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May 20th, 2024 - Aristarchus to Pythagoras

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#1 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:01 AM

Just a two panel stitch from the night of May 20th, using the 1100 EdgeHD, the ASI678MC, and the ZWO ADC (as an aside, wow does the SharpCap live solar system stacker make adjusting the ADC on the Moon a breeze). Seeing was mediocre, so this isn't among my sharpest images, but I've left it at full resolution anyway (see the following posts or click on this thumbnail to see the full image on AstroBin), just for the image scale.

 

gallery_346195_16100_73279.jpg

 

 

Some full scale crops to follow.


Edited by Borodog, 22 May 2024 - 10:02 AM.

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#2 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:02 AM

Aristarchus.

 

gallery_346195_16100_345666.jpg


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#3 kasprowy

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:04 AM

One of the best shots of the Moon's surface I ever saw.


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#4 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:05 AM

Mons Rümker.

 

gallery_346195_16100_219299.jpg


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#5 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:06 AM

Pythagoras & friends.

 

gallery_346195_16100_252714.jpg


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#6 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:12 AM

Rimae Galilaei (lower left) and Marius (upper right), with Marius crater, and many cool dorsae (wrinkle ridge) and small "bumps" (which I assume are volcanic in nature but I'm not sure). The sinuous rille near the center is a favorite, but I don't know the name of it.

 

gallery_346195_16100_14556.jpg

 

 

I regret not taking the time to image one more panel to the left (south) of these two in order to capture Reiner Gamma, which would have been visible. But I wanted to get onto capturing the libration video I posted yesterday.

 

Thanks for looking. Any feedback is always welcomed.


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#7 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:17 AM

One of the best shots of the Moon's surface I ever saw.

Thank you very much!


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#8 Physicsman

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:34 AM

Excellent images, Mike.

 

Are these at f10 - the image scale is quite large.

 

And how do you find the 678MC? I'm considering getting a 678MM.


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#9 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:48 AM

Excellent images, Mike.

 

Are these at f10 - the image scale is quite large.

 

And how do you find the 678MC? I'm considering getting a 678MM.

These are around f/10.7.  My optical train runs a bit long with the Crayford focuser and the ADC sandwiched between two rotators. But the chip is small enough that I'm not too worried about the correction in the corners.

 

I love the 678. I'm thinking of upgrading to the 676 to get 50% more pixels, though. I think a 678MM would make a great solar camera. I don't do enough solar imaging to justify the cost at the moment though. I can sell the 678MC after buying the 676 to defray the cost some.


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#10 Physicsman

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 10:55 AM

Good point about the Crayford. I fitted a Baader Crayford (Steelback), but aside from a manual filter wheel (which I rarely use) I'm just using the camera straight-on.

 

I gather the 678's operate at around 45fps at full ROI. It's a much bigger chip than my 174 - are you using full ROI? I'm assuming your seeing must be reasonable - the 174 is around 100fps at full ROI, so 45 seems slow to me. Yet your superb Aristarchus-Pythagoras and close-ups, above, show that it all works beautifully.

 

I'm keen to experiment - in monochrome - with a 678, so very interested in your latest images.


Edited by Physicsman, 22 May 2024 - 10:58 AM.

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#11 scottinash

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 11:10 AM

Excellent image series, Mike!   


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#12 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 11:11 AM

Good point about the Crayford. I fitted a Baader Crayford (Steelback), but aside from a manual filter wheel (which I rarely use) I'm just using the camera straight-on.

 

I gather the 678's operate at around 45fps at full ROI. It's a much bigger chip than my 174 - are you using full ROI? I'm assuming your seeing must be reasonable - the 174 is around 100fps at full ROI, so 45 seems slow to me. Yet your superb Aristarchus-Pythagoras and close-ups, above, show that it all works beautifully.

 

I'm keen to experiment - in monochrome - with a 678, so very interested in your latest images.

Yes, I think spec is around 47 fps, which is what I get. I really am not too bothered about frame rate for lunar imaging. I virtually always shoot full chip, so the limiting factor is write-to-disk speed anyway. My ASI183MC nominally gets 19 fps, but with the overhead of writing 20 MB frames to disk, the effective fps is around 10 fps. So it would take around 10 minutes to capture 6000 frames, which is perfectly fine. It isn't like planetary where you have 3-5 minutes to get a capture in the can because of planetary rotation.


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#13 Physicsman

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 11:19 AM

Yes, I think spec is around 47 fps, which is what I get. I really am not too bothered about frame rate for lunar imaging. I virtually always shoot full chip, so the limiting factor is write-to-disk speed anyway. My ASI183MC nominally gets 19 fps, but with the overhead of writing 20 MB frames to disk, the effective fps is around 10 fps. So it would take around 10 minutes to capture 6000 frames, which is perfectly fine. It isn't like planetary where you have 3-5 minutes to get a capture in the can because of planetary rotation.

 

Good point about the write-to-disk. 

 

As with all things, I think I'll give the 678 mono a shot. What is it with astro-photgraphers - effectively collecting cameras (then again, how many EPs do some people have?)?

 

I'm not planning on moving into colour with lunar, but your latest images are among the very best I've seen on CN.


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#14 scottinash

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 11:37 AM

Rimae Galilaei (lower left) and Marius (upper right), with Marius crater, and many cool dorsae (wrinkle ridge) and small "bumps" (which I assume are volcanic in nature but I'm not sure). The sinuous rille near the center is a favorite, but I don't know the name of it.

 

I regret not taking the time to image one more panel to the left (south) of these two in order to capture Reiner Gamma, which would have been visible. But I wanted to get onto capturing the libration video I posted yesterday.

 

Thanks for looking. Any feedback is always welcomed.

Mike, all of your images shared in this thread have sooo much detail to explore;  I was definitely "blown away" with your Marius Hill's capture.  Indeed, volcanic domes galore!   fyi - http://mariusdomes.blogspot.com


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#15 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 11:59 AM

Good point about the write-to-disk. 

 

As with all things, I think I'll give the 678 mono a shot. What is it with astro-photgraphers - effectively collecting cameras (then again, how many EPs do some people have?)?

 

I'm not planning on moving into colour with lunar, but your latest images are among the very best I've seen on CN.

 

Thanks.

 

I really am going to have to get a 676 I believe. 50% more pixels is a HUGE deal for me in lunar imaging. I still wish there was a 1" format modern camera (low noise, zero amp glow) with 2 micron pixels that could really replace the 183. I really want an 8K format 2 micron pixel camera.

 

 

Mike, all of your images shared in this thread have sooo much detail to explore;  I was definitely "blown away" with your Marius Hill's capture.  Indeed, volcanic domes galore!   fyi - http://mariusdomes.blogspot.com

Thanks again, Scott.

 

Speaking of volcanic, Mons Rümker has to be in the running for most interesting volcanic structure on the Moon. I don't know of anything else like it.


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#16 scottinash

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 12:18 PM

 

 

Thanks again, Scott.

 

Speaking of volcanic, Mons Rümker has to be in the running for most interesting volcanic structure on the Moon. I don't know of anything else like it.

Anytime I see an image of, or visually observe Mons Rümker, it reminds me of the Big Island isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Agree, I'm not aware of anything else quite like it on the lunar surface.


Edited by scottinash, 22 May 2024 - 12:35 PM.

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#17 AstronomyFred

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 01:23 PM

Mike these images are STUNNING !

 

This is not onlygood seeing, but also good workmanship, congratulations.

 

Apart from the Equipment, what is your workflow for these images?

 

I think this is the best earthbound image of the Vallis Schröteri I have seen.

 

Fred


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#18 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 01:52 PM

Anytime I see an image of, or visually observe Mons Rümker, it reminds me of the Big Island isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Agree, I'm not aware of anything else quite like it on the lunar surface.

 

That's it. I'm calling it the Big Island from now on. ;O)

 

 

Mike these images are STUNNING !

 

This is not onlygood seeing, but also good workmanship, congratulations.

 

Apart from the Equipment, what is your workflow for these images?

 

I think this is the best earthbound image of the Vallis Schröteri I have seen.

 

Fred

 

Thank you very kindly, Fred. But seriously, while the seeing was not terrible, but it was also not great. The two stacks were about 35% for Aristarchus and 40% for Pythagoras. When the seeing is good I can stack 80% and still get a sharper result.

 

The work flow was:

 

Capture:

SharpCap 4.1: Polar align mount and slew to Moon using 40mm guide scope and cam. Calibrate Feature Tracking with the main imaging camera (considering doing the Feature Tracking with the guide scope next time around, perhaps using the PHD2 lunar/solar guiding beta). Automatic focus using the Edge Detection/Contrast method. Set the ADC using the solar system live stacker (find a small white feature, turn on the stacker, minimum number of frames, white balance, jack up the saturation, adjust ADC until color fringing is gone). Capture 5000 frames to SER.

 

Stacking:

Autostakkert 4: horizontal & vertical blur (2 pixels), Surface stabilization (obviously), Improved Tracking, Cropped, Automatic, RGB Align, size 200 AP, paved (i.e. minimum brightness = 0), stack the number of frames that Autostakkert chose for the reference frame (although for the Aristarchus panel this was supposed to be 1630 frames and I typoed that to 1730 frames; not a big deal). Stack to FITS format.

 

Processing:

BiggSky beta, GIMP, Astra Image, Affinity Photo, NoiseXTerminator, paint.net: Blind deconvolve the panels in David Biggs' BiggSky beta software, using mostly default settings, except I turned the denoising off and set the luminance weights for the luminance deconvolution to custom values chosen such that all photons captured have equal weights (this minimizes the noise in the resulting "luminance" image). BiggSky also writes 32 bit FITs files. Load the resulting deconned panels into GIMP, crop them (to remove deconvolution artifacts at the panel edges) and write out 16 bit PNGs. Stitch the two panels in Microsoft ICE. Reload into GIMP. Re-crop where the top edge of the two panels did not quite align, rotate 180 degrees, white balance using curves, non-linear stretch the image, again using curves, write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into Astra Image and jack up the vibrance, two rounds, the first at 100, the second at 50 I believe. Write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into Addinity Photo, hit it with NoiseXTerminator at 50,0. Write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into paint.net, save an 8 bit version for AstroBin, select and save several full resolution 1600x1200 crops for CN as JPEGs, resize the full image to 1600 pixel width and save as JPEG for CN.


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#19 dcaponeii

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 02:29 PM

Thanks.

 

I really am going to have to get a 676 I believe. 50% more pixels is a HUGE deal for me in lunar imaging. I still wish there was a 1" format modern camera (low noise, zero amp glow) with 2 micron pixels that could really replace the 183. I really want an 8K format 2 micron pixel camera.

 

 

Thanks again, Scott.

 

Speaking of volcanic, Mons Rümker has to be in the running for most interesting volcanic structure on the Moon. I don't know of anything else like it.The big concern I have regarding the 676 goes back to what you've already commented about namely that the write speed to the disk ends up being the limiting factor.  It's the main reason why I capture only 750 or 1000 frames for each image.  Doing that with the 678 I can delay the onset of write-limited frame rates for about 50 captures before I start needing the buffer ram.  With the 676 that's going to drop by 1/4 the number of captures before the frame rates drop through the floor.   My frame rate drops to under 10 fps when the write-limited effects take place (To be accurate it's not the write speed that's limiting me it is overheating of my SSD drive.) Also with your EQ mount, 10min captures are only a time factor.  On my alt/az mount field rotation starts to degrade the images at 60s with the 678 (would be a little worse with the 676 since the distance to the center from the corner is a bit longer.  I'm probably going to have to stick with the 678.
 

These are some of your best images.  I've been toying with buying the 676 as well but the alt/az mount introduces a serious limitation of about 60s for total capture time.  With that limitation and the full-chip frame rates of 47 fps (I get that also by the way) I can usually do about 50 captures before heating of my SSD drive starts to degrade the write speed, which drops to under 10 fps.  The RAM buffer can take up the slack as long as I wait for it to clear before starting the next capture.  Alas longer captures are not in the cards for me so I'm probably going to have to forgo the 676 even though I really really want one!!

 

I still would like your deconvolution-dominated work flow in detail one of these days.  It's clearly producing better results than wavelet-dominated sharpening that I'm doing.  Also waiting for the blind deconvolution to become available to the huddled masses so I can give that a go too.

 

Keep up the great work.  You continue to set a seriously good benchmark for the rest of us to shoot for.


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#20 Borodog

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 04:53 PM

The big concern I have regarding the 676 goes back to what you've already commented about namely that the write speed to the disk ends up being the limiting factor.  It's the main reason why I capture only 750 or 1000 frames for each image.  Doing that with the 678 I can delay the onset of write-limited frame rates for about 50 captures before I start needing the buffer ram.  With the 676 that's going to drop by 1/4 the number of captures before the frame rates drop through the floor.   My frame rate drops to under 10 fps when the write-limited effects take place (To be accurate it's not the write speed that's limiting me it is overheating of my SSD drive.) Also with your EQ mount, 10min captures are only a time factor.  On my alt/az mount field rotation starts to degrade the images at 60s with the 678 (would be a little worse with the 676 since the distance to the center from the corner is a bit longer.  I'm probably going to have to stick with the 678.

 

These are some of your best images.  I've been toying with buying the 676 as well but the alt/az mount introduces a serious limitation of about 60s for total capture time.  With that limitation and the full-chip frame rates of 47 fps (I get that also by the way) I can usually do about 50 captures before heating of my SSD drive starts to degrade the write speed, which drops to under 10 fps.  The RAM buffer can take up the slack as long as I wait for it to clear before starting the next capture.  Alas longer captures are not in the cards for me so I'm probably going to have to forgo the 676 even though I really really want one!!

 

I still would like your deconvolution-dominated work flow in detail one of these days.  It's clearly producing better results than wavelet-dominated sharpening that I'm doing.  Also waiting for the blind deconvolution to become available to the huddled masses so I can give that a go too.

 

Keep up the great work.  You continue to set a seriously good benchmark for the rest of us to shoot for.

 

I also have the SSD overheating problem with the 2 TB mSATA card I installed. I may have to go back to the 500 GB card, which did not have the same problem. That card has 435 GB available for capture, which I may just have to make do with. :O/ When the new card overheats, the frame rate can literally drop to 1-2 fps.

 

I certainly understand the field rotation limitation. Have you ever considered a motorized rotator?

 

The deconvolution workflow in BiggSky is super easy. I set a few options, select a region to calculate the PSF from, input my custom luminance weights, and go. All of the deconvolution is automated. You can adjust the number of PSF calculation and deconvolution iterations, but I just leave it on Auto. I've talked to David about releasing BiggSky into the wild; I think he could benefit from more beta testers and I don't want to feel like I'm hoarding the magic beans. I think his main concern is releasing half-baked software. The interface is intimidating, and most of it has nothing to do with deconvolution. I literally use like 10% of it. 

 

And thank you very much for the kind words about my images.


Edited by Borodog, 22 May 2024 - 08:07 PM.

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#21 dcaponeii

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 06:06 PM

I also have the SSD overheating problem with the 2 TB mSATA card I installed. I may have to go back to the 500 GB care, which did not have the same problem. That card has 435 GB available for capture, which I may just have to make do with. :O/ When the new card overheats, the frame rate can literally drop to 1-2 fps.

I certainly understand the field rotation limitation. Have you ever considered a motorized rotator?

The deconvolution workflow in BiggSky is super easy. I set a few options, select a region to calculate the PSF from, input my custom luminance weights, and go. All of the deconvolution is automated. You can adjust the number of PSF calculation and deconvolution iterations, but I just leave it on Auto. I've talked to David about releasing BiggSky into the wild; I think he could benefit from more beta testers and I don't want to feel like I'm hoarding the magic beans. I think his main concern is releasing half-baked software. The interface is intimidating, and most of it has nothing to do with deconvolution. I literally use like 10% of it.

And thank you very much for the kind words about my images.


That’s for the reply. Let him know I’m certainly willing to beta test when he’s ready. I think I was more helpful than less helpful in our group helping Cor.

Con has been trying to get me to buy a rotator too but it’s like $700 and that’s essentially two cameras. The Moon tolerates 40% of 750 frame stacks pretty well and WinJuPOS handles field rotation very well for planets. Can’t get myself yet to motorized derotator.
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#22 AstronomyFred

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 10:35 PM

Capture:

SharpCap 4.1: Polar align mount and slew to Moon using 40mm guide scope and cam. Calibrate Feature Tracking with the main imaging camera (considering doing the Feature Tracking with the guide scope next time around, perhaps using the PHD2 lunar/solar guiding beta). Automatic focus using the Edge Detection/Contrast method. Set the ADC using the solar system live stacker (find a small white feature, turn on the stacker, minimum number of frames, white balance, jack up the saturation, adjust ADC until color fringing is gone). Capture 5000 frames to SER.

 

Stacking:

Autostakkert 4: horizontal & vertical blur (2 pixels), Surface stabilization (obviously), Improved Tracking, Cropped, Automatic, RGB Align, size 200 AP, paved (i.e. minimum brightness = 0), stack the number of frames that Autostakkert chose for the reference frame (although for the Aristarchus panel this was supposed to be 1630 frames and I typoed that to 1730 frames; not a big deal). Stack to FITS format.

 

Processing:

BiggSky beta, GIMP, Astra Image, Affinity Photo, NoiseXTerminator, paint.net: Blind deconvolve the panels in David Biggs' BiggSky beta software, using mostly default settings, except I turned the denoising off and set the luminance weights for the luminance deconvolution to custom values chosen such that all photons captured have equal weights (this minimizes the noise in the resulting "luminance" image). BiggSky also writes 32 bit FITs files. Load the resulting deconned panels into GIMP, crop them (to remove deconvolution artifacts at the panel edges) and write out 16 bit PNGs. Stitch the two panels in Microsoft ICE. Reload into GIMP. Re-crop where the top edge of the two panels did not quite align, rotate 180 degrees, white balance using curves, non-linear stretch the image, again using curves, write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into Astra Image and jack up the vibrance, two rounds, the first at 100, the second at 50 I believe. Write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into Addinity Photo, hit it with NoiseXTerminator at 50,0. Write out another 16 bit PNG. Load into paint.net, save an 8 bit version for AstroBin, select and save several full resolution 1600x1200 crops for CN as JPEGs, resize the full image to 1600 pixel width and save as JPEG for CN.

 

Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Several steps are the same as what I usually do, but there are some differences.

I am trying to work through the steps that you have mentioned and have a few parts where I'm stuck;

 

Autostakkert 4: horizontal & vertical blur (2 pixels) Where is this setting? I have looked but can't find it.

BiggSky beta: The software you use for blind deconvolution, where can I find this software?

 

Could you help me with these two questions?

 

Fred



#23 Borodog

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 09:47 AM

Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Several steps are the same as what I usually do, but there are some differences.

I am trying to work through the steps that you have mentioned and have a few parts where I'm stuck;

 

Autostakkert 4: horizontal & vertical blur (2 pixels) Where is this setting? I have looked but can't find it.

BiggSky beta: The software you use for blind deconvolution, where can I find this software?

 

Could you help me with these two questions?

 

Fred

In Autostakkert, Advanced menu > Experimental Features & Parameter Tuning > Horizontal & Vertical Blur. I said I used 2 pixels but I think I actually used 1.5. There will be little if any difference between the two. This is essentially just a noise reduction feature during alignment; the frames are not blurred when stacking.

 

BiggSky is beta software that is written by David Biggs. I'll send you a PM about that.


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#24 AstronomyFred

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 11:10 AM

Thanks a lot Mike,

 

I will have to look that up in the advanced menu and give it a try.

 

Kind regards,

 

Fredrick




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