Archive for GRS

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.

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

Jupiter with Exilim, 450d & Webcam

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/03 by computerphysicslab

Here I have integrated my best images of Jupiter taken with 3 different cameras:

* Casio Exilim EX-FS10

* Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XTi)

* Webcam Philips ToUcam Pro


Jupiter post-processing

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/07/29 by computerphysicslab

I have been lucky tonight. Good seeing to see Jupiter. Using a small binoculars between the eyepiece and my eye I could spot visually Jupiter in high definition at an effective 450x magnification. That’s pretty good for a 150/600 reflector, isn’t it?

As you may appreciate in the following picture, the GRS (Great Red Spot) is clearly visible near the center of the planet. Several details are visible in the Jupiter’s bands. The image was obtained with a non-tracking Newtonian 6-inch telescope, a 14mm eyepiece, a Casio Exilim EX-FS10 digital camera that recorded 165 subframes. Registax 5 dealt with the alignment and stacking process. Dyadic Wavelets were applied to get contrast and details. PSP9 did the post-processing. The footage was taken exactly at 2009-07-28 03:33 UT.

Here several post-processing results are shown. The first one is that I like more.