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This planetary grouping from 20th March around 5.30am shows Saturn to the left with conjunction of Jupiter above & Mars below, sharp eyed may also see... Io, Ganymede & Callisto in a string just right of Jupiter.
Image taken from Lesmahagow, South Lanarkshire looking toward the SE.
Pentax K1 / Pentax 67 165mm lens / Exp. 2 secs @f8 / iso 200
Ioptron tracker at siderial.
Hey guys. Thought about starting this thread. I feel like we all should inform eachother and newer members alike about the magngifications that can be achieved on planets,that provide the best sharpness/size ratio,depending on the scope and seeing. After this thread has grown a bit, i feel like this should be pinned,as to provide a little guide to newer members that are not experienced with planetary observing,as many will be fooled with the typical 50x per inch of aperture and get disappointed when they find that that image will be dim and blurry.
For my 8” F/6 Sky-Watcher Dob
For Saturn i like to use 150x in medium seeing and if i want something a bit bigger , switch to 240x ,which will give me a bigger,but blurrier image.iBut In good seeing, i found that 240x was very usable.When we have perfect conditions, i m certainly trying 300x.
Mars, isnt very big in the sky right now,so even at high magnifications like 300x it still appears as a small orange dot. For observing mars,I suggest waiting for it to reach opposition.It benifits hugely from it! However,this happens once every 2 years....But 5ere are other planets to keep you occupied until then, such as jupiter,saturn and Venus.
For Venus, i use 50-100-120 depending on its phase.
For Jupiter, i like to use 150x, as it provides a very sharp image,with key features of the planet such as bands being very detailed.Waiting on my 6mm UWA Skywatcher to bring it to 200 and see how that plays out. Be careful! Don’t magnify jupiter too much, as it will loose much of its features and sharpness.
Neptune and Uranus: These two will not impress, but are certainly have a nice colour to them. Even ar high magnifications, such as 300x and 400x, they will look like small discs with color in them.Uranus will look be colored green and Neptune a fainter blue.
Mercury About mercury...Havent gotten the chance to observe it ,so the guys will have to inform you about that?
Feel free to give your own opinions as to give members a wider source of information to help them observe better !
Cheers and clear skies.
By Cosmic Geoff
Got images of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning and a tiny Mars in the evening. Saturn was very low and a fence may have blocked some light. Apparent diameter of Mars is now below 5" and the evening seeing was poor.
Used: CPC800, ASI120MC, ADC, processed in Registax6.
By Cosmic Geoff
I had another go at imaging the shrinking Mars, this time without and with a x2 Barlow lens. The results are better with the Barlow, which is what one is led to expect. For whatever reason (probably bad seeing and/or low planets) when I tried a Barlow previously it just made the blur bigger. Equipment: C8 SE, ASI120MC, x2 Skywatcher kit Barlow element screwed directly into 1.25" barrel of the ZWO camera. This does seem to give x2 in practice. I did not use an ADC on the grounds that I shouldn't need one with Mars at an altitude of over 40 degrees.
3000 image video captured with Sharpcap. Processed in Registax6. I found that the Sharpcap exposure histogram did not appear to work on such a small image, so had to estimate the exposure. Yes, optical ADC correction would be better, but the dispersion seemed very small. Blowing up the image x2 in Registax showed a small colour fringe, which I took out with a single point of correction.
The images show some surface detail though the contrast is low (if you are using a flatscreen try viewing from below: ?) Mare Sirenum, with Mare Acidalium just discernible foreshortened at upper right.
By Cosmic Geoff
Here is an image of Mars I made on 9 Jan this year, with a C8 SE, and ASI120MC camera. The images are rather small (around 7" dia). Mars is now much higher in the sky than at opposition, so it seemed worth taking a few farewell images as it diminishes in size. Captured with Sharpcap.
I did not use the ADC - the images are corrected for AD in the processing in Registax. This is from a run of 3000 images. I have included a x3 Photoshop zoom of the same image to indicate the size of Mars at opposition on the same scale. I was quite pleased to record some surface detail, corresponding with the position of Syrtis Major. If I'd had more time, I could have tried some images using a Barlow lens. I have just discovered that I can unscrew the lens section from a Skywatcher x2 Barlow and screw it onto the 1.25" nosepiece of the ASI120MC, which will give a more modest zoom (I think).