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Bob Eisenman

My Meade ETX 90 telescope

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Posted (edited)

So....I'd mentioned my adventures and foibles with my Meade ETX 90 telescope coupled to a Sonfest Sac IV imager elsewhere on the forum:

It turns out that the Sav IV imager I own was initially used with a laptop running Windows ME. The Win ME laptop's motherboard died decades ago so is not a goto laptop for the imager. 

I had tried to install the device driver for the Sac IV (device = 3com homeconnect USB camera) on a Windows 10 laptop in Windows XP compatibility mode but no luck.

I'd built a desktop Windows XP PC from scratch decades ago which was gathering dust. I tried to boot the XP desktop but got a 'checksum error' on the attempt. I just happened to have an extra button battery for the XP's motherboard. Replacing the motherboard battery and telling the bios to boot with optimized default settings resulted in a good boot to the XP Desktop, a sight I hadn't seen for years.

XP desktopXP

 

Inserting the Sac IV install CD and installing the software (later plugging in the Sac IV usb camera) resulted in the familiar 'device driver not installed' message in the device manager list of USB devices.

'Updating' the Sac IV driver with the CD inserted into the desktop pc's XP CD tray DID INSTALL THE DRIVER! 

Despite the bulky size of the XP desktop PC the Sac IV with it's long USB cord reached from the kitchen, where the XP desktop was, to the Meade ETX 90 on the porch 10 feet away allowed the XP softwares display of the Sac IV capture to be seen.

Saturn was in view in the sky but after several attempts to get the Sac IV to focus on Saturn with both afocal and prime focus  placements of the Sac IV I couldn't see the planet with the provided software.

Perhaps when the next full moon arrives a large , easily focused and bright lunar target will appear on my XP desktops software display for the Sac IV. Fingers crossed....

So....over the last couple of weeks I had produced one good 'solid' image of the moon using afocal, hand held phone camera attempt.

Moon

The idea came from Mike Weasner's ETX site where his collection of Apple iPhone afocal images can be seen.

I was so encouraged by the lunar picture that I bought the Meade phone to telescope eyepiece adapter shown below:

Meade telescope to phone bracket

Not waiting for a good star/planet see'ing night I tried some terrestrial photography and was encouraged by the ease of use the bracket provided on imaging some leaf photos several hundred feet away.

Meade phone terrestrial

My Meade autostar allows multi fine levels of object positioning in the eyepiece, but the LED of the autostar device no longer works in terms of providing3 star alignments, star goto's or planetary/star tours of the night sky.

On another next good seeing night I hope to try my new bracketed smartphone with targets like Saturn and Jupiter which are in the sky lately. The moon will be back in a few weeks.

A moon filter for light reduction will likely appear on my next wish list. In the interim various camera apps for Android allow zooming, EV changes and ISO selection will produce various degrees of the desired result.

Perhaps an smartphone astophotography movie processed by Registax will produce a good stacked image which is  'not overly bright' for the planets Jupiter or Saturn without using a moon filter.

In any event I'm looking forward to using the Meade bracket, my Meade ETX 90 and my Android Smartphone. Moon photos should be more optimally focused than the handheld photo shown above.

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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Posted (edited)

The weather has been cloudy and uncooperative for nighttime observing

Cloudy night

 

A few brief glimpses of Saturn and Jupiter led to the need to reorient the bracket mounted phone camera into a more favorably balanced position.

Smartphone mount orientation

And the finder scope's crosshairs needed to be adjusted to match the telescope's eyepiece field of view.

Finder scope view

Meade ETX 90 Finder scope

Once adjusted the following daytime terrestrial photo sequence was made.

1_Phone camera - no zoom

Telescope target - phone camera without zoom

2_Phone camera - with some zoom

Phone camera with zoom

3_an afocal photo with bracket mounted phone camera - no zoom

Phone camera app photo without zoom using Meade bracket mount

4_an afocal photo (camera app) with bracket mounted phone camera - with zoom

Zoomed camera app photo with bracket mount to telescope

5_an afocal photo using a 'high zoom camera app' with the bracket mounted phone camera

'High zoom' app A-focal camera photo

Camera shake with the telescope mount (inverted projection).

 

The size of both Jupiter and Saturn in the eyepiece of the Meade ETX 90 are small but Saturn's ring(s) are visible as a band and the changing positions of Jupiter's moons can be seen.

An approximate size of Saturn and Jupiter in the Meade ETX 90's eyepiece would correspond to the size of the yellow dot in this photo

Estimate of size of Saturn or Jupiter in the Meade ETX 90 eyepiece at low magnification

My telescope/ bracketed camera / camera app choices are ready for a night of astrophotography, on a small scale, when clear night skies return.

Overall:

1-locate the telescope target in the eyepiece first.

2-position and affix the phone camera lens into the Meade bracket.

3-remove the eyepiece lens from the telescope

4-affix the eyepiece lens to the bracket-phone

5-reinsert the barrel of the eyepiece/bracket/phone-camera into the telescope. 

Note: the telescope's eyepiece field of view and camera app's display should closely match using this approach.

Fine focus without an electric focuser is made by deflecting a clothes pin clamped on the focus knob (ex. Turn from 2 to 3 o'clock)

Clothes pin focuser   In practice: < 30 degree rotation in use ie. 2:00 - 3:00 o'clock deflection

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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Posted (edited)

It was a good night (8_29-2019) to try my new afocal astrophotography setup.

Jupiter (white dot) at twilight above a house roof:

Jupiter at twilight above roof

Jupiter with 4 largest moons

(Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - the naming sequence id for each moon shown below is unknown)

Jupiter and it's 4 largest moons

Note: the fuzzy glow around Jupiter is a camera artifact resulting from turning up the exposure sensitivity to the point where the 4 moons can be seen.

Jupiter eyepiece afocal video:

The telescope is not set up to track the planet and this results in the planets transit across the eyepiece.

*****

Saturn and it's rings:

A single afocal Android phone app image of Saturn

Saturn - single image

 

Stacked image from several pictures:

Stacked inage of Saturn

Saturn eyepiece afocal video:

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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Posted (edited)
On 8/27/2019 at 6:20 PM, Bob Eisenman said:

Sac IV. Fingers crossed....

Well....the Sonfest Sac IV still takes acceptable daytime terrestrial photos..... although the awkwardness of positioning a desktop running Windows XP and the bulky Sac IV at prime focus is considerable

Sonfest Sac IV / Windows XP

Distant rooftop vent taken with Sac IV at prime focus.

Sonfest Sac IV image with ETX 90

The Meade phone bracket is a HUGE improvement in simplicity for my limited interest in astrophotography.

This is an 8-30-2019 photo of Jupiter and it's 4 moons which have changed position slightly since 8-29-2019

Jupiter and its 4 moons 8-30-2019

(Afocal Android phone camera shot using the Meade phone bracket)

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-3-2019

First night to try some lunar shots with my Android phone, the Meade phone bracket and the ETX 90

Camera images:

(inverted (R/L) from telescope reflector element)

Moon 9-3-2019

post processed photo:

9-3-2019

Jupiter (R/L corrected) from camera app

9-3-2019

Jupiter prediction from Star Walk 2 app

9-3-2019

Saturn - from camera app

Saturn

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-4-2019 (Wednesday night)

ETX 90, Android phone images

Moon (9-4-2019)

Moon  ETX 90 9-4-2019

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

Saturn (9-4-2019)

Saturn ETX 90 9-4-2019

Jupiter (9-4-2019)

Jupiter ETX 90 9-4-2019

Jupiter (+ moons orbits model) from Star Walk 2 (9-4-2019)

Screenshot_20190904-230305-01

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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In and out of the clouds tonight

Moon 9-7-2019

Moon 9-7-2019 Meade ETX 90 MOTO G6 play - phone camera

 

Cloudy night

9-7-2019 Cloudy night Tiny Saturn picture

 

Saturn (near moon)

Saturn 9-7-2019

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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Fast moving clouds tonight with some breaks for lunar astrophotography.

Cloudy night

Moon 9-9-2019

Moon  9-9-2019

A post processed image:

Moon - post processed image  9-9-2019 (ETX 90)

A second post processed image (night enhancement)

2019-09-09_23.53.30

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-10-2019

Some clouds, some clear

Some clouds 9-10-2019

Moon - 9-10-2019

Moon 9-10-2019

Moon - (night enhanced) 9-10-2019

Moon - night enhanced 9-10-2019

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

Moon 9-10-2019 (later)

Moon 9-10-2019

Moon - (night enhanced) 9-10-2019 (later)

Moon (night enhanced) 9-10-2019

Star Walk 2 model for Jupiter's moons 9-10-2019

Jupiter and it's 4 largest moons 9-10-2019

Android phone capture of ETX 90 view of Jupiter and 4 moons on 9-10-2019 at about 9:10 pm

Jupiter and 4 moons / ETX 90 / 9-10-2019

 

Saturn - inverted 9-10-2019

Saturn - inverted  9-10-2019

Saturn 9-10-2019

Saturn 9-10-2019

Saturn 9-10-2019

 

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-11-2019

Nice  clear night

Moon - 9-11-2019 ETX 90

Moon 9-11-2019 Android phone/ETX 90

Moon - 9-11-2019 (night enhanced plus increased contrast) ETX 90

Moon - (night enhanced plus increased contrast) Android phone/ETX 90  9-11-2019

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

 

Jupiter and 4 moons 9-11-2019

Star Walk 2 orbital model

Star Walk 2 - Jupiter model for 9-11-2019

Jupiter plus 4 moons 9-11-2019 ETX 90

Jupiter - 9-11-2019 Android phone/ETX 90

Saturn 9-11-2019 ETX 90

Saturn 9-11-2019

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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Cool stuff @Bob Eisenman!

Astrophotography is a challenge, so getting a nice shot is a big deal!

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9-12-2019

Moon sequence to date for Sept.

Moon sequence to date (September)

Clear night on 9-12-2019

Clear night

Moon 9-12-2019

Moon 9-12-2019

Moon (night enhanced) 9-12-2019

Moon (night enhanced) 9-12-2019

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

Saturn 9-12-2019

Saturn 9-12-2019

 

Saturn 9-12-2019

Saturn 9-12-2019

Stellarium orbital model for Jupiter on

9-12-2019 (09:03 pm)

Stellarium for Jupiter /moons 9-12-2019

Jupiter and 3 of 4 moons 9-12-2019

Jupiter 9-12-2019

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-13-2019

A good planet see'ing night for Saturn and Jupiter

Moon - Saturn - Jupiter about 10:30 pm 9-13-2019

 

Jupiter's Star Walk 2 orbital model for 7:30 pm 9-13-2019

Star Walk 2 orbital model for Jupiter's 4 moons at 7:30 pm 9-13-2019

Jupiter 9-13-2019 about 7:30 pm

Jupiter 9-13-2019

 

Jupiter 9-13-2019

 

Saturn 9-13-2019

Saturn 9-13-2019

 

Saturn 9-13-2019

Saturn 9-13-2019

 

Moon 9-13-2019 about 10:30 pm

Moon 9-13-2019 about 10:30 pm

 

Moon (night enhanced) 9-13-2019 about 10:30 pm

Moon (night enhanced) 9-13-2019 about 10:30 pm

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

Me, the moon,  Saturn and Jupiter 9-13-2019

360 photo sphere  (url) :

https://kuula.co/post/7qMF3

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-14-2019

Early morning - light haze

Moon (night enhanced) - 9-14-2019 early morning 

Moon (night enhanced) early morning 9-14-2019

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

***********************

Moon (time-stamped and inverted) - morning of 9-14-2019

Moon (inverted) - early morning 9-14-2019

Moon (time-stamped) morning of 9-14-2019

Full moon - morning of 9-14-2019

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-15-2019

Mix of clouds and clear sky

9-16-2019 at 12:45 am Clouds and moon

Lunar maria

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare#/media/File%3AMoon_names.svg

Moon 9-15-2019

Moon 9-15-2019

Moon 9-15-2019 - higher magnification - Mare Crisium with (lower of 2 small craters) Picard crater

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_Crisium

Moon at higher magnification 9-15-2019

Note: curved left side is the eyepiece not the lunar edge

Moon 9-15-2019 (night enhanced)

Moon 9-15-2019 (night enhanced)

Moon 9-15-2019 (night enhanced) at higher magnification -  Mare Crisium with (lower of 2 small craters) Picard crater

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_Crisium

Moon 9-15-2019 (night enhanced) at higher magnification

Note: curved left side is the eyepiece not the lunar edge

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-20-2019 before sunrise

Clear sky 

Google Moon map url:

https://www.google.com/moon/

Moon 9-20-2019

Moon 9-20-2019

 

Moon (night enhanced) 9-20-2019

Moon (night enhanced) 9-20-2019

Moon Atlas 3D - crater labels for upper right quadrant

Crater labels for the upper right quadrant of my 9-20-2019 moon photo (From - Moon Atlas 3D Android app)

Orion - constellation - (below moon in photo) 9-20-2019

GoPro Fusion (ISO 800 30 seconds - FFMPEG extracted frame from multishot MOV file)

Orion

Orion 9-20-2019 (Star Walk 2 model)

Orion 9-20-2019

Constellation Orion 9-20-2019 First attempt Camera base on shaky wooden porch

The white streak near the belt is puzzling. Maybe the lens needs cleaning or there was a cloud or something else (meteor trail possible, jet trail?).

A regular 30 second iso 800 picture was taken an hour later but the increase in daylight had washed out the star light.

The GoPro Fusion Android app has specs that prohibit  running on my Android phone so the desktop studio software was used to stitch the front and back image hemispheres.

One lens was pointed up and the other down to make this photo. The wooden porch I use as a camera base is subtly shaky

(on an astrophotography scale)

.... as noticed in the replication of the three(3) stars that make up Orion's belt.

The moon was very high in the sky when the photo was taken. The ETX 90 was almost pointing straight up.

Timing wise in terms of the moon's location it was visible low and in the east-north-east in the evening (9ish pm) in other parts of the town where I live. By midnight it was still well behind the trees at the apartment where I live. By 3:00 am a quick look had it in clear view while other Tennant's were sleeping. I ventured out again around 4:30 am and decided to just 'go for it' in terms of imaging the moon and Orion, it's neighbor in the early morning sky.

Long range (15-20 miles or more) Gotway Monster riding has been problematic (lately) for both of my knees. The Astrophotography is restful for my knees.

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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9-21-2019

Mostly clear, Pleiades in view just past midnight.

Pleiades - Star Walk 2 model

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades

Pleiades 9-21-2019 Star Walk 2 model

Pleiades 9-21-2019

(Camera - YI 4K , iso 400 20 seconds, plus post processing)

Pleiades 9-21-2019

Stars in the Pleiades

Stars in the Pleiades

Pleiades 9-21-2019, cropped to the star cluster which was imaged with a YI 4K.

Pleiades 9-21-2019 Cropped to star cluster from YI 4K on a slightly shaky base.

Pleiades and moon 9-21-2019.

(Camera- YI 4K , iso 400 30 seconds, plus post processing)

Pleiades 9-21-2019 and the moon

Moon 9-21-2019

Moon 9-21-2019

 

Moon (night enhanced) 9-21-2019

Moon (night enhanced) 9-21-2019

Google Moon map url:

https://www.google.com/moon/

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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:popcorn: Okay all this astronomy stuff is cool and impressive.  But the big question is when do we see some naked neighbour close-up photos all super zoomed in?

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love

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1 hour ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Okay all this astronomy stuff is cool and impressive.

Wait....in a distant window....I see a man... wearing 'brownface'........his hand is on some woman's chest...no wait....it's just the evening news on someone's TV..

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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@Hunka Hunka Burning LoveMy ETX 90 has a history of unusual responses. Purchased locally decades ago from the 'Nature Store' I once decided to try to image Mars? Venus?. I went into the backyard, set up the scope and pointed it (across the adjoining neighbors lot) toward Mars? Venus?. Almost immediately my neighbor at the time turned on his back yard flood light, washing out the planet with light. I approached the neighbor without much success explaining my goal of imaging a planet. The man, from Chelsea MA, was not very receptive. What do people from Chelsea really care about astronomy?

Last night, just past midnight, while waiting for the moon to come into view above the trees a neighbor in my new location turned on their back porch light. Given that trees exist between my porch and the neighbors light nothing impaired my viewing....but the memory of the Chelsea guy, a local school administrator, immediately came to mind.

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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@Hunka Hunka Burning LoveThe same new neighbor from Chelsea had the habit of parking in the street in front of his house but using my driveway to turn his vehicle around in the early morning on the dead end street where I lived. Since I parked my (blue) vehicle (150,000 miles)in the driveway, leaving only a few feet between it and the bumper of his bad habit, it was uncomfortable for me when he chose to turn his vehicle around on my property.

I had flown to a week long conference in California on hospital expense, leaving my car at the Rhode Island airport from where I took off and returned (then Southwest Air). A couple of days after returning I noticed subtle but significant front end damage to my car. Repair costs exceeded the cars value.

I needed a new car, said nothing else to anyone and optimistically decided the damage was from a week long stay for the car in Rhode Island and purchased another car to replace it.

Why do some people from Chelsea ignore the property rights of others?

I drove the (red) replacement car (33k used) until it had 240k miles and then sold it for $50.

My last car (red) around 2007.

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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@Hunka Hunka Burning LoveSince several of the people I worked for were affiliated with Brigham and Women's hospital and one was a gynecologist.. recently turned oncologist..the issues associated with women's health are taken for granted in the workplace there. I once asked a female coworker if she wanted to climb Mt. Washington with me. The thought was threatening to her on the job place and the email exchanges on the subject were raised with a supervisor as a precaution.

The woman was already dating someone.

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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:blink:  So no sexy neighbour photos coming down the pipeline I take it.  Oh com’on I think we’d all settle for a quick pix of someone, even a sports celeb, on the :pooping: at least!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7040183/J-Los-fianc-Alex-Rodriguez-caught-toilet-snap-taken-door-NYC-penthouse.html

:whistling:  Dayam that toilet emoji comes in quite handy every now and then.  :lol:  Maybe I shouldn’t be enabling people to do not so legal activities with their legit equipment.  Or drones.  :innocent1:

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On 9/21/2019 at 12:13 PM, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

But the big question is when do we see some naked neighbour close-up photos all super zoomed in?

Don't you guys have access to Tumblr?

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9-25-2019 @Hunka Hunka Burning Love couldn't make this star watch session.

My Meade ETX90 is the ETX90 EC version which was old and shipped with a controller called 'Autostar'. Over the years the LED display went electronically dead while certain motion keys remained functional.

So....I decided to upgrade to the 'Audiostar' controller. Aligning the telescope with the celestial sphere allows the observer to slew the telescope from one object (stars, planets, constellations, etc) to another with fairly good accuracy at my observing site. It"s very cool when it is working properly....

Anyway....the controller slews the celestial object in the eyepiece to the rate of Earth's rotation. This means that the visible object (ex. Saturn , Jupiter) stays centered in the eye piece over time. The use of a higher power lens (9.7 mm) becomes easier to try.

My Audiostar controller (black object hanging in the scope)

Meade Audiostar controller

Star Walk 2's orbital prediction for Jupiter

Jupiter orbital model for 9-25-2019 about 7:50 pm

Jupiter 9-25-2019

Jupiter 9-25-2019 about 7:50 pm

Saturn 9-25-2019 (higher magnification eyepiece image at about 150 X power)

Saturn 9-25-2019

 

Edited by Bob Eisenman

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