First ever picture - Saturn

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The Bat
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First ever picture - Saturn

Post by The Bat »

OK, it's fuzzy, I don't know what all the buttons are for in IC capture, I am not sure what I am doing in Registax... but I took it and I am proud of it! And it's recognisably Saturn, which is a bonus!

Image

As a first attempt I am not unhappy. Plenty of scope for improvement though (excuse the pun). Think I might have another play with Registax with this one to see if I can eke it out a bit more.

Seeing was ropy, with frequent disturbance by aircraft in the vicinity. That, combined with my complete inexperience has led to a less than glorious image. Just waiting for a break in the clouds to have another go.

Rachel
Last edited by The Bat on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Celestron C8-S XLT
CG5 mount, dual axis motor driven
Imaging Source DFK21AF04.AS camera
North Essex Astronomical Society
GeorgeC
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Post by GeorgeC »

Nice image! I have tried Saturn a few times and never produced anything other than a blob.
10" homemade Newtonian, ASA DDM60 mount, QSI 683 camera, MPCC coma reducer, Carey Mask for focusing
Website - http://geoastro.co.uk/
goodtime
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Post by goodtime »

Rachel, that's pretty good for your first attempt, I can see some banding on the planet and it looks like you also have captured Titan... not bad...

Everyone has to go though this learning experience and you're doing fine, I look forward to seeing more...
Last edited by goodtime on Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew
Eyes, binoculars, CubePro, AT72ED, EOS 20Da, DSI II Pro,

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
jb1970
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Post by jb1970 »

That's a very good first attempt. My first attempt was a yellow coloured blob and my last attempt not a whole lot better!

All the best
Jack
250px dob
127mm mak
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ollypenrice
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Post by ollypenrice »

Rightly proud! It's very good. I'm not an IT buff and all those buttons mistify me as well. I would just suggest that you join as many forums as you can and drink up the information. But when you think that those rings are only metres thick, and you've imaged them from here, you realize that your picture is pretty darned good.
I think Damian Peach does a guide to webcam imaging. You could try his site for starters.
Olly.
Run Les Granges astronomy holidays in Southern France. Offer Apo refractors of 127, 100 and 66mm, SCT of 10 inches and Dobsonian of 20 inches. NEW Takahashi FSQ85 as well. Offer CCD tuition and 'intro to astro courses' but used to teach English Lit.
Geoff Knight
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Post by Geoff Knight »

Rachel

That is an excellent first effort. These things take time so keep at it.

Thats a very good camera you have there. Are you using a filter with it?


Geoff
Brian
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Post by Brian »

Hi Rachel.

Theres a lot in that image. . Anyway, (hope you don't mind), I had aplay with your image in Registax v5 and PaintshopPro v8:

Image

"T" is just below Titan

I think you need to be stacking many more frames in Registax initially, that will improve your signal to noise in the image dramatically. Look forward to seeing your next images 8)

ATB,
Brian
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Wellingborough UK.

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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Rachel
Excellent stuff !
Best of luck from Cliff
The Bat
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Post by The Bat »

Thanks for all the positive comments. I feel extremely chuffed! :D

Yes, I did realise Titan was in the frame (admittedly, more by accident than judgement!). Almost requires some averted vision to see it! I even tried to point it out to my daughter when I was processing, but she couldn't see what I was getting at (she is only 5, bless - start them early).

Geoff - the only filter used for this is the IR filter that is fitted to the camera as standard. Apart from a nebula filter, I don't actually own any filters - would you recommend one for this (it's a colour camera)?

Brian - yes, I do need more images in the stack, but this is where my inexperience with Registax comes in. The AVI was about 3 mins in total at 9fps, but the back end of the AVI is pretty grim thanks to aircraft passing by which made the whole thing go completely out of focus. I haven't worked out how to exclude the worst parts from the stack (or I am not confident that this has happened). The final image of a few hundred stacked frames seemed worse than the above, which is actually the reference image formed by stacking a few tens of the best frames. I think I need to sit down with Registax again and have another bash.

Anyway, thanks for looking and all your comments.

Rachel
Celestron C8-S XLT
CG5 mount, dual axis motor driven
Imaging Source DFK21AF04.AS camera
North Essex Astronomical Society
Geoff Knight
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Post by Geoff Knight »

Rachel

If one came with the camera, you don't need another IR Filter.

I would echo the comment about the number of frames. Are you using Registax 5 as the newest release is the best so far.

Was your image done using a Barlow lens?

Judging by your image you have obviously paid attention to collimating your scope as this does make a difference. The aforementioned Mr Peach will certainly spend time on it to get the 'sweet spot'

I wish my first image of Saturm had been that good.

The only way is up. I look forward to seeing some more.


Geoff


Geoff
The Bat
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Post by The Bat »

Sorry, in my excitement I completely neglected to annotate my picture in any way.
This picture was taken on 20 March at 22:00 UT. I used a 2x Barlow. Stacking... well, I am not entirely sure what went on. I used Registax 4 because I wasn't sure what the situation was with Registax 5 (something about it expiring on 30 March), but I have looked this morning and I see it is now a final release, so I will download that.

As for collimation, I have seen what poor collimation can do. I have had my scope just under a year, and to begin with, anything I saw looked stunning to someone who had never looked through a scope before. It took about 6 weeks to realise that I could never quite focus on Saturn no matter what the seeing conditions and in the end I took it back to the shop for an opinion. They collimated it for me and the difference was astounding. It was like turning on a lightbulb. Suddenly there were surface bands and the Cassini division. It's been remarkably stable ever since and I haven't yet had to readjust it.

Have just been looking at Damian Peach's website. Now there's something to aspire to!

Looking forward to another go, but frustratingly cloudy/windy right now. In the meantime, I might have another go with this image over the weekend.

Rachel
Celestron C8-S XLT
CG5 mount, dual axis motor driven
Imaging Source DFK21AF04.AS camera
North Essex Astronomical Society
GeorgeC
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Post by GeorgeC »

The Bat wrote: I haven't worked out how to exclude the worst parts from the stack
In Registax 4 there is a long slider bar across the bottom of the screen. You can drag that to the left to get rid of more dodgy frames. There is also a control above the image pane that says 'Lowest quality'. Bump that up to about 85% or more and Registax will exclude more images.
10" homemade Newtonian, ASA DDM60 mount, QSI 683 camera, MPCC coma reducer, Carey Mask for focusing
Website - http://geoastro.co.uk/
The Bat
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:36 pm
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Post by The Bat »

Right, I have had another go with Registax - thanks, GeorgeC, for the tips. I hadn't appreciated the significance of the scroll bar (which I had played with before clicking Limit - thought it was just a scroll bar!) and the Lowest Quality button (which was set at 80%).

Have now managed to produce the following from around 650 frames from the same AVI. :o

Image

Any further comments welcome.

Rachel
Celestron C8-S XLT
CG5 mount, dual axis motor driven
Imaging Source DFK21AF04.AS camera
North Essex Astronomical Society
Geoff Knight
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Post by Geoff Knight »

Rachel

I would think that you still need more frames than 650.

Not a bad effort with the rings showing prominently and disk detail discernible but might need more processing.

I wouldn't mind having a go at your AVI myself.


Geoff
goodtime
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Post by goodtime »

I have never used Registax, avi's or tried to capture the planets (other than a single shot), so I think your image is really good, the rings are nice and sharp as is Titan and the bands stand out better.

It looks as though there's a ghost image behind the planet, is there anyway to eliminate it in Registax? Possibly there are a few frames where the scope was bumped? Maybe a Registax expert could suggest a treatment? But even so it's an excellent image...
Andrew
Eyes, binoculars, CubePro, AT72ED, EOS 20Da, DSI II Pro,

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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