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Astrophotography Planet Visual Video Astronomy
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#1 Psereiko

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Posted 03 July 2022 - 06:15 PM

Please post photos taken with your Q here, along with details on camera, stacker, post processing, etc.  In particular post links to high res versions of the photos.  I’d like to see what one could reasonably expect to achieve with the Q and astrophotography.  If this topic is better handled in a different forum, please let me know.

 

I’m starting this topic out of frustration …. I can see lots of photo’s on line, but few with the Q and fewer in hi-res.



#2 Psereiko

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Posted 03 July 2022 - 06:27 PM

Here’s a photo of the moon in April.  It looks MUCH better through the eyepiece than the camera.  I think I stacked about 100 images here.  Also should be in color.  Camera is ASI102MC, through the axial port with a 16mm eyepiece in the optics chain.
 

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#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 03 July 2022 - 06:54 PM

hi-res of the moon and planets requires "lucky imaging" software, skillfully used (focus, processing...).  Registax is popular.   Simple stacking is not enough.

 

Astrophotography is significantly harder than most beginners think.  A real skill, needing work.  DSO imaging is significantly harder than lunar/planetary.

 

Example (not mine).

 

https://www.astrobin...yp/0/?q=Questar


Edited by bobzeq25, 03 July 2022 - 07:10 PM.

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#4 spereira

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Posted 03 July 2022 - 06:54 PM

There are plenty of images to see here in this forum:

 

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry11971240

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry11238066

https://www.cloudyni...l-and-the-moon/

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry11910789

https://www.cloudyni...ight’s-16-moon/

 

And those are only the topics on the first page.

 

smp


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#5 Gregory Gross

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 04:57 PM

I was out last night with my Questar and Canon M50 camera and snapped this straight-out-of-the-camera photo (camera closely coupled with scope, Program mode, 1/15 sec exposure, ISO 100):

 

20220708 IMG 4619

 

Using my Canon M200 camera attached to the same scope, I also captured this image of the Moon at roughly the same illumination last month on June 8th (camera closely coupled with scope, Program mode, 1/10 sec exposure, ISO 100; in my raw file editor, I increased brightness by 0.33 stops):

 

Moon on 2022-06-08 IMG 3959 (brightness increased 0.33 stops)
 
Same exposure but, in my raw editor, I reverted back to the original brightness:
 
20220608 IMG 3959

 

Now that I'm looking at all these, I think the M50 did a better job than my M200 in capturing the Moon's warm tone that I see in the eyepiece. The M50's Program mode also did a better job with going for an exposure time that did not blow out highlights.

 

I favor my M200 with my Questar simply because it's lighter, and I have always assumed the sensors in the two cameras are identical. Now I'm not so sure.


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#6 southernharry

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 06:03 PM

Probably not the best example but here is a moon transit on Jupiter from last November.  Stacked with AS!3 and Registax 6.  Last chance photo with Jupiter going over the house and trees.  Wasn't sure I got it until after I processed.  Don't remember if I had a 2 or 3 power barlow with a ASI 224MC camera 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2021-11-23-2321_0-Jupiter Wave M PS.jpg

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#7 Jeanineb77

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Posted 17 July 2022 - 11:31 AM

BCC90C8B-EC3C-47F0-9048-47EE8315548B.jpeg I am deciding on what dedicated camera to buy as most everything is too heavy for the axial port where I plug in the camera.   I borrowed my dad's zwo 294MC Pro, but when I took the subs at 30 seconds the stars had a 'jump' in them (thinking the camera is too heavy, but haven't tried to counterbalance yet), so I dropped the subs down to 10 seconds and took about 60 images.  I threw out about 10-15 images in post processing (with photoshop). 

I powered it using my Questar Powerguide III.  I'm not 100% sure how solid my polar alignment was, as my subs were only 10 seconds long.

I used a solid tripod/mount with an azimuth wedge to set the base at 44 degrees.  My dad had it left over from a Celestron 8".  But honestly the legs that come with the Questar, could have been used if you have a sturdy enough table.  I am currently trying to find a lighter more portable tripod for travel. 
 

I controlled the camera with the ASIair  program  ZWO cameras use.   The program was on my ipad for ease of portability.

 

I’m still in the market for a camera so I appreciate this post you created to see what others are doing.  


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#8 Spikey131

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Posted 25 July 2022 - 06:01 PM

See also here for Pluto:

 

https://www.cloudyni...rtphone-camera/


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#9 Moon-Watcher

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 11:48 PM

I took the plunge and attempted a first shot at DSO astrophotography - M13. Starting with an f15ish scope was probably not the best idea but it was a clear night, the Questar was there and I was too tired to haul 100lb of gear. The whole point of the Questar for me is that I can carry an entire observatory in one trip to the car, or the garden, or the upstairs balcony. In this case it was the upstairs balcony and I carried a tripod in soft case slung behind my back, Questar in Pelican case in right hand with camera gear in a small pack in the same hand, observing chair under the right arm and wee dram of Macallan 12yr in right hand. Under the stars - even in my Bortle 6/7 sky - with a Questar and decent Scotch is a perfect combination.
I polar aligned the Questar using my iphone running Sky Safari in ‘compass’ mode and resting it on the front of the OTA and centering on the South Celestial Pole. I fired up my newly acquired ZWO ASI294 MC connected to the ASIair Plus and cooled to -20 degrees C. It was then attached to the axial port and focused using a Bhatinov mask in video mode. 30x10 second exposures at ‘low gain’ were captured and live stacked. The final image was tweaked on an iPhone by increasing exposure and contrast a small tweak. I was pretty pumped with the result! No darks, flats or bias frames were used.

I can’t wait to delve deeper into processing images and fine-tuning all the components in the imaging train to get images akin to many I see in this forum and others.

Avtar

Attached Thumbnails

  • B346F824-28F2-4685-A1CB-F3A409B5791E.jpeg

Edited by Moon-Watcher, 18 August 2022 - 11:57 PM.

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#10 JamesMStephens

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Posted 19 August 2022 - 08:03 PM

Great Avtar, now let's see a shot of your Questar rigged up to shoot!  We love pics of the scope.

 

Jim


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#11 digitana

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 06:10 AM

This is my first attempt at imaging Jupiter through my recently acquired 1962 standard Q3.5. GRS was transiting in the early hours so that was nice. QHY5L colour camera with x2 barlow through eyepiece port. The camera seems not very sensitive (quite old technology now I guess) I had to use 100ms+ exposures so limited to about 7fps. I kept gain down to avoid over exposure and gamma at 50. 

 

Dust was a big issue on several of the video captures. Think it must have been from the prism because when I rotated the camera the dust shadows remained fixed in the image field. I should have tried the axial port in hindsight. Flat fielding seems like a must ?

 

Anyway I am reasonably pleased with result. The little Q is such a joy ! 

 

This is stack of best 300 from 1000 frames. The seeing was not so good and visually it was hard to make out the GRS.

 

It gives me motivation to buy a new camera such as the ZWO ASI462MC I have seen others use on the forum. Am guessing with its superior sensitivity I could reduce exposure times and get much higher fps?

 

cheers

Steve

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jup_GRS_1.jpg

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#12 Mike Allen

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 07:12 AM

The colors are very true to life.  Problems with seeing show up, but in general, I like this image.  Thanks for sharing your work.



#13 digitana

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 07:42 AM

thanks Mike.. colour balance was a bit of a pain. The QHY5 does not seem to debayer well in Autostakkert for some reason. Looking forward to getting far more quality frames on a night of good seeing..



#14 mtr1

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 11:37 AM

Great first captures by Avtar and Steve!  A few suggestions:

 

Avtar -- M13 is one of the best deep sky targets for Questar in terms of size and brightness.  It's clear that your focusing, polar alignment, and  livstacking of 10 second exposures approach worked -- you have round, focused stars so the capture is excellent.  5 minutes total is not much so if you could run this for half an hour you can even get further into the color and detail of the cluster -- but you already have a lot to work with.  That said, it's likely that any time you spend on deep sky processing tutorials will likely pay dividends, especially if you can gain fluency with one or two main processing apps. 

 

Steve -- your image is much better than you think -- it can still be sharpened and color balanced without "overcooking" -- a lot can be done with freeware like Registax 6 (older) or AstroSurface (newer) -- again tutorials can get you started and you learn with every new image.  BTW flat-fielding with capture software like FireCapture works well but it takes a little practice to work it into your imaging efficiently (Pro tip #1 you need to be finished manipulating the position of the camera -- this ties to the rest of your technique... axial port helps because you can use the eyepiece to reposition the scope without disturbing the camera/barlow in the axial port.  Pro tip #2 shoot flats on full chip, then the software will enable you to pick "flatted" ROI's to your heart's content.  Improves FPS and reduces file size.  If you shoot a flat in an ROI, however, you'll lose the flat by changing the ROI). 

 

Cloudy Nights is chock full of good advice and information about processing in the relevant forums, especially beginning astrophotography.  Some of the unique attributes/challenges of working with a Questar are discussed here in the Q forum but when it comes to processing images, people are generally in the same boat.   You may also want to check your local astronomy clubs to see if there are classes, workshops, or user groups who can help build these skills.  You can DM me for additional suggestions. 

 

Clear skies!

Mauri


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#15 Psereiko

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 12:49 PM

This is my first attempt at imaging Jupiter through my recently acquired 1962 standard Q3.5. GRS was transiting in the early hours so that was nice. QHY5L colour camera with x2 barlow through eyepiece port. The camera seems not very sensitive (quite old technology now I guess) I had to use 100ms+ exposures so limited to about 7fps. I kept gain down to avoid over exposure and gamma at 50. 

 

Dust was a big issue on several of the video captures. Think it must have been from the prism because when I rotated the camera the dust shadows remained fixed in the image field. I should have tried the axial port in hindsight. Flat fielding seems like a must ?

 

Anyway I am reasonably pleased with result. The little Q is such a joy ! 

 

This is stack of best 300 from 1000 frames. The seeing was not so good and visually it was hard to make out the GRS.

 

It gives me motivation to buy a new camera such as the ZWO ASI462MC I have seen others use on the forum. Am guessing with its superior sensitivity I could reduce exposure times and get much higher fps?

 

cheers

Steve

Thats better than ive been able to get with the asi120. Nice jobb


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#16 Toddeo

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 01:10 PM

These are some of the better captures with my "92 Field.

Attached Thumbnails

  • QF Jupiter #52 (1) #16.jpg
  • QF Jupiter Large #21jpg (1) #17.jpg
  • Q-FIELD-ni5 20-07-30  23-09-#19-GREAT! #19 #26.jpg
  • qf 20-10-04 00-07-11-Ni5 Q #15.jpg
  • qf 20-10-04 00-11-28_opt #16 #30.jpg
  • #20 QF MOON #1.jpg
  • #33 QF Lunar #5 #22.jpg
  • Lunar #13 Questar Field #10 #25.jpg

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#17 digitana

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 04:19 PM

Toddeo..these are just beautiful images..! did you use a zwo camera for the jupiter/mars  shots ? i saw one of the moons emerging from behind the planet last night ..you captured it really well. Did you crank up the gain to capture  the moons and then combine  with the main jupiter image ? 

 

I would be interested to know how many frames you stacked to get those exquisite planetary images ! amazing ...



#18 Toddeo

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 06:19 PM

Toddeo..these are just beautiful images..! did you use a zwo camera for the jupiter/mars  shots ? i saw one of the moons emerging from behind the planet last night ..you captured it really well. Did you crank up the gain to capture  the moons and then combine  with the main jupiter image ? 

 

I would be interested to know how many frames you stacked to get those exquisite planetary images ! amazing ...

Thanks. I used ZWO cameras on all but the two larger Jupiter photos, on the two larger Jupiter shots-the camera is a Neximage5. Most of my video captures consist of 3500-4000 frames. I have never combined captures/photos. If I can't get what I want in a single capture- I wont. I have quite a few "better" Lunar photos, but I can't seem to find them on my newer computercrazy.gif


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#19 Toddeo

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Posted 20 August 2022 - 07:07 PM

More Lunar shots with the "92 Field. All taken using a ZWOASI178MM. The "mono" camera is three times more sensitive than a color camera. I bought that camera -strictly for shooting Lunar/Solar.   Todd.

Attached Thumbnails

  • QF lunar (1).jpg
  • QF LUNAR #18-1 (1).jpg
  • #06 QF lunar (1).jpg
  • #08-1 QF LUNAR.jpg
  • #13-2 QF LUNAR (1).jpg
  • #20 QF MOON #1.jpg
  • #26-2 QF LUNAR.jpg
  • lunar QF #12 (1).jpg
  • #47 QF Lunar (1).jpg
  • #43 Lunar QF.jpg
  • #24 lunar QF.jpg

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#20 Moon-Watcher

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 10:40 PM

9E292CC5-1F83-4724-9A36-BA602C89D983.jpeg I was asked to post an image of the Questar (‘22) setup.  So here is an image under red light from my headlamp.  Also, I took on board advice from Mauri and captured 30 minutes worth of 10 second exposure with the ASI294MC.  Tweaked for exposure, blackpoint and saturation a wee tad.  Unfortunately my dial for Bortle level was stuck at 6 so that was that…  

So 180 minutes gives so much more detail than the original 5 minutes I had.

Anyways, having great fun with this amazing little machine designed in the ‘50s coupled to imaging equipment from 70 years in its future.

 

And the planetary and lunar images posted above are astounding.

 

Avtar


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#21 Moon-Watcher

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 10:56 PM

8C955EC9-A9B1-4B00-A767-0AAD4176D440.jpeg


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#22 Moon-Watcher

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 11:47 PM

Hey all,

This was a shot of M27 with the ASI294MC. Binned 2x2 with 30 minutes of 10 sec exposures, low gain, through the axial port.

The images were stacked with ASIstudio and it was my first time using a dark frame.  The dark was made with 5 images with the same camera setting as the light images.

It's all fun and very satisfying when when playing with the images.  However, this astrophotograpy game takes away from the contemplative hours of viewing through the eyepiece.  So, how to occupy myself while the Questar and camera do their thing?

Hmmmm.

 

AvtarM27.jpeg


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#23 Moon-Watcher

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 11:47 PM

Camera was cooled to -20 centigrade. Bortle 6 skies


Edited by Moon-Watcher, 25 August 2022 - 11:48 PM.


#24 vcnightscope2017

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 01:11 AM

Nice pic! "So, how to occupy myself while the Questar and camera do their thing?

Hmmmm." Find a nice used Questar for visual :).



#25 Psereiko

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 01:35 AM

This is outstanding. I love the setup photo and the description of how you did the image. Maybe a asi294 is in my future!




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