First Saturn Astropic

2016 Jun 26

I’ve been tinkering with the NexImage camera for a while but never managed to use it correctly.

The problem was mostly using the wrong software. The solution was to plug the NexImage device to a basic linux machine with Ubuntu, then launch Cheese (Webcam application) and voila:

Then tried to have a better image by adjusting the focus, but without much luck as you can see. I think I reached the sensor maximum quality, and the atmosphere was rather warm and moving.
The telescope is a Celestro NexStar 127 SLT (Cassegrain type, of course), and the camera is a Celestron NexImage Solar System Imager.

Several issues here:

  • the image quality isn’t great, very pixely, a lot of noise
  • I used (like I said above) that webcam program (Cheese) as a way to communicate with the camera, and there is no good control on it: it’s made for a webcam …
  • I had to use the barlow to be able to focus at the cost of quality – not sure why

So yes, I think I should be able to have a far better image, not just because the telescope is doing a great job, but mostly because I’m doing a poor job at handling this camera on the software side. It was designed to run for windows, and I only have a mac and a few linux boxes … Yes driver/program issue, again.

The next step will be to install oaCapture on a linux machine, and try to control the input. Then perhaps looking at a camera like this ZWO ASI120S. The other thing to do is reuse my adapter for my old film camera (a Nikon) and extend the exposure time if possible. I also need to find out the right filter to use to observe the sun (be very careful with that!).

More astropics soon :)