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My first "proper" astro image - Jupiter


Adam Y
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First off, I can see why all of the tutorials are geared towards Jupiter... I was originally going to do the Sun or Moon, but apparently I haven't thought those through well enough.  I guess it is too magnified so moves across the frame too quickly, even with tracking.  And the Firecapture cutout following tool doesn’t seem to work unless you have the whole planet/object in frame?  Anyway, more reading to be done there...

 

Anyway - I also should take the opportunity to express that this is a LOT harder than it looks just from reading and watching tutorials.  😃 Hats off to you ladies and gents who make this look so easy.   It is also apparently next to impossible to find the object on the screen, no matter how carefully it is aligned and centred in the eyepiece!  If there is a trick, please let me know!

 

Imaging train is a Skyris 132C > IR/UV cut filter > 2x Barlow > Celestron nexstar 8SE.  I used Firecapture to capture 90 seconds worth, which ended up giving me about ~4500 frames.  Gain was around 110 and exposure time about 4ms.  I used the "cutout" feature with object tracking, which is fantastic!!   I aimed for a 70% histogram.  I took 25 dark frames, but couldn't be bothered to get the flat frames.  Probably would have been better if I did,  but I was freezing.  Seeing was average at best, but that is being generous.  It was starting to frost up a little and wispy clouds were moving around.   Saved as .SER

 

Then into Autostakkert!3  and I kept 10% and 25% for the TIF.  Believe the 25% one was marginally better, so took it over to Registax 6 and aligned  and balanced the RGB and played with the wavelets to my liking - best effort without it looking too "processed".    Right away I can see that I have some sort of schmutz on one of the lenses in the train - need to hunt that down.  Also doing the flat frames and bias frames would likely have helped tune out just that last little bit of noise.   Projects for next time!!  

 

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with this first attempt.  Thanks to many/all of you who have provided advice along the way (even if you didn't know it!)

 

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cheers,

adam

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Adam, that is an excellent first attempt. Personally I wouldn't bother with flats and bias. The only time I used any calibration frames for planetary imaging is when I recently tried Methane (CH4) band on Jupiter, where darks are desirable do to potential for hot pixels showing.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing more.

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Thank you Geof.  I am pleased for a first attempt, and I think I've discovered a few ways I can make my workflow more efficient next time.  The only bothersome thing to me at the moment is if I zoom in enough, I can still make out the grid pattern of the sensor.  Is that just a function of the type of camera I am using, or my settings?  Is there something I could do/could have done to remove or limit those?  Other than that, I am happy!

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