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#1 JamesAB

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:01 AM

Hi everyone,

I have recently been trying to get some decent images of Mars and Saturn using my 10" LX200GPS and LPI Imager. I know that atmospheric conditions and the elevation of the subject can very greatly affect the quality of image obtained. In fact in several years of observing I have probably not got more than 10 images that I would call really good (although I have very many that are passable.)

The problem is all the world and his wife seem to get better images than I do (even with smaller 'scopes)and I am begining to wonder if I am doing something wrong. I attach my best (unprocessd) images of Saturn and Mars that I could get last night. Mars, being so high in elevation, I expected much better.

Can these poor images be explained by atmospheric effects - The sky was completely clear, or have I an equipment problem?

Thanks

Jim

#2 JamesAB

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:08 AM

I forgot to mention that both images were a stack of 50 obtained using envisage and I spent absolutely ages to maximise the focus. The images, particularly Saturn as seen through a 26mm eyepiece were sharp and clear - oh, and the LPI was connected to a 2x Barlow.
Jim

#3 Mark Sibole

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

Focusing is the hardest part of astrophotography.
You need real good seeing conditions and steady skies to hold focus.
Aslo many images you see are a stack of 400 to 500 images.
Post processing helps a lot also.
From the looks of the images you may have been a bit over exposed resulting in an unsharp image.
With the expierence I have I still dont get many good planets from bad seeing or atmosphere.
Keep plugging away.
Ill down load your saturn image and see what can be done to fix it up.

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#4 JamesAB

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:52 PM

Thanks Mark,

Just to remind myself that it can be done, I look at he image of Saturn I took in 2005 (attached) and then I cheer up!

Jim

#5 Mark Sibole

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 03:37 PM

Thats a nice image.
I looked at your data on the other image and it looks to be over exposed and just missed focus.
I only get 1 out of every 10 or 15 good images of planets.
My problem is i am in a ditch with the OBS so I have to shoot through the warm cold layers and it isnt pretty on planets.
Of all of the times Ive imaged saturn and Marks I only have 2 images I consider decent.
The rest got recycled.

Regards

Mark

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Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#6 JamesAB

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:27 PM

Thanks for your advice Mark.

I have made myself a Hartmann mask today (out of a flowerpot tray!) so that should solve the focussing. I get a new DSI II tomorrow and good weather is forcast to return on Saturday so I am looking forward to some good imaging (I hope). The ones you attached are really good! I guess patience is the key!
Thanks again

Jim




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