Mars - a lot better

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Mars - a lot better

Postby Aratus » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:06 pm

6th June 2016

A lovely clear day retained its clarity, without any mist or fog this evening. At from 10:30pm local time, the sky was sufficiently dark enough, with Mars at it's highest. (Only 16° high) Temp 8°C, and calm.

I could see that the seeing was very good tonight, and even though Mars was very low down, it was fairly steady. Through the eyepiece it was possible to see some occasional sharp features. In the south, Mare Acidalium and the Niliacus Lacus formed a squarish feature but with 'Nilokerus' jutting out from the end. The north was dominated by Mare Erythraeum. The Margaritifer Sinus as a long pointed feature came out of the southern side joining with the small round Oxia Palus. The Sinus Sabaeus showed as a long bar coming from the right limb, ending with the roundish Sinus Meridiani. The north polar cap was broad, and its whiteness contrasted with the general orange colour.
I took several photo sets with and without a barlow. I haven't had time to process them all yet. This is an example taken at 2255 UT with a barlow. ISO 3200 and exposures of 1/60 sec. 5% of 1500 frames.
Image
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:25 pm

Very nice image.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
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Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby Aratus » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:31 pm

It is better than I thought it would be considering the circumstances. However there were several moments of better seeing. I'll see if I can't coax a better image from my Mars frames.

I also had a look at Saturn. It looked very pale being so low down. It is still a pretty sight at low magnification though.
Image
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby Aratus » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:54 pm

I went back and processed another set of images from 2300UT. I used 2000 frames this time and took 10% increasing the number of alignment points. I used some agressive sharpening, but took out some of the 'ringing'. I don't think it shows any more detail, but it looks clearer.
Image
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby Aratus » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:12 am

Its been 2 weeks since I've been able to observe due to the cloudy weather. When I did finally observe Mars again on 22nd June it showed how fortunate I was on the 6th June. This time apart from a lighter colouration at the south pole, and a fleeting glimpse of a dark feature in the north I could see no detail. The disk was now clearly no longer a true circle, and showed a slight gibbous phase. At times the orange ball looked like the setting sun with frequent ripping effects. This is just the sort of conditions you get observing after a warm day, and the ground still cooling.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:07 pm

I've been struggling with the planets all year. Are you using a DSLR or webcam?
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

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Re: Mars - a lot better

Postby Aratus » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:55 pm

A DSLR with EOS backyard software. Most planets have been fairly low down, and not yielding good results. I have been observing Mars and Saturn for the last 3 weeks, and have seen little detail in either.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
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