies of these targets, but rather a series of stills, because each "frame" of the "movie" will be 10's of seconds long.  The Skyris camera, for example, had a maximum exposure length of 10 seconds, so I had to crank up the gain a bit too, and this was through an 8" f/5 Newtonian telescope.

 

Take steps...




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