Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Discussions of Electronically Assisted Astronomy using the Live Stacking feature.
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RMSQueenMary
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Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by RMSQueenMary » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:51 pm

Has anyone who used live stacking had any trouble with the Full Moon in the sky?

I used SharpCap and used live stacking on nebula (Lagoon, Trifid, Swan, and Ring Nebula).

Somehow it would not stack even though I got it to get 5 second exposure by slowing down the frame rate close to 1 frame every 5 seconds.

I have had less trouble stacking with no Moon in the sky.

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turfpit
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by turfpit » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:14 am

I no longer try deep sky imaging at full moon. The better (more sensitive) the camera is the worse the results are.

Dave

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oopfan
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by oopfan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 am

Hi,

When you say "it would not stack" do you mean that it could not find alignment stars, or did it find alignment stars but very little of the nebula was visible even after stacking?

Brian

RMSQueenMary
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by RMSQueenMary » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:20 pm

oopfan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 am
Hi,

When you say "it would not stack" do you mean that it could not find alignment stars, or did it find alignment stars but very little of the nebula was visible even after stacking?

Brian
It could not find alignment stars. I did see stars in the field.

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turfpit
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by turfpit » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:42 pm

Have a look at the last entry in this post viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1153&start=10 for some ideas on settings I had to change to get stacking working. I don't really use live stack much, there are people in the forum who are much better with this tool.

Dave

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oopfan
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by oopfan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:51 pm

Hi,

All else being equal the Moon just raises the level of sky brightness which puts a limit on the amount of nebulosity that you can see. In other words you will only be able to see the brighter parts of the nebula, not those faint wisps when the Moon is set. The nebulae that you listed are fairly bright so unless the Moon is right on top of them I think you should be able to capture them. It won't be APOD-quality but you should be able to stack.

My recommendation is to double your exposure from 5s to 10s. Lengthening the exposure increases the signal-to-noise ratio of the stars which might be enough to satisfy the star alignment algorithm. I know that sounds counter-intuitive especially when the sky is bright due to the Moon or light pollution but going from 5s to 10s should still give you enough headroom to capture nebulae. Be mindful however that if you keep increasing further then it can lead to a washed-out frame. Use your judgement and experiment!

Brian

RMSQueenMary
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by RMSQueenMary » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:45 pm

oopfan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:51 pm
Hi,

All else being equal the Moon just raises the level of sky brightness which puts a limit on the amount of nebulosity that you can see. In other words you will only be able to see the brighter parts of the nebula, not those faint wisps when the Moon is set. The nebulae that you listed are fairly bright so unless the Moon is right on top of them I think you should be able to capture them. It won't be APOD-quality but you should be able to stack.

My recommendation is to double your exposure from 5s to 10s. Lengthening the exposure increases the signal-to-noise ratio of the stars which might be enough to satisfy the star alignment algorithm. I know that sounds counter-intuitive especially when the sky is bright due to the Moon or light pollution but going from 5s to 10s should still give you enough headroom to capture nebulae. Be mindful however that if you keep increasing further then it can lead to a washed-out frame. Use your judgement and experiment!

Brian
I have Revolution Imager R2 and the maximum exposure is 5.12 seconds.

I was able to see the nebula with no trouble despite the Full Moon and 5 second exposure. Changing the curve around helps greatly.

I just like using live stacking to get cancel out the noise.

RMSQueenMary
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Re: Live Stacking With Full Moon In The Sky

Post by RMSQueenMary » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:45 am

I did some starwatching last night. I was able to use live stack with no problems in star rich areas of Cassiopeia and Cygnus. I tried live stacking on NGC 253, M33, Helix Nebula, and Abell 262 and it did not stack. There were stars clearly visible. Some are closer to the horizon and the seeing was not that great. I have used live stack with no trouble when the seeing is good. For me, it is Black Level Threshold and turned off FWHM. I found Digital Gain was not useful. Adjusting the Histogram is helpful. It can bring out more details.

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