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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.


Busy-Pen4796 t1_ja5dzc6 wrote

Awesome pic! I keep telling myself I'm going to get a telescope so I can look at the planets. But I still haven't gotten around to doing it yet, so shame on me.


myrrhmassiel t1_ja6imun wrote

...look into equatorial platforms: they will transform your tracking experience with dobsonian mounts...


cspgodzilla t1_ja6xdlu wrote

Hi. Va you share your set? Your choice of telescope and accessories?


J_J_R t1_ja71op5 wrote

Care to sum up what you've done to see such improvement over the years? Just barely getting started with a homemade 114mm scope now. Has the major improvement been just in image quality or has the amount of detail you've seen with your eyes increased through better technique as well?


RogerDodger008 t1_ja73c78 wrote

Very nice, i think the bottom one you nearly have the sharpening perfect, not too heavy. I also have a heavy hand when sharpening in registax haha

Very good for a asi120mc btw. Small sensor drift captures are hard. Not sure if you use firecapture but check out the audible histogram feature. Helps a lot on a manaul dob to hear a ping and long beep when the planet is on sensor.

Clear skies!


HotCarlWithaK t1_ja7ef2k wrote

Can you tell me about your setup?

I have a Dobsonian and would love to start capturing images like these…


Zekava t1_ja7i4cc wrote

So you're telling me OP has been shooting at Jupiter for 2 years and all it's done is make it bigger? Damn, how hard is it to kill these space orbs?


I_Heart_Astronomy t1_ja7icnn wrote

Not OP, but I image through my dob as well. The key is in the camera. A dedicated planetary camera from ZWO, QHY, or PlayerOne makes all the difference over a DSLR or a cell phone. The downside is that you need a laptop with a solid state drive and at least USB 3.0 to be able to handle the firehose of data coming from the camera.

The way the technique works is the camera records high speed video, uncompressed. Generally you should be able to get ~150-180FPS from such a camera (even higher if your scope can track and you can set a small region of interest around the planet to get your frame rate up). You record for about 120-180 seconds and then process the video in a stabilizing program like PIPP (PIPP works best for stabilizing untracked video). From there you can stack the video in a stacking program like AutoStakkert. AutoStakkert automatically ranks all the frames from sharpest to blurriest, and you can choose which percentage of frames to keep (e.g. the best 25%). The best frames are stacked together to smooth out noise.

Once you have a smooth image, you then need to sharpen it. Astrosurface or Registax are popular programs for sharpening, and give good results. Astrosurface can also do stacking, but I haven't used it enough for stacking to recommend it over AutoStakkert yet.

All of the programs I mentioned are free, but do require Windows. They all have some pretty confusing interfaces and take some getting used to, but once you know how to use them, processing a video into a final image takes about 5-10 minutes or so. Mostly just trying settings to see what works best.

For the camera brands I mentioned, they all basically use the same Sony sensors, but have different capabilities built around them. I use a ZWO ASI224MC. Excellent sensor, just very small. If your scope doesn't track, you don't have a very large field of view to work with, so it can limit capture potential as you're constantly having to re-position the planet on the sensor and you have to let it drift across the sensor.

Image scale is important to consider. The general rule of thumb is to image at a focal ratio that is 5x the pixel size in microns. For the 3.75 micron pixels of the 224MC, optimal focal ratio is F/18.75. If you have an 8" F/6 dob, then you'd want a 3x barlow to bring the focal ratio to F/18. BUT, the catch is that if the focal ratio is too long to manually track the planet, you're going to have a bad time. So I would recommend starting out imaging at the telescope's native focal length even if it's under-sampled (hopefully the camera can reach focus without a barlow!) Practice imaging at the native focal length until you get a feel for it, then add a barlow to increase the image scale. Things become exponentially harder as you go up in focal length, which is why I recommend starting out conservatively.

Just note that we are at the end of planetary season now so results are going to be generally poor. Jupiter is too low in the sky, Saturn is too close to the Sun, and Mars is too far away. The Moon is always a nice target though. You can produce some beautiful mosaics with a planetary camera and untracked dob.


ManikMiner t1_ja7iu7n wrote

How come it looks like there is so much less "detail" in the last image, it looks incredibly clear but the previous imagines have lots of contrasting lines. Is this just a different side of the planet or does Jupiter's "climate" shift around a lot? Incredible work btw


anticomet t1_ja7m01g wrote

Humans have been shooting at the Earth for centuries, but I fear our technology will only advance enough to kill 90% of life on the planet rather than the ball itself. We have no chance against a gas giant


hesido t1_ja7qjxo wrote

It looks like it's going to hit us in a couple of years.
Awesome progress btw!


tingtong500 t1_ja7xgef wrote

How did you retrieve the telescope after shooting at Jupiter


farmallnoobies t1_ja7zjly wrote

One trick I learned the other day is that my local high school has a couple that can be checked out by anyone within the school district. I'm so glad they have this. I wish more places like libraries would do this too

If I ever finally work up the motivation to get more serious than my binoculars, I'm going to try out their 8" dob to see if I like it before buying.


I_Heart_Astronomy t1_ja86l1d wrote

Not technically, no, it just how it’s referred to when planets are visible in the sky. For the last few years, Jupiter and Saturn have been in the sky together. Even Mars oppositions have been around when both Jupiter and Saturn were around. So because of that, they were all visible around the same time of year, so it’s been referred to as a “planetary season”.

Eventually though, Jupiter and Saturn will be opposite one another for a while and thus there will be at least one major planet visible in the sky all year long, with Mars popping in every couple of years. So there won’t be a “planetary season” per se, just individual planet “seasons” like “Jupiter season” etc.


pipinngreppin t1_ja8a4l9 wrote

There was once a time where I would choose between pooping and drinking coffee. Today, I can report that I am typing this message while pooping and drinking my coffee. Don’t let your dreams be dreams.


I_Heart_Astronomy t1_ja8h6vh wrote

The side of Jupiter definitely influences how much detail is visible, but I will say that OP's previous images were WAY over-sharpened. It made the planet's features look more strongly contrasted than they actually are. His third image is processed to look more natural.

This is a pretty close simulation of what Jupiter actually looks like through the eyepiece of a modest sized telescope:, contrast is much more subtle, so OP's third image is more closely aligned with what Jupiter is really like.


hellokinky_xo t1_ja8lidi wrote

this is amazing, and mildly satisfying. Good job! you should be proud of yourself! Amazing photos!


inlinefourpower t1_ja8w3kq wrote

Our whole earth orbit only swings the distance by ~2AU, it's at about ~5.1 AU. So we're looking at 4.1AU vs 6.1AU. I guess that is about 50% further away at the furthest, and technically both planets have non circular orbits so maybe it is a little closer than that even.

I started doing this math expecting to give OPs skills credit but maybe a lot of this is the orbit... Of course over two years we should see it get bigger and smaller. Tough to say. Either way love the pictures. I really oughta get a telescope...


torrentiaI t1_ja8xv3x wrote

it does sadden me to know that I was born too early for potential space exploration. Treasure Planet gave me an impossible dream, tis a tragedy


smurficus103 t1_ja90hyr wrote

You just need enough explosives set in a straight line around earth and, dont detonate them all at once, but, detonate them such that the shockwave is additive with every subsequent explosive, you'll crack the earth in two


Far_Introduction527 t1_ja9607q wrote

Shit, when was NASA gonna warn us if the impending collision???

Geez op. You been sitting on this for that long???


hysteriamuse t1_ja9761z wrote

„Only“ 300??? My dream to one day capture a planet like this just became real again!

This looks amazing! Do you have any captured of Saturn yet?


NationalSkyline420 t1_ja97wj1 wrote

God only $300 dollars???? Okay I might just get my first telescope.


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


nSpaceTime t1_ja9mcty wrote

Jupiter graphics got better with next gen universe update


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.


vihra t1_ja9txcx wrote

Soooo what you're saying is... It's getting closer.. ;p Well done!


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.


Decronym t1_jaa19al wrote

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

|Fewer Letters|More Letters| |-------|---------|---| |HLV|Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (20-50 tons to LEO)| |LEO|Low Earth Orbit (180-2000km)| | |Law Enforcement Officer (most often mentioned during transport operations)| |LIGO|Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory|

^(2 acronyms in this thread; )^(the most compressed thread commented on today)^( has 16 acronyms.)
^([Thread #8627 for this sub, first seen 27th Feb 2023, 22:57]) ^[FAQ] ^([Full list]) ^[Contact] ^([Source code])


WaveLaVague t1_jaak7ru wrote

  • What is this ?

  • The Truth.

  • About what ?

  • The dads who never came back. That's where they all went.

  • That's sounds stupid, I don't get what you m/

  • Yes ! Yes you do. We all do. They taught us since we are young, boys will be boys. AND they told us where boys go, and why. We just repeated it without paying attention. But now I have the proof, guessed their path ,saw them takeoff, I KNOW! the Truth.

So now tell me [whoever replies]... ####WHERE DO BOYS GO... AND WHY?


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)


japes81 t1_jabtdu1 wrote

Is it meant to be getting bigger?? Please stop


Thick_Pressure t1_jacjxls wrote

> Or, well, not actually watch it. I guess you will have larger problems to think about.

That would be a terrifying thing to see from orbit. My guess is that it would look pretty cool if you could get over the existential crisis that it probably just caused you.


WhiteKingCat t1_jadl1a6 wrote

What??? $300 telescope? Mine is worth that much if not more and i literally see Jupiter as a very small white dot. How? Just how?


MarvelsGrantMan136 wrote

It has 2 Jupiter!! It has 2 Jupiter!! It has 2 Jupiter!!] [1] [click [15] It has 2 Jupiter!!] [1] [click [15]