Last night I got out under the stars for another attempt at imaging Jupiter with my modded Logitech Webcam C250, and I tried out a new piece of free webcam software for astronomy called FireCapture. FireCapture seems to be a pretty good software, especially for the price of free!
Three features it has that I quite enjoy, and am glad it has is the AutoAlign feature keeping the planet or moon image right in the center so that the object in the final video is centered instead of all over the place due to bad tracking, atmospheric disturbance, or a gust of wind. I really like having the histogram on screen, now all I have to do is find the sweet spot on the histogram with my adjustments. Another handy feature is an option to turn on a tiny view of where the 4 Galilean moons are around Jupiter. It doesn’t give a time as to when a moon transits Jupiter, but the visual gives you a good enough idea whether or not it will happen. All in all I’m quite happy with FireCapture as my webcam software.
I would like to see if I can somehow get AstroSnap software to work on my Vista laptop because of all of the features it provides. That software isn’t free, but if I could get it to work enough to test out the features I feel that it would be well worth the $45 dollars to invest into it.
Here is the stack of Jupiter from a 2 minute and 20 second long video stacked and processed within Registax with a 2x drizzle to make the final result 2x larger than the recorded video. I believe I need to make more adjustments to my gain or my brightness to get rid of that inner ring around Jupiter, but for my 3rd image of Jupiter I’m quite pleased even with this artifact.