Jupiter - Moon Conjunction From Oregon, January 21, 2013

Started Jan 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
harry cannoli
harry cannoli Veteran Member • Posts: 5,606
Re: Jupiter - Moon Conjunction, Computer Malfunction

RustierOne wrote:

harry cannoli wrote:

I don't run my drives as RAID. Actually, I do, but I do it manually. I drag folders into one drive, then another. KISS works best for me. I've been doing it this way for years. I buy a pair of drives, when they're full, I pick up another pair. Now that 2tB externals are around $100, I can get about two years out of a pair, and financially, it's painless.

Your backup system sounds real workable. My problem would be remembering to do the backups. The Mac OS has a backup program called Time Machine which might work for me. It makes hourly backups of changed files. At the end of the day it consolidates these into a single daily backup. At the end of the week it consolidates into a weekly backup and so on to monthly. I'm hoping it has a setting where it makes backups on alternate drives, so that if a drive fails when a drive fails you don't lose much.

I really have to back up the way I do. My filing system is so simple. Each shoot goes in a folder. There are subfolders for "RAW", "in-process", "completed, full-size tiff", completed, cropped", and "completed, internet".  When I'm ready to back up, I drag all those folders in another folder, something like this- "Images 2_2013". Then I drag that folder into one external, then the other. When I want to pull up a file, I do a Windows search.

I don't want to be bothered with any application that wants to organize my images for me, as none of them seem to accommodate my filing system. Once I'm finished with a monthly folder, I archive it and take it out of my local drive. Doing stuff like that freaks out Lightroom and most other apps that want to help me out by organizing my images.

Once a folder is archived I forget about it until I need a file. Doing it this way keeps everything  uncluttered.

Good luck with the mac. My sis uses one. It's easy to use, the OS is more stable than any Windows version. You'll pick it all up very quickly. I would love to go Mac, but I have too much invested in Windows software. It would cost me a fortune to get going with Mac native software.

Since my photo software is so old (PSE 2.0) I'm due for an upgrade. So now I'm investigating which program to get and how to convert my photo catalog. Since I can run both Windows and Mac OS on different drive partitions, I'll be using the old PS for a while.

FWIW, my favorite photoshop version is 7.0. Lightning fast, and does quite a bit, even by contemporary standards. I use supplied Canon RAW conversion software, DPP. For subjects (usually wildlife) where I want to squeeze every bit of detail out of the image, I use Raw Therapee. Fantastic demosiacing engine.

Why photoshop 7.0? I ran CS foe a while. When I used a different body, I had to upgrade to CS2, which I did. Along came a 40D, for RAW, I had to upgrade again. Then my 7D, guess what..

It's like a junkie looking for the next fix with photoshop upgrades *&()(%^$ that! I can do everything using PS7 as I can do using the latest and greatest, it just takes more steps and a deeper understanding of how PS does what it does. And PS7 isn't married to the internet.

When people ask me what editing software to buy, I recommend Photoshop Elements. $100, and does 95% of what full-blown photoshop does.

Windows XP? The most stable version of Windows ever. Uses the NT kernal. Very stable. I'm now running win7. Not because I desired it, but because XP is obsolete, and is no longer supported by Microsoft. My workstation (XPS 700) has XP Pro installed. I have never, ever had a problem with it.

I like XP Professional as well. But I'm a bit worried as well because its support is going away soon. I believe I'll need Windows 7 for use on the Mac.

Going away soon? I haven't downloaded an XP upgrade in quite a while. I thought XP support was finished.

One thing you can do is to keep a pristine version of XP behind a partition.

Curious, the NEX as prime focus with the scope, an eyepiece adapter, or with a lens?

I'm presently using the NEX at prime focus with the f/6.3 focal reduceron the C-11. With the APS-C sensor (15.6 X 23.4mm) by my calculations the 1760mm focal length gives an image size of 0.51° X 0.76° and 0.92° corner-to-corner. That's how I was able to get Jupiter and the Moon in the same image during the conjunction. I'm using a T-to-NEX adapter (from Telescopeadapters.com) along with a Celesctron eyepiece port to T-thread extension tube.

f/6.3. Wow. Someday. I can get to 1344mm, but at f/8. For sharpness, I stop down one stop, so I'm at f/11. And the rig is heavy, and is on a tripod. I can't do Saturn. ISO 6400, 1/10 sec. A few snaps and Saturn is gone. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but most of the time I can't even find Saturn with the big lens. I can find it at 420mm, but that's about it.

I have a lot of stuff. I think I've fallen in love with astronomy again. If I'm still longing for better gear in a month, I'll sell off a lens and pick up a nice LX, providing AutoStar understands I'm on a wedge, and knows what to do.

I have also used a 1-1/4 inch to NEX setup that allows including an eyepiece in the tube for long focal length planetary imaging. That process is much more demanding than lunar imaging. Here's the only success I've had with the NEX-C11 combo:

C-11 f/10 w/ 9mm Plossl eyepiece projection, Sony NEX-5N, ~1/5 sec.

Stacked 150 of 410 jpg frames, 4 megapixels at 1600 ISO

That's fantastic! Wonderful detail in the rings, and you got it nice and big. Well done!

I wish my 7D had focus peaking. It's a great feature, very effective. What I have to use is live view for focusing. The live view can be magnified at either 5X or 10X during focusing. Works well, except even with the tripod locked, there's plenty of vibration with the big lens. I focus, wait, and take another look. By that time, at 840mm, whatever it is that I'm observing has drifted out of the frame. If the Polarie can handle the 7D and 100-400L (I'm waiting to find out) focusing should be pain free.

Another (more expensive) option is the Losmandy Starlapse System which is based on their G-8 mount. Whatever they make is of the highest quality, but with a matching price. I've yet to see any reviews or results from that setup. Here a link for that tracker:


Thanks, I'll take a look in a minute.

I'm working on a home brew tracking mount. I'll put enough into it so it's functional. I'll take it outside and see how it works. If it barely works, I'll put a stepper in there. The stepper will have the torque and precision to get the job done. That, and with the counterweight 2/3 out, my 7D and 300 f/2.8L with stacked converters balances nicely. I have my fingers crossed, please wish me luck..

RegiStax seems a bit squirrel-ish. It's crashed on me several times. I run it on my laptop (2 core, 4gB RAM). The problems are due to my lack of patience. I do something before the computer has finished with it's previous tack. Now, I use a desktop widget that shows me CPU activity. Even though RegiStax may indicate that a tack has completed, that's frequently not the case. The RegiStax status bar says "100% Completed" the "CPU Meter" shows the CPU is still running at 100%. You think it's OK to proceed to the next step, but it's not.

Since I've been using the widget, I haven't had any problems.

96% and then the error? Maybe stack fewer images, as you suggest. That's a shame, you almost made it.

I tried another run with the same 1394 images but with only 567 alignment points. It worked this time after 2 hours, 12 minutes of processing for alignment. I selected the best 125 frames out of the 1394 to stack. I saved that image before wavelet processing. I'm not sure how to go about re-using that image for further wavelet-processing versions. I tried keeping wavelet sliders very low to reduce blowing out the highlights. Here's the result, slightly cropped from the full 4-megapixel frame:

Gibbous Moon on Night of Conjunction with Jupiter, C-11, 1760mm f/6.3, 125 image stack, 1/1000 sec.

What follows is a crop of the above image :

Mare Imbrium from Plato (left) to Copernicus (right), stack of 125 frames, 1/1000 sec.


I look forward to having enough computer memory to run 16 MP images, rather than the 4 MP ones used for this stack. The above crop at 816 X 544 is starting to show pixels with much enlargement. I suspect that with higher camera resolution, I'll be able to more fully utilize the telescope's resolution capabilities.

I do most everything on my laptop. Dual core, 4gB RAM. DSS and RegiStax handle 18mP jpegs without any problem.

With the moon, do you see more with your eye than the camera resolves? Also, I'm curious. Do you use a mask to assist with focus?

Clear skies, my friend.

Thanks for your comments and advice! It's all much appreciated.

The pleasure is always mine.

-- hide signature --

Best Regards,


ice nine photography
Take only photographs, leave only footprints.

 harry cannoli's gear list:harry cannoli's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 7D Mark II +9 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow