Author Topic: Scottish seeing  (Read 8626 times)

ttz668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
Scottish seeing
« on: February 05, 2012, 03:20:25 PM »
Hi

I don't do much posting but this one needs local discussion.

I've been at the astrophotography a couple of years now, but never really got a pic I'm happy with, in particular the planets.

The moon is ok  but the rest are all a struggle. I've got reasonable gear and I'm reasonably happy everything is working ok and well setup.

My conclusion at the moment is that the seeing in Central Scotland is rarely good enough for a decent image.

So my question is: Is anyone round these parts getting good clear planetary images? by that I mean better than two brown stripes on Jupiter or a faint stripe on Saturn. I've added a couple of my best.

Most of the really nice images I see are from down south and generally a lot more southerly than here.

So what's the benchmark for Central Scotland.

Regards

David


[attachment deleted by admin]

perthskies

  • CSOG'er
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 508
  • Karma: +14/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 04:15:09 PM »
I have had a couple of reasonable try's and posted a couple, btw, love the mars shot
 
The other David lol.


[attachment deleted by admin]
Sold my Dob, got Star Adventurer and other stuff

gary1968

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2093
  • Karma: +22/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 05:03:43 PM »
This is my best attempt at Jupiter.....




jupiter 240911-1-1st process by gary anderson1968, on Flickr


Image was taken last Autumn from Mid Calder. I have sold off all my planetary gear now as DSO's are my fav objects, but I was quite pleased with that one.


Gary
Skywatcher star discovery 150p
Canon 1000d
Philips spc900 webcam
Loads of other bits n bobs

Everything will be OK in the end, if its not OK its not the end........

Takahashi

  • Guest
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 06:49:01 PM »
The only planetary I've managed to date was Jupiter in 2010, when he was missing a certain feature  ;) , and Saturn last year, at least as far as "worthwhile results" are concerned.

This one :



...was taken "that week" in September 2010 (the 24th in this case), when everyone in the UK was reporting unusually good seeing. Even more surprising - this was taken from my veranda in East Kilbride, over the roofs of hundreds of houses.  :o

Saturn has been much more elusive, and this is probably the best I've managed so far :



These were taken through the WO FLT110 (770mm f/l), with 2x powermate and 500D attached. I reckon if I changed to a longer f/l scope to get "closer", I'd then experience the compromised seeing you're talking about David.

I must get out there and snag Venus & Jupiter before they're lost in the brightening dusk.

ttz668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 07:06:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far, I dug out a  better Jupiter I bagged, but this was  taken right down at the tip of the mull of galloway, interestingly it was 25th sept 2010 !!

I'm using a Celestron 9.25 with either a Toucam, QHY5 or canon 7D. with either a 5x or 2.5 x powermate.

maybe the trick is to wait twenty years for the next night of good seeing in Scotland then hope it's cloud free!!

David





[attachment deleted by admin]

dogfish

  • CSOG'er
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 12:22:12 PM »
I think the limiting factor is probably the camera as much as the seeing. Webcams will only take you so far in the planetary imaging game. You've definitely got the right scope for the job.
 
Cheers, Martin

ttz668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 07:27:35 PM »
Martin

I've tried the meade dsi III (no good) but just tried with the meade software.

The QHY 5 one I have is monochrome but still never got anything decent from it.

I also tried the phillips toucam, great for convenience and it colour, but only getting 25fps .

the best of the bunch is using my canon 7D in video capture mode it can capture at 640x480 at 50 fps but the pixels jupiter is tiny on the massive chip, pixels are on 3um.

Will keep plugging away.

Thanks for the inputs.

David

Takahashi

  • Guest
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 07:46:34 PM »
David, have you tried eos movie record? It's freeware, and has a "built-in" 5x zoom function, which is surprisingly effective. I use it in conjunction with the 2x powermate and it makes the essentially non-planetary designed FLT110 a worthy Jupiter capturer. :)

dogfish

  • CSOG'er
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 11:33:21 PM »
Try one of these, although they're a bit costly (mind, this the entry level camera for this range).


http://www.firstlightoptics.com/imaging-source-cameras/dfk-21au04as-colour.html

ttz668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 08:49:40 PM »
I agree, these seem to be well used for planetary work.

Anyone using one in Scotland ??

David

stev74

  • CSOG'er
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 889
  • Karma: +18/-0
    • Flickr
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 10:18:30 PM »
I think the limiting factor is probably the camera as much as the seeing. Webcams will only take you so far in the planetary imaging game. You've definitely got the right scope for the job.
 
Cheers, Martin


I've got to agree with Martin, it's is definitely the webcam that is the main limiting factor, as you have one of the best planetary scopes out there. On the SGL planetary imaging section I've seen people post some very good webcam images but a few over recent months have upgraded to a dedicated planetary cam like the dfk's and straight away you see a increase in the resolution of their images.

I wouldn't get too hung up on seeing - the whole process of taking an AVI instead of a single image is to compensate for the seeing if you know what I mean. If you have a better camera you will get better results, saying that the stacking software can only compensate for so much bad seeing and you will get better or worse images on any given night.

Visually I have had some great views of Jupiter recently going back to November and I have regularly been able to use x200 mag on the planet and had some great WOW moments with steady seeing, in Central Scotland.

Have you checked the collimation of your C9.25 as I've read it can be quite critical on this thread (and others) -

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-planetary/174939-jupiter-c-9-25-a.html


Software wise do you use WinJUPOS on Jupiter? 

It can derotate long avis so on every frame you have the same planet orientation. So you can take longer AVI's of Jupiter, more than 3mins so hopefully have more frames of good seeing and the image wont be smudged when it's stacked due to the planets rotation.

There is also a some new pre-processing software that looks quite promising although I've not tried it yet -

http://stargazerslounge.com/discussions-software/173325-pipp-planetary-imaging-pre-processor-software.html

« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 10:30:20 PM by stev74 »
Steve
Skywatcher 300P Flextube Goto Dobsonian
EP's - 6mm Baader Genuine Ortho, 7mm XW Pentax, 10mm XW Pentax, 13mm ETHOS, 28mm WO UWAN
Barlows - 1.6x Antares, SW 2x ED, 4x Imagemate
Cameras - DFK 21AU618.AS Colour, Mintron 12V6HC-EX Mono, Canon 1100D
Bino's 15x70 & 20x90.
www.cosmosplanetarium.co.uk

dogfish

  • CSOG'er
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 09:50:53 AM »
Good advice Steve. Some of that software is new to me, so thanks for the link. Collimation, as you point out, is crucial to planetary imaging. David, how's you SCT collimation skills? I find it ten times easier than collimating a newt.
 
Cheers, Martin

ttz668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 10:30:17 PM »
I think I have pretty good collimation, you can be easily fooled into thinking its spot on, until you crank up the mag and it wanders off quite significantly.

I use a webcam on a 5x powermate looking at a bright star high in the sky. I then make small tweaks then centre the star until it is spot on. It definitely makes a difference to the final image.

It is a relatively easy and quick process.

I certainly have one of the DMK's on my wish list.

David


Andy Brown

  • CSOG'er
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 01:17:49 AM »
Collimation, as you point out, is crucial to planetary imaging. David, how's you SCT collimation skills? I find it ten times easier than collimating a newt.
 


The big thing, IMO, re sct collimation is you don't realise just how far down the bare bones path you have to go.

Personally once things had got to a stage where I'd lost confidence in the scope to produce it's best, then I wouldn't just try and rejig the alignment of the optical parts, I'd strip it down and very carefully clean the optical surfaces in line with the best/latest info off the net first then rebuild it as previous prior to final adjustments, firstly on a laser then out to a star.

Interesting point, theoretically is it possible to mis-collimate due to long term slightly skewed seeing ???

stuhawk123

  • CSOG'er
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 501
  • Karma: +3/-0
Re: Scottish seeing
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 02:27:05 AM »
I managed to get this photo in early June, and i live smack bang in the middle of West Lothian
Scope was 10" Dobsonian Sky watcher with Vixen LV 8-24mm Zoom Eyepiece set at 8mm Zoom,
and snap shot with 10 mp Samsung Digital Camera.   I think i will get a better shot later in the year with the new camera


[attachment deleted by admin]
10" Dobsonian Sky Watcher