Tuesday 17 January 2012

The Moon and Registax

As part of my goal this year to get more knowledgeable on astronomy, I finally got round to trying out Registax to stack some photos I took of the Moon ages with this very thing in mind.

I always wanted to try this out but to date did not have a computer powerful enough to really do it. But that has recently changed as I finally have a decent computer in the form of a Dell XPS 15, which I must say is rather nice! Its an i7 with 4Gb of ram so it will serve purposes such as using Registax perfectly. This is compared to my Samsung N130 netbook, which was my main computer before, with its little 1.6GHz Atom processor.

Anyway, I know with most astrophotography that is built up from stacked images, the source is usually a video feed, which I guess is like having lots of individual photos, but combined in a video. Registax pulls out the individual frames like photos anyway. I had 5 photos that I took on my Fujifilm HS10. I took them as a 'burst' so they were all within about 1 second, so little movement between shots (not that it really matters).

I then just followed the simple guide found on the Registax site by Paul Maxson here. Its a great guide for beginners as it doesn't go into lots of detail tweaking everything in Registax, as there is a lot that could be tweaked. It is just a nice easy run of stacking a handful of images.

So I ran through that with no problems and with some little hints here for the final noise step ended up with something I was pleased with for a first attempt.

I do think the 5 starting images were not as good as they could have been. Just as individual, straight out the camera shots, I think they should have been better. But still, this was my first practise run. I am just biding my time now until the next new Moon phase comes along (another week or so as of now) so I can take lots more photos. I will try using video too, I was thinking I would point and shot some HD video for a few seconds. The HS10 can do 1080p so I will try it out.

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