Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturn

As part of our Mercury evening at Bristol Astronomical Societies observatory last week we took the time to image Saturn whilst the darkness kicked in ready for some deeper sky observing.

We used the prime focus (or Newtonian focus for you purists!) webcam imaging with my ToUCam Pro and IR filter. After initial focusing the firmware was updated to
utilise the Colour-RAW mod using WcRmac for the best results we can get from this webcam.

After experimenting with a 2x, 4x, and no barlow lens, the 2x produced the best overall results given the steady (but rather hazy) conditions. I rather like the result! Depending on which monitor/TFT I view this on, it can look a little dark .... I think I need to calibrate my monitors!


Technical Details: Cyril Swindon is a 12" Newtonian reflector with a newly furbished motor and fine RA controller which worked flawlessly. For such a large scope, it was surprisingly easy to aim, focus, and fine track. 2000 frames were captured, and just under 1000 used to create the final stack. The resulting TIFF was then exported and wavelets, colour balancing, noise reduction, rotation, and cropping was performed with PixInsightLE (which gives, in my opinion, far more controllable results than Registax).

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