I am trying myself at moon photography. My setup is an 8" Newtonian with an ASI294MC. Probably not the best combo ever but that's what I have and my friend really likes pics of the moon.
I was lucky on my first try and framed the moon more or less by accident. Luck soon faded away and now I'm facing my lack of technique hen it comes to putting the sky's biggest bright (well, sun excepted) object in my field of view.
I use NINA / Sharpcap and Firecapture, along with Cartes du Ciel.
I do my PA religiously and get under 1 arcmin error.
I set tracking to Lunar in EQMOD, then I just ask CdC to slew to the moon and... nothing. And a pretty big nothing at that. Same with Stellarium or copy paste RA/DEC from Sky Safari or Orbitals in NINA's framing.
I also tried the spiral in EQAscom, or just slewing here and there, hoping to get a glimpse of the super bright light but nothing.
I am pretty sure you guys have a way of solving this problem, at least a technique so I don't need one hour to find the Moon...
Thanks for any tips.
Hmm. I am a great believer in having a nice RACI finder perfectly centred on the capture sensor. It does help eliminate other sources of error such as not having the camera plugged in, leaving the objective lens cap on etc. (All of which I have done btw!). So I would recommend getting that part sorted.
But I do note that you seem to have good alignment of the mount and yet you are getting nothing, even after slewing around. I checked the FOV with that camera and (what I think would be) the specs of your scope, using Stellarium, and it would seem that the full moon should pretty much fill the full sensor.
I am not sure what capture software you are using. I use the latest version of Firecapture and will work through some options based on my experience with that excellent software.
1. Can you confirm that you have the camera properly connected to the laptop, so that if you wave the camera around towards a bright light source you see a reaction on the screen? Occasionally I have found that the connection does not form, so superficially all is connected, but there is actually no signal being received. But this is unlikely, so let's move on to the next suggestion.
2. Have you accidentally selected a small region of interest on the sensor? When trying to place the target, ideally you should use the whole sensor. When you select the whole sensor, reduce the zoom to make sure the whole sensor is on your laptop screen. It is very easy to find you are looking at only part of the sensor if you don't reduce it to about 25-40% zoom.
3. Assuming you are using the whole sensor, crank up the gain and the exposure time so, as you slew around groping for the target, you will see the histogram respond if you get anywhere near it.
4. You may have adjusted the focal length since you last saw the moon - if you are out of focus the image will be very, very dim - this is where No 3 above can help.
I hope you make progress. I think that setup will be excellent for lovely moon images. I do a lot of close-ups myself, but I admire large field views. You could readily do a nice mosaic of the whole moon with just a few images using your gear.
Edited by Lacaille, 14 May 2022 - 07:20 PM.