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Smart Phone mounts vs AP, ?

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#1 JohnTMN

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 12:31 AM

How is it different?

And why are folks fixated with taking smart/cellphone pictures?

Am I so old that looking is a thing of the past, some form of historical use of a telescope that's no longer worthy??

I mean I understand advanced AP, even great shot's from beginners too AP,

But what's with the phone stuff and app's?


Edited by JohnTMN, 14 April 2024 - 12:34 AM.


#2 Phil Cowell

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:59 AM

I think you’re mistaking AP for EAA. Visual isn’t dead yet, there are many due to Light Pollution or preference who prefer Augmented Astronomy.

The eye is a poor nighttime sensor, EAA allows color to be seen in many objects and more detail instead of faint grey smudges on DSO’s. Seems some of us older folks like it too. 
You might want to look at the SeeStar S50. Devices like this are the EAA equivalent of an 8” Dob. Cheap and easy to use.

 

How is it different?

And why are folks fixated with taking smart/cellphone pictures?

Am I so old that looking is a thing of the past, some form of historical use of a telescope that's no longer worthy??

I mean I understand advanced AP, even great shot's from beginners too AP,

But what's with the phone stuff and app's?



#3 sevenofnine

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:21 PM

I enjoy all aspects of astronomy that I've tried. When I'm able, there's nothing quite like scanning the night sky with one of my scopes. However, that can be limited by my local light pollution. In roughly Bortle 4-5 night skies, I can only see so much. EAA and 30 minute exposures taken with a Seestar will automatically download the image to my cell phone. Then I can enhance it a bit (or not) in a computer program. Then it can be shared with family and friends. Especially ones who wonder what the heck you're doing out there in the cold & dark?? wink.gif

 

IMG_2120.JPG .

 


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#4 JohnTMN

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 12:25 AM

I think you’re mistaking AP for EAA.

What is EAA?



#5 JohnTMN

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 12:40 AM

Then it can be shared with family and friends. Especially ones who wonder what the heck you're doing out there in the cold & dark?? wink.gif

My point is, when you share an image like that with family and friends,

They shrug, and entertain your interest, just like when you tell them you saw it in your scope.

Viewing is discovery. Of the sky, an interest, a life of observation.

Clicking little photo's of DSO are mostly mute because of the easily available pics online of those same objects provided by Hubble and James.

Show them thing's you can "see" with your scope,

You don't have to go to a public outreach, to reach out
 



#6 rrpallechio

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 01:21 AM

What is EAA?

EAA is Electronically Assisted Astronomy.  There's a forum for it here on Cloudy Nights: https://www.cloudyni...ost-processing/

 

 

I love doing visual astronomy in my backyard. But after awhile I wonder what that dim fuzzy thing that my chart says is a galaxy would look like if I could could process more photons than my eyes can.

 

My first attempt at EAA was to put an ASI385 camera on my 8" SCT, connecting it to my laptop and using SharpCap or ASIStudio to collect the images. I got some results, but not very good ones. The idea is that you start collecting short exposures of an object and stack the images, while you are collecting them, so the details build over time. I first tried this successfully with M57, The Ring Nebula and was pleasantly surprised that what was a dim fuzzy image in my eyepiece showed up on my laptop as a  ring (duh, the name tells you that) in COLOR!

I was doing EAA (poorly) using an astronomy camera and a laptop. The major difference between EAA and AP is that you use the camera and the laptop (or tablet or phone) as an extension of your eyes. You can save the image, or not. But you aren't using a monochrome camera taking images with multiple filters for hours on end and then spending hours and hours integrating all the data you've collected and post processing it in expensive software.

Now we have Smart Telescopes. I bought the Seestar S50. I use it to watch images build over time so that the detail comes out. Things that were faint fuzzies before turn out to have structure and spiral arms and that kind of thing. And with the Smart Telescope, you can, if you want to, stack multiple images and then post process them in complicated software like Siril or Pixinsight.

I don't post process my images. Not because I don't want to, but because I'm an old guy and learning the software seems like drudgery. It's like people who do AP don't even speak the same language I do. Maybe I'll get bored in retirement and learn to post-process, but right now I'm perfectly happy watching faint fuzzies turn into galaxies on my iPad.

 

You asked, "Am I so old that looking is a thing of the past, some form of historical use of a telescope that's no longer worthy??"  I'm not exactly sure what you mean by worthy. It's a hobby. Do it the way you want to. Some people want to do astronomy the way Galileo did it. Others want to do it the way today's professional astronomers do it (JWST, Hubble, Radio  Telescopes, etc.) There is room for everybody.


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#7 JohnTMN

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 08:50 PM

There is room for everybody.

Thank you, Your right.

But anybody 50yrs old (even 60) or less have been fed in science class throughout school education and with 1,000's of common broadcast documentaries since early childhood images of DSO.

How can images commonly shared with "EAA" possibly spark an interest in our hobby.

I can't count how many people I have shown Andromeda through an eye piece that just walk away. But go just right of the Teapot or up a little, and let them drift and scan,?

EAA of any DSO that needs "processing time", isn't looking, because they miss so much of what can be seen. Why/what need is there to focus on a "target" and use electronics to enhance it?
When those pics are commonly seen?


Edited by JohnTMN, 16 April 2024 - 08:54 PM.


#8 BrentKnight

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 11:39 PM

Thank you, Your right.

But anybody 50yrs old (even 60) or less have been fed in science class throughout school education and with 1,000's of common broadcast documentaries since early childhood images of DSO.

How can images commonly shared with "EAA" possibly spark an interest in our hobby.

I can't count how many people I have shown Andromeda through an eye piece that just walk away. But go just right of the Teapot or up a little, and let them drift and scan,?

EAA of any DSO that needs "processing time", isn't looking, because they miss so much of what can be seen. Why/what need is there to focus on a "target" and use electronics to enhance it?
When those pics are commonly seen?

Why spend time using an eyepiece to observe a target - maybe even take notes or make a sketch - especially when there are so many other observations one can read about...so many observing books with pictures and words and sketches (probably even better than you could possibly do yourself)?

 

If YOU observe an object - regardless of what devices you might have used to make the observation - it's still YOUR observation.


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#9 rrpallechio

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 01:12 AM

Thank you, Your right.

But anybody 50yrs old (even 60) or less have been fed in science class throughout school education and with 1,000's of common broadcast documentaries since early childhood images of DSO.

How can images commonly shared with "EAA" possibly spark an interest in our hobby.

I can't count how many people I have shown Andromeda through an eye piece that just walk away. But go just right of the Teapot or up a little, and let them drift and scan,?

EAA of any DSO that needs "processing time", isn't looking, because they miss so much of what can be seen. Why/what need is there to focus on a "target" and use electronics to enhance it?
When those pics are commonly seen?

I showed one of my friends an image I took of the Orion Nebula with my Seestar. His reaction was, "I've seen pictures of the Orion Nebula before. But I've never seen on taken by someone I know." He was impressed.

 

I showed my wife the Orion Nebula in my 8" SCT. Then showed her what the Seestar saw in just a couple of minutes. She was impressed.

Check out the Seestar Owners group on Facebook. There are a lot of Seestar owners over there who have never owned a telescope. Many of them are very enthusiastic. For many people, me included, there is a big difference between seeing images of DSOs on a web page vs pointing your telescope at that DSO and getting an image.
 


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#10 JohnTMN

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 01:21 AM

Why spend time using an eyepiece,

 

 

with a chuckle, your are exactly right,, why?

It's only because I can, with an eyepiece.

I don't need electronics to do it for me.

And neither did Messier`, 

and there is still today, some kind of scale or challenge we are supposed to meet,,(?)


Edited by JohnTMN, 17 April 2024 - 01:24 AM.


#11 JohnTMN

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 01:29 AM

He was impressed.
Did he ever come back to look again?

Be honest. Not with me, but yourself,,
 



#12 12BH7

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 09:27 AM

Astronomy is like the desert. You either get it or you don't.

 

When I'm either at my scope or walking around the desert I prefer to focus my senses on my surroundings. 



#13 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 09:45 AM

While astronomy (especially visual astronomy) is kind of a zen, loner experience, I often wish I could share the view with friends/family. 

 

While I have a dedicated ZWO camera, if I'm just taking a quick look at the Moon, etc. In lieu of having to hook up my camera gear, I'll snap a quick pic and share it. A lot of my friends and family have no scope and seem to appreciate me sharing the view.

 

Like the other night I was out for maybe 15 minutes to see the waxing crescent Moon before it set below the horizon, so I just snapped this with my smartphone camera. Quite a few then took the time over the next few nights to look at it. 

 

Why? Because I can. But I also can do either EAA and AP too...

 

Moon.jpg



#14 Diana N

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 11:56 AM

How is it different?

And why are folks fixated with taking smart/cellphone pictures?

I think they do that in order to share their experience with friends.  It's not the photo that's important so much as it is the sharing of it.  (At least that seems to be the theme I hear at outreach - "I want to show this to my friends!")

 

They enjoy the visual view through my telescope.  They enjoy it so much they want their friends who didn't come to the outreach event to see it, too!

 

We are at core social primates.


Edited by Diana N, 17 April 2024 - 12:30 PM.

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#15 oakzaa

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 02:39 PM

Clicking little photo's of DSO are mostly mute because of the easily available pics online of those same objects provided by Hubble and James.

to be honest thats what I felt the first time I was thinking about astrophotography! Prefer to just see it with my own eyes(albeit through the aid of a telescope), since all the pretty pictures can be found online already. 
Although sometimes I do wish I can snap photos of what I see in my eyepiece easier, so I can share it with others what I see through my eyepiece, but as you said they probably just listen to me out of respect and are mostly uninterested. 



#16 BrentKnight

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 03:24 PM

with a chuckle, your are exactly right,, why?

It's only because I can, with an eyepiece.

I don't need electronics to do it for me.

And neither did Messier`, 

and there is still today, some kind of scale or challenge we are supposed to meet,,(?)

You lump a whole lotta assumptions about motivations into those two lines...  Not everyone who uses a camera needs electronics to do [the observing] for them.  My camera allows me to see things that I otherwise would not see - not even if I looked for it all day/every day on the Internet.

 

Before I started doing EAA about 3 years ago, I was happy when I could locate and then detect the tiny, faint targets I was after with my 14" Dob.  Now I use my rig to pick out details that allow me to see the distinct personalities in all those formerly faint, fuzzy spots. 

 

I usually save the final image, but it's the observations that I make while collecting the photons that I'm really after...


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#17 Phil Cowell

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 06:44 PM

How Light Polluted were Messier's skies? Be honest with yourself.

Want a challenge, try getting a good image of the X-37B.

 

with a chuckle, your are exactly right,, why?

It's only because I can, with an eyepiece.

I don't need electronics to do it for me.

And neither did Messier`, 

and there is still today, some kind of scale or challenge we are supposed to meet,,(?)


Edited by Phil Cowell, 17 April 2024 - 06:48 PM.


#18 rrpallechio

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 02:05 AM

 

He was impressed.
Did he ever come back to look again?

Be honest. Not with me, but yourself,,
 

 

He does. I see him at church on Sunday and he likes looking at the images. I volunteer at the Senior Center where I used to work and people will gather around to see the pictures. The Orion Nebula and the Horse Head nebula are favorites.




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