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Friday, September 20, 2013

Planetary Images, Before & After

When I was 10 years old, one of the 1st objects I was able to locate and identify was Saturn. A small finder chart was in the back of my Jason Enterprise manual, which came with my 60mm refractor. More than likely this is what got me hooked on astrophotography.
I've tried to image the planets over the years with limited success.

Both of these were taken in 2010 with a Kodak Easy Share using eyepiece projection on my 8" Meade LX-50 SCT. They were single pictures about 1 sec exposure. I have since learned the best way to capture details of the planets is to use a recording device capable of videos. I started out using my Canon T3i . I would record a video about 1 minute long. Using a software called Registax I then processed the video. Registax basically takes each frame in the video, aligns them then stacks them.  Only a certain percentage of the frames are used. This helps to eliminate bad frames which were victims of atmospheric disturbance.
This is one of my earlier tries with Registax taken June 2012 with my 8" Meade SCT & Canon T3i
Recently I purchased a QHY5L-II camera. This is a mono camera which means videos are shot in black & white and red,green & blue filters are used.
 RED filter 500 of 3000 frames used
 GREEN filter 500 of 3000 frames used
BLUE filter 500 of 3000 frames used
 RGB Image
 RGB Image adjusted in Photoshop

The Jupiter frames above were taken on 9/18/13 with my 8" Meade LX-50 SCT & QHY5L-II camera.
 I managed to take 21 videos total for 7 RGB images

 I put these resulting images together as an animation

I took this Saturn image on June 15,2013. It was my 1st with the QHY5L-II camera
QHY5L-II & Meade 8" LX-50 SCT @F/20 (x2 Barlow)
 RGB- kept 500 frames of 1100 each channel processed in Registax 6. Imaged at 640x480 @54fps.

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