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First Ever Mars 05.03.2014


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Mount: NEQ6 Pro Scope:200P Camera: ZWO ASI120MC Accessories: Televue 2x Powermate

So I have been doing planetary imaging for a year now and been doing astro for just over 2 years. In that time I have only imaged Jupiter and Saturn.....until last night!

I thought would give Mars a go as it is apparing above neighbours trees at around midnight whic isn't too late i the grand scheme of things. I took 6 3000 frame avis via sharpcap 2 with the above equipment. out of those 6 the below image consisting of 1500 of the 3000 frames is the only one that has turned out looking like a planet!

Mars is hard to image!! It was so hard to get (what I thought) would be focus, I say "thought" as it was so wobbly that I really did have to guess!

Anyway advice/comments welcomed :)

12946722444_647dc865ee_o.png
Mars 05_03_2014 00_21_06 PSP by Gattouomo161, on Flickr

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Good image and nice exposure.    I share your pain - it's definitely a difficult target to image and achieving good focus in fair seeing or worse is a nightmare.

In better seeing you could try pushing the focal length to 4-5m if you have a more powerful barlow or conventional barlow and extension tube(s) - Not many good nights when you can push a 5x barlow, especially at this elevation.

Using the Gamma sliders can increase contrast to help with focusing, but don't forget to reset for capturing.    I've also found the focus look on the 200P can shift the focus if overtightened.

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Thanks guys.

Snakey I should have written actually I was using two televue extension tubes, one of 3.5 inches and the other of 2 inches length and the focuser is a moonlite CR2 with DC motor focuser so the image train was solid. Thanks for the advice re:gamma for focus I hadn't heard that before :)

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Thanks guys.

Snakey I should have written actually I was using two televue extension tubes, one of 3.5 inches and the other of 2 inches length and the focuser is a moonlite CR2 with DC motor focuser so the image train was solid. Thanks for the advice re:gamma for focus I hadn't heard that before :)

Luxuries!  I've managed to get my image train pretty solid, but one day will need to invest in a Moonlight or Steeltrack - though the EQ6 may have to come first!

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Yeah I guess they are. I used to use the stock focuser with a lacerta DS upgrade system and focus by hand which was double but so time consuming waiting for the image to settle after adjusting the focus. I thought seeing as I buying a moonlite I may aswell get the DC motor focuser too :)

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Hi Felix

Thats a good 1st Mars you have. As others have said mars is a difficult subject both in imaging and visual. I have only done mars with web cams before so cannot really give advice but things should get very slightly easier as it increases in size the closer to oppossition we get. I always look forward to Mars opps as this is my favourite planet to view.

I think the solution to imaging mars is the same as with the other planets, practice and more practice, weather permitting

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Hi Felix

Thats a good 1st Mars you have. As others have said mars is a difficult subject both in imaging and visual. I have only done mars with web cams before so cannot really give advice but things should get very slightly easier as it increases in size the closer to oppossition we get. I always look forward to Mars opps as this is my favourite planet to view.

I think the solution to imaging mars is the same as with the other planets, practice and more practice, weather permitting

Cheers Phil :) Yeah for a first go I am happy that I got anything slightly resembling it really. I love your avatar pic on here "Jonny 5" lol!

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So I was just going over the mars avis again from last night and messing with one in particular (the one I shot just a couple of mins after the original post above) in photoshop and I actually think that its better than the first one I posted-what are your thoughts guys?

12955883935_a048089387_o.png
Mars 05_03_2014 00_22_08 PSP by Gattouomo161, on Flickr

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Nice images!  I know what you mean about getting focus, Mars is so small after looking at Jupiter for so long!  I haven't had a single session where it has stopped jittering long enough to be able to get focus, it is all guesswork at the moment!

Angie

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