I got the clearest skies I’ve seen in weeks this morning, and seeing that was tremendous. So why did my videos and pictures not turn out so well? I have theories. More that at the bottom.
I started out using the FrankenCam (see the other post from today) but I’ll leave that disappointment aside. I figured for sure I’d get some wonderful images with the Fujifilm Finepix S700 that gave me such great data last time. Well, I was wrong. What I saw through the eyepiece was a huge, sharp, contrasty planet. What appeared on LCD screen of the camera looked pretty similar. When I pulled up any of the 10 videos I shot this morning, this was what greeted me (or worse!):
Absolutely heinous. Compare that to the raw image that greeted me on October 8th:
I don’t know if you can tell the difference but I sure can. Today’s videos were way more grainy and distorted. However, I gritted my teeth and plugged away at the data I had collected in Registax anyway. If nothing else, hopefully I can learn from this.
Registax is truly an amazing program. To go from that grainy nasty thing to the above picture in less than a few minutes is just wonderful. The picture still isn’t anything I’m excited about.
My ideas: the filter. This time I used a filter on the eyepiece—last time I didn’t. As a result the colors from the Oct 8th imaging were richer and fuller. It cut down on the glare, to be sure but at the cost of detail and coloring. I think.
Besides the filter, I had turned on the anti-vibration feature of the camera after last time. I don’t know why, I think I was just messing around with settings on the Finepix and decided to try it. Next chance I get, I’m going to take 2 videos back to back, one with the setting on, the next with it off, to decide which one is better.
The other thing I didn’t have going for me like last time was the proper cool-down of the telescope. Last time, I got up at 5:30am and let the scope cool for nearly 40 minutes before I observed and filmed. Today, I was so shocked by the good seeing, mild temperature (it was about 50* as opposed to 30* on October 8th) and clear skies, I gave the scope about 10 mintues to cool down before I couldn’t contain myself any longer. Both sessions the cooling fan was running and collimation was spot on.
So, my takeaways are patience, patience, patience…and try it without the filter next time. Sheesh.