New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

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Jean-Francois
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#11

Post by Jean-Francois »

Hello Robin,

Everybody has the same "mount" ... I used for the test the "Telescope Simulator for .Net" :-)

Regards,
Jean-Francois
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#12

Post by admin »

Hi,

obviously the telescope simulator cares about an RA of 35h... EQMOD (which I was using) probably just chops off 24h to bring the value back into range and gets on with things.

Anyway, should be fixed now and I will be sure to test with Telescope Simulator to check.

cheers,

Robin
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#13

Post by admin »

Hi folks,

I have just uploaded SharpCap 4.1.10561, which includes a substantial re-working of the moon mosaic planner.

There are two significant changes from the user point of view.

1) The alignment and other mosaic settings are handled in a 'step-by-step' manner which gives you just one or two things to adjust at a time and then a 'Next' button to go on to the next part of the process. This should make the workflow easier for those who are new to it (the 'everyting in one place' approach was very confusing the first time you saw it).

In the screenshots below you can see the five steps for manual alignment and choosing the mosaic settings
AlignmentPanels.png
AlignmentPanels.png (72.37 KiB) Viewed 4145 times
2) A new 'Guided' alignment mode which doesn't require plate solving and is more accurate than manual alignment. It should give better results and can be used in daylight (it will also be usable for solar mosaics at a later stage too).

The first step for guided alignment is to choose the alignment edge to use. This should be one of the sides of the moon, where (in the camera view) you see the edge of the moons disk as the furthest part of the moon in that direction. In the example below, I will show how this works for aligning on the top edge...
Step1.JPG
Step1.JPG (38.43 KiB) Viewed 4145 times
Once an edge is selected, you need to use the mount to align the far edge of the moon in that direction with the reticule positions that SharpCap will select on screen. The picture below shows the first reticule position SharpCap will select for 'top edge' alignment and also the point on the moon (highlighted with the yellow arrow) that you need to move to the reticule using the mount RA/Dec (or Alt/Az) movements
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (124.85 KiB) Viewed 4145 times
Once you have the edge point at the reticule crosshair then press the 'Add' button to add an alignment point. SharpCap will walk you through 3 alignment points by moving the reticule position. If you accurately move the same edge point of the moon to each reticule position then SharpCap can work out

* The exact field of view of the camera
* The orientation of the camera field of view relative to the sky
* Whether the moon image is flipped due to a diagonal mirror on an SCT or refractor
* Any error in the reported co-ordinates coming from the mount

With that information, it's possible to correctly plan the mosaic panels and set-up the GOTO movements accurately even if the mount has a pointing error.

Note that it is *very* important to use the correct point for alignment. When aligning as above on the topmost edge, the correct point is the very top of the moon's disk as indicated by the yellow arrow. Using a different point on the curved edge of the moon will *not* give the correct results, even if you use the same point for all three alignments. If have chosen the right side for alignment, you must align on the very righthand most part of the disk, etc. This must be a point on the edge of the moon's disk itself - not a point on the terminator (shadow line).

Anyway, that's all updated, but still very keen for feedback. The moon has been unco-operative with testing over the last few days, as it has been low enough to the horizon that I am unable to target it even when the clouds have parted briefly.

cheers,

Robin
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#14

Post by admin »

Hi folks,

for those following this, the new guided alignment made it possible to add a solar mosaic tool without too much additional work (just a few hours to do it)...
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (93.43 KiB) Viewed 4080 times
Of course, given the weather recently, a cloud mosaic tool would get the most use...

cheers,

Robin
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#15

Post by admin »

Hi folks,

the Mosaic planner is now further updated in the latest update - 4.1.10652. It's now behaving very nicely in my testing :)

Things that are improved this week include

* More options for what format to capture in, how to set camera settings, etc
* Progress displayed during the mosaic capture - showing the in-progress panel as orange and the completed ones as green
* Option to re-use last alignment data if you have aligned recently (within the last 3 hours on the same side of the pier)
* Goto Top/Left/Right/Bottom buttons to test alignment - should put the selected edge of the target in the center of view
* Lots of small usability tweaks and improvements

See it in action (best watched fullscreen)



Robin
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#16

Post by admin »

For anyone wondering what the results look like...
StitchedP12_conv_colour_red.jpg
StitchedP12_conv_colour_red.jpg (993.42 KiB) Viewed 3920 times
Altair 533M camera @bin2
Daystar Quark
Vixen ED81S
Captured in SharpCap mosaic planner
Stacking in AS!3
Panel stitching in Affinity Photo
Sharpening in Registax

Uncompressed PNG version : https://links.sharpcap.co.uk/misc/SolarMosaic.png

cheers,

Robin
raurgo
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#17

Post by raurgo »

Hi folks,
I have a question about the planner.
The camera I have is a ZWO ASI 462 MC COLOR, which according to the specifications has a pixel size (manufacturer) of 2.9 µm, in the planner it comes out as 5.8 µm. It's right?

Thank you so much.
raurgo.
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Jean-Francois
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#18

Post by Jean-Francois »

Hello Raurgo,

You know, when you search somewhere an error and you have a factor 2 or pi ... then it is because you have somewhere forget a factor 2 or pi :-)

5.8 ... 2.9 ... that is a nice factor 2 ... do you set the binning 2x2 ?

Jean-Francois
Jean-Francois
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#19

Post by Jean-Francois »

Hello Robin,

I tested this evening the new moon mosaic planner the first time (with the moon).

It works, but not 100 %.

One thing to correct ... after an automatic mosaic with the tool, I continue to take manually some films.
At the beginning, I do not found the films.
I found the problem ... the normal Capture was saving the films in the same directory structure as the mosaic tool.

I set manually the target and verify the path for the films ... all right as usual, but each film was saved in a new directory of the mosaic tool.
Only after the closing and restart of SharpCap, the new Capture films were back in the correct directory.

Regards,
Jean-Francois
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Re: New Feature : Moon Mosaic Planner

#20

Post by admin »

Hi folks,

thanks for the feedback so far. I have a moon mosaic or three from a couple of nights back that I need to process :)

@Raurgo - I suspec that Jean-Francois is correct - binning may be enabled and the value shown is supposed to include the effects of binning, since it is the size of a pixel in the image delivered by the camera.

@Jean-Francois - I will check that out - the sequencer adds an override to the file naming calculations to try to ensure that all the captured files are kept together (next update will put them all in one folder - easier to process in bulk that way). I suspect that the override is not being removed at the end of the sequencer run.

cheers,

Robin
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