ProtoJeb21

The Astro-Imaging Thread

Astro-Imaging Questions  

72 members have voted

  1. 1. What's Your Favorite Solar System Body to Image?



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On 7/27/2018 at 10:07 AM, cubinator said:

I have an 8" of the same, so I think you'll have a great view. If you're in the United States or at a similar longitude, look for Valles Marineris and Olympus Mons if the dust is clear enough (it probably isn't).

Forget seeing either of those with a 9.25" in the US..... they're typically hard with a much bigger scope.

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I'm thinking about doing this... is it expensive?

11 hours ago, Reactordrone said:

Pretty good seeing tonight so I thought I'd have a look at Mars while it's close. And a quick look at Saturn.

7fJjskD.jpg

5PcM9Pb.jpg

Very nice

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I didn't have a camera that was very good for photographing the night sky when I went to Glacier National Park (which was a fantastic place for stargazing, with pretty much no light pollution), but I attempted it anyway with an Olympus Pen E-PL5, through a few 30-60 second exposures.

Mars (the bright dot)

1onlkZ6.jpg

diBW6aS.jpg

Big Dipper

4osyE6v.jpg

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Does the mesosphere count as space? Last night I got my very first image of a red sprite! Sprites are very faint and not much is known about them, so I'm really happy to have gotten one on my first try. :)

I'm almost tempted to do a full spectrum mod on my DSLR to go sprite hunting but it's my only camera right now and I use it for daytime photography too so a full speccy mod is out of the question atm. 

 

 

IKzkORq.jpg

  • Canon EOS 350D
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens
  • 35mm focal length, cropped 2x
  • ISO 1600
  • f/4.5
  • 30" exposure

 

 

To try and keep this post on subject, here's also an image of M31 I got two weeks ago. I was very happy to be able capture the disk of the galaxy even without any sort of star tracking.

xLIM57o.jpg

  • Canon EOS 350D
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens
  • 35mm focal length
  • f/4.5
  • 20x15" lights
  • 4m 43s total integration time
  • No darks, flats, bias

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9 hours ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

How expensive is this to do I'm considering it

From pocket change to small country budgets. Cheap end can be say a smartphone on an ocular holder and a small scope on a motorized mount. Fancy coordinate seeking scope mounts, specialized cameras and powerful computers for processing can be as expensive as you can imagine and more. This is doable at every price level.

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On 8/9/2018 at 1:59 AM, Cheif Operations Director said:

How expensive is this to do I'm considering it

Depends on what you want to accomplish......

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8 hours ago, _Augustus_ said:

Depends on what you want to accomplish......

Capable of taking the picture in your profile picture just with more clarity

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On 8/9/2018 at 3:29 PM, Cheif Operations Director said:

How expensive is this to do I'm considering it

Depends what equipment you already have. I already had a telescope and a camera so I just need the hardware to stick them together. If I want to do deep sky stuff I'd probably also need to get a field flattener because I have a fast Optical tube assembly which has a slightly curved focal field. I've seen really good planetary photography just from guide scopes.

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2 hours ago, Reactordrone said:

Depends what equipment you already have. I already had a telescope and a camera so I just need the hardware to stick them together. If I want to do deep sky stuff I'd probably also need to get a field flattener because I have a fast Optical tube assembly which has a slightly curved focal field. I've seen really good planetary photography just from guide scopes.

I have nothing

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58 minutes ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

I have nothing

A reasonable go-to equatorial mount and scope will be in the $1000-2000 range. Skywatcher, Celestron and Meade all have offerings in that range. Meade's new eq mount (LX85) is out in a month or two. As long as the mount is good you should be able to fit a range of optical tubes to it so you can mix and match a mount and scope to fit your budget.

Phone cameras can be good, the small sensor size has certain advantages over a DSLR, so that can be a place to start without having to buy a camera.

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47 minutes ago, Reactordrone said:

A reasonable go-to equatorial mount and scope will be in the $1000-2000 range. Skywatcher, Celestron and Meade all have offerings in that range. Meade's new eq mount (LX85) is out in a month or two. As long as the mount is good you should be able to fit a range of optical tubes to it so you can mix and match a mount and scope to fit your budget.

Phone cameras can be good, the small sensor size has certain advantages over a DSLR, so that can be a place to start without having to buy a camera.

Ok thanks

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15 hours ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

Capable of taking the picture in your profile picture just with more clarity

I found a used Celestron C8 locally on Craigslist for $300, also found a Neximage 5 camera for $50.  That combination can lead to some pretty incredible photos with some work on your part.  I am still learning and don't have much time to get out at night, but I enjoy it.  You can, too!

 

With just a cell phone camera, you can take pretty good photos with enough trial and error.  I have some earlier in this thread from this scope and a Samsung Galaxy 6

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14 hours ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

Ok thanks

There are other options.  Ioptron sells mounts that are very capable and not too expensive. You can get a SmartEQ Pro for around $500, which is a reasonably good starter equatorial mount that accepts ASCOM control. You get get a reasonable telescope from high point scientific or Orion, or you can get a used one off of eBay.   Then you’ll need a camera.  Again, here eBay is your friend. I’m a big fan of dslr photography, and you should be able to get a used one for not outrageous money.  You’ll want to get one that has a “bulb” setting and is remote-capable. This will allow you to control the shutter manually.  Before I got my current camera, I took long exposure shots with my Nikon using an IR remote and a stopwatch.

If budget is an issue, look for places that sell “factory seconds”. I know Orion does, and sometimes Astronomics does as well.  Factory seconds are products with cosmetic flaws or damage that still work to manufacturers specs... who cares if your scope body is scratched or your camera has some blemishes on the case, you’re gonna use the stuff in the dark anyway.  Don’t let the price tag deter you. Once you have your basic rig in place, upgrade incrementally.  Once you have scope and camera in play, start saving up to get an autoguider (which you’ll definitely want). In the meantime, use your starter setup to get good at polar alignment and taking 1-2 minute exposures. 

Heres some links to get you started:

High Point Scientific: www.highpointscientific.com

sells gear at a reasonable price, has a lot of sales. 

Astronomics:

www.astronomics.com

These are the guys who own Cloudy Nights. They do a lot of private e-mail only sales. Sign up for an account on CN and you can get a discount on most purchases. 

Orion:

www.telescope.com

The go-to place for Astro gear. This place is the Walmart of astronomy. Some good deals, especially on scopes. More importantly, they have permanent areas on their website for sales, clearances and factory seconds. 

IOptron

www.ioptron.com

Maker of telescope mounts.  Celestron snobs will scoff at ioptron mount owners. Let em. Ioptron sells very capable mounts that are very affordable and easy to use.  They are my favorite mount maker, and I’ve got both a SmartEQ Pro and a CEM25 and I love them both. 

The other two things you’ll need are patience and persistence. This is a hobby with a steep learning curve and it’ll take practice. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years and I’m to the point that if I can get set up, aligned and running in under an hour I’m happy, a half hour is a stone cold miracle. There have been plenty of nights when I’ve spent an hour trying to do polar alignment and I just can’t get life to cooperate and I’m ready to throw my whole rig in the nearest river. You have to recognize this isn’t something you go spend a bunch of money on and then turn out Hubble quality images on your first session.  It’s a lot to learn... and the mojoroty of your time will be spent sitting at a computer dragging slider bars trying to make what looks like a foggy night in London look like the cosmos. 

Good luck!

Edited by MaxPeck
corrected some Welsh spelling

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**ADDING TO MY PREVIOUS POST***

Right now, High Point has used ZWO ASI120MC color imaging cameras on sale for $50.  This is both a capable entry-level imager and an AutoGuider.  So for $100 you could get a dedicated astronomy camera and an AutoGuider, which would save you a pretty good chunk of change on two of the most expensive items you'll want later..  (edit: it won't do both at the same time, you'll need a separate camera for each task, so you'd need two if you want to do auto guiding and imaging). I just picked one up and with express shipping it ran me all of $80.  I've been wanting to do DSLR wide field side-by-side with my primary imager, and now here's my chance.

Check it out here:

https://www.highpointscientific.com/telescope-accessories/astro-photography/ccd-cameras/zwo-asi120mc-color-1-2-mega-pixel-astronomy-camera-asi120mc-used-0000

Edited by MaxPeck

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First stacking attempt, the M83 galaxy. 10" LXD 55 telescope, 30 second exposures at prime focus with the canon 500D , 21 light frames 10 darks.

 

xtzh8lT.jpg

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1 minute ago, Reactordrone said:

First stacking attempt, the M83 galaxy. 10" LXD 55 telescope, 30 second exposures at prime focus with the canon 500D , 21 light frames 10 darks.

 

xtzh8lT.jpg

Very nice

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Gosh. It gets more and more difficult to shoot a picture without it being stricken out. Postprocessing has to correct this ...

Humbly suggesting a field corrector for your equipment :-)

 

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46 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Gosh. It gets more and more difficult to shoot a picture without it being stricken out. Postprocessing has to correct this ...

Humbly suggesting a field corrector for your equipment :-)

 

The Schmidt ghosts are really only a problem with overexposed bright stars. From what I've read it seems to be an issue with Schmidt Newtonians + Canon cameras. That was just a quick shot to see how centered I was but I figured the space station track was interesting...and the ghosts are quite pretty if they're not getting in the way.

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Reprocessed my Rho Ophiuchi from a few months back. Better crop + I found a photoshop plugin to remove the green cast:

qHbtKCz.jpg

The original:

Spoiler

aImkYlg.jpg

 

And this not really photography related but on another note I managed to sight Uranus with my naked eye using averted vision while out watching the Perseid meteor shower with my girlfriend. No meteor pictures unfortunately but it was a memorable night regardless. :)

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Would anyone in the USA/Canada like to try to get a parallax measurement of the Moon with me? If so, send me a PM.

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Made a mosaic of the Ecliptic using the most Kerbal equatorial platform ever.

Iao3GYF.jpg

6 solar system bodies (including the Earth) are visible in this wide view. From left to right: Mars, Saturn, asteroid Vesta, Jupiter, Venus and the Earth. Pluto is also in the field, though it is too dim to show up in the image.

Taken at around 13:53 UTC on August 30th, 2018

 

Please view the fullres! Flickr Astrobin

 

Jeb approved™ equatorial platform:

Spoiler

IMG20180829205431959.jpg

It even has struts! :sticktongue:

 

Edited by Nutt007
better hosting site

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