Okay, I’m the first to admit it ain’t much compared to the stuff you see on NASA’s website, but hey, give me a break! This is the very first image taken with the StarShoot, and considering the conditions were horrible and the software was even worse, I’m surprised I got anything at all.
While there were no clouds, it was very hazy with lots of sky glow. To make things worse, the lights at the baseball field about 4 blocks from here were turned on. Why, I have no idea. No games tonight. Atmosphere was very turbulent.
The Celestron worked quite well. After aligning it, I jumped to Saturn right away. At about 40X it was really quite pretty, with the rings clearly defined despite the poor conditions. At anything over 100X the seeing was pretty much junk, though.
So I tried the camera. There are some issues, some of which I can solve, some of which I can’t and will have to try to work around.
First problem is the image capture software provided for the Mac. It is absolutely horrible. There is literally no documentation at all. Not even a simple text file. You’re completely on your own, and the only thing you can do is start playing around and hope you get something right.
Second is focusing the scope. SCTs have a reputation for being difficult to focus. The slightest touch will mess them up. This is especially true with the camera. Focusing this thing was a first class pain in the neck. Get close — close — give it a tiny nudge, and the focus jumps beyond the focus point and you have to start over again.
The software was absolutely horrible. Like I said, there is no documentation at all. All you can do is play around with it and see what works. I finally got it working, sort of. At least to the point where I could get an image to appear on the screen long enough to capture it.
Then the screen went bright yellow. No idea why. Re-started the program. It started this godawful beeping noise that got louder and louder. Have no idea why. Seems to be no reason for it. Finally turned the sound off completely.
Managed to get it working again and got a couple more images.
I can see this is going to take time, patience and experimentation.