Re: Frustration with planetary imaging

James Ball

I do only planetary and lunar imaging with the iEXOS-100 and all the scopes listed below.  I use the ASI120-MC-s color camera.  I guide by hand since most captures are only 1-2minutes long.  Actually with the stacking software it will compensate for most drifting so if I hit the PA really close I do very little guiding at all.  I mainly guide when I am running the 2x barlow and using a small ROI to try and keep the subject near center.  I have thought about getting a guide scope but not sure it will even help that much for planetary. 

Try it without the guide scope, just get the target centered, set the ROI around 400x400 to get the highest frame rate possible and do a 2 minute capture, you should have a few thousand frames to stack.  Stack with AutoStakkert then do any post processing you want, I normally just use Gimp to do brightness, contrast and saturation, but you can also use Registax for wavelets.

I use SharpCap and activate the reticule and through the Ascom setup connect SharpCap to the mount and use the directional arrows to keep the target centered. There is a autoguiding feature in the Pro version, but I have not gotten it to calibrate yet, someone also mentioned there is the same thing in FireCapture so you may try that too.  The fact that I am at F10-F30 depending on the scope used, is probably why autoguiding is difficult,

Some Images done by this method:


James Ball
Dawson Springs, Ky
Mounts: iEXOS-100
Scopes: Meade ETX90RA(deforked now) Sky Watcher 150MCT
Camera: ZWO ASI 120MC-S
Software: Explore Stars Android, ASCOM, Stellarium Scope, Stellarium, AS!3, SharpCap, RegiStax6.

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