As with the shots of Saturn, I started with single frames of Jupiter. Settings were f/1.8 (set by iPhone hardware), ISO 24 to avoid blowing out the planet’s details, and a simple 1/10th of a second duration:
Cropped, you can see some details:
I doubled the ISO to 50, same duration:
And cropped again:
There seems to be a bit more detail in the top half, but less detail in the bottom. Then again, on a 4″ scope with my iPhone, I’ll take it! 🙂
For the second part of my processing, I worked with a 3-minute video, ~1900 frames:
Initially, I tried working with PIPP and then Autostakkert but it is REALLY hard to process the image when it wants you to place little place markers on the image — in fact, it tells you NOT to try it for planetary items. » Read the rest
My son recently acquired a Celestron NexStar 4SE in June, and on July 12th, the night was looking a bit clear. He was heading to bed but gave me permission to play with his scope. Alignment worked perfectly, I tried for a few things to see, etc. And that was my intent — solely to test the alignment and take a peek at the moon and planets.
Except I was curious how it would fare with my iPhone for simple astrophotography. I captured the images and video, but then I let them sit in my folders for a bit. So much so that when I finally did start playing with them, I totally forgot they were taken on the 4SE, not my standard 8SE. I was a bit disappointed with my processing, but when I realized earlier today they were all on the 4SE, my expectations changed!
So the equipment was a Celestron NexStar 4SE, with stock alt-az mount and tripod not set in wedge mode, iPhone XS Max, 25mm Plossl, and the Celestron NexYZ phone adapter. » Read the rest
My son’s grandparents have a cottage up in the Kawarthas, and it is relatively dark skies. From the dock area, you have a pretty good view of the sky to the South and West, whereas North and East are blocked by trees. We took our son up for a week, and just took his scope rather than his and mine (mostly due to space limitations in the car). He didn’t want to keep the scope to try on his own through the week, so we were leaving him but bringing the scope back with us. Which meant only one night to try viewing, July 6th.
The Clear Sky Chart was showing great clear skies, but the clouds didn’t get the memo. We set up around 8:00 p.m., and by the time we were set up, the moon was completely covered as was most of the Western sky with dark clouds. It opened up about 10 degrees above the horizon, and we got a great sunset, but that wasn’t my goal. » Read the rest
My son enjoys looking through my telescope and has been wanting his own scope for awhile. So we went through a number of designs to see what he would like, with me trying VERY hard not to lead him to any specific conclusions about his own preferences in design. He has a few extra mobility challenges over me, and he ended up going for the smaller version of my Celestron NexStar 8SE — he chose the 4SE.
It comes with a couple of advantages and one disadvantage over mine. For the disadvantage first, it’s simply smaller. A smaller light bucket gathers less light, so things won’t be as bright for distant objects. On the advantage side, the 4SE is a slightly different design (Maksutov-Cassegrain design) which will make for crisper images; it comes with a built-in wedge (if he wants to try equatorial tracking for astrophotography); it is smaller and much more portable; it has a sturdier tripod vis-a-vis the overall weight (his scope is light for his tripod, as it is also designed to hold the 5SE model which is heavier whereas my 8SE is on the high-end of the load options for the tripod it comes with); and his alignment worked perfectly right out of the box. » Read the rest