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Help me pick a reasonable PowerMate/Scope/Camera combination for Planetary and Moon Imaging

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#1 SimonIRE

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:12 AM

Hi All, 

 

Quick question for the planetary imagers among you:

 

I am thinking of buying a PowerMate and combining it with a suitable camera for planetary work. I would use this either with my Edge 1100 or my LZOS 152mm. Assuming Bortle 5 skies with average seeing (and rarely very very good seeing)...

 

 

1.  What PowerMate/scope combination would you use (in some ways I am curious to know if I should get a x2 or a x4 PowerMate. I am leaning toward thinking I don't have the skies for the x4). See the kit I have in my signature. 

 

2. What Planetary camera would you recommend for a relative beginner (at planetary). I have a ZWO 120mm that I could experiment but I am happy to buy something better. 

 

Thanks for the advice. 

 

Best, 

Simon



#2 Tulloch

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:23 AM

The Barlow you need is based upon your equipment - the best focal ratio to image the planets at is 5x the pixel size of your camera. For planetary, aperture is king, so your 11" SCT would be best. Do you want a colour camera or monochrome with RGB filters? The "standard" colour camera for planetary is the ASI224MC, although the just released ASI462MC is looking very promising for only a few dollars more. For monochrome there are a few options, the 290MM is a popular camera.

 

The 224MC (with 3.75 micron pixels) needs a focal ratio around f/20, the 462MC and 290MM (with 2.9 micron pixels) need a focal ratio of f/15. So if you go with the 11" SCT you want a 2x barlow for the 224, or a 1.5x Barlow for the others.

 

If you want to get into planetary, I'd recommend you watch these tutorial videos.

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew


Edited by Tulloch, 09 August 2020 - 06:25 AM.

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#3 SimonIRE

SimonIRE

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 07:08 AM

The Barlow you need is based upon your equipment - the best focal ratio to image the planets at is 5x the pixel size of your camera. For planetary, aperture is king, so your 11" SCT would be best. Do you want a colour camera or monochrome with RGB filters? The "standard" colour camera for planetary is the ASI224MC, although the just released ASI462MC is looking very promising for only a few dollars more. For monochrome there are a few options, the 290MM is a popular camera.

 

The 224MC (with 3.75 micron pixels) needs a focal ratio around f/20, the 462MC and 290MM (with 2.9 micron pixels) need a focal ratio of f/15. So if you go with the 11" SCT you want a 2x barlow for the 224, or a 1.5x Barlow for the others.

 

If you want to get into planetary, I'd recommend you watch these tutorial videos.

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew

 

Great straightforward and detailed advice. Many thanks. 

 

Simon


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