Telescope setup for Lunar Meteor Impact Monitoring

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Lunar Impact Detection Setup

Celestron N-8 NGT 8" F/5 newtonian with CG-5 mount and NexStar controller;

Watec 902H2 Ultimate that I am starting to use. It replaces the StellaCam II and is much more sensative.

(prior to Apr 08) Unfiltered StellaCam II at prime focus yielding a 16 x 22 arc minute field of view (or larger with focal reducer), running at 30 (29.997) frames per second (StellaCam set to 1 frame).

Sometimes use a focal reducer, placed as to fit as much of the shadowed portion of the moon in the FOV.

JMI Motofocus with hand controller;

KIWI OSD In Line video GPS time stamper to insert time on each video od and even video field;

Canopus ADVC-55 to convert the video signal from NTSC to 1394 firewire DV-AVI, for input into laptop;

Blue Star BlueTooth adaptor for guiding from laptop.

Nudger the Lunar auto-guider. Nudger is an ASCOM auto-guider I wrote specifically for guiding on the moon. It does not need its own video feed input; it gets a video input from capturing the screen of an existing video feed, such as the preview window of the AVI file being recorded. It can track Earth-shine illuminated features such as Aristarchus or features near the terminator such as illuminated mountain peaks. It allows for what's called "walk-away" guiding. No need to constantly make adjustments with the hand controller.

Stefano Sposetti has helped by testing Nudger on an LX200 mount using the Shoestring Astronomy drivers. His feedback has been excellent and he has certainly helped steer things along so to say. Thank you Stefano!

AVI files captured live to a Western Digital MyBook Tera-byte drive (with USB2, 1394-a or 1394-b); this makes the operation much easier eliminating the need to change tapes.

Processing the AVI files:

AVI files are split into segments with Virtual Dub and then processed by LunarScan written by Pete Gural, for detecting and extracting lunar impacts.

I use the stairwell in my basement as a little control room which keeps me from freezing during the winter. image of basement stairwell observatory
When the temperature is tolerable, I use a mobile Stanley wheeled Tool box Operations Control Center.
Click for larger image