Sorry if this is the wrong way to ask as I am new to this forum. I have a Celestron SCT 800 with dual forks, a Starizona Hyperstar, a ZWO AS1294MC Cooled camera, Celestron StarSense and a Celestron motorised focus adjuster. I am using a Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 installed. Will your software work for my setup and do I require any additional equipment to use your software?
I guess you are a beginner who wants to get a toe in the water for astrophotography.
The kit you describe should in theory be able to do limited astrophotgraphy and use SGP.
You do not mention a wedge and without that you will be operating the scope in Alt Az mode and field rotation will start to blur your images after 15 to 20 seconds.
With a hyperstar that may be enough to get some spectacular images. Multiple images can be stacked and the field rotation allowed for in the stacking.
many thanks for the quick response. Yes I am a beginner and I was driven down the route of astrophotography because you cannot see much of the spectacular sights in the heavens with the naked eye. I do also have the wedge for my SCT so that will also help with my pictures. Once my Hyperstar arrives I will definitely be purchasing the SGP software then. Many thanks again.
Best regards Nigel Buckland
You may need a guide scope since OAG may not be possible with Hyperstar.
You should not have issues with SGP. You need to install appropriate ASCOM drivers for your mount and camera.
ASCOM Platform 6.4SP1: https://ascom-standards.org/
Celestron Unified (6.1.7350, Feb 2020) Telescope & Focuser: Telescope/Mount Drivers
To name a few.
I don’t think it will be because with the camera in front of the scope too much of the scope will be covered with guide cameras.
However with Hyperstar the exposures required will be short and the plate scale large so guiding may not be required.
What I suggest:
Polar align with the wedge to within 10 arc minutes.
Take images of the brighter large areas of nebulosity using Hyperstar using 30 seconds, maybe a minute, exposure. Don’t worry about guiding to start with.
Useful objects are the north Americain nebula, the veil nebula, maybe galaxy clusters such as markarian’s chain.
Marvel at what you get.
As you get more experience and gain an understanding of what you want to achieve add toys to help you get that.
Don’t rush to buy the toys first you will get overwhelmed.
I have a Celestron 9.25" Edge HD SCT with a CGEM II Equatorial mount. I have the StarSense accessory and ZWO imaging in guide cameras. I use SGP on a Lenovo Thinkpad 11e running Windows 10 Pro with no issues. I run SGP along with PHD2 for guiding, Stellarium for planning and slewing the telescope, and Ceelstron’s CPWI to control the mount along with its ASCOM driver to communicate with SGP, PHD2 and Stellarium. I also use SharpCap Pro for alignment, initial focusing, polar alignment and lunar imaging. It is well worth the ~$15/year cost. I do not have a Hyperstar. Instead, I plan to purchase a refractor for widefield imaging.
While the 800 with the Hyperstar is a very fast imaging system, you may want to consider adding a guide scope and a sensitive guide camera to maintain precise tracking and keep the target in the same position for an entire imaging session. I use a ZWO ASI174MM Mini monochrome camera. You can then add PHD2 software for auto guiding. As Chris recommended, start with the basic setup to take images without guiding. See what you get by taking a large number of short exposures of a bright object, and then learn about image processing. I use PixInsight as my primary image processing tool, but it has a very steep learning curve. M13 is now in good position to image. 30 second exposures at gain 76 or 139 should work well.
You may also need to add a USB hub to connect all the gear to the laptop. I connect my mount using a USB cable connected to the StarSense hand controller. CPWI will handle auto alignment and it has the ASPA tool for polar alignment.
Join the CloudyNights forum. It is one of the most useful resources on-line. I also use Astrobin to search for images and how they were made for planning purposes and inspiration.
many thanks for that information. As someone that is new to astrophotography and Astronomy in general, my learning curve is very steep. Lots of good information coming out of this forum though. Again many thanks for you comments.
Best regards Nigel Buckland