Jan 292010

Hi there,

finally: My first mars image of the season 2009/2010, captured shortly before opposition. Weather has been the worst I can imagine since I image the planets this winter, snow, rain, clouds… Finally a night with clear skies on the 26th. I could only image from my patio this time that had to be cleaned from a lot of snow, meaning that I could only image mars a few hours before culmination. Temperatures reached -16°C at 23:00 when I stopped imaging, frosty!
Seeing looked good at first glance, the image was quite stable and not moving a lot. Unfortunately the image was quite fuzzy and lacked definition, most likely caused by the cold front that passed shortly before. Another drawback was the damage of my motor focusser that happened when I took the C11 out of its crate. I didn’t notice the non-functionality of the device until I tried to focus the camera image – too late for fixing it so I had to focus manually.

I don’t like IR-RGB image composites but in this case it was the only way to obtain a reasonable sharp color image. The IR image suffered the less from seeing, the red capture is already showing way less details illustrating the seeing quality very well.

A distinct haze is visible north of the Tharsis region over Tempe and Arcadia.

Weather forecasts are very disappointing for the next days, I hope to get some more mars captures shortly after opposition…

Cheers, Oliver

Jan 252010

Hi,

tons of snow again outside, weather forecast is nasty, looks like the Mars opposition 2010 will happen without me… Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…

Cheers, Oliver

Jan 222010

Hi,

I’ve been able to fix some issues with the preview display last night, windows GDI functions are now blitting correctly into the GTK drawing area. I’ve enabled the CMU camera control window, writing to disk is working. The capture window GUI has been quickly redone to test some things, still not even preliminary and ugly.
I hope to have a roughly working version soon to use it at the scope with the Dragonfly2 or Scorpion. At least Yoda and the force are with me…

Clear skies,
Oliver

Jan 122010

Hi there,

over the years I used several programs to capture my planetary, lunar and solar images at the telescope. None of them met my wishes & requirements completely. With the arrival of two new Point Grey Research cameras without software I decided to develop my own capture tool: Captifier.
Some current specs:

  • IEEE1393 aka firewire support via CMU1394 library, software architecture is implemented open to other camera-interface for future support of e.g. USB cameras
  • Windows based, should support XP/Vista/7
  • Multithreaded buffering approach for seamless captures without dropped frames even on machines with low processing power, in the end the harddrive and bus speeds are the limits
  • 16 Bit in-/output support
  • Hardware ROI/Format 7 support and software cropping
  • GTK+/Glade GUI (I hate MFC programming…)
  • Freeware but not open source (for now…)
  • Functionalities helpfull for planetary imaging according to my wish list :)

Basic core functionality is working quite well, a version capable of first field testing should be available soon. I will post updates here and on the subsite http://captifier.astro-imaging.de/

Captifier preview

Clear skies!

Oliver

Jan 022010

Finally some time to update the Events & Ephemeris section

Jan 012010

Mercury ephemeris 2010 for my location have been added…

Cheers, Oliver

Jan 012010

A happy, successful and prosperous 2010 to all!

Cheers, Oliver