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Imaging Planet Pluto & Outer Planets. Any Advice?

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#1 SkyHunter1

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:46 PM

Hello All,

I'm starting my research and prep work to do some planetary imaging this summer. I am looking to get Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. My setup is a carbon fiber C9.25 with a Siebert 1.5x Barlow. I was happy with the below pic of Mars I took during opposition, so have a real bug to go for the others. I think I have a battle plan with Jupiter and Saturn. I'll work on Venus and Mercury next year as these have their own set of difficulties I'll tackle then. 

 

MarsThe Final Cut redder

 

 

This question concerns the outer planets. Neptune, Uranus and Pluto.

 

My Equipment:

 

3 cameras, ZWO 2600MC-Pro, 290MM mini and the 462MC. 

 

Carbon fiber C9.25 with moonlite motor-focuser and a Siebert 1.5x Barlow resulting in F/15 @ 3525mm

 

I would like to image these outer planets but am looking for some tips on how to approach each. 

 

I'm thinking Pluto might be best after a perfect alignment (so my goto will be spot on) using the 1.5x barlow (3525mm) and doing 10 second subs with the 290mm mono. Am I thinking correctly here? I would really like to try to get a tiny infinitesimal little ball, but is that really doable? Or should I be doing 10 seconds with the 2600MC no barlow and keep it wider field? I'm not sure how difficult this actually may be...

 

I will use the 462MC for Neptune and Uranus to get some color, but any advice on imaging these? Is planetary rotation and video length not a factor here as with Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Do I do 5 min vids or 20 on Neptune and Uranus? Do I stand a ghost of a chance of any detail here that this is a factor?

 

The above could be all wrong these are just some plans rolling around in my head. Not sure how to approach them. I guess that's what I'm looking for, advice on how to get better results with the outer planets. Any help would be appreciated, especially with the Pluto conundrum smile.gif

 

Regards

Skyhunter1


Edited by SkyHunter1, 26 February 2021 - 11:48 PM.


#2 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:52 AM

Other threads that might be useful: https://www.cloudyni...o-17-july-2020/ and https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/739450-finding-pluto/

 

Do put it for this year's list as it's sinking every year in the sky (source) and it's already low. It will start to rise again in 2030 so it's going to be a while until it's at least as high as this year. I plan to do the same but without trying to get a disc as I have a smaller F/L. I'll be happy to see the dot move over days smile.gif


Edited by RazvanUnderStars, 27 February 2021 - 12:54 AM.

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#3 deepwoods1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:53 AM

Can’t comment on equipment, but that’s a beautiful image of Mars! 


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#4 Tulloch

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:54 AM

Hi there, here's some good tutorial videos for you to watch if you haven't already (although judging from your Mars I think you are pretty much there).

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Use the ASI462MC at prime focus with the 1.5x Barlow for all the major planets, Pluto is more like a DSO object, longer exposures with the 2600 might be a better option (athough I have captured it with my 224MC).

 

I have a similar setup to you and this is how I do it, which you might want to use as a starting point:

- capture video of Jupiter for 3 minutes at 150 fps, shutter speed 6.66ms, gain set for a max histogram of 50%

- capture Saturn for 5 minutes at 100 fps, shutter speed 10ms, histogram about 50%

- capture Uranus and Neptune for 5+ minutes at 20 fps, shutter speed 50ms, blue histogram about 60-70%

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew


Edited by Tulloch, 27 February 2021 - 12:56 AM.

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#5 SkyHunter1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:26 AM

Hi there, here's some good tutorial videos for you to watch if you haven't already 

<...snip...>

Awesome Pluto Shots!!! Thanks for the advice smile.gif

 

I had a feeling that it would probably be best to treat pluto like a DSO. I'm guessing since you mention 5+ for Uranus and Neptune that getting any detail or losing any as a result of rotation is moot. I have imaged Uranus before but that was with an 8" cassegrain @ F/10 with the original Meade DSI imager in 2004! It was a nice little blue green ball. No stacking lol, just a single shot.  No detail at all. I know that I'm not going to get "real detail" like Jupiter and mars, but any contrast at all however subtle would be awesome. 

 

Regards,

Skyhunter1



#6 Mike Phillips

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:58 AM

Hi SkyHunter1, I went to school at SUNY SB for Astronomy in the '90's (whooo -- handwaving for the ancient past!)

 

I'd say a good deep sky setup is best for faint, minor planetary work

 

Here's my best Pluto effort in 2013 - https://astromaphill...pluto-2013.html

 

I've learned a lot over the past 8 years and even have a MPC observatory code, so don't be shy, ask lots more questions!

 

Mike


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#7 Tulloch

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:07 AM

Awesome Pluto Shots!!! Thanks for the advice smile.gif

<...snip...>

I reckon that you need to get very lucky to see any detail on Uranus with a 9.25, you need something bigger (see Darryl's Uranus images with his 14")

http://momilika.net/...2016-18Pics.htm

 

I recently got a little brightening on the polar region on my last effort on Uranus, but no real detail.

https://www.cloudyni...nus-7-jan-2021/


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#8 SkyHunter1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:13 AM

Can’t comment on equipment, but that’s a beautiful image of Mars! 

Thank you so much!! :) 

 

Regards,

Skyhunter1



#9 SkyHunter1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:17 AM

Hi SkyHunter1, I went to school at SUNY SB for Astronomy in the '90's (whooo -- handwaving for the ancient past!)

<...snip...>

Awesome shot!!! That's what I'm assuming Ill have to do, take a picture as a DSO and see the movement over the star field. Really want to try to get Pluto.

 

Regards, 

Skyhunter1


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#10 SkyHunter1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:21 AM

I reckon that you need to get very lucky to see any detail on Uranus with a 9.25, you need something bigger (see Darryl's Uranus images with his 14")

<...snip...>

Uranus came out Great!!! smile.gif I'd be happy with that. Nice Color!!!

 

Regards,

Skyhunter1



#11 SkyHunter1

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 07:11 PM

 
Mu old Uranus at normal, 1.5x and 3x dither... Single shot, no stacking taken in 2004 with my LX200 GPS (when Meade was still King lol) with the original meade DSI V1 @ F/10. I had no clue about stacking or much else in those days :) I was very excited then and still am, but hope to do better this time. I don't know how anyone who does AP could get to the next level without the support of this amazing community!!!
 
Uranus test resize 3x

 

Regards,

Skyhunter1



#12 nfotis

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 09:02 PM

I suspect that the 462MC should be best for Jupiter and Saturn.

 

Maybe use a 2x Barlow or even higher? Supersampling slightly planets isn't a real problem I think.

 

N.F.



#13 SkyHunter1

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 09:36 PM

I suspect that the 462MC should be best for Jupiter and Saturn.

 

Maybe use a 2x Barlow or even higher? Supersampling slightly planets isn't a real problem I think.

 

N.F.

I agree and think I have a battle plan for Jupiter and Saturn. I have been getting a lot of good advice from member Kokatha Man for Jupiter Saturn and Mars. He has been mentoring me a little and I was able to get the Mars image after optimizing my setup according to his advice.

 

As for a stronger barlow, the 1.5x is optimal for my setup and also, the more I push the optics the more I degrade the image. If I was in a better location I would try more magnification, but from what I've seen during visual and AP over the years is the best images and views have been at prime or 2x max with good seeing. 1.5x gives me over 1000mm of focal length and doesn't push my optics so far as to affect detail beyond my tolerance level.

 

Bigger would be nice, but not at the cost of detail in my opinion. I feel here's a point of diminishing returns regarding magnification, with better skies allowing for more of course.

 

I have been looking into infrared filters to see if i can get any detail on Uranus and Neptune. I think Neptune is wishful thinking, but if i can get a good night for Uranus, I think I might have a shot. Still doing my research on which IR pass filter to get for my 9.25.

 

As for Pluto, I think I'm gonna do some wide-field images, and then trust my alignment and goto which is usually spot on to take pictures at 3525mm. I have to try lol, gotta think big smile.gif

 

Regards,

Skyhunter1


Edited by SkyHunter1, 07 March 2021 - 09:52 PM.



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