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Recent trends in EAA comments/discussion solicited

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#51 Bob Campbell

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 05:32 PM

This topic comes up every other year or so as new technology comes into market. From my perspective, right now there are not very many companies making cameras so there is little differentiation equipment-wise to say that "this camera is EAA gear or This camera is AP only" in fact, you all are voting with your pocket books and telling manufacturers you enjoy watching the AP process go in real time and they are happy to oblige you. Of course this does not make our jobs any easier, but that's okay. What we don't want to do is spend time hair-splitting as to whether so and so is doing EAA or not. You can be doing  EAA WHILE you are imaging. What you can't do (in this forum anyways) is post process and present that image as EAA taken "in the moment". 

 

If Jocular allows the introduction of filters into your EAA experience, then I think that's pretty cool, so long as you are observing the image in real time while it happens!

 

EAA at it's base form is using electronics to bring out details you can't get at an eyepiece. EAA allows those with visual disabilities to observe. It allows us to do outreach for large groups by piping the scope image out to a big screen. EAA allows those with small scopes to use electronics to make details pop out that they couldn't normally see unless their scopes were much larger. 

 

To try and define EAA too narrowly just takes enjoyment away from what you all want to do, so keep on pushing boundaries, we are literally the ones who can.

OK, done and done. Thanks for the chime in. Steve, looks like you and the other wheelers are good to go. smile.gif

 

Bob


Edited by Bob Campbell, 22 September 2023 - 05:34 PM.

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#52 Mark Lovik

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 06:04 PM

...

 

The three most important advantages of EAA for me are:

  • I can do it at home in a suburb of a light-trying big city (Munich).
  • I can do it together with my wife, who shares my passion for astronomy just as much as I do.
  • With the help of computers, I can easily document my observations with images in order to be able to learn and compare based on observed observation sessions and also to search for and find new observation targets from my own astronomy history.

In order to further develop my own skills and knowledge, I like to talk to like-minded people and constantly try to expand my horizons on the complex field of astronomy with questions and discussions. This also includes forums like this one. But I also exchange ideas with other people in person in the local astronomy association of the Munich People's Observatory and not just online.

 

Unfortunately, I find that this forum section for EAA is becoming less and less interesting to me compared to what it was a year or two ago. The EAA area has developed into a pure picture and equipment comparison competition. Astronomy-based thoughts and questions are discussed less and less, or almost no more at all. In my understanding and in comparison to the huge, complex universe we observe, arbitrary and, above all, unnecessary boundaries are drawn for images shown in order to actually achieve what?

 

 ...

I have liked your systems and what you have done in EAA. You have shown thought and planning for the rigs you have assembled, and they match your observing goals.  I completely agree with your listed advantages of EAA.

 

I am finally getting to the stage where my churn on hardware and equipment is waning.  I can now perform EAA on objects I want to look at, and from my hardware restrictions can effectively view objects in the sky I find interesting. Understanding what I am looking at has caused me to spend unusual time in the academic astronomy literature poking for more information.

 

There are some threads in this forum that push more to the observing side of EAA - what we see using EAA and interesting information on the objects themselves.  This could also be extended to other aspects of looking at what we can see in the sly.

  1. I started Observing Side of EAA - What have you seen lately to shift to more than just picture and hardware.
  2. I also started (have not had time to give this thread justice) with the Planetary EAA thread.  This has been nice to understand how to better observe these objects, but also to see a larger range of planetaries off in the night sky.  Just think about the different shapes - and why they occur.  Talking to a planetary specialist - there is still very active research in these objects,  Single star system have a circular symmetry, The weird shaps (M27 is an easy example) means the planetary formed in a multistar environment, that interacted.
  3. Look at the new dark nebula thread, This looks like it will focus on how to do it, what can be seen, and hopefully background information on these objects.  This includes the old literature like Barnard, and Lynd's, all the way to cutting edge modern research on these objects,
  4. We really need to expand this type of observing thread to other objects in the skies (galaxies, galaxy clusters, bright nebula, milky way structures, ...)

Something we have been missing but deserves it's own EAA thread is the exploding available (and free) access to academic literature and data.

  1. Sure - we can take our EAA views and use SharpCap's tools to identify objects.  It's now fun and easy, and it was on my active wishlist a couple of years ago.  This just the tip of the iceberg of how we can use our images to explore new ideas, information, and a range of old to cutting research,
  2. Go to https://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/ and look at some of these apps -- it's really worth your time if you like understanding more about the objects yoiu view.
    • Start with something simple like SIMBAD and do a simple search on the object of interest - maybe pick Messier 33 as a starting point.  The poke around in the results,
    • This information summarizes data, literature, survey and sky views that is updated daily in the literature.
    • Look at images at different field of view from many different wavelengths and systems.
    • Overlap catelogs of objects with your view of the sky
    • Branch off and find related objects in the sky
    • Look at the linked literature to the target
    • There is a hyperlinked context - parent objects, and child (contained objects) that is wonderful

I have been holding off on this ... not sure if anyone else likes to dig down the deep end.  But it becomes easy to use for anyone who has poked around EAA for a bit.  Some of this information has been pulled down from these survey api's and websites for apps we routinely use.  It's not hard to go to these resources directly.

  • You can pick an object by name, pick a region of the sky (RA and Dec, and radius in arc-minutes) and find out all sorts of information about it.  Not to hard here
  • You can display an interactive composite image of the sky at almost any size and scale
  • You can overlap catalogs of related objects in this field of view - and explore any of these in a hierarchal form
  • Yes you can do complicated and obscure queries that only a specialist would love, but that is going down the data rabbit hole.  You may not ever need these tools - but they are right there if you want to ask obscure questions about objects in the sky.

So I would love to find anybody else interested in this side path in EAA.  It's observing that leads to exploring state of the art knowledge of the universe,

 

Almost all of our little EAA systems have better capabilities and reach than any big telescope before the mid-1980s.  That was the transition from film to using digital cameras.  Look at the ARP images from the 200" Palomar ... I can do that .. often in color .. often better (seeing still causes resolution problems in big scopes .. especially in California ;) ) .. in my backyard.

 

Sure .. now we have high resolution telescopes in space, adaptive optics, and all sorts of professional astronomy equipment.  That's a recent development for geezers like me.


Edited by Mark Lovik, 22 September 2023 - 06:16 PM.

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#53 Bob Campbell

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 06:15 PM

I have liked your systems and what you have done in EAA. You have shown thought and planning for the rigs you have assembled, and they match your observing goals.  I completely agree with your listed advantages of EAA.

 

I am finally getting to the stage where my churn on hardware and equipment is waning.  I can now perform EAA on objects I want to look at, and from my hardware restrictions can effectively view objects in the sky I find interesting. Understanding what I am looking at has caused me to spend unusual time in the academic astronomy literature poking for more information.

 

There are some threads in this forum that push more to the observing side of EAA - what we see using EAA and interesting information on the objects themselves.  This could also be extended to other aspects of looking at what we can see in the sly.

  1. I started Observing Side of EAA - What have you seen lately to shift to more than just picture and hardware.
  2. I also started (have not had time to give this thread justice) with the Planetary EAA thread.  This has been nice to understand how to better observe these objects, but also to see a larger range of planetaries off in the night sky.  Just think about the different shapes - and why they occur.  Talking to a planetary specialist - there is still very active research in these objects,  Single star system have a circular symmetry, The weird shaps (M27 is an easy example) means the planetary formed in a multistar environment, that interacted.
  3. Look at the new dark nebula thread, This looks like it will focus on how to do it, what can be seen, and hopefully background information on these objects.  This includes the old literature like Barnard, and Lynd's, all the way to cutting edge modern research on these objects,
  4. We really need to expand this type of observing thread to other objects in the skies (galaxies, galaxy clusters, bright nebula, milky way structures, ...)

Something we have been missing but deserves it's own EAA thread is the exploding available (and free) access to academic literature and data.

  1. Sure - we can take our EAA views and use SharpCap's tools to identify objects.  It's now fun and easy, and it was on my active wishlist a couple of years ago.  This just the tip of the iceberg of how we can use our images to explore new ideas, information, and a range of old to cutting research,
  2. Go to https://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/ and look at some of these apps -- it's really worth your time if you like understanding more about the objects yoiu view.
    • Start with something simple like SIMBAD and do a simple search on the object of interest - maybe pick Messier 33 as a starting point.  The poke around in the results,
    • This information summarizes data, literature, survey and sky views that is updated daily in the literature.
    • Look at images at different field of view from many different wavelengths and systems.
    • Overlap catelogs of objects with your view of the sky
    • Branch off and find related objects in the sky
    • Look at the linked literature to the target
    • There is a hyperlinked context - parent objects, and child (contained objects) that is wonderful

I have been holding off on this ... not sure if anyone else likes to dig down the deep end.  But it becomes easy to use for anyone who has poked around EAA for a bit.  Some of this information has been pulled down from these survey api's and websites for apps we routinely use.  It's not hard to go to these resources directly.

  • You can pick an object by name, pick a region of the sky (RA and Dec, and radius in arc-minutes) and find out all sorts of information about it.  Not to hard here
  • You can display an interactive composite image of the sky at almost any size and scale
  • You can overlap catalogs of related objects in this field of view - and explore any of these in a hierarchal form
  • Yes you can do complicated and obscure queries that only a specialist would love, but that is going down the data rabbit hole.  You may not ever need these tools - but they are right there if you want to ask obscure questions about objects in the sky.

So I would love to find anybody else interested in this side path in EAA.  It's observing that leads to exploring state of the art knowledge of the universe,

 

Almost all of our little EAA systems have better capabilities and reach than any big telescope before the mid-1980s.  That was the transition from film to using digital cameras.  Look at the ARP images from the 200" Palomar ... I can do that .. often in color .. often better (seeing still causes resolution problems in bit scopes) .. in my backyard.

 

Sure .. now we have high resolution telescopes in space, adaptive optics, and all sorts of professional astronomy equipment.  That's a recent development for geezers like me.

cool idea. I have gone to SIMBAD on numerous occasions, but didn't really sit down and study its capabilities
 


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#54 jml79

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 07:44 PM

unless senility has completely overtaken me, you have stated you have a AP rig doing AP and you occasionally dabble in EAA.

 

Bob

But that is my point. Is it an AP rig because it has a filter wheel and guide scope? What makes something an AP rig vs EAA. Surely my rig is far less expensive than many with giant reflectors etc. 



#55 Bob Campbell

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 07:54 PM

But that is my point. Is it an AP rig because it has a filter wheel and guide scope? What makes something an AP rig vs EAA. Surely my rig is far less expensive than many with giant reflectors etc. 

I don't care about giant apertures. In my B8+ they would be worthless (LP will get collected and blow out any faint fuzzy) and unwieldy. The addition of filter wheels (and expense) give the option to enhance APs whch is fine, and EAA now which has now been deemed fine by moderator

 

It is an AP rig. Absolutely. It has all the elements. You just use it for EAA as well.

 

Bob


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#56 mklosterman1

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 09:02 PM

I have liked your systems and what you have done in EAA. You have shown thought and planning for the rigs you have assembled, and they match your observing goals.  I completely agree with your listed advantages of EAA.

 

I am finally getting to the stage where my churn on hardware and equipment is waning.  I can now perform EAA on objects I want to look at, and from my hardware restrictions can effectively view objects in the sky I find interesting. Understanding what I am looking at has caused me to spend unusual time in the academic astronomy literature poking for more information.

 

There are some threads in this forum that push more to the observing side of EAA - what we see using EAA and interesting information on the objects themselves.  This could also be extended to other aspects of looking at what we can see in the sly.

  1. I started Observing Side of EAA - What have you seen lately to shift to more than just picture and hardware.
  2. I also started (have not had time to give this thread justice) with the Planetary EAA thread.  This has been nice to understand how to better observe these objects, but also to see a larger range of planetaries off in the night sky.  Just think about the different shapes - and why they occur.  Talking to a planetary specialist - there is still very active research in these objects,  Single star system have a circular symmetry, The weird shaps (M27 is an easy example) means the planetary formed in a multistar environment, that interacted.
  3. Look at the new dark nebula thread, This looks like it will focus on how to do it, what can be seen, and hopefully background information on these objects.  This includes the old literature like Barnard, and Lynd's, all the way to cutting edge modern research on these objects,
  4. We really need to expand this type of observing thread to other objects in the skies (galaxies, galaxy clusters, bright nebula, milky way structures, ...)

Something we have been missing but deserves it's own EAA thread is the exploding available (and free) access to academic literature and data.

  1. Sure - we can take our EAA views and use SharpCap's tools to identify objects.  It's now fun and easy, and it was on my active wishlist a couple of years ago.  This just the tip of the iceberg of how we can use our images to explore new ideas, information, and a range of old to cutting research,
  2. Go to https://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/ and look at some of these apps -- it's really worth your time if you like understanding more about the objects yoiu view.
    • Start with something simple like SIMBAD and do a simple search on the object of interest - maybe pick Messier 33 as a starting point.  The poke around in the results,
    • This information summarizes data, literature, survey and sky views that is updated daily in the literature.
    • Look at images at different field of view from many different wavelengths and systems.
    • Overlap catelogs of objects with your view of the sky
    • Branch off and find related objects in the sky
    • Look at the linked literature to the target
    • There is a hyperlinked context - parent objects, and child (contained objects) that is wonderful

I have been holding off on this ... not sure if anyone else likes to dig down the deep end.  But it becomes easy to use for anyone who has poked around EAA for a bit.  Some of this information has been pulled down from these survey api's and websites for apps we routinely use.  It's not hard to go to these resources directly.

  • You can pick an object by name, pick a region of the sky (RA and Dec, and radius in arc-minutes) and find out all sorts of information about it.  Not to hard here
  • You can display an interactive composite image of the sky at almost any size and scale
  • You can overlap catalogs of related objects in this field of view - and explore any of these in a hierarchal form
  • Yes you can do complicated and obscure queries that only a specialist would love, but that is going down the data rabbit hole.  You may not ever need these tools - but they are right there if you want to ask obscure questions about objects in the sky.

So I would love to find anybody else interested in this side path in EAA.  It's observing that leads to exploring state of the art knowledge of the universe,

 

Almost all of our little EAA systems have better capabilities and reach than any big telescope before the mid-1980s.  That was the transition from film to using digital cameras.  Look at the ARP images from the 200" Palomar ... I can do that .. often in color .. often better (seeing still causes resolution problems in big scopes .. especially in California wink.gif ) .. in my backyard.

 

Sure .. now we have high resolution telescopes in space, adaptive optics, and all sorts of professional astronomy equipment.  That's a recent development for geezers like me.

Mark,

I most definitely like the science aspects of EAA as well and your Observing Side of EAA nails it. I also like the challenges of pushing the envelope much like I used to do visually trying to find amazing and historical (but faint objects like quasar 3C273) and while the image forms, reading up a bit on the history and science of that object. Hopefully I will be able to contribute some to that topic during a star party I will be attending in a few weeks. Thank you very much for starting that thread.


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#57 Tfer

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 09:14 PM

I don't care about giant apertures. In my B8+ they would be worthless (LP will get collected and blow out any faint fuzzy) and unwieldy. The addition of filter wheels (and expense) give the option to enhance APs whch is fine, and EAA now which has now been deemed fine by moderator

 

It is an AP rig. Absolutely. It has all the elements. You just use it for EAA as well.

 

Bob

I have shoehorned EAA into my planetary rig.  But it is, first and foremost, a planetary rig. 
 

Because of that focus, I’m restricted to planetary nebulae, small emission nebulae and small galaxies. 
 

Those provide me with enough enjoyment to keep me out late at night, or early in the morning when Jupiter and Mars aren’t available.  Saturn is pretty, but for the most part, doesn’t change. 
 

But I use the same equipment, as I dig for details in the deep sky targets that I do chase. And for the most part, I’m happy with my results. 


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#58 MarMax

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 10:10 PM

I think the main take away I've gotten from two years of participation in this forum is that it's not a competition. Do I wish my images could be as good as the top dogs in the forum . . . yes I do. I've always felt that those that are the best at what they do are sources to learn from and gain knowledge.

 

I've never felt any ego's here in the EAA forum. I've asked some really dumb questions and always get kind and considerate responses. In terms of budget and equipment costs I've never batted an eye since I'm able to purchase whatever I what. That does not mean I go crazy, but I do buy things I feel will continue my forward progress with EAA. And I do a lot of experimentation, make some bad choices, and then try to move in the positive direction.

 

As a hot rodder growing up and reading about some greats from the past I think of Smokey Yunick as a trail blazer and one to do the things that cause rules to be changed. His cars would go faster and the slower teams would complain so they would take his cars apart and find what make them faster and make a rule to level the playing field. Back in my not so smart street racing days there was always someone with a faster car.

 

Within the current rules of the forum I say more power to those that want to invest the time and effort to run Jocular and NINA and whatever to make their images the best they an be. Personally, I do not have the patience nor desire to run a mono rig with filters and seven pieces of software at the same time. I'm also the guy who is outside at my table with the laptop, watching the scope and looking at the sky and enjoying the skunks and possums and owls. I like being outside with the gear. Many members are inside the office in a comfy chair reading the internet and doing whatever besides observing the stack while they are stacking. Is this any worse than running a Jocular rig? Or what about both?

 

Like you, I'm in Bortle 8, so there is no way to compare to members in Bortle 4 areas. Does this bother me . . . not in the least. I'm always working on improving the kit and workflow and techniques so my images are the best possible. I know that someone in a B4 area that wants to do a 60 minute stack is going to get a better result than I can obtain at home. My take away is to put that object the list for the next dark site visit.

 

If you did a search you will find me saying something like this more than one time. As technology improves, for example, say Robin Glover collaborated with Russell Croman, to incorporate NoiseXTerminator or BlurXTerminator into SharpCap, this would be a game changer. It's not likely but it's also not impossible. With the way the EAA rules are written, any advances in technology where at the end of the stacking process you can save and image "as is", will be suitable for posting in the forum. Noise reduction in particular is an area ripe for some future development.

 

Another area where I've always bucked the system is with post-processing. A couple of years ago it was almost taboo to say the words. But the rules allow for discussion (as long as it's not the main topic) and allow for links to be posted. I've always jumped on this loophole since I believe that there is so much more to see in our EAA images than what is saved exactly as seen. EAA is an observational technique, basically swapping a camera for your eye. But that does not mean you can't spend some time doing what the AP folks do all the time and make that saved as seen image so much better.

 

To me it's no different than a visual observer taking notes and possibly making a sketch that is used the next day to do some research and learn more about what they observed. When I post-process an image, I'm looking for subtle details and comparing them to imagery or Stellarium to lean more about what I observed. Same path, different medium.

 

 

 

 


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#59 Bob Campbell

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 10:40 PM


As a hot rodder growing up and reading about some greats from the past I think of Smokey Yunick as a trail blazer and one to do the things that cause rules to be changed. His cars would go faster and the slower teams would complain so they would take his cars apart and find what make them faster and make a rule to level the playing field. Back in my not so smart street racing days there was always someone with a faster car.

 

You must have had a great teenage/young adult years! Was this in LA? Mecca! Fresno was pretty awesome for street racing (American Grafitti, but I'm sure you knew that and way more than me)

 

 I grew up near Reading Pa, and we did have a cruise circuit, when gas was 30 cents a gallon. I don't know if you have heard of Don Yenko, but he also was from the region. He is known for super muscle cars that he built in his local shop. His most notable was the Yenko Camaro and the Yenko Corvair (shocked.gif ). In 1970, one of the poor little rich kids in my HS got a Yenko Chevelle that was a beast. Rubber in all 4? gears. It was amazing, and I was very jealous, just like I'm jealous of some of the EAA/AP setups I see here. lol.gif

 

 

 

Bob



#60 MarMax

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 11:04 PM

You must have had a great teenage/young adult years! Was this in LA? Mecca! Fresno was pretty awesome for street racing (American Grafitti, but I'm sure you knew that and way more than me)

 

 I grew up near Reading Pa, and we did have a cruise circuit, when gas was 30 cents a gallon. I don't know if you have heard of Don Yenko, but he also was from the region. He is known for super muscle cars that he built in his local shop. His most notable was the Yenko Camaro and the Yenko Corvair (shocked.gif ). In 1970, one of the poor little rich kids in my HS got a Yenko Chevelle that was a beast. Rubber in all 4? gears. It was amazing, and I was very jealous, just like I'm jealous of some of the EAA/AP setups I see here. lol.gif

 

 

 

Bob

My hot rod days were a bit post the Yenko days. More like mid to late 70's and early 80's. The fastest cars were the guys in Compton, CA. They would bring the cars in on trailers and bet some serious money on races. I'm digressing and this is all long past, but I did enjoy my 68 GTO with a highly modified Ram Air IV 400. And it was only a low 13's car, nothing compared the 10 second Compton boys.

 

It does put the great diversity with astronomy kits into perspective. And some day I will have an observatory with a serious reflector on a serious mount. And maybe that observatory will be in a B1 location. At that point I can give the Compton boys a run for their money.


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#61 Bob Campbell

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Posted 22 September 2023 - 11:42 PM

but I did enjoy my 68 GTO with a highly modified Ram Air IV 400. And it was only a low 13's car,

 

 

It does put the great diversity with astronomy kits into perspective. And some day I will have an observatory with a serious reflector on a serious mount. And maybe that observatory will be in a B1 location. At that point I can give the Compton boys a run for their money.

And look at what Compton has become today. Sad.

 

sounds like a nice ride. I was always a drag race fan: I was there at the beginning of Maple Grove Dragway when it was in a cow field. Best grudge match I saw was Don the Snake vs Big Daddy Don Garlits. Forgot who won. Also saw an early jet car which set the track record at the time. They now host NHRA championships and all the big guns show up. Haven't been back in 55 years.

 

I never had any real muscle iron. I had a stock '71 Nova back in HS, and my most powerful car I ever owned is my current Tesla Model Y standard (435hp). Doesn't have that great of an exhaust note (lol.gif) but it does have instant acceleration.  I have it set to 'chill' driving mode since I don't trust myself with the standard setting.

 

Bob


Edited by Bob Campbell, 22 September 2023 - 11:44 PM.

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#62 MartinMeredith

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 02:41 AM

There is a bit of a misperception that mono + filters has to be complicated. It really isn't. I run one piece of software when I'm observing (well two if you count Acrobat that I use for star charts). I have a (macbook) laptop and two USB leads, one to the camera and one to the filterwheel. Setting up each capture takes a couple of seconds, generally done once only at the start of the session (basically, clicking on a visual representation of a filter wheel to choose which filters to use). That's it. Each capture is done using a single click. I can see why people might think one has to stop each filter, change it, restart, etc, but it isn't like that.

 

That's speaking for myself -- I use direct control of the wheel and camera. I know others use additional pieces of software to script and capture via Jocular's folder monitoring facility, and that may well involve a little more effort.

 

Lest it be thought that I am promoting Jocular, actually I try to put people off at every opportunity, because it may involve some effort to install. Minimally, it requires downloading Python if your OS doesn't already have it, and then typing pip install jocular, but often there are updates to dependencies that break things. While I always respond to requests for help, I don't really have a lot of time with the day job to track down and fix these issues as quickly as a paid developer would, especially since I don't have (or want) access to Windows, which is where most people are using Jocular. I guess what I'm saying is, by all means consider using Jocular if you definitely want to do EAA with LRGB/LSHO and don't mind potential installation pitfalls -- all of which can be overcome with time, and contrary to what was stated above you don't need to be a Python programmer -- but if you just want to download Jocular to see what all the fuss is about, I honestly wouldn't bother! 

 

At the other extreme, if you are a Python developer who wants to tinker, add support for other hardware etc, be my guest. You'll find it all on GitHub.

 

cheers

 

Martin


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#63 mgCatskills

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 03:41 AM

Can't believe I missed this until now... that's what three clear nights in a row will do to a guy.  Cloudy tonight though.  I've read every post in this thread that has alternately moved and upset me.  On balance I'm glad Bob started it, because I think we learn the most when we open up about what's really on our minds.

 

I'd planned on an early night, and did try to go to sleep around midnight.  But I couldn't stop thinking about what I've been reading here.  I decided I wouldn't go to sleep until I got some things off my mind.  So here I'm writing this at 3 AM.

 

I've never thought of EAA as a competition.  Like a lot of folks here I receive enormous pleasure out of doing EAA as well as I can, and improving my skills as I go.  Many people here have been generous in taking the time to answer my questions and share their expertise.  As my skills have improved, in no small part from the help I've received here, I've tried to give back where i think I have something to contribute. 

 

I do think there is a fundamental difference between EAA and AP.  This thought is not novel, but I'll say it anyway:  in EAA the goal is an experience.  Yes, you end up with an image, but it's a memento, an aide de memoire and a way to communicate the experience (and its potential) to others.  In AP, the goal seems to be the image.  To be sure, if done well, a work of art.  But nonetheless a thing in itself and largely decoupled from the experience of creating it.

 

Things blur when there's an observation I find particularly beautiful.   I've been known to just let something I find truly compelling run on ... I'll make sure I save it at an hour to post here, but if I choose to chat with my wife while the system continues imaging, that's my business.  In any event, EAA is a wonderful demonstration of the law of diminishing returns.  Once you've got more than half an hour of capture time, the rate of improvement of the image slows way down.  So you'd be nuts to pay close attention to it. 

 

AP and EAA share most of the same equipment, used differently.  If steveincolo wants to use NINA and Jocular, mazel tov.  I have NINA envy to a certain extent, use it for Polar Alignment, and wish I could use some of its other features instead of SharpCap's.  But for me the tradeoff of simplicity over function has SharpCap's adequate, integrated features winning over a more complicated NINA/SharpCap integration.  Personally, I don't ever expect to use a monochrome camera with filters, but Steve's still doing EAA in my book.  Steve has been enormously supportive of me and my skill improvement.  I'm a big fan.

 

EAA is a big part of my life right now, and I'm in a position to spend some money on it.  For what it's worth, I admire folks who get amazing results from inexpensive equipment.  Having just turned 70, I don't have time to waste and buying good equipment makes the process easier in many ways.  I also put 200,000 miles on my 2008 Honda Accord, my only car until last year.  So I paid my dues...

 

Bob, I'm a fan of you too.  So I hope you can see your way clear of this funk.  Surely this is not a perfect community, but it's a darned good one especially when we help each other get better.


Edited by mgCatskills, 23 September 2023 - 08:43 AM.

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#64 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 08:25 AM

Can't believe I missed this until now... that's what three clear nights in a row will do to guy.  Cloudy tonight though.  I've read every post in this thread that has alternately moved and upset me.  On balance I'm glad Bob started it, because I think we learn the most when we open up about what's really on our minds.

 

I'd planned on an early night, and did try to go to sleep around midnight.  But I couldn't stop thinking about what I've been reading here.  I decided I wouldn't go to sleep until I got some things off my mind.  So here I'm writing this at 3 AM.

 

I've never thought of EAA as a competition.  Like a lot of folks here I receive enormous pleasure out of doing EAA as well as I can, and improving my skills as I go.  Many people here have been generous in taking the time to answer my questions and share their expertise.  As my skills have improved, in no small part from the help I've received here, I've tried to give back where i think I have something to contribute. 

 

I do think there is a fundamental difference between EAA and AP.  This thought is not novel, but I'll say it anyway:  in EAA the goal is an experience.  Yes, you end up with an image, but it's a memento, an aide de memoire and a way to communicate the experience (and its potential) to others.  In AP, the goal seems to be the image.  To be sure, if done well, a work of art.  But nonetheless a thing in itself and largely decoupled from the experience of creating it.

 

Things blur when there's an observation I find particularly beautiful.   I've been known to just let something I find truly compelling run on ... I'll make sure I save it at an hour to post here, but if I choose to chat with my wife while the system continues imaging, that's my business.  In any event, EAA is a wonderful demonstration of the law of diminishing returns.  Once you've got more than half an hour of capture time, the rate of improvement of the image slows way down.  So you'd be nuts to pay close attention to it. 

 

AP and EAA share most of the same equipment, used differently.  If steveincolo wants to use NINA and Jocular, mazel tov.  I have NINA envy to a certain extent, use it for Polar Alignment, and wish I could use some of its other features instead of SharpCap's.  But for me the tradeoff of simplicity over function has SharpCap's adequate, integrated features winning over a more complicated NINA/SharpCap integration.  Personally, I don't ever expect to use a monochrome camera with filters, but he's still doing EAA in my book.  Steve has been enormously supportive of me and my skill improvement.  I'm a big fan.

 

EAA is a big part of my life right now, and I'm in a position to spend some money on it.  For what it's worth, I admire folks who get amazing results from inexpensive equipment.  Having just turned 70, I don't have time to waste and buying good equipment makes the process easier in many ways.  I also put 200,000 miles on my 2008 Honda Accord, my only car until last year.  So I paid my dues...

 

Bob, I'm a fan of you too.  So I hope you can see your way clear of this funk.  Surely this is not a perfect community, but it's a darned good one especially when we help each other get better.

Thanks. I have indeed learned something from this topic, so I'm glad I started it as well.

 

Bob



#65 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 09:26 AM

I disagree (respectfully).

My filter wheel is simply a tool that allows filters to stay dust free and to be put in the light path from a distance. Electronic Assisted Filter Changes, (EAFC?) ...is part of my EAA. Sometimes I will stack the NB data into SHO RGB, for observational reasons, to see the bigger picture eg where the SII and OIII and Ha regions are in relation to each other. But I observe the NB data in monochrome live. Interesting fact, the SHO palette was chosen by professionals to maximize visibility of the data... that's observational.

 

CN rules on what is EAA, are purely a forum posting rule, which does not cramp my EAA observing at all. I just don't publish any stacked color results here.

 

.

The use of filter wheels clearly violates the spirit of observational activity versus a data acquisition activity.

 

The work flow proves it. There are posts that outline this process, in response to member's inquiries.

 


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#66 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 09:39 AM

I disagree (respectfully).

My filter wheel is simply a tool that allows filters to stay dust free and to be put in the light path from a distance. Electronic Assisted Filter Changes, (EAFC?) ...is part of my EAA. Sometimes I will stack the NB data into SHO RGB, for observational reasons, to see the bigger picture eg where the SII and OIII and Ha regions are in relation to each other. But I observe the NB data in monochrome live. Interesting fact, the SHO palette was chosen by professionals to maximize visibility of the data... that's observational.

 

CN rules on what is EAA, are purely a forum posting rule, which does not cramp my EAA observing at all. I just don't publish any stacked color results here.

I stated that poorly. What I meant was image posting rules. In your EAA session you can do what you want obviously (no 'Big Brother' peering over your shoulder lol.gif)

 

"CN rules on what is EAA, are purely a forum posting rule, which does not cramp my EAA observing at all. I just don't publish any stacked color results here"

 

by stacked color results I assume you mean the multiple filter narrowband results?

 

On that I would agree wholeheartedly.

 

However, it has been ruled by moderators that any and all filter wheel results are fair game and are within EAA image posting rules. The only caviat is that in some sense the person needs to see the image as it is being built.

 

So the issue is now moot.

 

Thanks for weighing in

 

Bob


Edited by Bob Campbell, 23 September 2023 - 09:44 AM.

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#67 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 09:53 AM

Yes, 2 or 3 filters, Ha and Oiii and sometimes Sii, mapped to RGB.

 

Other times, eg M31, I will do just Lum and a short Ha, then layer stack the Ha as red, so that I can differentiate H2 nebulae from a clump of stars.

 

by stacked color results I assume you mean the multiple filter narrowband results?

 


Edited by CharLakeAstro, 23 September 2023 - 09:54 AM.

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#68 steveincolo

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:02 AM

I stated that poorly. What I meant was image posting rules. In your EAA session you can do what you want obviously (no 'Big Brother' peering over your shoulder lol.gif)

 

"CN rules on what is EAA, are purely a forum posting rule, which does not cramp my EAA observing at all. I just don't publish any stacked color results here"

 

by stacked color results I assume you mean the multiple filter narrowband results?

 

On that I would agree wholeheartedly.

 

However, it has been ruled by moderators that any and all filter wheel results are fair game and are within EAA image posting rules. The only caviat is that in some sense the person needs to see the image as it is being built.

 

So the issue is now moot.

 

Thanks for weighing in

 

Bob

Congratulations, you win!  I will never post any images using multiple filters here again.  Have a nice day.  



#69 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:06 AM

Congratulations, you win!  I will never post any images using multiple filters here again.  Have a nice day.  

Seriously, what is wrong with you? My proposal was turned down, YOU won and I look like a jerk to many here after asking for feedback on the issue.

 

You really need to take a chill pill. You came out on top, and I am sure acquired more admirers of you very fine work (sincerely)

 

Bob


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#70 jimhoward999

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:10 AM

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I think the use of a filter wheel has the potential to be more "observational" than a one-shot color camera....at least for dim objects with interesting color features like Nebulae. 

 

I don't have a filter wheel or a mono camera, but I am considering it....if I can figure out how to engineer it for real time imaging.  .

 

You get a tremendous sensitivity advantage with a mono camera when compared to one-shot color.  That should translate to less total exposure time.  And anything that reduces exposure time is good for EAA.

 

It should be possible to collect three stacks from three filters, and merge them, and present the results on a screen in near real time and in less time than a single stack collected by a one shot color camera (with the same SNR).    The question is, will the software do that?    It may, and it should, but I don't know if it does.  And if it doesn't now, I bet it will in the future.


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#71 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:19 AM

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I think the use of a filter wheel has the potential to be more "observational" than a one-shot color camera....at least for dim objects with interesting color features like Nebulae. 

 

I don't have a filter wheel or a mono camera, but I am considering it....if I can figure out how to engineer it for real time imaging.  .

 

You get a tremendous sensitivity advantage with a mono camera when compared to one-shot color.  That should translate to less total exposure time.  And anything that reduces exposure time is good for EAA.

 

It should be possible to collect three stacks from three filters, and merge them, and present the results on a screen in near real time and in less time than a single stack collected by a one shot color camera (with the same SNR).    The question is, will the software do that?    It may, and it should, but I don't know if it does.  And if it doesn't now, I bet it will in the future.

 

Interesting viewpoint. The observational aspect was about focussing on the experience rather than data collection, not that one can see (observe) more.

 

doesn't sound like it can be easily adapted for real time unless you implement Jocular. I'm sure steveincolo and Martin Meredith can point the way.

 

If you look a couple posts above, the topic is taken a turn for the worse, so I am all for letting this dead horse expire naturally. I had no idea it would solicit such a response, and I am truly sorry for even bringing it up. confused1.gif

 

Bob


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#72 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:24 AM

I am glad you brought it up Bob. Don't let one fly ruin the good pot of soup... (just don't eat the fly)lol.gif

 

Another note regarding filterwheels...

 

I usually guide my EAA stacks. The guiding continues during the Filter Change, so when combining color frames, I don't need to align the frames as they are already aligned


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#73 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:31 AM

I am glad you brought it up Bob. Don't let one fly ruin the good pot of soup... (just don't eat the fly)lol.gif

 

Another note regarding filterwheels...

 

I usually guide my EAA stacks. The guiding continues during the Filter Change, so when combining color frames, I don't need to align the frames as they are already aligned

sounds like a sweet setup. congrats.

 

the trouble with the fly is that he is a very influential FLY (with caps) and is considered a leader in the EAA space here on CN. Don't want to ruffle the wings of that FLY. See the dilemma?

 

Bob


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#74 Tfer

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:37 AM

Using filter wheels doesn’t bother me at all.

 

I don’t personally want to add the complication to my system, but viewing and combining different wavelengths of light is the same to me as using a mono vs a OSC camera. 
 

Here’s a perspective you might not have thought of: are Hubble or JWST astrophotography platforms, or are they EAA platforms?  I could easily argue that they are either.  But the use of multiple filters to create an image gives them far more scientific ability, which is how is see Steve’s setup: he’s not blurring the lines of EAA and AP, but the lines between EAA and actual science. 


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#75 Bob Campbell

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Posted 23 September 2023 - 10:51 AM

Using filter wheels doesn’t bother me at all.

 

I don’t personally want to add the complication to my system, but viewing and combining different wavelengths of light is the same to me as using a mono vs a OSC camera. 
 

Here’s a perspective you might not have thought of: are Hubble or JWST astrophotography platforms, or are they EAA platforms?  I could easily argue that they are either.  But the use of multiple filters to create an image gives them far more scientific ability, which is how is see Steve’s setup: he’s not blurring the lines of EAA and AP, but the lines between EAA and actual science. 

they are research telescopes. Raw imagery from each are available for download. Those images first are very narrow FOV, and collect data that is useful to astrophysicists and cosmologists. Photometry, Spectrometry, other specialized diagnostics.

 

The images generally look terrible.

 

Both scopes have departments that focus on taking the narrow FOV images, combine them colorate them and put them out as PR releases to the public to get the gee-wiz effect.

 

All you have to do is look up research papers and see the kind of graphics they include as figures. Ugly and boring to those who don't know what they mean. 

 

Its a bit like assuming oceanography is swimming with the fish and getting in the water. Sure, there are some sweet gigs like that but the majority is drudge work.

 

I would say those scopes are neither EAA or AP.

 

Bob


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