# Astrophotography photos

by Phobos
Tags: astrophotography, photos
 P: 275 That's pretty awesome russ. I've been waiting for clear skies here for a while, but looks like this morning should be good. I'll try to get one of Saturn. I'm not very good with registax. Do you have any tips, Russ?
Mentor
P: 22,007
 Quote by check That's pretty awesome russ. I've been waiting for clear skies here for a while, but looks like this morning should be good. I'll try to get one of Saturn. I'm not very good with registax. Do you have any tips, Russ?
Well, when you say you're not very good, what do you mean? Anyway, I'll tell you what I know:

The webcam setup is key: the gain should be all the way down if possible - having it up at all just adds noise. The shutter speed should be as fast as possible while still being able to see the image. That'll leave you with a very, very dim image. That's fine - fast shutter speed means less atmospheric distortion and stacking the images makes them brighter (essentially, stacking increases signal to noise ratio, ie contrast). Also, if the image is too bright, you'll end up washing out all the details. Attached is a still from that Saturn video. Its unedited - just cropped. The video is uncompressed avi at 4 fps (I made the mistake of trying 15 fps with a .2s shutter speed ). With the wavelet processing, the first 4 layers are what I generally use, in a bell curve (most of the detail is in the 2nd and 3rd layer). Don't overprocess (you'll know).

Last night, I tried Jupiter - I stayed up until 4:00 to get it. Attached is all I could do with stacking/processing. The Jupiter and Saturn pics are both of the same magnification (about 230x). Jupiter was shot at about 13 degrees above the horizon, Saturn about 70 (I took some more shots last night with similar results). Obviously, its utterly useless to try to image something so close to the horizon (I'm working on an atmospheric model in Excel to calculate just how much atmosphere you look through at various angles). I may try Jupiter again next week when it is eclipsed by the moon - it'll be a little higher then.

I know its obvious, but focus is critical and can be tough, especially if the atmosphere is bad or the image is dark. Up the brightness temporarily (but don't wash out the pic) to get it bright enough to focus or focus on a brighter (or higher, where the atmosphere is more stable) object.

I haven't had any luck with Saturn in a Barlow lens - my telescope doesn't pull in enough light to make it bright enough to image. Maybe Jupiter when it gets higher/closer. I'm not too worried about that though, because with a 2x barlow lens, I'll get about 460x magnification (calculated from the image size on the computer screen), which is above the theoretical max of my scope anyway (about 350x).

I have yet to have any success at all imaging deep-sky objects. The magnification at prime focus is far too high and I'm not having much success getting my focal reducer to work (it doesn't fit the telescope and I'm trying to adapt it).
Attached Thumbnails

 P: 275 Thanks russ. I just meant I could never get really good results with registax, but now I think it's because I had the shutter too slow so the image was too bright to work with before stacking. I'll try it out tonight with a faster shutter.
 PF Gold P: 717 Here is a picture that my girlfriend, Anne, and I took of the planet Venus as it made a rare transit across the face of the Sun on June 8, 2004. The other photo is of me on the beach at Assateague Island in Virgina while shooting some video of the transit. The telescope we used for this was a Meade ETX-70, and a hand-held Sony Cybershot digital camera.
P: 275
 Quote by Aether Here is a picture that my girlfriend, Anne, and I took of the planet Venus as it made a rare transit across the face of the Sun on June 8, 2004. The other photo is of me on the beach at Assateague Island in Virgina while shooting some video of the transit. The telescope we used for this was a Meade ETX-70, and a hand-held Sony Cybershot digital camera.
Looks good! Much better than the pics of teh transit that I churned out. lol
PF Gold
P: 717
 Quote by check Looks good! Much better than the pics of teh transit that I churned out. lol
Thanks check. I'm glad to hear that you got a chance to see it for yourself!

Here is a link to a page with the original photo which is about 3MB in size:

 Sci Advisor P: 734 I like solar eclipses, total and annular:
 PF Gold P: 717 Nice pics Labguy! Where did you have to go to see those events?
P: 734
 Quote by Aether Nice pics Labguy! Where did you have to go to see those events?
The first two are from the "Great Eclipse" of 07/11/1991. For this one, I had to go to lower Baja, Mexico (Cabo San Lucas) to be near the center path of totality. totality was 6 minutes 19 seconds where I was. I think it is about another 130 years or so for one that long.

The second shot of the annular was on 05/10/1994 and the central path was dead-on at 13 miles north of El Paso, Texas. I was going to Phoenix that day anyway so I stopped there and took about 25 photos through a standard ND-5 inconel solar filter.

Two more below from 7/11/91 total. One shows the diamond ring before it split into a double, and the other shows the Chromosphere around almost 360*.
 Sci Advisor P: 734 Actually, the 50K limit on the photos doesn't post-up big enough to actually get a good idea of what the photo looks like. For those eclipse shots of mine above, larger versions are at: http://web.tampabay.rr.com/smilner/sherrod1/corona.htm http://web.tampabay.rr.com/smilner/sherrod1/dbldia.htm http://web.tampabay.rr.com/smilner/sherrod1/dbldia2.htm http://web.tampabay.rr.com/smilner/sherrod1/annular.htm
 P: 7 I recently got the Orion steady-pix for my birthday and I'm have an extremely difficult time trying to use it. I have done afocal photography in the past with out and my wife thought it would be easier with the steady-pix. I have a pretty robust 8 inch Schmitt-Cass, but aligning the camera with the eyepiece is a bear. Any suggestions or comments about the Orion steady-pix???
P: 734
 Quote by Captain Cool Guy I recently got the Orion steady-pix for my birthday and I'm have an extremely difficult time trying to use it. I have done afocal photography in the past with out and my wife thought it would be easier with the steady-pix. I have a pretty robust 8 inch Schmitt-Cass, but aligning the camera with the eyepiece is a bear. Any suggestions or comments about the Orion steady-pix???
Sounds like a film camera. That's all I ever used and haven't done any for several years. No CCD for me.

If your camera is a 35mm SLR with removable lens, eyepiece projection is very handy with one of these:

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/pr...&iProductID=52

Much easier than the bracket you now have. Plus, with your SCT, you probably have enough focus travel to do prime focus photos at f/10 using just the camera and the scope, no eyepiece and no lens on the camera.
 P: 7 I know some of the other methods for my sct but I feel bad because I think that my wife bought me a piece of crap and I just wanted to take at least one good role for her sake and I was wondering if anyone else has learned any techniques or even a procedure for using thier steadypix.
 Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 1,542 Here's an eclipse picture I toon in January 1992 from San Diego. Astronomy Magazine published it in their Viewer Photos section and paid me $25 http://orbitsimulator.com/orbiter/1024_eclipse92.jpg  PF Gold P: 7,367 Here is a really nice webcam image of the Jupiter/moon occultation. Makes me think I should try webcam photography. http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1403_1.asp  Mentor P: 22,007 New Saturn from last Friday attached. Only marginally better quality, but it is twice the magnification (Barlow lens). That's about the magnification limit (400x or so) and light gathering limit of my scope with my quickcam. Sky's could be better though (over Xmas, I'll drive up to the Poconos...). The image was dim enough its starting to look grainy. I'm working on a long-exposure mod for the quickcam. You can't see anything at all deep-sky with it at 1/5 second exposures. Attached Thumbnails Mentor P: 22,007  Quote by russ_watters I'm working on a long-exposure mod for the quickcam. You can't see anything at all deep-sky with it at 1/5 second exposures. So, last night I attempted the mod. All I have to show for it is a burned finger and a stabbed thumb (and a broken camera). I'll try again tonight and if I fail, I guess I'll just get myself a Meade Deep-Sky Imager ($300).
P: 275
 Quote by russ_watters So, last night I attempted the mod. All I have to show for it is a burned finger and a stabbed thumb (and a broken camera). I'll try again tonight and if I fail, I guess I'll just get myself a Meade Deep-Sky Imager (\$300).
LoL. Damn. Welll your saturn pics are awesome. How'd the other night go for ya?

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