Monday, July 16, 2012

First attempt at stacking

Did a late night session to practice stacking. Unfortunately, I could not setup 3 object SkyAlignment. Instead I had to do a 1 object alignment (using Altair). With that I tried to point to the Andromeda Galaxy - but I doubt that it was actually pointed at it. But I noticed long trails in the first photo. Remembered the rule of 600 and adjusted the exposure time to just 4 seconds (600 / 150 - which is the focal length of the telescope).

I did then Altair itself (and could see that it got out of line fairly quickly, so the alignment was pretty bad). Forgot to take a dark frame image for the Andromeda shots. Will try stacking and such this evening.


Read about Image Acquisition software and to automate combination of short exposures or even bracketing. Apparently Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 can do this - this might make the $180 worth. But I’ll also check out if “the other software” (also for $180) can do this. Need to try this on Mac (both my trial periods on the Windows laptop expired). This would be supercool to have automated - it’s a pain in the ... to do this manually!

Still trying to figure out what machine I want to get for this:

  • A notebook that is powerful enough to do all the image processing and such
  • A smaller notebook for just capturing Images - the current (Windows) laptop is even to weak for this
  • A faster desktop - could try to use Beth mac or a new more powerful desktop

Downloaded DSLR Shutter - looks simple - maybe too simple. And I can’t connect it to my camera :-(
Will try out Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 tonight. Unfortunately, I installed it already on my laptop and on the Windows laptop - and the trial period expired. Tried on Beth’ computer - doesn’t work for some reasons. I read about it and apparently it does bracketing and series, so I just bought it. I did some basic tests with it - this seems to do everything I need: control, bracketing... and with a surprisingly simple interface!

Checked out Astrosight, Nebulosity and PixInsight.

I couldn’t even figure out how to load photos into Astrosight and Nebulosity. PixInsight seems to be crazy complicated - but at least I could load and convert the images.