What software should you use to image the planets? If you are a user of ASI cameras, then you are lucky, today we will show you the automatic shooting planet function of ASICAP, the original shooting software of ASI camera.
The auto guiding and plan shooting function in ASICAP is very easy to use! Look at the main interface first.
The auto guiding function is similar to the guiding in deep space astrophotography, which can correct tracking error at real time through the ST4 port. First, you need to set the parameters of the ST4 Auto Guide.
ST4 Auto Guide Setting
Connect the ST4 port of the equatorial mount to the ST4 port of the camera with the ST4 guide star line (requires camera support), click the telescope button, or the setting button, and then click the ST4 Auto Guide option, as shown below:
Guider cycle time (ms): The frequency at which the target is deviated, i.e. how often it is detected.
Correction time (ms): Controls the movement time of the equatorial mount.
Tolerance (pixel): If the number of pixels from the target position is less than the set value, the correction is considered successful.
Swap direction: Reverse the horizontal direction (Flip X), reverse the vertical direction (Flip Y). When the star is automatically guided, if the direction of the equatorial motion is found to be incorrect, the corresponding direction reversal is required.
Show target cross: Marks the target position of the guide.
After applying the above settings, you are free to experience the auto guiding function then.
After clicking the telescope button in the shortcut bar, in the upper right corner of the image display area, the panel of the automatic guide star is displayed, as shown below:
Click the play button in the middle to start the automatic guide star, as shown below:
When the guide is started, a crosshair is marked at the center of the target. When the target center is offset from the crosshair, the equatorial mount is controlled and the target center is pulled back to the crosshair. Click the red stop button to stop the automatic guide.
With the automatic guide star, you can track the target for a long time without worrying about the target drifting out of frame. Now let’s move to next step.
Sequencing (Auto Run)
Click the button to pop up the Auto Run window, as shown below:
Auto Run panel with filter wheel
First select the appropriate filter and set the parameters such as exposure, gain, and number of frames. When you start shooting, the filter wheel will rotate to the preset mirror position.
If the computer is not connected to the ASI motor filter wheel, the filter column will not be displayed. Just set the exposure and gain, as shown below:
Planning the shooting panel (when there is no filter wheel)
Exposure: In milliseconds (ms), set the exposure time of the camera when shooting starts.
Gain: Set the camera’s gain when you start shooting.
Limit: Set the shooting limit when starting shooting.
Between Delay: The unit second(s), the delay between shots.
Click the blue add button to add a shooting plan and click the button red subtract to remove the last shooting plan.
All Capture Plans Progress: Shows the overall progress of all shooting plans.
Repeat Rounds: The number of times all shooting plans are repeated.
Image – Video: Select the type of scheduled shot, grab an image, or record a video.
Delay First: When checked, when the scheduled shooting starts, the time is set after the delay is set.
Click the run button to start Auto Run. The planning process is as follows:
Click the stop button to stop the scheduled shooting.
The planned shooting is completed, as shown below:
In the ASICAP version 1.6, we have made some operational optimizations for this program, which is more convenient to use than before.