Last updated: 27 December 2004
This page documents the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome. I have posted a review of using the Autostar Suite and LPI on the Macintosh. In order to showcase the LPI you may occasionally see images taken with other telescopes on this page.
Subject: LPI Images of Saturn, Venus & Moon Sent: Sunday, December 26, 2004 19:17:57 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I was given my ETX 105 a couple of months ago, but due to the awful weather in the UK I've only had a afew nights practice to get everything up and running. Here are my first attempts at astrophotography. All thats been used are the ETX 105, the Meade LPI, a laptop, and touched up a bit in PaintShopPro.
The pictures are just one image, none have been stacked, I haven't worked that all out yet :) Thanks -Alex Field-
Subject: First time astro photos Sent: Saturday, December 25, 2004 13:49:04 From: Martin Richards (MRichards@pivotal.com) Well, having done lots of research on the web, including a lot of browsing of your site, Santa bought me and my two daughters an ETX-105 and clear skies for Christmas day... Attached is our first go with the bundled LPI and software, processed in registax V3 on full autopilot. It's not very big, but it's our first go, and it managed to elicit a cry of "Cool!" from my 8 year old when she saw the results, so I'm pleased with it!
We're located right on the northern edge of London, UK, so except to the north, the skies are a bit orange usually. Tonight of course they were all a bit washed out thanks to the full moon, but I've had a great evening out there :-) Cheers, Martin Martin Richards Technical Manager Pivotal Corporation
Subject: Blurred images of Saturn Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 00:44:11 From: CN (email@example.com) Why is there no detail on on my Saturn Images? This was taken with an ETX-105, LPI and 2x Barlow and as you can see there is little or no detail visible, not even the Cassini division on the rings. Is the LPI setting the wrong exposure to create stackable images? Any help would be gratefully received.Mike here: It could either be overexposed or perhaps seeing was slightly blurring the images beyond what the LPI could handle, or the focus was slightly off.
Chris Newsome Derby, UK
Subject: Lunar LPI Images Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 00:40:23 From: CN (firstname.lastname@example.org) I thought that you may like the attached lunar images taken over the past couple of nights. I used my ETX-105 for two of them but wanted to compare the LPI on the ETX with my Celestron C6-N as well and the result is included. Hope you don't mind the odd Celestron picture creeping onto a Meade site!!!!!!!
Chris Newsome (Derby, UK)
Subject: LPI images Sun Jupiter Moon venus From: email@example.com Date: December 2, 2004 12:48:19 PST I bought an ETX 125 last year and shortely after an LPI imager. I am new to astonomy but was able to get this pcutires quite easily and resonalbe satisifed with my efforts. Hope you like them. regards.
Subject: LPI USB Cable length From: "Philip Maud" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: December 2, 2004 05:08:45 PST What is the maximum USB cable length that the LPI/Autostar Suite will tolerate? Will the use of active or repeater USB cables make any difference to the maximum length? Thanks and regards Philip MaudMike here: I haven't checked the USB official website for the specifications but I know that some users have run USB from their telescope outside to a computer indoors, a run of several 10s of feet.
Subject: How do you get good LPI exposures of stars? Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 09:46:42 From: Chris Newsome (email@example.com) Having owned an ETX-105 for a couple of months (together with my Celestron C6-N) and been totally frustrated with the English weather this year, I have not been able to use it as much as I would have liked. As a result, I have spent evenings on the computer going through your fantastic site I recently took my first picture with my new LPI (attached).
However, on your site I found a fantastic picture of the Pleiades taken by Graham, John L (Graham@udri.udayton.edu). What exposure settings were used with the software to get such sharp star images? Regards Chris Newsome (Derby, UK)
Subject: lpi cable Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 11:10:07 From: gary taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just received ETX90 with LPI and autostar, my question is, are all three cables used and if so is it possible to extend them as I am led to believe that USB cables can not be greater than 3m long and my PC is over 15m from my viewing site. P.S. your site has been of immense help. GaryMike here: You will need only two: the USB cable and the #505 serial cable. People have run the USB lines into their house without problems. Same on the serial cable.
Subject: Meade LPI: Faint Asteroids and Saturn Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 06:06:09 From: Graham, John L (Graham@udri.udayton.edu) Over the past weekend I had a chance to test the Meade LPI imaging a really faint asteroid. After taking pictures of 4 Vesta and 9 Metis I swung over to a little world called 135 Hertha shining faintly at magnitude 11.4. This would be quite a challenge visually with a small telescope but the Meade LPI had no problems with it. The attached composite image was taken with the LPI on my 4.5" f/4 Newtonian on my Meade DS-2130 mount. The source images were an average of 10 8-sec exposures with a histogram of 0-64 and dark-subtracted.
I also obtained a new image of Saturn in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Comparing this with an image I obtained in September shows a small increase in the size of Saturn as we swing around the Sun and get closer to opposition. I'll probably add more pictures to this series as we approach, then withdraw from Saturn over the winter and into next spring. These images were taken with the LPI mounted on my Meade DS-2130 with a 2x Barlow. -John
Subject: Saturn pics with Lpi Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 08:57:24 From: Co1dSp1d3R@aol.com (Co1dSp1d3R@aol.com) Here is a picture of saturn i took with my etx90 and lpi camera. 45 frames stacked in registax no barlow used. not bad considering this was the first time i had used this scope and lpi on anything other than the moon.
Subject: Meade LPI: Asteroids Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 07:58:18 From: Graham, John L (Graham@udri.udayton.edu) As I expected, photographing asteroids is a relatively simple task with the Meade LPI. I was hoping to image 4 Vesta as my first target, but by the time I was set up it was in the trees. My second choice was a little 8.9 magnitude rock called 27 Euterpe. I used a 4.5" f/4 on a Meade DS-2130 mount. After setting up with a two-star alignment and focusing the telescope all further slewing and guiding was done remotely using the Astonomer's Control Panel and the Meade #506 cable set. It took only a few minutes to locate the asteroid and start acquiring images. I averaged 10 images with dark-subtraction and the histogram set from 0 to 64. The example attached is a composite of two images taken at 9:58 and 10:34 eastern time on the evening of November 9th. I would have taken more, but it was so cold outside the batteries in the mount faded. I hope to modify the mount with an external power supply for cold weather operation. Being able to control the telescope and take images from the relative comfort of my garage is the cat's meow.
Have fun! -John
Subject: Meade LPI: Deepsky Sent: Monday, November 8, 2004 13:24:00 From: Graham, John L (Graham@udri.udayton.edu) I was tinkering with my LPI over the weekend to see how faint I could go using my 4.5" f/4 Newtonian guided using my DS-2130's mount. In addition to that I was controlling the telescope using the Astronomer's Control Panel that came with the Meade #506 computer interface. Now that's the way to use the LPI! The attached image of the Pleiades is a composite of 16 LPI images while the Double Cluster required 6. Each source image was an average of eight, 8-second exposures. It looks like the limiting magnitude is right at 12th, which is slightly better than looking through my telescope visually. This bodes well for using the LPI to image asteroids.
Have a good evening, - John
Subject: ETX-105 on mac Sent: Sunday, November 7, 2004 12:43:22 From: Wayne Taylor (email@example.com) I was wondering if you could tell me if there is a driver available for Mac X to run the LPI camera on my ETX-105? Thanks.Mike here: No, but Virtual PC works (if you have a G4 or G5 Mac); see my article "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject: Moon picture for gallery Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 10:20:10 From: Simon Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please find attached picture of the Moon taken on 26/10/2004, from Birmingham, UK. Taken with an ETX-105 and Meade LPI. This is my first attempt at imaging with the LPI, and I am quite impressed with the results.
Kind Regards. Simon
Subject: Moon pics Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 09:18:48 From: Co1dSp1d3R@aol.com (Co1dSp1d3R@aol.com) These are the first astro pics i have taken and was fairly chuffed with the result. Both are a single frame (as you know still awaiting my replacement autostar so have no tracking) only adjusments were auto levelling and contrast etx-90 and Lpi!
Subject: At last ! M57 with LPI Sent: Thursday, October 7, 2004 05:13:06 From: Mr. Tom (MrTomsMail@gmx.net) at last I could capture M57 with my C9 and the LPI. Due to my new 1,25" Focalreducer 0.47 screwed into the LPI I could use the 8.4m bright star on the right of the picture for tracking. On screen only stars up to 10m were nearly visible while taking the pictures, no sign of M57. 30 frames of each 16 sec were added with darkframe subtraction, the polar alignment was only rough, slight wind and fine clouds, M 57 over a roof top, all on my balcony in light and smog polluted Aachen city.Brightness and contrast were pushed to the limit, color remained untouched, M57 showed up!
Yes, that payed the 40 Euros for the focal reducer (from www.astrocom.de). Cheers, Tom Aachen & Dortmund, Germany
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