How to Obtain Lunar Astrophotos

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Originally presented at the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers quarterly meeting 04/20/2011.
Presentation on how to obtain Lunar (or Planetary) images, detailing equipment, software, process and procedures using your Telescope and an inexpensive Webcam. Enjoy!

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How to Obtain Lunar Astrophotos

  1. 1. How to Obtain Lunar Astrophotos<br />Using your Telescope and a Webcam<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  2. 2. Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />The same techniques shown in this demonstration, can also be used for Planetary Imaging<br />
  3. 3. Yes, You Too, Can Make Pictures Like This!<br />This is easy and inexpensive but, Mostly A Lot of Fun!<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  4. 4. Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  5. 5. Equipment<br />Telescope<br />Laptop Computer<br />Webcam<br />IR Filter<br />Telescope Adapter<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  6. 6. Telescope<br />Just about any Telescope will do<br />Would be nice to have tracking motors to keep your target centered but, hand tracking will do<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  7. 7. Laptop Computer<br />A Laptop is needed to power the Webcam and provide storage for the images the Webcam captures<br />Any old Laptop should suffice, so long as it has ample storage and usually a USB port for the Webcam<br />A Means of powering the laptop in the field<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  8. 8. Webcam<br />A Webcam capable of obtaining low light images<br />Connectix - Quickcam<br />Philips - ToUcam Pro 840, SPC900NC<br />Meade - LPI<br />Imaging Source – DMK21AF04-AS<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  9. 9. My Webcam<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  10. 10. Description<br />Philips SPC900NC<br />USB Connection<br />Notice that the lens and lens bezel have been removed<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  11. 11. IR Filter<br />An IR (Infrared) cutoff filter is needed to prevent “star bloat” or image bleed in the pixels of the webcam.<br />Especially needed for refractors because they focus infrared and visible light at different points<br />Webcams are very sensitive to UV/IR light<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  12. 12. UV/IR Cut Filter<br />Baader UV/IR Cut Filter<br />Standard 1-1/4 “ screw in filter<br />Used to prevent star bloating <br />and image bleed between pixels<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  13. 13. Telescope Adapter<br />An adapter to attach a Webcam to a Telescope<br />Usually a thread in/on adapter that basically turns the Webcam into an eyepiece<br />Old film canisters<br />Moog adapters<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  14. 14. Telescope Adapter<br />Moog adapter<br />Special threads to screw into<br />Webcam<br />Other end is threaded for<br />Filters<br />Outer barrel is standard 1-1/4” to fit in telescope like an eyepiece<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  15. 15. Additional Filters;<br />Not necessary but, can assist in bringing out details in features on the Moon, Planets<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  16. 16. Complete Webcam<br />Webcam + Adapter + Filter<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  17. 17. Software<br />K3CCDTools<br />WcCtrl<br />Craterlet<br />ICcapture<br />Registax<br />Virtual Moon Atlas<br />Envisage for LPI – Meade Software<br />VirtualDub<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  18. 18. Software<br />K3CCDTools V1 is free<br />Used for image capture<br />And camera control<br />http://www.pk3.org/Astro/index.htm?k3ccdtools.htm<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  19. 19. Software<br />WcCtrl<br />Free<br />Camera control<br />http://www.burri-web.org/bm98/soft/wcctrl/index.htm<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  20. 20. Software<br />Craterlet<br />Free<br />Image capture<br />Minimal camera control<br />http://www.stark-labs.com/craterlet.html<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  21. 21. Software<br />IC Capture<br />Comes with Camera<br />Camera control for<br />Imaging Source cameras<br />http://www.theimagingsource.com/en_US/products/software/enduser/iccapturetis/<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  22. 22. Software<br />Registax<br />Free<br />Image processing software<br />http://www.astronomie.be/registax/<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  23. 23. Software<br />Virtual Moon Atlas<br />Free<br />Electronic encyclopedia of the Moon<br />Used to find targets on the Moon and find what you are looking for on the Moon<br />http://www.ap-i.net/avl/en/start<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  24. 24. Software<br />VirtualDub<br />Free<br />Video manipulation software<br />Used to convert video file formats<br />.bmp to .avi<br />.mpeg to .avi<br />Etc.<br />Some Webcams produce videos in different formats. What we need is an AVI format file. This program converts other formats to AVI<br />http://www.virtualdub.org/<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  25. 25. Software<br />Not Really but, included here as an observing list<br />A Target List<br />Sky & Telescopes “The Lunar 100” <br />A listing of 100 objects on the Moon arranged in an order from the easiest to the hardest to observe.<br />http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/moon/3308811.html?page=1&c=y<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  26. 26. How to do it!<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />We’ve gathered our Equipment and all our Software<br />
  27. 27. The Process<br />Hang on tight cause here we go<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  28. 28. Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />Set up telescope<br />Do alignment<br />Focus on the Moon<br />Pick a Target along or near <br />the Terminator<br />Insert Webcam, Start Software<br />Refocus on target<br />Capture images<br />Process captured images<br />
  29. 29. Pick Target Along or near Terminator<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  30. 30. Actual Image through Software allows you to adjust Focus<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />Archimedes: <br />
  31. 31. Actual Video Capture<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />Archimedes: <br />
  32. 32. Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />Previous capture lasted for only 120 seconds<br />Captured as an AVI file by Iccapture through a Imaging Source DMK21AF04-AS camera<br />At a frame rate of 60fps<br />That’s 3600 individual pictures that were taken<br />Out of those 3600, 100-200 will be clear enough to use<br />At this point we are done with our imaging or<br />We can image other features on the moon or proceed on to the processing of our captured files<br />
  33. 33. Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />Okay, we can now put the Telescope and other equipment away and move inside where it is warm and we have plenty of light<br />
  34. 34. Image Processing<br />We will use our software named Registax for the processing of our AVI image file<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  35. 35. Start Registax and load your image file<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  36. 36. Pick Your AVI File<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  37. 37. Selected AVI to be Processed<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  38. 38. Select Features to Align On<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  39. 39. Stack & Optimize<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  40. 40. Stacking & Optimizing<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  41. 41. Stacked & Optimized before Wavelets<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  42. 42. Image w/Wavelets Applied<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  43. 43. Image Cropped<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  44. 44. Final JPG Image<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  45. 45. What to do with all your new Lunar Images!<br />Join the Webcam Moon Imagers Yahoo Group<br />http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Webcam_Moon_Imagers/<br />Help with imaging the Moon<br />Help with Techniques<br />Help with Equipment, Software<br />Monthly Challenge Targets<br />Just More Fun<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  46. 46. Remember!<br />These same procedures can be used to image the Planets!<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />
  47. 47. The End<br />Questions??????<br />Whistlestop Observatory - Chip Frappier<br />

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