Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Orion Nebula with a ZWOASI 120MC and Linux

An f/5.5, 80mm, ED refractor was mounted on a Star Discovery AZ, GOTO mount. A ZWOASI 120MC camera was attached to the scope and AstroDMx Capture for Linux, running on a Linux Mint Laptop was used to capture 100 x 5s exposures as TIFFs with matching dark-frames. The best 90 images were dark-frame corrected, de-rotated and stacked in Autostakkert! 2.6 running in Wine. The resulting image was processed in the Gimp 2.9 and Neat Image for Linux.

The equipment gathering the data

The ZWO camera is now implemented in AstroMDx Capture for Linux and 16 bit capture is next on the list.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Testing a Sweex WC070 ViewPlus webcam as a Lunar imager with AstroDMx Capture for Linux

A Sweex WC070 was modified by removing the focusing ring and the lens, replacing the focusing ring, attaching a C/CS mount adapter to the front of the camera with epoxy resin and screwing in a telescope adapter to  the C/CS adapter.
The camera was placed at the focus of an f/5.5, 80mm, ED refractor, mounted on an iOptron Cube Pro AZ, GOTO mount. AstroDMx Capture for Linux was used with a Linux Mint laptop to capture a SER file of the Moon. The SER file was stacked with Flatfield correction in Autostakkert! 2 running in Wine. The resulting image was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 in Wine and the final image was post processed in the Gimp 2.9.
Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux capturing the SER file

The image was produced from only 300 frames as the data had to be captured between clouds. Nevertheless, the data showed no sign of compression, which was also indicated by the low frame rate offered by the camera at full resolution of 1600 x 1200. This low frame rate is a small price to pay for low or no compression. This camera will be tested again when there is a truly clear sky. As an introductory camera for solar system imaging, the WC070, a current Sweex camera available on Amazon for under £20 (I paid £15.13p for a new device, with free delivery) seems to be a suitable device.