A couple gas giants

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Mike in Rancho
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

A couple gas giants

Post by Mike in Rancho »

2022-08-17-0725_8-Saturn_lapl5_ap22_Drizzle15 25pct REG ST8 1B.jpg
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2022-08-17-0733_6-Jupiter_lapl5_ap41_Drizzle15 25pct REG ST8 1A.jpg
2022-08-17-0733_6-Jupiter_lapl5_ap41_Drizzle15 25pct REG ST8 1A.jpg (31.86 KiB) Viewed 29908 times

I am a rank amateur or worse with planetary, but took these shots last week using my 178MC. Which spends most of its life as the DSO guide cam.

Each resulted from 3 minutes of "video" taken through ASICAP, on the Evostar 100ED f/9 at 900mm, no Barlow (though I tried one of those too). Still very much need to work on my exposure times, fps, and gain. Not to mention imaging scale. According to one rule of thumb, these may have been slightly under(?)sampled based on the pixel size of 2.4u. Oh, I also have to figure out whether to ignore or change the default R and B scaling in the ZWO driver. :confusion-shrug:

Top 25% stacked in AS3, plus spatial RGB alignment, 1.5x drizzle. I did not channel balance. Though I am uncertain again if all of this matters the same with stacked planetary video (necessarily stretched) like it does with linear DSO.

I also have not quite yet worked out how to use Registax and ST together. The R6 wavelets and ST's deconvoluton kind of head down the same paths, but at the moment I seem to be able to get more by using R6 first, with it's 6 wavelet sliders plus individual denoise and sharpen on each one, and then process in ST, though I can only use the lightest of synth deconvolution then. I haven't yet tried it the other way around - ST first and then maybe a touch of extra in R6.

Likewise as to Color and even Wipe. For these, what I tried doing was to take the R6 output into ST as non-linear, crop and frame as needed after using a big FilmDev gamma to stretch the heck out of it, Wipe (zero aggressive), then re-do FilmDev (again just setting my gamma) for final stretch. At that point I go through and see whether things like Contrast, HDR, and SVD help at all. Finally I attempt to set the colors and saturation, and close out with a non-denoise denoise (doesn't seem to do anything unless some settings are fully maxed).

These are as-is, not sampled up afterwards, so kind of small.

Not that it says much, but for sure this is my best ever Saturn. Those three moons were barely visible, but Contrast brought them out a bit more, and then I gave them a wee bump in Layer at the very end. Still just faint fuzzy blobs, but hey, real Saturnian moons! The Jupiter, with Io along for the ride, may be my best also? I do have a decent one from last year, but I think this one is sharper.

My planetary game still needs lots of work. :lol:
decay
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Germany, NRW

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by decay »

Hi Mike,

nice shots :thumbsup: .

It’s nice to see, that you do planetary imaging as well. And you reminded me, that I still have to take a shot of Saturn this year. So you are a kind of a guilty conscience for me ;) .

I started with planetary imaging some years ago, with the toy grade refractor scope of my daughter and a modified webcam. Since then I took every year an image of Saturn, in order get a sequence that shows how the rings are “closing”. Human lifetime is so short …

Unfortunately my images are not that fine. At first I thought it would be my scope (200/1000 newton), but now I’m quite sure it’s the atmosphere here, which is nearly always “boiling”. There are only a few clear seconds during hours …

Your 178 MC has in fact a smaller pixel size then my 120 MC, but nevertheless I would assume, that 900mm is not enough focal length. AFAIK pixel scale should lead to slight _over_sampling. I do use a 2x barlow lens and I prolonged it to about 2.5x. So 2500 mm focal length. Some people are imaging at 3 or 5 meters focal length AFAIK. But of course, the image gets pretty dark …

I played with Registax and ST as well, with most of the findings you described for you. I also achieved best results with RS6 first and then ST’s deconvolution.

“The R6 wavelets and ST's deconvoluton kind of head down the same paths”. I’m not sure, that this is true. Wavelets do some kind of sharpening and/or local contrast, but deconvolution should reconstruct real features. That’s the reason, why I would like to use ST’s Decon modul for my planetary images. But it seems not to be so easy … :( Still a lot to figure out. It would be nice, if you could carry on to share your findings in future – I will do the same.

And you may want to take a look at the thread about my solar image … ?
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2650

This is Jupiter from last year, processed with RS6 and with ST’s Decon later on to the right … this SVDecon module is awesome, I cannot stop to repeat me.
2022-08-25 18_58_04-StarTools.jpg
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Best regards, Dietmar.

P.S.: Saturn is great without camera as well! It amazing to see the rings with the Cassini gap and up to five (?) moons ...
Mike in Rancho
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by Mike in Rancho »

Time for this year's entries. :D

I actually had additional planetary captures last November with the Newt instead of the refractor, but I think I only used RS and wavelets to process those. This time, all ST 1.9b. :thumbsup: But I'm a planet processing amateur no matter what software.

These were Sunday night 11/05/23, with the Newt and my premium 3x Astromania Barlow. With my 178MC as the imaging camera, the finder shoe was empty for me to put a RACI in. I got that lined up but really never used it again, as the ol' HEQ5 Pro was slewing dead-on to whatever little planet I told it to point to even with this tiny FOV. Well, except for Neptune, I never found that.

I started off with Saturn as it was going to set first, and it really got low as I struggled to get everything set up. Every year I forget how to do this and have to figure it out on the fly again.

Not the greatest, but hey it's still Saturn and Saturn is cool. 180s AVI taken in ASICAP, 640 x 480 RAW8, 20ms exposures, 20% of 9000 frames in AS3, then ST1.9.560b - mostly SVD planetary. I lowered the PSF radius quite a bit for this little guy, and jacked up the iterations.

2023-11-06-0546_1-Saturn_lapl6_ap16 ST9-1A.jpg
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Starting late and wasting time had one bonus, which was Jupiter nearing meridian at almost 70° alt! Of the multiple Jovian videos I took, I think this was the best at least so far. AS3's quality estimator seemed to think so, anyway.

180s, 640 x 480 RAW8, 5ms exposures, 50% of 36,000 frames. Along with SVD I think I also used some mild Sharpen at medium scale, then of course set the color balance and saturations. I'd have to check the log. I mashed a lot of buttons but canceled out quite a few times if I didn't like what was going on.

2023-11-06-0620_1-Jupiter_lapl6_ap32 ST9-1A.jpg
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This was a different run at Jupiter, but at full FOV of the camera in order to get more moons. 180s, 3096 x 2080 RAW8, 11ms exposures, 25% of 11,000 frames.

2023-11-06-0712_2-Jupiter_lapl4_ap45 w moons ST9-1A.jpg
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The GRS was actually on it's way, but not for two or three hours. That wasn't in the cards for a Sunday night. :lol:
Mike in Rancho
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by Mike in Rancho »

Here's yet another try of the same 640x480 stack as the prior post, again all ST but processed a bit differently.

I'm a bit torn on how to process planets. Maybe I just need to keep playing around. :think:

Here, I kind of used compose mode to create a synth L for detail processing, telling ST that it was linear even though a stack of AVI frames obviously isn't. But, I didn't use Wipe or OptiDev to "restretch" since I don't think those work quite well for this.

I also refrained from Contrast as it blows out the highlights on some of Jupiter's bright bands.

On this one I went right to deconvolution with my luminance mode image and altered radius and iterations to where I think results were decent. A medium scale sharpening after that. Then Color. But, I couldn't get Color working quite the same as when I tried opening as non-linear. Maybe the lack of Wipe being able to set color channel floors?

So it's sort of give with one hand and take with the other. I think the details are better when I apply deconvolution on the synth L (I used the 2xG OSC option) as "linear," but not the Color balance control I was hoping for. Alas. More experiments needed I guess. There seems to be finer detail, and not as harsh as when deconvolution was run through on non-linear. Maybe. :?

2023-11-06-0620_1-Jupiter_lapl6_ap32 CMode ST9-2A.jpg
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dx_ron
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Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:55 pm

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by dx_ron »

I keep meaning to take a stab at a planet - but those dso keep calling... But I think as the moon waxes I will try to find a night to shoot Jupiter, at least, with the AT130 and QHY5iii462c (do I sound violent?)

Is there a reason to process in ST rather than the usual suspect planetary tools?
Mike in Rancho
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by Mike in Rancho »

dx_ron wrote: Wed Nov 15, 2023 1:53 am Is there a reason to process in ST rather than the usual suspect planetary tools?
So I can post them on ST forums. :D

I tried R6 first, and I'm not the greatest at it. Not bad, a little different. In either ST or R6 you can easily cook things too much, blow out bands, induce artifacts, or just have too harsh of a result. I figured I'd see what could be done with tools I (somewhat) have experience with, albeit for DSO.

If you've followed, there's actually a lot going on right now in planetary software. After...forever...the author of R6 has been developing Wavesharp (?), which I believe is mostly just the post-processing aspects of R6 split off, updated, and improved. Might still be in closed beta, I'm not sure, but at least a few folks on CN have been using it. Also after forever, the author of Autostakkert (last one being AS!3) just a few days ago released a new beta of AS!4. I think that might be an open beta, haven't looked yet.

So good times for planets. And you can't really beat the crazy high DEC that Jupiter is at. Especially since I don't have an ADC.
decay
Posts: 406
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Location: Germany, NRW

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by decay »

Very nice, Mike :) Images of both planets are a great improvement compared to the entries of the last year. What do you think, is this just because of better seeing conditions or else due to changed hardware or improved personal skills in planetary image processing?
Mike in Rancho wrote: Thu Nov 09, 2023 7:19 am I struggled to get everything set up. Every year I forget how to do this and have to figure it out on the fly again.
Exactly the same for me, Mike! It's too bad, I'm feeling so stupid every year again. :lol:
Mike in Rancho wrote: Thu Nov 09, 2023 7:19 am one bonus, which was Jupiter nearing meridian at almost 70° alt!
Despite its high altitude, Jupiter has been disappointing for me this year. :( Seeing was too bad, almost impossible to get a reasonable focus position. But at least I got my annual image of Saturn ;)
Mike in Rancho wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:46 pm I'm a bit torn on how to process planets.
Yeah, I feel the same :? This time, I tried ST only processing, too. The outcome on Saturn was quite nice, but I guess ST planetary processing workflow is still kind of rudimentary. Does noise reduction work for you? I tried all kind of module combinations, but NR never showed any impact.

Best regards, Dietmar.
Mike in Rancho
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: A couple gas giants

Post by Mike in Rancho »

decay wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 7:54 pm Very nice, Mike :) Images of both planets are a great improvement compared to the entries of the last year. What do you think, is this just because of better seeing conditions or else due to changed hardware or improved personal skills in planetary image processing?
Not sure. I think seeing was alright this time, but I'm not one of those planetary gurus who can say 1/10 or 9/10 or anything like that. The planets didn't seem to be "super dancing" on the screen, that's all I know.

And I've likely become a little better at trying better exposure and gain settings in ASICAP, as well as using the right parameters in AS3.

I did just buy an ADC during the current ZWO sale, so we'll see how that helps. The Newt is in pieces right now though, as I have removed and remounted the secondary (3 RTV blobs) and am trying to make a DIY primary mask. That may fall apart; a bit difficult with the 6 inch GSO-style mirror cell and OTA-end.
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