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Observation log continued; III

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#26 Studly

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 10:32 AM

Thanks Tony! Once you gave me the name I located this image - https://commons.wiki...raters_map.jpg 

 

I'm going to have order a copy of Rukl. 

 

John

John,

 The book is out of print. You can still find copies floating around, but they are expensive. Still, for referencing lunar features, it has been well worth every penny. The maps are hand-drawn and include enough shading to make identifying things *much* easier than anything else I have used.

 

Tony


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#27 Studly

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 10:38 AM

A couple Android shots of Luna tonight with the AT72EDII, 8mm Ethos and GSO ND filter.

attachicon.gifAlmost Full - 01.jpg

attachicon.gifTycho - 01.jpg

I just took the plunge (inspired by Allen, aka ETXer) and ordered my first camera. It's an ASI 224MC and it might get here by the weekend. I plan to try using it for the planets and Moon with the Super C8 Plus. I plan to be quite embarrassed by my efforts for some time thereafter, but will get better hopefully.

Brent,

 I have that ASI224MC camera. It does capture good images, and can be used for more than just planetary and lunar. I recommend getting a focal reducer to go with it, as the focal length of the camera is fixed (at around 5-7mm, if I remember correctly).

 

Tony


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#28 emflocater

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 05:58 PM

This is a second image of the lower half. Does anyone know what the broken horseshoe feature is called. I couldn't find it on any of the maps or apps I have.

Nice shots John!

 

Cheers

Don


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#29 ETXer

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 06:30 PM

I was out last night 5-23-21 at 10:00pm with the AT102ED. The conditions were poor to say the least. The Moon was in and out of the clouds and the seeing was poor as well. Even at 130x the Moon was swimming, about half of the magnification I had been using previous nights.

Nicely done indeed, remarkably in poor seeing conditions! One thing I found out a few days ago, especially with the ZWO camera, seeing makes all the difference.


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#30 desertstars

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 09:14 PM

Spent some time last night splitting doubles in Leo. I used the Three-legged Newt on its AVX mount and two Orion Stratus eyepieces: 21mm (48x) 8mm (125x). It was a clear, mild night, with occasional light breezes, fair to good seeing, and a temperature at the start of 86°F (30°C). Most of the objects observed were rather subtle, with magnitudes that would have rendered them invisible in my suburban skies, even if the light of a waxing gibbous hadn’t been up there adding a generous contribution to the sky brightness. The computer in the mount came into its own, last night.

 

The first was κ Leonis, and it proved the most challenging due to a separation of 2.4” and a significant contrast in magnitude (4.5 vs 9.7). With the 8mm eyepiece I could, with patience and averted vision, see the companion star, a colorless fleck of light lost in the golden glow of the primary star any time unsteady air roiled the view.

 

3 Leonis was no challenge to split, 25” apart, but the eleventh magnitude companions was close to the practical limit of the Newt, especially with such a bright sky. The brighter of the pair (magnitude 5.8) was white with a slight yellow tint, and its companion was a barely visible, colorless hint of light. The 8mm eyepiece was especially useful for this one.

 

 

6 Leonis was restful, compared to the others, easily split (37.4”), with not much eyestrain involved when studying either component. The magnitude 5.2 star was a pleasant ruddy gold star, with a 9th magnitude companion that was rather faint, but distinctly blue in color. It was observable with the 21mm eyepiece, but the colors were better seen at higher magnification.

 

 

STT 102 was a truly subtle pair, but relatively easy to observe with either of the eyepieces I used. At a separation of 45.4”, splitting the two pale, white stars was no trouble. The brighter of the two is 7.9, with its neighbor all of 9.3. References on my desk ascribe a variety of colors to this pair. I saw white and gray-ish white.

 

 

7 Leonis was easy with the 21mm eyepiece, a bright white star touched with blue-gray companion 41” away. There’s a significant magnitude contrast, 6.3 vs 9.4.

 

 

STF 1399 was a pair of plain, white stars with a modest difference in magnitude (7.6 vs 8.4), 31” apart. Didn’t need much magnification to enjoy looking at this pair of look-alikes. The 21mm field of view included more stars than any of the previous observations – very attractive view.

 

 

STF 1431 took the more powerful eyepiece to split (3.3” apart), and that with a period of improved seeing conditions – that didn’t last, of course. The primary star (magnitude 7.8) and its 9th magnitude companion were both pale white. The view was dominated by 44 Leonis.

 

 

STF 1447 hinted at being a binary when seen with the 21mm eyepiece, and revealed its true nature clearly with the 8mm counterpart. At 4.4” apart, it took some patience to get a clear separation at times. The brighter star (magnitude 7.5) was a warm white with hints of gold to it. The 9th magnitude companion appeared a sort of cool, silvery blue.

 

 

STF 1448 was one of those pairs that could be split well enough with the 21mm eyepiece (11.1” apart). At magnitudes 7.5 and 9.6, that contrast was visible as well. What did not register clearly until higher magnification (8mm) was used, was the color contrast. This often happens with double stars. The primary (A) star had a pale but distinctly golden hue. Its companion was pure white.

 

The last one I observed was 88 Leonis, a 6.3 magnitude white gem with a pale blue 9th magnitude companion 15.4” away. An attractive pair, in a subtle way. Such subtlety was something of a theme last night. Understated gems of the Lion.


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#31 aeajr

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 11:07 AM

5/25/2021 - 10 to 11:15

Full Moon, T 2/5, S 4/5

 

Astro Tech 102ED Refractor on manual ES Twilight 1 mount.  714 mm FL F7
Resolving power -  1.1 arc seconds

AA SWA 70   38 mm                  19X and    3.6 degrees  FOV   2”
Meade 82     20 mm                   36X  and  2.2  degrees            2”    
     

Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom     30X to   90X   1.6 to .5 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24+2XB     60X to 180X

SVBony 2X Barlow 

 

Conditions were pretty poor last night.  The Moon was full and bright.  There was a cloud layer that varied over the sky that was lit up by the moon.   I could see Polaris at times, Vega most of the time, Spica at times.   So I focused on the Moon.

 

I wanted to get the new AT 102ED out for more sky time.  And I had made modifications to the ES Twilight 1 mount to help dampen the vibrations after moving or focusing. I am happy to report that that was very successful.  Settling time went from 5+ seconds to less than 2 seconds.

 

I had no specific observing objectives other than to cruise the Moon and explore it over a wide range of magnfications.

 

I found that my configuration using the Barlow element from the 2X Barlow for 1.5X won't work in this scope.  The Barlow element is too long and hits the mirror on the diagonal.  No big loss as the BH Zoom worked fine in the 2X.

 

Even through the clouds the moon looked very crisp, though very flat due to being full. 

 

I got the ED scope to mimimize any CA.  A friend mentioned something he called atmospheric CA where you can get a color fringe in one part of the image due to the lensing effect of the atmosphere.  I think I actually observed this as the top of the Moon seemed to have a hairline green color fringe but this was not apparent at the bottom.  I had never noticed anything like this with any of my scopes.  Will have to explore this more.

 

I tried to find the ring nebula using Vega as a reference point but was un successful star hopping or using AltAz.  Too much cloud glow.

 

I visited Vega to see if I would see any CA.  Nothing.

 

Scope handled 180X on the moon, using the BHZ and the 2X barlow with no loss of quality or sharpness, even through the  cloud layer.

 

Not a very productive observing session but it got me off the couch and under the stars.   My new friend and I are getting to know one another.  wink.gif


Edited by aeajr, 26 May 2021 - 11:07 AM.

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#32 NYJohn S

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 12:52 PM

Thanks Allan.

 

It appears to be a lot easier to capture good Lunar pictures with the AT72EDII.  I'm not at all certain why.  Pictures through the Dobsonian and the SCT are usually awful.  I'll have to try again through the AT102ED and see how that works.

 

I've started doing the learning curve thing and it looks like Lunar pictures with the ASI camera will be much more difficult than with the Smartphone (I was hoping it would be easier).  I'm also not certain why the stacked image looks so much worse than the stacked > processed image.  If all that detail is in the stacked image, why do we have to work so hard to bring it out???

 

Anyway, I'm excitedly looking forward to jumping right in...

I also find the AT72EDII easier to capture images with my phone. It's more forgiving and easier to line up the phone. Once I got the NexYZ it made it easier to use my other scopes. I think as the magnification goes up it's harder to line up the phone. Since getting the adapter I've been able to use my Meade 5.5mm + 2x Barlow / 260x with the AT102ED. I haven't tried it with the XT8 yet but I'll do that next. 

 

Nicely done indeed, remarkably in poor seeing conditions! One thing I found out a few days ago, especially with the ZWO camera, seeing makes all the difference.

Thanks. Poor seeing really makes it difficult to time the shots so you capture them when the view settles down. I can see why serious lunar and planetary imagers capture video and use software to stack the best frames. 


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#33 brentknight

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 04:19 PM

I also find the AT72EDII easier to capture images with my phone. It's more forgiving and easier to line up the phone. Once I got the NexYZ it made it easier to use my other scopes. I think as the magnification goes up it's harder to line up the phone. Since getting the adapter I've been able to use my Meade 5.5mm + 2x Barlow / 260x with the AT102ED. I haven't tried it with the XT8 yet but I'll do that next. 

 

Thanks. Poor seeing really makes it difficult to time the shots so you capture them when the view settles down. I can see why serious lunar and planetary imagers capture video and use software to stack the best frames. 

Thank you SO MUCH for telling me about this adapter.  Now I need to get something else???

 

Actually, I think I'll dive head first into the ASI and Prime Focus stuff since it's on the way.  And I'm wondering if my phone/eyepiece combinations might still overwhelm that adapter...


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#34 brentknight

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 04:27 PM

Brent,

 I have that ASI224MC camera. It does capture good images, and can be used for more than just planetary and lunar. I recommend getting a focal reducer to go with it, as the focal length of the camera is fixed (at around 5-7mm, if I remember correctly).

 

Tony

Hey Tony,

 

I bought the Celestron RC very soon after I got the C8.  I used it once and decided for visual I'd get a 2" diagonal and just use everything 2".  I ended up selling the RC.  I'm thinking now that if I ever decide to do DSO AP, that I'll use the two refractors and get a beefier tracking mount.

 

Not saying I won't experiment a little bit though...


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#35 ETXer

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 04:29 PM

Thanks Allan.

 

It appears to be a lot easier to capture good Lunar pictures with the AT72EDII.  I'm not at all certain why.  Pictures through the Dobsonian and the SCT are usually awful.  I'll have to try again through the AT102ED and see how that works.

 

I've started doing the learning curve thing and it looks like Lunar pictures with the ASI camera will be much more difficult than with the Smartphone (I was hoping it would be easier).  I'm also not certain why the stacked image looks so much worse than the stacked > processed image.  If all that detail is in the stacked image, why do we have to work so hard to bring it out???

 

Anyway, I'm excitedly looking forward to jumping right in...

 

I must say that my experience is generally the same... my final images with the ASI camera are at least as good if not better when using my Q3.5 or ETX90 than with my C8. I think part of it is vibration (seen and unseen) from the fork mount transmitted to a heavy OTA. Once my C8 starts jittering, it takes a little bit to settle down. Who knows how much seemingly-nonexistent vibration is taking place during the captures. Bad seeing only amplifies it. At the same time, I see the results from other (and bigger) SCTs that defy that theory and look sharp enough as if in lunar orbit.

 

As for how all that hidden detail from the seemingly subpar stacked image is teased out during final processing, I have only one answer... pure magic!


Edited by ETXer, 26 May 2021 - 04:32 PM.

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#36 brentknight

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 04:56 PM

It truly can turn into an endless rabbit hole.  My fork is nowhere near vibration free.  The best advice I've read is to never touch it while imaging.  That requires a better focuser (or perhaps an electronic focuser).  I have no drive correction on this mount either - it's the original top-of-the-line worm drive in RA only from 1985.  The manual controls are pretty pathetic, so I won't be doing any long exposures where a large target might drift off the tiny sensor in the camera.  So fixing this would require additional motors (that aren't even made anymore).  So now I'm considering deforking the OTA and mounting it to a $1500 EQ with Go2 and tracking and a rat's nest of cables and boxes.  But then I'd really need at least one other camera with a sensor tuned for DSO imaging.

 

It will never end.

 

I'm going to try really hard to be happy with just lunar and planetary imaging for as long as I possibly can...

 

I believe you when you say post-processing must be magic...


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#37 Migwan

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 08:29 PM

5/25/2021 - 10 to 11:15

Full Moon, T 2/5, S 4/5

 

Astro Tech 102ED Refractor on manual ES Twilight 1 mount.  714 mm FL F7
Resolving power -  1.1 arc seconds

AA SWA 70   38 mm                  19X and    3.6 degrees  FOV   2”
Meade 82     20 mm                   36X  and  2.2  degrees            2”    
     

Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom     30X to   90X   1.6 to .5 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24+2XB     60X to 180X

SVBony 2X Barlow 

 

Conditions were pretty poor last night.  The Moon was full and bright.  There was a cloud layer that varied over the sky that was lit up by the moon.   I could see Polaris at times, Vega most of the time, Spica at times.   So I focused on the Moon.

 

I wanted to get the new AT 102ED out for more sky time.  And I had made modifications to the ES Twilight 1 mount to help dampen the vibrations after moving or focusing. I am happy to report that that was very successful.  Settling time went from 5+ seconds to less than 2 seconds.

 

I had no specific observing objectives other than to cruise the Moon and explore it over a wide range of magnfications.

 

I found that my configuration using the Barlow element from the 2X Barlow for 1.5X won't work in this scope.  The Barlow element is too long and hits the mirror on the diagonal.  No big loss as the BH Zoom worked fine in the 2X.

 

Even through the clouds the moon looked very crisp, though very flat due to being full. 

 

I got the ED scope to mimimize any CA.  A friend mentioned something he called atmospheric CA where you can get a color fringe in one part of the image due to the lensing effect of the atmosphere.  I think I actually observed this as the top of the Moon seemed to have a hairline green color fringe but this was not apparent at the bottom.  I had never noticed anything like this with any of my scopes.  Will have to explore this more.

 

I tried to find the ring nebula using Vega as a reference point but was un successful star hopping or using AltAz.  Too much cloud glow.

 

I visited Vega to see if I would see any CA.  Nothing.

 

Scope handled 180X on the moon, using the BHZ and the 2X barlow with no loss of quality or sharpness, even through the  cloud layer.

 

Not a very productive observing session but it got me off the couch and under the stars.   My new friend and I are getting to know one another.  wink.gif

You might be able to use the 1.5x with a 2" to 1.25" adapter without mirror destruction.   Glad to hear your modifications worked.  
 



#38 aeajr

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 09:26 PM

You might be able to use the 1.5x with a 2" to 1.25" adapter without mirror destruction. Glad to hear your modifications worked.


That is what I tried. It hit the mirror.

#39 aeajr

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 09:27 PM

You might be able to use the 1.5x with a 2" to 1.25" adapter without mirror destruction. Glad to hear your modifications worked.


That is what I tried. It hit the mirror.

#40 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 09:45 PM

This is a second image of the lower half. Does anyone know what the broken horseshoe feature is called. I couldn't find it on any of the maps or apps I have.

Sirsalis E is displayed on the Virtual Moon Atlas.  Click to enlarge this screen capture.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Crater Sirsalis E VMA.JPG

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#41 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 11:20 PM

I observed the penumbral phase of this morning's lunar eclipse with my 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 achromat, a 25mm Orion Plössl (16x), and an 8-24mm Tele Vue Click Stop zoom eyepiece (17 to 50x).  I wasn't planning on doing so since several of the forecasts weren't very rosy and I knew that little, if any, change in the Moon would be noticeable from my location before the Moon set.  However, I figured that I might still be able to see the Moon from a spot on an adjacent street with a better horizon so there wasn't much point in having to drive somewhere.   At any rate, at least I could say that I viewed part, albeit a small part, of the eclipse.

When I first went outside, I saw a slightly mackerel sky but the clouds began to dissipate.   So after viewing the Moon with Canon IS 15x50s and taking some photos from my front yard, I carried the ST80 down the street to my vantage point.

 

I took this shot with my iPhone using the Night Mode.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Penumbral Phase Roses IMG_4418 Processed Resized 800.jpg

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#42 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 11:24 PM

Here's one of the hand-held afocal iPhone photos that I took through the Orion ST80 as the Moon was getting close to setting.  The color is due to its being close to the horizon.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Penumbral Phase Lunar Eclipse Orion ST80 iPhone 5-26-21 AM IMG_4495 Processed Flipped Horizontally Cropped Resized 1000.jpg

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#43 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 12:04 AM

Earlier that night I took some afocal iPhone shots of the pre-eclipse perigeal Full Moon through a 6" f/8 Orion SkyQuest XT6 and a 25mm Orion Plössl.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Perigeal Full Moon Orion XT6 iPhone 5-26-21AM IMG_4380 Processed Rotated Cropped Resized 900.jpg

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#44 brentknight

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 12:39 AM

Sirsalis E is displayed on the Virtual Moon Atlas.  Click to enlarge this screen capture.

 

Just downloaded VMA.  Nice!  Thanks for the suggestion.


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#45 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 12:43 AM

Just downloaded VMA.  Nice!  Thanks for the suggestion.

You're welcome!


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#46 Migwan

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 12:58 AM

Cloudy with rain for me Tuesday night, but got a break tonight.  Clear Skies had T=4/5 till midnight and S=2/5 period, though the jet was not overhead.  Went out just after 10PM with the 80ED and wouldn't you know it, clouds literally formed not 15 miles NW of here and took half an hour to clear out.  When they did, the breeze dropped for about 15mph to about 5mph.

 

An unexpected chain of Starlinks came from the WNW just missing the clouds.  I'd estimated they were probably only 4 or 5 degrees in separation.  They weren't all that bright when the first appeared and gave me a weird impression of a single strand of a wet cob web.  As they moved toward the ESE they became significantly brighter and I managed to get the 80 on them before they disappeared just before the meridian.  

 

Pickering Scale on Polaris was a solid 6/10 so good news there.  I jumped up to M92 and then over to M13 while waiting for the Moon to clear the Pole Barn.  Gave up on the 30 UFF and used the 13 Ethos to find 92.   Just couldn't quite see it at 20x.  

 

The moon was best at 133x.  Really liked the crater to the NW edge with the rather large center peak.  Have to be up by 6, so no charting tonight.  Sorry.   Think I found the John's broken horseshoe, though it was really hard to make out not throwing up any real contrast.  Bummer.   I should note more, but being such an amateur on the moon, you'll have to let me slide (under the covers).  

 

Good night all.


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#47 Migwan

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 01:04 AM

Sirsalis E is displayed on the Virtual Moon Atlas.  Click to enlarge this screen capture.

 

Very Cool and second the thank you.


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#48 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 03:55 AM

Very Cool and second the thank you.

And I'll second the you're welcome.


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#49 Studly

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 09:10 AM

It truly can turn into an endless rabbit hole.  My fork is nowhere near vibration free.  The best advice I've read is to never touch it while imaging.  That requires a better focuser (or perhaps an electronic focuser).  I have no drive correction on this mount either - it's the original top-of-the-line worm drive in RA only from 1985.  The manual controls are pretty pathetic, so I won't be doing any long exposures where a large target might drift off the tiny sensor in the camera.  So fixing this would require additional motors (that aren't even made anymore).  So now I'm considering deforking the OTA and mounting it to a $1500 EQ with Go2 and tracking and a rat's nest of cables and boxes.  But then I'd really need at least one other camera with a sensor tuned for DSO imaging.

 

It will never end.

 

I'm going to try really hard to be happy with just lunar and planetary imaging for as long as I possibly can...

 

I believe you when you say post-processing must be magic...

Brent,

 Yeah. the astro-imaging thing is less of a rabbit hole, and more of a wormhole! It makes time and money disappear from your universe with no trace.

 I only do imaging of planets and the Moon a couple times each year. I am primarily a visual observer. Don't get me wrong--those who have the resources and enthusiasm to do it can get some great results. However, I don't have the cash to throw at a "proper" imaging rig, nor do I anticipate that being the case in the future.

 I have gotten some decent planetary and lunar images with modest equipment. Most sites devoted to imaging will immediately condemn people who won't or can't invest in these $10k rigs, but it is possible to capture passable images otherwise. Example--I have planetary and lunar images I captured with my 90mm Achromat on the stock EQ mount with a cheap motor drive (single axis), and I think they turned out well. A shaky or less-than-perfect tracking mount can still give decent images when the video is stacked. Just don't expect to get the same quality of images that you often see posted online.

 I have not tried much in the way of long-exposure stuff, other than capturing some stellar spectra a couple times. In my specific case, those imaging sessions always come at the expense of visual sessions. That makes them a little harder to justify for me, especially if the weather is not affording many opportunities for observing.

 So, long story short (too late!), lunar and planetary imaging is nothing to dismiss lightly, even with sub-prime equipment. I usually find it rewarding when I choose to do it. If you ever want more info, you are welcome to PM me.

 

Tony


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#50 NYJohn S

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 09:37 AM

Sirsalis E is displayed on the Virtual Moon Atlas.  Click to enlarge this screen capture.

 

I tried downloading the VMA. I have a Mac and it says "This program can also work under Linux with Wine and on MacOs with Wine" I tried it with wine but about halfway through the bottle I was more confused than ever lol.gif

 

All kidding aside, unfortunately my OS is too new to work with this even with Wine. Hopefully they'll release a newer version for the updated Mac OS in the future.

 

BTW, Nice Moon shots!


Edited by NYJohn S, 27 May 2021 - 11:56 AM.

  • Dave Mitsky, ETXer, BFaucett and 4 others like this


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