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Hoping to shoot Mars tonight!


Adam Y
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Hi all - hoping for a break in the clouds tonight to try to get a shot of Mars.  I was lined up nicely on Monday but the camera wouldn't connect (long story short, its a known issue with that camera in FireCapture, and a complete uninstall/reinstall fixed it.  I took a snapshot of the differences in settings, and will pay more attention this time as I change things to see what might be the buggy one.  I digress.)

 

I hope that I can get my mount tracking as well as it did the other night!

 

I am also hoping to get a bit of feedback on my plans - since it is a OSC camera, I plan at minimum to use a IR/UV cut filter.  I also want to use a LP or CLS filter since I have a streetlight at the front of my house.  Also thinking about a light Red filter just to boost the image a bit.  Thinking at most a 4 minute capture.

 

Question - can I stack all these in one go?  And would the order matter?  Unless I can find out differently, I'm thiinking camera > uv/ir > LP or CLS > red > barlow 2x > telescope.  Probably going to wish I had a 3x, but them's the breaks...

 

thanks!

adam

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The clouds are not looking promising, but we'll see!  So I'm clear - does the LP filter already block IR?  I read that an IR-cut filter was necessary for the colour cameras.  I can see where it is desirable to reduce the number of variables.  Thanks Terry!

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Well that was a bust!  Seeing was a generous 1 or 2 out of 5, with massive clouds filling in and moving past, so I went ahead and set up just for the exercise of it, and got a blobby little thing I was able to get some shots of, but nothing worth posting.  I'll keep it as a reminder.

 

As to getting the target on the sensor, that is improving with the addition of a SVBONY illuminated reticle eyepiece.  If I am able to get it lined up there, it generally lands on the sensor.  Remaining problem there is, of course, if it is in focus in the eyepiece, it will be so far out on the camera as to almost not be visible - takes a number of twists on the focus knob to verify that I have it in sight.  And, like putting in a USB drive, I have a 50/50 chance of twisting the knob the right way, and I get it wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME.  🤣

 

I also forgot to put the barlow in, so even the 2-3 minutes of clarity I got was too small to do much with.  I'll remember next time, and maybe I should get a 3x for the smaller targets.  Ditto for an ADC, though the RGB align seems to help some there.

 

Was glad I had the dew shield!

 

So I did get about ~7100 frames and was able to go through the exercises on Autostakkert, registax, and GIMP to make the best of it I could.  I can definitely tell that 'edge' effect I'd read about on Mars is definitely a thing, so that limited a lot of what I could do with sharpening or other enhancements... too much it had a crisp, bright edge around the circumference.  I'll have to read up on that.  Hints welcome here of course, though I do need to stack the odds by getting better conditions in the first place.

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Getting closer - clear night but the seeing was still awful.  I was able to get several 4 minute videos at 60 FPS but alas it still looked like a little t*rd as seen through a pot of vigorously boiling water.  After sending through PIPP > AS3 > Registax > GIMP, it looks "ok" and I can tell it is Mars, but need to keep working on it.

 

Also - this brings up a point.  I probably should do my enhancements on a better screen than my laptop.  I got it looking (I thought) pretty nice, but when I sent it over to look at on my large screen Mac, it all looks a bit psychedelic. 

 

Good news though is I'm getting my process down quicker and spending more time capturing and less time chasing setup!  I also finally got into my pea-brain that when I go from the eyepiece to the camera, I need to twist CLOCKWISE to focus!!  

 

Further Adventures await...

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