April 10, 2011: The night of the planet of the rings
After the campaign of Jupiter, Saturn takes over the night and is now around its oposition. Good forecast for this weekend and the possibility of testing a Lumenera Skynyx encouraged us to make an observation and thus inaugurate the good weather.
After loading all the material, we went to the “Llano de la Perdiz”, a close place to the city of Granada. We arrived around 1:00 am (night from Saturday to Sunday).
Our main goal was to compare two CCD video cameras and two telescopes with Saturn, given the good seeing that we had (8 / 10). Specifically, we use a 63-cm reflector newton (obsession 25 ") in adobson mount and a Meade LX200R 8" on CGEM mount.
The cameras used were the QHY5 from Lunático and a lended Lumenera Skynyx 2.0 mono. In the pictures below you can see the results of the combination of both cameras with each of the telescopes.
Something which has attracted our attention is that despite the price of Lumenera, it arrived without the nose tube that connects the camera with the focuser (fortunately it was compatible with a QHY5 nose). But even more surprising was that no capture software comes with the camera and it is neccesary to get a third party one. Except for this, the camera is very promising in terms of speed of frames (over 60) and the high sensitivity of the sensor which allows to avoid the effects of the seeing.
Some data we want to highlight is the increased sensitivity of the Lumenera which allows very fast and avoid in a big manner the effects of seeing. However, if we consider the relationship between the performance and the cost of the camera, it seems that the QHY5 presents some advantage. Another detail is that each camera produces images of different sizes due to the different sizes in the pixels and sensor.
We do not want to end this review without mentioning that aside from these shots, we had the opportunity to enjoy a stroking and amazing live image through the 63 cm telescope. A Saturn at almost 500 powers with high definition! We could see the Cassini and Encke divisions, the storm that erupted earlier this year and so on. The edges of the planet and rings were well-defined (like the edge of a sheet of paper) and very stable. We hope that we will still have the chance to see the ringed planet but this night the seeing was so good that it will be really dificult to surpass that stability.
In conclusion we can say without doubt that the seeing plays a key role in the final results of the images. The Lumenera is a good camera but it is unexplainable that comes with no nose and no capture software. Finally, we will need further testing with these cameras and spend some days to try RGB color. But that is another story.