Nov 302009

Hi there,

I haven’t been able to do some real imaging for quite a while. During some indoor camera testing I found a couple of unprocessed lunar AVIs on my imaging laptop that I have captured 2009.01.06. and started to remember: Seeing was quite bad, I tried to image Plato with the C11 and a 2x barlow but gave up soon – no steady image at all – the evidentiary AVI is still on my disk. I stepped down and plugged the DMK2104AF directly into the focus of the C11 to capture at least some low resolution shots for a mosaic. I started at Plato and worked my way over to Sinus Iridum, across Mare Imbrium to Archimedes, Copernicus and the terminator. The result is quite chaotic but considering the conditions (seeing, it was really frosty and I had to clear a lot of snow prior to imaging and a nasty influenza was already on its way inside me…) I’m happy I processed the already forgotten footage. The Hortensius Domes east of Copernicus came out quite nice.

Please click the preview image for the full capture size

The mosaic is a 8 patch piece, each patch is a stack of 156 from 4444 frames in AVIStack. I’m a little unsure about the tonal balance since I processed the image on a new display. Any feedback is highly appreciated!

Best wishes & clear skies,

Nov 202009

Hi  there,

I started a new series of articles related to imaging artefacts of various kinds. Article #1 is online: Diffraction pattern artefacts.

Besides, I started coding proper W3C validated pages using CSS, should make life easier in the future…

Clear skies,

Nov 162009

November 11, 2009:  The Imaging Source announced their GigE cameras to be available with 10Bit output, read the Blog post. Up to now all TIS cameras featured a 10 Bit analog to digital conversion of the CCD signal but only 8Bit output. The new feature supported by the YGB0 10 bit grayscale format will not be available for IEEE1394 and USB models but Gigabit Ethernet interface cameras only. The GigE models cost 150€ more than the Firewire/USB counterparts – not a too attractive pricing. The cameras seem to be identical to their 8Bit predecessors in terms of CCD selection and A/D conversion so that the additional quite expensive 2 bits are not too desirable. It has to be proofed that full well capacity of the CCD models and noise level of the cameras justifies these additional bits, I doubt any real practical advantage.

From my point of view moving to more than 8 bits for the GigE cameras only – otherwise unchanged – comes far to late. The new generation of cameras from other brands featuring new CCD models like the Sony ICX445, 12 bits A/D conversion or more and advanced features like true ROI, binning etc. look far more attractive – stay tuned for more camera news coming shortly…

Cheers, Oliver

P.S.: Taking a look at the maximum framerates of the GigE models shows that these are identical to the IEEE1394/USB2.0 models – no advantage here…

Nov 062009

I recently visited the Gasometer in Oberhausen currently hosting the exhibition Out of this World – Wonders of the Solar System. The Gasometer is a decommissioned circular gas holder building once featuring a giant disc floating on the contained gas. Main focus of the exhibition is our solar system that is illustrated by large models of the sun and planets and various photographs and images displayed at an impressive scale.

One of the exhibitions highlights is the biggest moon on earth, a breathtaking 25m diameter model of our earth’s moon floating in the upper 100m high space of the Gasometer. Besides the solar system the exhibition focuses on various aspects of the cosmos, space missions and mankind exploring, observing and explaining the universe in different eras.

The exhibition provides a fascinating and enjoyable experience even for astronomical-interested being familiar with the displayed matter. Besides the exhibition the Gasometer location itself is worth a visit. An elevator takes the visitor without fear of heights up to the top of the building measuring 117m offering a fine view over the Ruhr scenery.

Out of this World – Wonders of the Solar System is on display from April 2nd 2009 to December 30th 2010 and I can only recommend a visit. Bring some warm clothing during winter months with you since the building can not reasonably be heated and visiting the roof can be quite frosty.

Please excuse my poor photo-footage since I only brought a cell phone with me…