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The Minor Planet Observer
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Palmer Divide Observatory

2007 Shoemaker Grant Recipient

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MPO Connections - Exposure Parameters

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In some programs, you have to reset any number of parameters to go from shooting darks or flats to a deep-sky object or star field. In Connections, you create a separate set of exposure parameters just once for every need. Then you recall a given set by simply selecting it from the camera control tool bar or using its name in a TakeImageEx command in a script.

It's hard to understate the power included in an exposure parameters set. For example, using just one parameters set, you could do the following:

  1. Take a series of exposures, pausing a given amount of time between each series.
  2. Within each series you can

    Guide or not guide for all image and guide or not guide between each series. In a series, all images follow right after another and so the only delay between images is when downloading them. 

    Take one or more images in one or more filters, using a different exposure for each filter, grouping the series in 112233 or 123123 order, and save all images in a common directory or break them out by filter under that common directory. If you're using a stepper motor focuser, e.g., RoboFocus, FLI, or Optec, and have setup the Connections configuration, the focuser can be repositioned automatically for each filter.

  3. Break out of the overall exposure series at any time, i.e., before the start of an exposure, based on a pre-defined condition such as when the target reaches a certain elevation in the western sky or morning twilight begins, whichever comes first.

Simply put, with one command in a script or click of a mouse button on the camera control bar, you  can take hundreds of guided images, each through a different filter and different exposure, and have it all stop when morning twilight begins. Using only two more simple commands in a script, you could have the camera shutdown and the telescope go to its home position.

A three line script to get hundreds of images while you sleep: you can't ask for anything more simple or easy!

 

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This page was last updated on 01/19/11 05:14 -0700.
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