Nice first effort Dirk! I’m a newb to planetary imaging as well and have made HUGE improvements over the past month thanks to terrific people here! Here’s my take on what I’ve learned…….
You need more frames for sure………I’d say double what you’ve captured for these images…..but the 178 is a slow camera so your capture settings and computer need to be optimized for the max frame rate of 60fps….that’s 7200 frames in two minutes. After that, surface details begin to blur as Jupiter is rotating so fast. I used to push it to 3 minutes to accommodate my slow laptop but learned my lesson.
IR/UV cut filter…..HUGE improvement in contrast which revealed more detail immediately. You don’t mention what other gear your working with so if you don’t have a filter…..get one.
Focus……struggled here for a while and then realized the need for the EXACT best focus possible…..and for me at a focal length of 4500 at F15, even BREATHING on the focuser sent the planets into spastic fits….enough sometimes to lose them from view altogether….this WON’T work for lucky imaging and so I purchased a motorized focus adapter…….another HUGE improvement well worth the investment given the improvement factor.
You can work the advantaged of the 178 smaller pixels to your advantage by pushing the magnification factor to F/25 without oversampling……so a 2.5x Barlow will provide more detail but only if the above two are sorted out AND the seeing is excellent……with only 90mm of aperture , seeing becomes absolutely critical in your case which leads to my next experience and what help I’ve received here from the pros…..
To get those high frame rates, you NEED to keep exposure time low….and that’s EXTREMELY difficult with small apertures….they just don’t gather enough light to support it. You CAN combat that with increased gain BUT my experience recently with guidance from another member here is that’s a problem…which I learned during processing…..the low signal to noise ratio becomes easily apparent during sharpening and the details are littered with color noise……you simply can’t get the level of detail…….but get that gain down to 200-250 and woah!…..HUGE improvements available. At 90mm, seeing is going to be your MOST critical obstacle with the 178’s low frame rate….so much so that the 224 or 462 might be the most readily available improvement you can make. Financially, it’s a break even for you. Yes, the 178 is capable of BETTER individual frames…..but capturing enough QUALITY frames is a huge challenge for your location and aperture.
So there you have it….my top tips learned from the greats here this past month and shared with you. Last nights seeing wasn’t great, BUT my captures were plentiful and properly focused with an exposure time of under 8 and gain of 200……and from my prelim look at the raw videos, I’ll be posting my best Jupiter yet later today after I get a chance to process it. I’ve had MUCH better seeing conditions when I first started, but without the above, my final images were quite blurry….some might call them ‘pleasing’ with some proper adaptive processing…..but no where near the level of detail I’m at now. I do have one huge advantage over your capacity though at 300mm, so for you, everything else has to be super high tuned. I do have to pay a price with collimating at each session to perfection though…..something you don’t have to deal with. I would imagine your letting your scope acclimate for an hour so before capturing.
Best of luck and I look fwd to more images from Belgium!