Images from Observing Session on 29 June 2018

Hello Folks,

This is my first blog post so apologies if I break any rules!

Several folks made kind comments about my imaging setup at last Friday’s meeting; It’s a Skywatcher 150PL on a HEQ5, I was using a ZWO ASI120MC camera (colour) with an x3 barlow and an atmospheric dispersion corrector (ADC). The filter wheel was just set for a an IR cut filter. The ADC has a pair of prisms and is used to correct the ‘blurring’ caused by the low angle of the planets at the moment – I’m still getting the hang of it.

Seeing and transparency for Jupiter was very good, but Saturn was less good and I only got one decent run before it hid behind a tree…

Mars came up and I spent about an hour on it, my first try of the year. Unfortunately my EQdir lead blew up (literally!) and although the mount was tracking it was drifting a bit and I  had to target manually which was ‘challenging’. The imaging runs when it was low down were awful, especially as it took a while to get the ADC dialled in with my attention more on keeping the red blur on screen! The final image shows next to no detail, but all other images form that evening are pretty low on detail 9although some are a bit better than mine). This is because of a planet-wide dust storm on Mars, hopefully it will die down before opposition in about a month.

The good news is that mount and computer survived the exploding dongle and an off the shelf USB-serial dongle was easy to wire up as a replacement.

Thanks to all RAG members for making me feel welcome, and giving me some really helpful advice and assistance.

<edit, the previews should now link to the full size images – I hope!>


Jupiter and Europa
Jupiter and three moons

11 Responses

    1. I’ve ordered an IR pass filter in the hope of improving images further. I did get a picture comparable to the Japanese one by using a mono camera and filter wheel, then using red (instead of the clear filter) as luminance. Certainly it was much better than the one above.

  1. I’m intrigued by the ADC.
    Have you compared its use with the differential red/blue shift you can do with Registax? So far I have always used that.

    1. Hello Roger,

      I’ve found that when the planets are low there’s enough blurring to affect individual colour channels, especially green. The ADC makes a significant improvement, but i still use align channels (in AS!3 – that in AS!2 wasn’t good enough so I used to use Registax to do it).

    1. Hi Rob,
      Good to see you again too Rob. Yes, that’s the place although the car park often attracts teenagers with loud sound systems. I’ve used the fields further north, but discovered you need to check them for bullocks during the day…

  2. Great pictures Neil, especially after your ‘tribulations’ on the night!

    They look very natural with no hint of over processing.

    It would be useful though if you could add some details with regards to:

    Length and number of avi / movie files and then the number of shots you used from them to stack.

    The software you used for stacking.

    The software and method of sharpening you used for the final images.


  3. Those pictures are excellent – thanks for sharing – shows how good an ADC can be to help. Would not normally categorise the post as RAG meetings as photos not taken at the meeting – categorise as yourself (add your own category) and Astrophotography – solar system (as you have done). I have updated categories now.

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