Hello everyone , I'm new to this website and this form of astronomy as well. I typically just do visual observing with my 8" SCT. I've been seeing some videos and post about Video astronomy and i found them very interesting , yet they lack information. I was wondering if all the great people on cloudy nights could help me out. I've combed through the post looking for information but haven't found any that will help get started. From my understanding its basically just 1 minute subs that get taken and sent to a viewing monitor from the camera to give you near real time viewing experience . My questions would be what is the quality of the images with say something like the mallincam cameras like the xtreme models? What other models of cameras produce good images? Does anyone here practice this type of astronomy as opposed to regular astrophotography ?
Hi and welcome to the EAA Forum where everything here is about various aspects of live viewing, primarily of Deep Sky Objects DSOs. There are lots of topics and threads and discussions listed at the top Forum Level that can get you started on the right path. Nic35 also offered some helpful advice and example images to get you started. Things are not as confusing as some other posts might convey but there is a lot to learn.
I’ve provided some links to topic discussions in this forum that you might read through to get a better understanding of what EAA is all about, what you need to learn more about and what equipment is necessary to get started...it’s not really that difficult once you do some homework. Once you’ve become a bit more educated about all this, you could post a new topic question to the CN EAA Community listing things you still don’t fully understand and folks will respond and help get you rolling. Start with these links and then find others that relate to ‘newbie’ EAA topics....have fun.
There are many other topics but the above will give you a decent starting overview of the issues and equipment. There’s no comprehensive guide for the EAA beginner but the following are, in my humble opinion(IMHO), the first level and key aspects of EAA that you need to begin with:
- understanding that EAA is live computer screen viewing of DSO’s and is NOT astrophotography
- EAA requires a telescope ( learn about the options and pros/cons) and a decent Goto Altazimuth Mount. German equatorials are great but are not needed for EAA and add more complexity than a beginner needs. Typical exposures are usually 2-10 seconds so the mount and tracking does not need to be highly accurate.
- a CMOS digital camera ( ZWO brand would be a good start) with usb 3 connection to PC laptop which also needs usb 3. The usb from the camera is the only connection needed to the laptop. I’d avoid wasting learning time with the Revolution Imager analog camera. It’s fine as a computerized ‘eyepiece’ but inadequate and confusing to use for serious EAA - IMO.
- you need Sharpcap 3.2, a program (PC only) used to control your camera and provide the images you’ll obtain and refine as you image an object. It’s free but later on you’d want a better version thats available for peanuts per year and helps support Robin Glover, it’s creator.
Assuming you’re starting from scratch, your initial buys involve deciding on a telescope, goto mount, camera and laptop. Later on you’ll get into filters, batteries, dew control, and other things that improve your images or make life a bit easier. Reading lots more in the topics listed above, and others p, will help you decide which products mentioned above would be best for your initial budget and observing goals. Start with the reading and studying product options and then come back here to ask questions about things that are still unclear. You’ll get a lot of support from the CN EAA community! Good luck.