A quick visit at Saturn

While I was observing the moon I decided to quickly step by at Saturn. The image got better than I expected and so I am sharing it here 🙂 The Cassini Division (the thin black line in the ring) is clearly visible even at this low image resolution. The raw data was recorded with a DMK31AU03.AS camera and then post-processed with Registax.

Clear skies!

Last updated: June 16, 2022 at 22:53 pm

Creating a moon poster – Or: How to record a moon mosaic

The DMK31AU03.AS camera only has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixel. To create larger images one can record multiple regions after another (a mosaic) and then put them together to one big image. This can for example be simplified using the “EQ6 Mosaic” tool.

This tool allows recording defined regions after another just with a few clicks. Once you have defined the pixel size, the focal length of the optics and the desired overlap you are ready to go.

The moon image on consists of 6 single images. Each image is the result of an videos á 400 frames (@30fps). Each video has been stacked using Registax. Then the single images have been put together using gimp.

Here are some image details

  • Date: 2015/07/25
  • Location: Böblingen / Germany
  • Camera: DMK31AU03.AS
  • Telescope: 8″ f/5 GSO Newton

The image is also available in full resolution here.

Clear skies!

Last updated: June 16, 2022 at 23:01 pm

Image Source DMK31 does not work with Windows 8 and Intel USB3.0 host controller

The Image Source DMK31 does not work with Windows 8.1and Intel USB3.0 host controller. This is what I had to find out recently….

But lets start from the beginning: Recently I bought a new notebook with USB3.0 ports. In general I thought USB2.0 devices should be back-compatible to USB3.0. However for the DMK31AU03.AS this assumption did not hold. Unfortunately I was not able to get the device to work with my new Lenovo Thinkpad T540p. After some research I found out that the problem seems to be caused by the Intel USB controller implementation (because the camera seems to work on some other USB 3.0 ports with other controllers). Similar problems seem to occur for other DMK models as well.

When I plug in the camera I hear the typical Windows sound that a new device has been connected (I am currently using Windows 8.1 for astrophotography since not all devices are working correctly with Linux :-(). However, no new device shows up in the “Device Manager”. I also updated to the latest chipset and host controller drivers and of course I tried different USB cables and ports. The camera still works fine with my old notebook on an USB2 port.

However, when I start the supplied capture software no camera is recognized. I tried to install the latest driver from the official driver page but before it can be installed it checks if a compatible device is connected. The installer does not recognize the device either. So I am not able to install the latest DMK driver at all.

I contacted the support… It turned out that they are aware of the problem and that they are working on it. I didn’t hear back from them and so I contacted them again. Then they told me that they unfortunately are not able to deliver a fix.

My conclusion

For a camera in that price range which is designed to be used by the industry I expected more. In my eyes it is a “no-go” to just not support USB3.0 completely which should be backwards compatible with USB2.0. I think it is not just the fault of the “The Image Source” company that different USB implementations behave differently. However, I think they should have supplied a bug fix for this problem later on. So even if the camera did a good job with my old notebook (USB2.0) I unfortunately cannot recommend that DMK31 “The Image Source” camera to others with USB3.0 ports. Bummer!

Last updated: June 16, 2022 at 23:17 pm

The Flaming Star Nebula (IC405)

The Flaming Star nebula (IC405) is an emission and a reflection nebula in constellation Auriga. The nebula is approximately 1500 ly. away from earth. The final image is a combination of 37 different frames with an overall exposure time of almost 4 hours (including dark frames).

The image also available in full resolution.

Date2015/02/12
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectFlaming Star Nebula (IC405)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, DMK31AU03.AS via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance6x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red5x 300s, bin: 2x2
Green5x 300s, bin: 2x2
Blue5x 300s, bin: 2x2
Dark6x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h15m

Clear skies!

Last updated: June 19, 2022 at 22:22 pm

Flame Nebula (NGC2024), Alnitak and NGC 2023

The Flame Nebula (NGC2024) is an emission nebula in constellation Orion. Looking at the image you can imagine where the name is coming from. The bright star right to the “flame” is called Alnitak, a hot blue super giant. At the bottom left is another object – the emission and reflection nebula NGC 2023. This is quite “close” to the Horsehead nebula. The blue spot in the center of the image is a reflex caused by the bright star.

The image is also available in full resolution.

Clear skies!

Date2015/02/11
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectFlame Nebula (NGC2024)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, DMK31AU03.AS via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance8x 400s, bin: 1x1
Red8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark6x
Flat10x
Total exposure~1h53m
Last updated: June 19, 2022 at 22:23 pm