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theillini19 OP t1_ja5b85a wrote

I got a Dobsonian telescope in summer 2020 (second hand 8 inch from Orion for about $320). After the breathtaking experience of observing Jupiter and Saturn from my backyard in the city, I immediately wanted to capture what I was seeing. Dobsonians are meant primarily for visual observing rather than astrophotography, but I fell in love with the challenge of trying to get good photos on a budget. Looking back at all the long nights, freezing cold, mosquitos, and hours spent holding the telescope steady as Jupiter quickly moved out of the field of view, I remember being so proud of each of these photos. My post history has the full equipment and processing details for the four pictures, taken in October 2020, July 2021, August 2022, and October 2022.


cote112 t1_ja66gfg wrote

I just learned a bit about telescopes, like the fact that there are more than one kind.


DausHMS t1_ja7h6ag wrote

Telescopes come in many shapes and sizes, with different types catering to different kind of observations, from radio all the way to gamma rays.


best_of_badgers t1_ja91pcr wrote

And gravitational wave! And neutrino! … except so far, our gravitational wave telescope has only two pixels.


jazzwhiz t1_ja9gx63 wrote

VIRGO is (sometimes) online so three pixels, but of varying quality.


Other-Weakness-9177 t1_ja9r9ac wrote

I don't know what this means but it made me think of me having only two to three brain cells. 😭


jazzwhiz t1_jaa01tf wrote

We can detect gravitational waves at a few points on the Earth. From this they can estimate the direction it came from by using timing and other information. The most sensitive experiment is called LIGO and is composed of two separate detectors, one in Washington state and one in Louisiana. The one in Louisiana is better than the one in Washington. There is also another experiment called VIRGO in Italy that is less sensitive but provides a third point to try to identify the direction of the gravitational wave burst event. See for example this plot which shows the region on the sky one real event is likely to have come from based on information from different sources. The green dashed region (HL) is what can be determined from the two LIGO detectors (Hanford and Livingston). The green solid region (HLV) is with VIRGO added in. The orange region is the directional information from a totally different experiment: the Fermi telescope in orbit around the Earth which measures gamma rays (photons). The gamma ray and gravitational wave signal happened at the same time and basically from the same direction so we're extremely confident that they are due to the same underlying physics.

The plot comes from here which has some code for playing around with these sorts of things. The paper for the plot is here.


InterstellarDiplomat t1_ja9f3hi wrote

> My post history has the full equipment and processing details for the four pictures, taken in October 2020, July 2021, August 2022, and October 2022.

I was curious, so I went into OP's post history to dig it all up...

October 2020:

> I’m just a beginner to AP and these shots aren’t much comparable to others on here, but I’m very proud of my first real pictures of Mars (10/11), Saturn (10/11), and Jupiter (10/10). > > Shot with Orion SkyQuest XT8 (no Barlow) and ZWO ASI120MC-S using SharpCap software. > Processed with Pipp, AutoStakkert! 3.1.4, and RegiStax 6. Combined with MS Paint. > > I have a 2x Barlow coming in today so hopefully I’ll be able to capture more detailed shots tonight!

July 2021:

> I got the telescope last summer and was finally able to capture some nice images after a lot of practice (and bad weather)! > I'm incredibly grateful to u/schorhr for all the guidance last year regarding scopes and eyepieces. > > Equipment: > > * Orion Skyquest XT8 8 inch Dobsonian > * ZWO ASI120MC-S camera > * Celestron Omni 2x Barlow > > Processing: > > * Shot about 5000 frames with Sharpcap (v3.2.6442.0) for each planet > * pre-processed with PIPP (v2.5.9) > * stacked 30% of frames and sharpened image with AutoStakkert! (v3.1.4) > * RegiStax 6: RGB alignment, RGB balance, histogram, and wavelets > * GIMP v2.10.24: contrast, saturation > > Edit: These videos were helpful for learning image processing: > > * > *

August 2022:

> Photographed the Gas Giants last night after a year hiatus. The skies were clear enough to get some nice shots with my 3x Barlow, including my personal best image of Jupiter! > > Equipment: > > * Orion Skyquest XT8 8 inch Dobsonian (manual tracking) > * ZWO ASI120MC-S camera > * Celestron 93428 X-Cel LX 3x Barlow > > Processing: > > * captured frames with Sharpcap > * Jupiter: 4826 frames, 2 min 40 sec > * Saturn: 5707 frames, 3 min 10 sec > * pre-processed with PIPP > * stacking/sharpening image with AutoStakkert (stacked best 30% frames for each planet) > * RegiStax: RGB alignment, RGB balance, histogram, and wavelets > * GIMP: contrast, saturation

October 2022:

> Equipment: > > * Orion Skyquest XT8 8 inch Dobsonian on equatorial platform > * ZWO ASI120MC-S camera > * Celestron 93428 X-Cel LX 3x Barlow > > Processing: > > * captured 2700 frames with Sharpcap over 90 seconds > * pre-processed with PIPP > * stacking/sharpening with AutoStakkert! (30% of frames, 1.5x drizzle) > * RegiStax: RGB balance, histogram, and wavelets > * Adobe Photoshop (camera raw filter): color correction (vibrance, saturation, etc.), sharpening, noise reduction > * Topaz DeNoise AI


StopSendingSteamKeys t1_ja9hzkl wrote

So a 300$ telescope + 170$ astro camera + 125$ barlow lens + 80$ AI denoiser + 20$/month photoshop

Still much cheaper than a telescope with a startracker.


ILoveShitRats t1_ja9imxz wrote

Which is nothing by astrophotography standards. Super expensive hobby. Not unusual at all for amateurs to have $5K - $10K setups.


StopSendingSteamKeys t1_ja9iuty wrote

I know, this is actually super cheap. Just to make sure no one is confused about the 300$ number. You're not gonna get pictures like that with your phone.


Jumbodrl t1_ja9m7yl wrote

I have always been interested with the idea of getting into this hobby… thank you for breaking it down for me. Future me will be glad I read this today.


YOU_SMELL t1_ja9ml7u wrote

Don't forget the 460 dollar equatorial platform made of birch wood for the final


JetAmoeba t1_ja9eqwx wrote

Where are you located/what’s your light pollution level? The photos are fantastic!


Astromike23 t1_jaac9e2 wrote

> what’s your light pollution level?

Pro-tip: Jupiter is bright enough that you can image it even from the middle of a large city.


JetAmoeba t1_jaalfjm wrote

I actually saw it for the first time with my bare eyes just a couple weeks ago! (Well knowingly, I’m sure I’ve seen it hundreds of times over the years and just assumed it was a bright star lol)


ki77erb t1_ja9q8yd wrote

I have an Orion Starblast 4.5. Do you think a camera like the ZWO ASI120MC-S would work with that? Would I have to have it hooked directly to a laptop while I'm using it or can it be connected to a smartphone for capturing? Lastly, is the screen you have it connected to (ie the laptop) the only way to see what the telescope is looking at when you have this camera mounted on the focuser?

Sorry for all the questions. I love my telescope and would like to dabble a little in astrophotography without spending a ton of money. Right now I'm just using my phone camera through the eyepiece but that obviously has a lot of limitations.