Friday, 1 April 2016

Jupiter imaging - Skywatcher 127/1500

Last night I visited the Northolt Branch Astro amateur group, we got together to do our hobby, imaging the wonders of heaven.
As I only do imaging from my balcony, due laziness and lack of trust in my power tank - so this was a great opportunity to test my Skywatcher 127/1500 maksutov scope.

I recorded 6751 frames, histogram at 52%, gain 79 and shutter 17.36 ms.  I must admit that mostly I stick with a value around 40%, but yesterday I was in an experimental mood... did not regret it at all.

The best 3500 frames, because seeing was quite okey and the quality of the frames seemed good too. I have tried stacking the best 1500, 2500 and 3500 frames. The third option turned out to be the way forward.

After stacking in Autostakkert 2

Final result

Still lots to do with the photo. In Registax I used Wavelets to get the right sharpness, getting rid of the false colour and align the RGB channels. Bit of gamma modification and save.
Then in Photoshop it only needed a final touch to fine tune the details.
Io was getting closer to Jupiter and the actual occultation happened at 22:20, 20 mins after this shot was taken.

Jupiter in motion - 4 frame animation 

Overall conclusion:
Skywatcher 127/1500 mak is a stunningly good scope under good seeing conditions (seeing was 4 and 2 according to meteoblue - that website gives two values for seeing, max is 5 in both categories).
Hard to find the exactly good settings, but once you do it does miracles - mind this is still a fairly small scope.

It does embarrass bigger scopes for sure :)


London - Northolt

Equipment used
Skywatcher 127/1500 MC
Zwo ASI 120 MC colours camera
Celestron 2x X-Cel barlow lens

Software used for processing:
Autostakkert 2
Registax 6


In WinJupos I attempted to do derotation of three stacked images, here is the result compared with the best single frame (stacked of course as described above).
One stacked frame has probably slightly more details, but in the same time noise is a bit too much. Versus the derotated version - less details but probably more pleasing to look at it.

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