Wednesday, June 6, 2007

More videos

Now let's take a look at a couple of Saturn videos. The first was taken with the DMK21AF04 in my Celestron C8 using a 2X barlow.

And here's a video taken right after the above but using my Philips SPC900NC color webcam. I'm not sure what's causing the poor signal quality.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A couple of videos

I thought it would be interesting for anyone who hasn't yet tried lunar/planetary imaging to see what the raw video looks like coming out of a DMK21AF04 camera. You can get an idea of how much things move and shimmer around. The first video is the area of the moon around Tycho and Clavius. This video was taken in my Celestron C8 at the native focal length of 2032mm @ f/10. Things look pretty steady at this focal length:

Now let's crank up the magnification by adding a 2X barlow with a 2" extension between the barlow and the camera to increase the overall magnification to about 3X. At around 6000mm focal length, things start moving around much more and the tiniest little bump of the tripod or scope shakes the image pretty badly for 2-3 seconds. Also, the image becomes darker, requiring longer exposures and some extra gain:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Another Saturn

This is from last week and it's a slightly better image of Saturn than my first attempt. I was using the DMK21AF04 along with my 2X Siebert barlow in the C8. Saturn was getting a little low in the sky at the time, but the great transparency helped me get a little more detail:

Then I swapped out the DMK for my Philips SPC900NC webcam and tried to get a color image. The images I get from the SPC900NC always seem to have some banding that I haven't quite figured out yet. I removed most of it in Photoshop using Noel Carboni's Astronomy Tools plugin "Vertical Banding Noise Reduction."

Then I tried to manually add the DMK image above as a luminance layer to the color image. This was difficult since the two images did not line up and I could not get ImagesPlus to align them using the auto planet align function. A slight improvement, maybe??

That's probably it for Saturn attempts this year. Next on the list will be Jupiter, then maybe Mars.