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.


<sleep...>


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.