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Planetary versus DSO

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#1 DRK73

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:02 PM

Are there people who really do planetary imaging AND DSO imaging? 

 

I'd wanted to get back into astrophotography after a hiatus by focusing on planetary imaging (I used to do almost exclusively narrowband DSO stuff) - but the passion to get out and shoot video of Jupiter or Saturn just isn't there for me and I'm much more excited about getting a good image of, say the Heart or the Wizard... I'd started thinking about tricking out my EdgeHD for planetary work, but the effort has become kind of half-hearted and I'm wondering if other imagers feel the same? 



#2 dswtan

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:24 PM

I do both and it's only the local California wildfires that are holding me up on Mars, which I'm super excited about! Gave me a chance to re-collimate the Edge 11. The 2018 apparition was spoiled by the dust storm on the planet! Jupiter and Saturn were meh this year as too low (behind trees in my yard), so I didn't bother. But I tried Venus in IR and UV earlier this year. Spring was a galaxy marathon and summer, when not hazy, has been nebula season, learning narrowband. Maybe I've got it bad. I've been observing for ~50 years. :-)



#3 mrlovt

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:37 PM

I've been loving planetary imaging, but Jupiter and Saturn are just below my neighbor's trees this year.  So I'm picking up DSO imaging and loving that too.  In the end I'll likely do both, depending on what's up.



#4 Tapio

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:14 AM

Planets were my first love. Then they went lower and lower and DSO and comets came instead.
But now I have imaged Mars whenever I can.
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#5 otocycle

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:20 AM

I have been doing both....at the same time.   Normally wouldn't do so, but Mars oppositions are 26 months apart so I like to get as much video as I can now.   Wildfire smoke has also impacted clear skies, so it helps to take advantage of any clear night now for both.

 

I set up for DSOs with a rolling astrograph rig and pick a target, verify good subs, and program a long sequence that I can keep my eye on while setting up a different rig for Mars video capture, which only takes about one hour.   Finish up DSO lights and darks while breaking down the Mars capture scope and mount.



#6 Stelios

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:17 AM

I get in planetary mode once in a while. But I admit that I prefer DSO. For one thing, it's difficult with my equipment (Edge HD 800 + TV Barlow + ASI224MC + UV/IR-cut filter) to do really impressive planetary images. Any C11 leaves me in the dust. Whereas I can do very nicely for DSO, where seeing limits the ability of larger scopes to some extent. 

 

This year, for example, I have not dragged out the planetary stuff yet. 



#7 RJF-Astro

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:16 AM

I do both, but keep the planetary/lunar rig small and next to my DSO rig. I use a 102mm maksutov on the Star Adventurer tracker and one the astro cameras that is not in use. This way I can quickly grab it when the opportunity is there and it does not interfere with my DSO photography. Like a few days ago, when I suddenly saw that orange dot pop up from behind the trees:

 

20200912 mars.jpg

 

Now the images won't win prizes but I do like making them and show them to friends and family. Somehow the solar system objects always impress. And I can practise the techniques, maybe add a big cassegrain later on for more serious work.


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#8 DRK73

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:35 AM

I've just come to realize that on the few good nights that we seem to get, if I have a choice between bringing out (because I have to travel a bit to get to a decent observing site) the C8 Edge for doing planetary *or* my DSO stuff, I'm almost certainly going to be bringing out my DSO stuff. 

 

I also have to budget and I'm thinking I'd really rather have a refractor for general purpose visual stuff than the Edge. I used to have an AT115EDT and really liked it - but actually traded it for the Edge and have had sellers (traders?) remorse ever since, so just trying to evaluate whether I want a dedicated planetary kit -or- a more general purpose kit. I can see myself imaging with a 115mm refractor when I can get around to upgrading my mount. I cannot see myself ever doing imaging DSO imaging with an SCT, even with the 0.7x reducer.

 

Actually, more to the point, I'm weighing my actual interests and those of what I believe my upgrade path will end up being, and trying to decide if planetary imaging, and by extension, my EdgeHD, really fit into those plans. I quit the hobby a few years ago and am getting back into it and evaluating what I want to do in light of all the mistakes I made last time wink.gif


Edited by DRK73, 17 September 2020 - 08:36 AM.


#9 Peregrinatum

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:58 AM

Yes.

 

Planetary is great because you can do it during a full moon.

 

In fact, there is one type of DSO that works well with planetary imaging techniques and processing... Planetary Nebula


Edited by Peregrinatum, 17 September 2020 - 08:58 AM.

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#10 KTAZ

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 10:21 AM

I cannot see myself ever doing imaging DSO imaging with an SCT, even with the 0.7x reducer.

 

I am curious why you would say that.

 

I also quit the hobby some years ago and am now back in...since about May of this year. I went with the SCT because that is what I am familiar with. My interests were visual and planetary to get my feet wet on AP. I rapidly progressed to wanting to do DSO’s. Now, we all know that an SCT is not the preferred optic for DSO’s, especially a non-Edge type, but that is what I have and I will work through it as far as it can be taken. I’m not an unlimited budget kind of guy. If I wanted to switch right now I’d have to sell out and start over. I cannot afford 2 rigs.

 

But the fact is that truly “deep” DSO’s pretty much need an SCT. If you like those wide field, zillion stars, shots, then refractors are a walk on the park to do them. But for me, I love a challenge. I will definitely grab a refractor down the road for those types of targets, but I want galaxies (no, not M31).

 

EDIT; and to address your original topic...both. A planetary rig for your SCT is cheap in comparison to the DSO end of the pond. Quick, easy, and fun to do when the moon is interfering. I haven’t even done lunar yet and am looking forward to that.


Edited by KTAZ, 17 September 2020 - 10:23 AM.

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#11 audioengr

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:47 PM

Get a Hyperstar if yours is compatible.  $1K and you are taking widefield F1.9 photos.  You must have a compatible camera though, so the cost may increase.  Check this list if you can do it.



#12 klaussius

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:56 PM

I do both and it's only the local California wildfires that are holding me up on Mars, which I'm super excited about! Gave me a chance to re-collimate the Edge 11. The 2018 apparition was spoiled by the dust storm on the planet! Jupiter and Saturn were meh this year as too low (behind trees in my yard), so I didn't bother. But I tried Venus in IR and UV earlier this year. Spring was a galaxy marathon and summer, when not hazy, has been nebula season, learning narrowband. Maybe I've got it bad. I've been observing for ~50 years. :-)


I must admit I enjoy DSO much more.

Planetary is awesome the first time, and then loses a bit of that wow factor when you've done it already. Also,my equipmentis far from optimal for planetary work.

That said, mars is in a great spot and it would be a shame not to even try. So I captured a bit yesterday and it was awesome. Big and bright as never before. I could even see a polar cap.

I guess planetary has that allure in exceptional conditions when you can glimpse something new. Anytime else... DSO does it better for me.

#13 Eric Seavey

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:57 PM

I also do both.... Planetary... small and bright, DSO larger and faint...

I would argue that there is a third category that is technically DSO, but imaging wise requires planetary and DSO imaging skills:  Small Bright Planetary Nebulae imaging.  Examples are the Blue Snowball Nebula, Bowtie Nebula, Ring Nebula, Saturn Nebula, Blinking Planetary, Pink Pillow Nebula, Eskimo Nebula...etc.  All these targets  require very stable skies, exposures in the order of seconds, eliminating worst subs, stacking, stretching and sharpening.  These little colorful guys give a different challenge to imaging.  I use my Celestron C11 scope with a QHY224C camera.


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#14 TareqPhoto

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:42 AM

I do both, not sure which is better or more favorite for me, DSO is my choice, but planetary is much easier for me here, less setup headache, only worry about the sky condition, while with DSO, i only worry about setup and it is headache, sky is less headache in this case for me.




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