Archive for afocal

Manual Crazy Tracking

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2009/09/01 by computerphysicslab

Lacking of an equatorial mount I have built myself a kind of manual tracking system that keeps into the field of view of a webcam a planet like Jupiter, for 3 minutes. This is long enough to record useful data and then post-process it with aggressive wavelets.

The resulting tracking is not at all perfect. You may see Jupiter swinging around the screen. It is important to capture the data at a fast shutter speed (1/100 sec.) to avoid motion blur in every frame because the planet is always dancing.

In spite of this movement, the results after stacking are very good. Here I show this really simple system and the resulting yesterday’s Jupiter with the webcam:




As you can see the Manual-Crazy-Tracking is a very simple system that consists in a rubber band attached to the tripod handle. If you try to track manually directly pushing the tripod handle, the shaking is excessive and you would need a very very fast shutter speed to get some useful data. The rubber band is necessary to reduce vibrations and increase the shift movement control.

At beginning Jupiter is located in the center of the field of view with no need to any corrections. As long as it drifts due to its sidereal movement you will have to pull using the rubber band in order to keep it in the center of the screen (it is supposed you have a laptop there capturing and showing images from the webcam). This way you may have Jupiter centered in the screen for a long time. You will have time to focus (left hand pulling the rubber band and right hand tweaking the focuser) and time to expose.


Jupiter, Io & Wesley impact scar

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/28 by computerphysicslab

Good seeing yesterday too (2009-08-27 23h05m UT). Wesley impact scar is fading day after day, but it is still there. I made an animation that shows Io approaching Jupiter’s limb:


Big Jupo

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/27 by computerphysicslab

I have a good seeing last night. So I got my best Jupiter yet. Here it is:

Jupiter 2009-08-26 Sharp

It is 4x resampled via Registax Mitchell and PS. After resampled I can spot more details in bands and polar zones.

As always I used the 6-inch no-EQ mounted newtonian reflector, the 14mm eyepiece doing afocal projection over the Canon EOS 450d (Rebel XTi) body and recording video using “EOS Camera Movie Record” free software. Three times Jupiter crossed over the field of view. Registax and VirtualDub added and stacked the footage properly.

M42 with point & shoot digicam

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/26 by computerphysicslab

It is interesting to explore the possibilities of some common devices such as digicams and binoculars. I have been reprocessing some old stuff from March. I took 474 single exposures of M42 in Orion through the binoculars with my Exilim digicam. Using a stacking software, all these subframes may become aligned and added accurately, resulting into a 4 minutes long exposure single shot with a perfect star-tracking. I reckon I didn’t use any kind of equatorial mount or motorized tracking. Just an steady tripod. Orion belt passed accros the field of view of the binoculars 3 times. In every gap, I corrected manually the FOV to get M42 inside it as longest as possible.

Orion M42 binoculars-exilim

Ganymede’s shadow

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/20 by computerphysicslab

Yesterday night I had the chance to enjoy a multiple moon transition in Jupiter. Ganymede and Europa were crossing Jupiter and throwing their shadows to the big planet. Here it is an image of the event. At 23h 24m U.T Europa’s shadow was not visible yet. Io also appears at the photo but it was beneath the planet. In a minutes it would disappear.

The picture was taken with my digital reflex body (EOS Rebel XTi) and using the video capture software that converts it into a high quality webcam.


Jupiter Opposition

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/17 by computerphysicslab

15th August 2009 was the day that Jupiter reached its closest position to Earth. Its apparent diameter was 49 arcseconds, so this is the best time to do planetary astrophotography with the giant planet. Using the afocal technique and a Canon EOS 450d body I took 2 video sequences and processed with Registax 5, Photoshop & Pain Shop Pro.


Wesley impact scar

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/16 by computerphysicslab

Several days ago a comet hit Jupiter leaving a dark spot near one of its polar regions. Today this spot is still visible with a powerful telescope. Maybe if I have a high power Barlow lens I could have observed it visually. But fortunately there exist astrophotography, a technique that lets you observer indirectly what you can’t spot directly through a telescope.

In this same picture I include a Jupiter from the day before yesterday. The lack of atmospheric turbulence gave me a chance to get closer to the maximum theoretical resolution of a 6-inch telescope.

Jupiter 2009-08-15-and-16 150mm-EP14mm-450d