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trebob
2005-Mar-19, 06:17 AM
Not the best, but I'm not going for perfection right now.

First one is a day time test image of an electrical pole across the street.
http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/Terrestrial3.JPG
50 images stacked

Next one Jupiter with a 2xbarlow
http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/Jupiter2.jpg
2 images stacked

and without
http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/Jupiter4.jpg
25 images stacked

Then I saw some clouds coming in from the west and packed it up for the night. I have not yet done any proccesing on the pictures themselves. Comments? Suggestions?

P.S. Almost forgot. Celestron 8i in Alt/Az mode, Meade LPI with Autostar suite software.

JustAGuy
2005-Mar-19, 06:35 AM
Well, as someone who doesn't do astrophotography (just yet) I can only offer so much, but I'd say the first step would be to set up your kit for polar alignment. This'll minimize the field rotation inherent with alt/az, a bit of which might be causing the blurring in the 25 frame Jupiter pic.

However, overall it looks good for a first night out. Keep it up and keep us posted. Try for Saturn next, I'd say.

Hopefully, in another week or so I'll be out there trying it out w/ my 5" Mak and a Canon S40. If I get something semi-decent I'll post it for review.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Mar-19, 08:29 AM
it looks good for a first night out. Keep it up and keep us posted. Try for Saturn next, I'd say.



Yes, good work
try Saturn, or the Moon next

You might not be able to risk Mercury as it's a bit close to the Sun now
After you take pics of the Moon or Jupiter write down your settings, exposure times for the camera, how good was visibility and did you use any settings like increased-contrast, this will help you a lot more in your future pics

you should also be able to capture some nice double stars like mizar :)

SarahMc
2005-Mar-19, 09:03 PM
Then I saw some clouds coming in from the west and packed it up for the night. I have not yet done any proccesing on the pictures themselves. Comments? Suggestions?

P.S. Almost forgot. Celestron 8i in Alt/Az mode, Meade LPI with Autostar suite software.

Suggestion: Use a hartman mask to focus prior to capturing your avi's.

You should go for about 2 or 2 1/2 minutes of AVI if possible. The more frames you get to process and stack, the better your final image will be. Longer than 3 minutes will result in degraded surface features on Jupiter due to it's rotation, the other planets won't suffer from this. Polar alignment isn't needed since the frames will be stacked in the software.

You also want to "under" gain the images. It's much easier to bring out features in a "darker" capture than it is with brighter frames.

I'd only use the Meade software to aquire your AVI's. Use Registax to stack and align the separated frames. The results you get will far outshine those from the Meade software.

You'll also *always* want to use your barlow for the planets (other than the moon). The best images I've seen of Jupiter have been aquired with a 2.5 or 3x barlow.

For your first images, they look great. The more you get used to the settings for the software/camera and focusing the object, the easier it will become to get some great images.

trebob
2005-Mar-20, 04:26 AM
Suggestion: Use a hartman mask to focus prior to capturing your avi's.

You should go for about 2 or 2 1/2 minutes of AVI if possible. The more frames you get to process and stack, the better your final image will be. Longer than 3 minutes will result in degraded surface features on Jupiter due to it's rotation, the other planets won't suffer from this. Polar alignment isn't needed since the frames will be stacked in the software.

You also want to "under" gain the images. It's much easier to bring out features in a "darker" capture than it is with brighter frames.

I'd only use the Meade software to aquire your AVI's. Use Registax to stack and align the separated frames. The results you get will far outshine those from the Meade software.

You'll also *always* want to use your barlow for the planets (other than the moon). The best images I've seen of Jupiter have been aquired with a 2.5 or 3x barlow.

For your first images, they look great. The more you get used to the settings for the software/camera and focusing the object, the easier it will become to get some great images.

Hartman mask? I'm assuming thats this (http://rao.150m.com/Focusaid.html). Seems simple enough.

The meade software won't crank out avi's. It does all the alligning and stacking automaticly. I'll take a look at it agian in few minutes to be sure. It is possible (and extremely likely) that I missed something. I also thought about lowering my gain setting when i had everything packed up.

SarahMc
2005-Mar-20, 03:17 PM
Hartman mask? I'm assuming thats this (http://rao.150m.com/Focusaid.html). Seems simple enough.


That's it, and they actually work quite well too. Mine has three evenly spaced, same sized holes. I like the idea of the one in your link though. I've also seen others that use slits instead of holes, or a combination of holes and triangles.


The meade software won't crank out avi's. It does all the alligning and stacking automaticly. I'll take a look at it agian in few minutes to be sure. It is possible (and extremely likely) that I missed something. I also thought about lowering my gain setting when i had everything packed up.

(Edited to fix quotes)
Well, that's pretty depressing. I had no idea that it wouldn't allow an avi capture, since I don't use it. I use K3CCD tools for AVI capture, and then process the AVI's with Registax after I've torn down and retreated back to the warmer indoors.

trebob
2005-Mar-21, 03:26 AM
I checked. Can't take avi's with meade's software, but I can use the LPI with astrovideo or k3ccd and do avi's through those.

I'll try it out later.

Hale_Bopp
2005-Mar-22, 04:00 AM
Look a lot like my first night out. Try to take some pics of the Moon near the terminator...long shadows look great.

Use the barlow. Helps a lot. Polar alignment is not necessary for these short exposures, and as someone said, you can take care of any field rotation with software anyway.

Look up times of transits for Jupiter's moons. See if you can get shadows (I can do it with a Nextar 5 and modified Quickcam, so it should he a piece of cake for you). Next, see if you can get the Cassini division on Saturn.

Two tips : Be sure you are well collimated and spend some time getting the focus down as well as you can. The CCD camera is very sensitive to little flubs, much more sensitive than our eyes.

Good start.

Rob

Charlie in Dayton
2005-Mar-22, 05:49 AM
trebob's been PM'ing me a couple of images here and there for comments, and it looks like he's starting to get the hang of things.

I noticed something, tb -- what you PM'ed me was a single image (IIRC) of the power pole wires. What you link to here is a set of stacked images. The stacks are noticeably improved over the single images you sent me.

What's the moral of the story? The more you stack 'em, the more error tends to go away. This even includes out of focus blurring, which was noticeable on what you sent me.

See? You are getting a handle on this...

trebob
2005-Mar-26, 06:36 AM
trebob's been PM'ing me a couple of images here and there for comments, and it looks like he's starting to get the hang of things.

I noticed something, tb -- what you PM'ed me was a single image (IIRC) of the power pole wires. What you link to here is a set of stacked images. The stacks are noticeably improved over the single images you sent me.

What's the moral of the story? The more you stack 'em, the more error tends to go away. This even includes out of focus blurring, which was noticeable on what you sent me.

See? You are getting a handle on this...

Slowly but surely.

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/jupiter5.jpg

and in an attempt to bring out a little more detail in registax...

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/jup5a.jpg

These were taken about 2 hours ago. 100 images stacked over the space of about 2 minutes. The fact that Jupiter is sitting next to the full moon didn't exactly help matters, but it's been overcast all week. I couldn't help myself.

frogesque
2005-Mar-26, 05:53 PM
trebob wrote:
Slowly but surely.

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/jupiter5.jpg

and in an attempt to bring out a little more detail in registax...

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/jup5a.jpg

These were taken about 2 hours ago. 100 images stacked over the space of about 2 minutes. The fact that Jupiter is sitting next to the full moon didn't exactly help matters, but it's been overcast all week. I couldn't help myself.

=D> =D> =D>

Candy
2005-Mar-26, 08:24 PM
Those are nice, trebob. :D

I clicked on the first link without reading the thread first. :oops:

ksodbartman
2005-Mar-29, 04:43 PM
Nice! I just got a laptop last night so I can try this stuff out with my own LPI.

A question, though. I haven't been able to find any technical specifications on the LPI. Does anyone know the range of wavelengths it can pick up? Does it do anything in the near-infrared or -ultraviolet wavelthngths? And is there any way to limit the senstivity to the CCD to certain wavelengths, so it can act somewhat like a filter?

Also, is there a cheap way of getting UV or IR images from your own scope?

frogesque
2005-Mar-29, 06:52 PM
Nice! I just got a laptop last night so I can try this stuff out with my own LPI.

A question, though. I haven't been able to find any technical specifications on the LPI. Does anyone know the range of wavelengths it can pick up? Does it do anything in the near-infrared or -ultraviolet wavelthngths? And is there any way to limit the senstivity to the CCD to certain wavelengths, so it can act somewhat like a filter?

Also, is there a cheap way of getting UV or IR images from your own scope?

An amateur took some amazing pics of Venus in IR - there's a thread on it somewhere. I'll edit this post if I can find before some else beats me to it.

Edit: Got it! (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=316207&highlight=venus+amateur&sid =c00eed1e2caa68a708faf4500d82fe06#316207)

trebob
2005-Apr-01, 10:24 AM
As some of you may know, I try to help Lexington Community College (http://www.uky.edu/LCC/) in Kentucky with their student observations every chance I get. I did so agian this past Wednesday night. I loaded up my Celestron 8i, tripod, powertanks, eyepieces, stepladder (my computer desk), notebook computer, and LPI in my car, grabbed a Mountian Dew out of my fridge and was on my way. Got to the UK arboretum about 7:30pm. I Still had more than enought time to get everything out, get an allignment finished, and get my computer powered up. Then I noticed we had a crowd of about 200 students... and only 2 scopes including mine. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to use the LPI. I got it out, plugged it in, loaded up the software, gave a brief explenation of what I was doing while focusing on the monitor, asked if there were any questions,..... there wasn't.... and hit start. 20 stacked images and 1 minute later groans of "this is gonna be so boring", "why is coming out here required, I just wanted an easy A", and muffled celphone conversations turned into shouts of "thats awesome", "I'm glad I came out here tonight", with the occasional sound of a celphone being turned off. Within 3 minutes I was geting requests to do the same for Jupiter, Mars, and to many deepsky objects to mention. I even had one request for Pluto. That and the deepsky imaging I had to decline for obvious reasons.... but maybe next time.

The look on the faces of the students and faculty present, and having the chance to actually teach a little astronomy... all because of just one little picture... made the effort and frustration in figuring this out more than worth it.

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/Saturn1.jpg

Candy
2005-Apr-01, 04:21 PM
The look on the faces of the students and faculty present, and having the chance to actually teach a little astronomy... all because of just one little picture... made the effort and frustration in figuring this out more than worth it.

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/Saturn1.jpg
That is so awesome, trebob! I wish more folks were into astronomy. I got my co-workers interested in space by talking about the BABB all the time. They know that all I am right now is work, school, BABB, and Sgt Dan's punching bag. It allows for a normal conversation between shifts. 8)

Charlie in Dayton
2005-Apr-02, 09:53 AM
trebob, you have arrived. You are officially now One Of Those Who Know How It's Done. Congratulations!!!

Wolverine
2005-Apr-02, 10:17 AM
Very cool man, kudos. =D>

trebob
2005-Jun-05, 03:44 AM
Ok one more here and I'm gonna drop it. Went outside tonight for the first time in weeks (summer break) and took this. 40 images stacked, and cleaned up just a bit in registax.

http://home.insightbb.com/~trebob/jup1.JPG

Ok. I'll shut up now. :-#

gopher65
2005-Jun-05, 11:46 PM
My dad has both an LPI and a DSI (Deep Sky Imager, but not the new DSI Pro). The DSI is of course vastly superior to the LPI, but since he got the LPI free with his 8 inch LX90 :) , I'd have to say it was great value for the price. We got some good images of saturn, Jupiter, and some awesome moon pics. Nebulas don't do well with the LPI though. But the DPI is decent for some of them.

iceman
2005-Jun-06, 04:11 AM
Nice image! Though I got 404 errors for the first few links :(

Regarding hartmann masks (focus aids), there's a nice article on how to make, and use, a hartmann mask here:

Secret of the Hartmann Mask... Revealed! (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/index.php?id=63,187,0,0,1,0)