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Old 07-10-2020, 06:10 PM
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John K
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John K is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,425
Hi Wayne,

It's a tough journey planetary imaging. Don't be too disappointed. If these were your first attempts, it's a great start.

There are a couple of things working against what you are wanting from your planetary imaging.

First you are using a camera that looks like can only go to 30 FPS (correct??) and is a lower cost colour unit. A better choice would be to update this so you get higher FPS rates with one of the latest CMOS cameras such as those by ZWO. As an example, I am capturing at 100 FPS at the moment with a Mono camera called ASI 290MM.

Mars - it's a tough object! In your image, you can see that either planet is out of focus, or at low elevation, or in very poor seeing as one side has a red edge and the other side has a blue edge. Wait until Mars is at 40 degrees, and only image when the seeing is good. Also make sure you allow your scope ample of time to cool and reach ambient - leave it outside, blow cold air on to it, get a SCT cooler that you can insert into the focuser.

Also keep in mind that you only have a 8". Most of the images that people are posting on the net which look amazing are with larger telescopes and also taken with Mono cameras that have better resolution under excellent seeing conditions.

The journey towards capturing great planetary images is a long one! It's not just a case of plugging the camera into the scope and expecting amazing images (sorry!).

Once you have got capturing down pat, then there is the processing side of things - it's not just a case of stacking - sharpening is a whole art in it self including achieving colour balance and good levels of contrast.

If it makes you feel better, my first image of Saturn using a low cost colour webcam is here:

Then 11 years later:

- Both taken with the same scope from the same location -

Keep asking questions, sharing your results, and learning new techniques! After 15 years of planetary imaging I sure still am!

Clear skies.

John K.

Last edited by John K; 07-10-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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