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Stargazing Saturn with new DMK, grayscale camera

  1. Feb 17, 2009 #1

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    I have a new camera - a DMK, grayscale camera. Here's one of my first Saturn shots with it... My best yet.
     

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  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2009 #2
    Re: Astrophotography

    Nice shot Russ.
     
  4. Feb 17, 2009 #3

    baywax

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Spectacular russ!!

    If its a grayscale camera why is there colour?
     
  5. Feb 19, 2009 #4

    russ_watters

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Thanks, guys.

    Baywax, all CCD chips are single color, but those on normal cameras have a matrix of color filters on them and software to generate the color. I take separate exposures with separate color filters, then mix them with software to generate the color photo. This maximizes the resolution and color depth of the camera/photos.
     
  6. Feb 20, 2009 #5
    Re: Astrophotography

    Awesome shot russ! Almost a straight on view of the rings, which is kinda sad :( (everyone loves the rings! haha) but it really brings out the detail in the planet having them "out of the way".

    But GREAT SHOT!

    One of these days I'll learn how to take pictures like this...
     
  7. Feb 20, 2009 #6

    baywax

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Very cool russ. Is Saturn a challenge to photograph? I just wondered because Jupiter seems like a sure bet to shoot since its so bright these days. Can you get a good shot of Jupiter and its many moons? Has anything unusual been going with Jupiter after Shoemaker-Levi?
     
  8. Feb 20, 2009 #7

    russ_watters

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    Re: Astrophotography

    All planets are a challenge to photograph because the resolution is limited primarily by how steady the atmosphere is - especially where I live. The atmosphere was perhaps the best I've ever seen it that night and it gets close to that maybe 10 nights a year. I take about ten thousand photos at a time via video (my camera is like an expensive webcam) and combine them with software designed to filter out atmospheric distortion to flesh-out the details. It takes some practice and some effort. My website has a tutorial showing what that process looks like: http://www.russsscope.net/staxtutorial.htm
    Jupiter isn't out right now, it is almost directly behind the sun. You may be looking at Venus in the evening if you think you see Jupiter. Jupiter is bigger than Saturn so photos of it will naturally be higher resolution, but for the past few years, it has stayed lower in the sky for those in the northern hemisphere, making it tough to get good detail due to the atmosphere. When it comes around again this summer, I'll post my results.
    No, it left scarring that dissipated in a few months. Amateurs did get a few photos, but that was before the explosion in amateur astrophotography (due to good, cheap cameras), so there weren't many.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2009 #8

    baywax

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Thank you russ.

    Venus...? that is so bright for Venus. Is it closer than usual? Maybe I'm seeing the International Space Station. Except it doesn't move. I'll have to check this out. I'm at the 49th parallel and this planet sets after the sun by about 3 hours. (Obviously not an astronomer eh?!)
     
  10. Feb 21, 2009 #9

    Nabeshin

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Well Venus is the brightest object in the night sky, save the moon.
     
  11. Feb 21, 2009 #10

    baywax

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    Re: Astrophotography

    No way! So I've been pointing out Venus and calling in Jupiter!!!? I really thought Jupiter was brightest because of its' number of moons. What's up with Venus? Is this because its closer than Jupiter?
     
  12. Feb 21, 2009 #11

    russ_watters

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    Re: Astrophotography

    Yes, Venus is about as big as earth, is pretty close right now, and is white. All that makes it very bright.
     
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