SharpCap settings for ZWO AS103MC and Lunt LS50THA

In preparing for the solar eclipse, I experimented with different SharpCap settings.  I settled on these settings:

  • Exposure – 1 ms
  • Gain – 45
  • Gamma – 25
  • Brightness – 0

Those settings resulted in the image below.  I also added the full listing of settings after taking the image.

ClearSkyTonight_SharpCap_Settings

[ZWO ASI034MC]
Pan=0
Tilt=0
Output Format=AVI files (*.avi)
Binning=1
Capture Area=728×512
Colour Space=RGB24
Discard Split Frames=Off
Turbo USB=80
Flip=None
Frame Rate Limit=Maximum
Gain=45
Exposure=0.002
Timestamp Frames=Off
White Bal (B)=78
White Bal (R)=1
Brightness=0
Gamma=25
Auto Exp Max Gain=50
Auto Exp Max Exp=30
Auto Exp Max Brightness=100
Mono Bin=Off
Apply Flat=None
Subtract Dark=None
Display Brightness=1
Display Contrast=1
Display Gamma=1
TimeStamp=2017-08-21T16:26:22.1779171Z

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Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017

I went to Madras, Oregon to view the total solar eclipse at Oregon Solarfest

I setup a couple of cameras.  The first was using a solar filter over a telephoto lens on my Canon.  I took a couple of shots during the first contact phase.  The main effort was using the Lunt and ZWO to try to capture totality.  The last was using the Canon to record a video during the event pointed at the horizon.  The results are located in the articles wiki for astrophotography events for the total solar eclipse

The video of using the Lunt and ZWO didn’t turn out.  The still images are great but the video needed some different type of exposure settings.  The view from the Canon was fine but the video of the event using the Canon was great.  Like I read, it was great to record the surroundings and our reactions to the event.

The total solar eclipse itself was incredible to see with my own eyes.  I am sure with more practice I could figure out the exposure settings but it was just incredible to experience though way too short.  I was also amazed by the temperature change.  Didn’t expect that.

Lastly, here are some news videos for the place we camped and nearby:

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Focus ZWO AS103MC on Lunt LS50THA

I connected the ZWO camera into the Lunt eyepiece holder but I wasn’t able to get it to focus.  So, did some research on the Internet.  The trick is to unscrew the eyepiece holder and screw the ZWO camera directly into the diagonal.  The pull the diagonal back from the telescope to get it close to focus.  Then use the focuser to fine tune.

ClearSkyTonight_ZWO_focus

References:

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Mean Obliquity of the Ecliptic

We created a Mean Obliquity of the Ecliptic Astronomy Calculator.

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Horizon to Equatorial

We created a Horizon to Equatorial Astronomy Calculator.

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Canon Astrophotography Settings

I recently attended the Table Mountain Star Party.  With the dark skies, I was able to try to take some night sky photos of the Milky Way.  I read the book Photography: Night Sky: A Field Guide to Shooting after Dark by Jennifer Wu and James Martin.  One of the chapter is the book is Stars as Points of Light.  I used this chapter as guidance to set my Canon T3i.  I created an article explaining my camera settings to take a night sky photo.

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