In my previous posts, I had the same three targets. The moon is easy (ISO24, 1/250s), although the fuller it gets, the more washed out if I don’t use a filter:
And I can see some single frames of Saturn are worse than others (ISO32, 1/10s):
But I was REALLY setting up so I could play with my camera centring. As I noted in a previous post, the feedback from an online FB group was that my EP wasn’t centred. So I wanted to ensure 100% that I was centred last night. For one of my stars off to the side, defocused into a doughnut, I was clearly NOT centred (screengrab of Night Cap below):
But I moved the stars around a bit in the EP and managed to get something a little more balanced:
And then BAM, I got this:
Only minor differences in positioning, no difference in my centring over the EP. » Read the rest
In my previous two posts, I noted my standard setup for backyard imaging:
Celestron NexStar 8SE;
stock alt-azimuth mount;
an iPhone XS Max phone running Night Cap software;
the Phone Skope smartphone adapter; and,
a 25mm Celestron Plossl.
My last set of targets for the night was stars. Although my thinking was more like:
Okay, the moon is easy. I’ve got a handle on planets. Now I need to figure out how to do stars.
There’s a guy online named Loren Ball who can do an amazing job getting asteroids, and his stars are always pinpoint perfect. His technique is to use a hand-held magnifying glass to get his stars in focus, and then snap away. He sets his iPhone for ISO 8000, does 10s bursts in Night Cap, has documented all the buttons he pushes to do that, and then stacks 18 images in Nebulosity. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, it seems. » Read the rest
From my previous post, you’ll see that I was set up in my backyard on Saturday, August 10th, with my Celestron NexStar 8SE, stock alt-azimuth mount, an iPhone XS Max phone running Night Cap software, the Phone Skope smartphone adapter, and a 25mm Celestron Plossl. My second set of targets for the night was planets. The moon was pretty close to Jupiter, so that was a wash, and not that far from Saturn, but I thought I might as well try since I was already out.
With digital zoom maxed out the wazoo (never a great approach to get good results), ISO at 50, and duration at 1/10s, I did a couple of single frames of Saturn. I have to say, while they’re not great, they didn’t completely suck either.
There’s even some colour in there. Shocked me that I could get ANYTHING with digital zoom and so close to the moon, but hey, I’ll take it. » Read the rest
I have blogged previously that I’ve set a goal for myself of figuring out how to work my iPhone to take pics through the telescope, and I’ve had earlier success for the moon. But to be honest? The moon is dead simple. If I set an ISO between 24 and 50, and play with my duration to be between 1/100th of a second to 1/300th of a second, and it’s relatively in focus, I can get “something”. The more moon there is showing, the brighter it is, and it’s easy to get washed out without a filter, but any of the setup problems virtually disappear when it’s the moon.
On Saturday, August 10th, I stuck my head out of my back door, saw the moon and went ahead and set up. As always, I’m setting up a Celestron NexStar 8SE, stock alt-azimuth mount, and an iPhone XS Max phone running Night Cap software. » Read the rest
Having finished the Carp star party on August 2nd, we headed up to the inlaws cottage for the weekend. It’s kind of a small family compound, and there are usually three or four sets of “aunts and uncles” (i.e., Generation 2), a handful of cousins and spouses (i.e., Generation 3), and sundry grandkids (i.e., Generation 4). It can get busy and 30+ is not an uncommon total number of people. This weekend was a smaller bunch, we only had 28.
After we arrived on Saturday, I was frequently asked, “Did you bring your scope?” I hadn’t this time — we just brought Jacob’s smaller scope. The Celestron NexStar 4SE is WAY more portable than my big 8SE, and it has the advantage of having crisp clear images given that it’s a Maksutov-Cassegrain design. We considered setting up on Saturday night, but there was a huge cloud moving in from the north, as there has been on several previous visits. » Read the rest