Jupiter with the saxon FCD100

15 March 2019

This is my last "you can do it" post about the 127mm saxon FCD100.

I've been trying to show what YOU should reasonably expect to get from basic equipment without really complicated technical know-how. 

This post is a bit different, as I've used some post-processing in the form of two free programs called Autostakkert and Registax. 

I'm a nebula guy with a wide angle telescope, so I've never taken a really good shot of a planet in my life. (I've published a couple here. They're not much.) So when I say I'm showing what a beginner might expect - I'm not kidding!

This is what I did.

I took my NEQ6 mount up to the dark sky site and set it up on a pier. I mounted the scope and attached the Orion Starshoot 5MP and cabled it to my laptop. I also used TWO inexpensive 2xBarlow lenses to try to get more magnification. The saxon 127 is only 952mm in focal length, so I was working at about 3800mm effective focal length.

I polar aligned using the Synscan polar alignment routine (I've described this in a previous blog). 

Once Jupiter was high enough, I started taking movie footage. The idea is that you take movies of the planet, and then give the resulting AVI file to Autostakkert. This ditches all but the best 10% of frames and stacks the good ones, producing a single TIF image.

This I took across to Registax and used its wavelet functions to sharpen the image as best I could. This is the first photo.

The second photo (which is at the start of this blog) is an attempt at making the image a bit bigger.

Notice the chromatic aberration in the photos, with the red fringe at the top and the blue at the bottom? I think the Barlows are at fault here.

Experts could do a better job, without a doubt, but this is a test of what a beginner - me or you - could expect.

This is what you can do!