Re: Planet Tracking and Imaging #APCC #Mach2GTO

thefamily90 Phillips

You do not need superb polar alignment/tracking to image the Moon and Planets. Using a webcam like ZWO and their firecapture software, you just get the image on your laptop screen and as long as you can keep the image somewhere on the screen while imaging(using the keypad at 1X) you have all you need. Then you stack the individual images in Registax or Autostakkert, use wavelets in Registax to sharpen the image and there you have it. Registax or Autostakkert will align the images no matter how much movement there is on the screen. Photoshop to polish it off.



From: <> on behalf of Greg Vaughn <gregvaughn@...>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 11:33:26 PM
To: <>
Subject: [ap-gto] Planet Tracking and Imaging #Mach2GTO #APCC
This is a question for Ray Gralak after watching his July 2016 video about Horizons again.  The question and/or response may be of interest to others as well.

Hi Ray,

in your Horizons video you mention downloading ephemeris data for Mars as an example of what Horizons can be used for - beyond tracking comets.  If I'm going to use the Mach 1 or Mach 2 to image Jupiter, Saturn or Mars, can I download ephemeris data for them in Horizons, do an APPM model and then reasonably expect to be able to track one of the planets with enough precision for good lucky (video) imaging.   Does it make a difference between the Mach 1 or Mach 2.   

I know there are some changes coming with the new keypad software, but the question is for an attempt to image the planets while they are still in my field of view and with a very long effective focal length (~5,700-11,400mm)  - using an 11in Edge HD and a barlow or PowerMate (2X-4X).  Using a ZWO ASI 174 OSC, the image scale would be about .212 to .106 arcsec/pixel while for the ZWO 1600MM it would be .138 to .069 - if I've calculated these correctly.  At any rate, they would need very accurate tracking during the length of the video which for Jupiter would be about 30sec if I remember correctly.

I've been focused on nebulae targets, but would like to shift scopes and catch the planets before they are gone. (I know I'm running a little late already.)

Thanks in advance for any insights from you on how best to leverage APCC for this task and any critiques on my thought process and setup.


p.s.  I'm limited in my views of the planets to the azimuthal range of about 110-185 deg true, so my APPM model is primarily an East model.

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