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Messages - oldfrankland

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TAC Imaging / Some lunar and a Saturn shot, 5 July
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:18:12 AM »
Took the spectroscope off the telescope to cruise the moon with scope and camera.  Seeing was better than average for Livermore, and was treated to moments of relatively steady air.  Along with a few standard lunar show pieces, was able to image some pretty decent, though, somewhat soft views of Saturn, red channel mono.  All the images were shot with a C9 and ZWO ASI120MM with >6000A red filter.  Lunar stuff was shot at f/10, Saturn at f/20.  I'm really getting to like the utility of the 120MM camera.  With the extremely small pixels, relatively high resolution imaging can be done at both prime focus and with 2x Barlow.  Using FireCapture imaging software provides a variety of options for both frame rate and image format.  Particularly amazing considering the low cost of the camera and FireCapture free to download on the internet.  Lunar/planetary imaging rocks!

TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging question
« on: June 06, 2017, 12:00:11 PM »
Routinely I use the AP button, then place additional points to areas that the AP routine ignored.  Also, using the smallest point frames is not always the best approach, even with some planetary AVIs.  Lots of trial and error, but since it is post processing, you can do that at your leisure.

TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging question
« on: June 04, 2017, 11:20:22 AM »
A lot also depends on image scale.  Working at prime focus is far easier than adjusting exposure when using a 2x or 3x Barlow.  So much to try and learn.

TAC Imaging / Animated GIF of Io - Europa transit of Jupiter
« on: May 27, 2017, 03:35:36 PM »

TAC Imaging / Europa and Io transit, 25 May
« on: May 27, 2017, 11:48:57 AM »
Followed the transit of Europa and Io early evening, 25 May.  Seeing was only fair, but with moments of smoother air.  I watched the transit while imaging it figuring I would get a few usable AVIs.  Results were most surprising. Reduced image scale and the magic of AutoStakkert produced a fascinating series of images documenting the transit.  Unfortunately, clouds moved in before Io's shadow reached Jupiter's western limb.  Rewarding all the same.  3000 frame AVIs processed with AutoStakkert and RegiStax wavelets.  Planetary imaging rocks!

TAC Imaging / Jupiter occulting Ganymede, small animation
« on: May 24, 2017, 01:19:38 PM »
Here's a small animation of Jupiter occulting Ganymede.  Seeing was only fair last night, thus the smaller image scale.  Surprisingly, some structure is visible on Ganymede, even at this image scale.  Planetary imaging rocks!

TAC Imaging / Re: Jupiter stereo pair
« on: May 24, 2017, 09:30:50 AM »
Way Cool bringing the two images together with my eyes.  What telescope setup did you use for these images?

Thanks.  These are shot with a C925 with 3x Barlow, on a G11 mount.  I have the system setup with a powered Moonlite focuser.

TAC Imaging / Jupiter stereo pair
« on: May 23, 2017, 06:33:02 PM »
Shots of Jupiter from Sunday night, 21 May.  High clouds interfered with most of the AVIs, but a few worked up very nicely.  Two, recorded 8 minutes apart create an excellent 'cross-eyed' stereo pair.  Despite relative low altitude and suburban seeing conditions, Jupiter has been fascinating.

TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging question
« on: May 23, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
Hi All,

I picked up an ASI130MM camera recently to use for the eclipse in August.  I figured I might as well practice on the moon also.  My question regards exposure time vs. gain and how to avoid washing out the brightest features.  I got this shot that turned out ok, but Copernicus and Aristarchus are over exposed and the other images I have during the same session that aren't just don't have the same detail (I know it could be seeing). 

I'm using a C8 (note to self, get a Crayford focuser), AutoStakkert for Stacking, and Registax 6 for wavelet processing.

Any suggestions are very welcome.



Dave, I'm using a ZWO 120MM and Imaging Source DMK21 and DMK41 monochrome cameras.  I typically keep gain to a minimum, increase contrast a little with camera gamma, the rest is adjusting shutter speed using histogram and judging live view on the monitor.  There really are no 'silver bullet' exposure combinations.  As in all areas of astrophotography, the more you do, the more you refine and improve your imaging techniques.

This image is shot with the ZWO 120MM with zero gain.  The other side of the coin, as you no doubt noticed, is the post processing.  You look to be off to a really good start, but I might point out that capturing the solar corona during the eclipse may require a different approach.  Shoot lots and learn all you can about your camera and scope combination.

TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging with ZWO ASI120MM camera
« on: November 19, 2016, 04:12:41 PM »
It would be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of the 120MM and DMK images taken at (nearly) the same time on the same object.

How much processing do you do on the 120MM images?

Definitely nice pictures there.


Hi Jeff, thanks for the thumb up on my lunar stuff.  Each of the cameras have different size detectors so side by side comparison would be kind'a apples and oranges.  All the AVIs (2000 to 3000 frames) are processed with AutoStakkert2, typically for the best 200-250 frames, then sharpened in RegiStax5 using wavelets, finally, some adjustments of brightness, contrast, etc., in Photo Shop Elements.  Pretty straight forward.  Good seeing conditions are really the trick, and I've been fortunate of late.

TAC Imaging / Lunar imaging with ZWO ASI120MM camera
« on: October 31, 2016, 02:51:20 PM »
Recently picked up a 120MM camera for solar imaging, but first opportunity to use it was on the pretty hung up on the results.....still haven't done any solar imaging.  The 1/3 inch CMOS detector seems to perform as well as my DMK CCD cameras.  The image scale at prime focus with my C925 seems a very good match.  In recent weeks we've had some good to very good seeing conditions in Livermore.  For $260, from OPT, the 120MM is a my humble opinion.  You can see more than you are probably interested in at my 2016 lunar imaging web page at:

Starry Nights!
Jim Ferreira

TAC Imaging / Sunspot and Photospheric Granulation
« on: July 03, 2015, 08:16:52 PM »
Shot from my Livermore backyard with C9 @ f/20 and Baader full aperture solar film, DMK21AU618 USB video camera.

TAC Imaging / Jupiter - Saturn Spectroscopy
« on: July 02, 2015, 10:05:10 PM »
Methane absorption bands in Jupiter and Saturn spectra.  C9 @ f/6.3 and Alpy 600 spectrograph.

Io Sodium cloud spectroscopy.

TAC Imaging / Saturn, monochrome
« on: July 02, 2015, 09:59:58 PM »
My best effort so far this year.  C9 @ f/20, DMK21AU618, UV/IR filter, Livermore backyard.

TAC Imaging / Spectroscopy of Nova Sgr2
« on: June 21, 2015, 08:45:50 AM »
Here's an interesting comparison of Nova Sgr2 spectra from April 04 and June 20.  In April, the nova's expanding shell was still Fe rich, but my June 20 spectra shows the nova has entered the nebular phase with many forbidden lines of Fe, N and O.  Sadly, the seeing was quite poor causing the plotted spectral lines to be broader than they actually are.......we do what we can.  The nova has also began to fade more quickly and is presently at ~8.2 magnitude.  Would have liked to have followed the nova's development more closely, but its low altitude made many attempts to record spectra less than productive.

04 April

20 June

Spectroscopy rocks!

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