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Juptier Laughs At Me

Last post 04-08-2005, 1:48 AM by hjlamb. 6 replies.
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  •  03-30-2005, 3:08 PM

    Juptier Laughs At Me

    For the past 2 weeks it has been cloudy in my area just about every night. On nights with no clouds the wind has been really bad. I know, I know, I'm in the Southern California Mojave Desert area and I should just stop whinning because our weather and imaging conditions are just great more than not.

    So, last night there were no clouds and the wind had died down to only about 10 MPH with only occassional gusts, so I setup to try and get Jupiter. I must be doing something wrong. All I can get with my DSI and the 12" LX200GPS or the 100ED even is a disk with a top, 2 center, and bottom bands that are a little darker than the disk.

    I tried multiple ways of adjusting all the settings, I fiddled with it for 3 hours last night trying to get any detail at all to present itself while stacking the exposures, even letting it go as far as 600 frames. Having a really hard time with this, could someone please post some details on how to get good Jupiter images with the DSI?


    Matt Taylor
    Antique Photons Observatory
    Mountain Instruments MI-250
    William Optics FLT132mm APO
    Meade 80ED APO
    Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/mataylor


  •  03-31-2005, 2:24 AM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    Hi, Matt

    My first question would be, what were the actual seeing conditions? If not 4/5 or better, I wouldn't expect any more detail than you describe. In Minnesota, I have seen a total of maybe 4 hours of 4/5 seeing since I got my DSI. Total, in all those months. (I know you regularly get better where you are, but if the fronts are moving through close together, I'm betting the upper levels of the atmosphere are staying pretty turbulent).

    And of course, collimation & focus are absolutely crucial on planets (I know you know that, but I figure others may be reading this going "yeah - I have that problem too!"). Here's a hint - if seeing isn't good enough to allow good collimation, it's sure not good enough to get a great planetary image!

    Second, what were your gain & histogram settings? I recommend you set the white point all the way up, and then control exposure time & gain to get good detail across the planetary disk. If you are saving to fits, don't worry if it's a little dark - you can bring out the details later in post-processing. I find that I have to lower the gain on planets to get good detail (just fiddling with the exposure settings doesn't get me there).

    HTH,

    ChuckR


    Chuck Reese
    CDIP Certified: Nebula, Galaxy, Solar System, Stars & Clusters Imager
    CDIP Mentor: Nebulae & Solar System Categories
    For information on the Certified DSI Imager Program, see:
    http://autostarsuite.net/forums/1427/ShowForum.aspx
  •  03-31-2005, 12:13 PM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    Hi Matt and Chuck,

    I am also desperating at the moment to take a good image of Jupiter ! Despite its poor quality I finally put one in my gallery, but I am not proud of it...

    Zeus is not with us ! Tongue Tied [:S]

    Incidentally, I suppose there is a "standard" to speak of the seeing conditions: 1/5, 2/5,...and also on turbulences, but I don't know it! Sad [:(]

    Could some of you, great guys, explain it to the folks ? Geeked [8-|]

    Thanks in advance Yes [Y]

    Bernard

     


    Veritas, ad diem te aperies!
    Bernard Durand
  •  03-31-2005, 12:19 PM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    Hiya Bernard :) .... see the explaination below for "seeing" ... I have also included the link from which this was taken .....

    Cheers,

    Lon

     

    Seeing

     

    Bad 1/5

    Poor 2/5

    Average 3/5

    Good 4/5

    Excellent 5/5

    The line, labeled Seeing, forecasts astronomical seeing. (It's an experimental forecast.) Excellent seeing means at high magnification you will see fine detail on planets. In bad seeing, planets might look like they are under a layer of rippling water and show little detail at any magnification, but the view of galaxies is probably undiminished. Bad seeing is caused by turbulence combined with temperature differences in the atmosphere. This forecast attempts to predict turbulence and temperature differences that affect seeing for all altitudes.

    The excellent-to-bad seeing scale is calibrated for instruments in the 11 to 14 inch range. There are some more details in CMC's seeing forecast page.

    There are gaps in the line of seeing blocks because CMC's seeing model does not consider daytime heating, so the forecast is only available for the night. Seeing is forecast for 3-hour blocks, so triples of seeing blocks will show the same color. A white block on the seeing line means that there was too much cloud (>80% cover) to calculate it.

    Note also that you may observe worse seeing though your telescope than what a perfect seeing forecast would predict. That is because tube currents and ground seeing mimic true atmospheric seeing. You may also observe better seeing then predicted here when observing with an instrument smaller than 11 inches.

     

    http://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/


    Lon K. Shelton
    Lafayette, La.
    Meade 8" LX200(classic);
    Orion ED80mm "Apo" piggy backed.
    DSI, LPI, Mogg ESO Adapter (Canon 35-80mm, and 70-300mm)
    Owner/Operator of the BitsyLon Observatory.
    Http://www.autostarsuite.net/photos/bitsylon
  •  03-31-2005, 1:58 PM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    Hi Lon,

    Thanks a lot!

    Good explanation. Yes [Y]

    I'll try now, before observing, to focus on a star and evaluate the seeing conditions according to the standard.

    Cheers, Beer [B]

    Bernard

     


    Veritas, ad diem te aperies!
    Bernard Durand
  •  04-01-2005, 12:44 AM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    Thanks Chuck & Al,

    I suppose it is a combo problem, bad seeing and not perfect collimation, I really should check the scope more often. I read Polo's post to the Yahoo group about his Jupiter photo, did you guys see that?? I thought his DSI Jupiter was way better than his toucam Jupiter, lots of detail!

    I'm not much of a planet guy, hardly ever try and image them, but now that I can't seem to do it very well I'm like a bounty hunter tracking it down.


    Matt Taylor
    Antique Photons Observatory
    Mountain Instruments MI-250
    William Optics FLT132mm APO
    Meade 80ED APO
    Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/mataylor


  •  04-08-2005, 1:48 AM

    Re: Juptier Laughs At Me

    One other thing to consider after the physical issues (seeing, collimation and focus) is the software. I have never been very successful at shooting Jupiter with the AutostarSuite. Usually, I capture AS and then process the image with Registax. It's wavelet processing really makes all the difference in the world when it comes to pulling out the cloud details. The image of jupiter in my gallery (http://www.autostarsuite.net/photos/hjlamb) looked almost exactly like you described when stacked in AS. In fact, I never really saw any detail until I started playing with the wavelet sliders in Registax.

    (BTW, my capture was with the LPI but the same principles should apply)

    Herb Lamb
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