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Delboy_Hog

Mars with Mak 127 and DMK21

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I’ve been enviously watching the detailed Mars images appear here on SGL from the 8+ inch scopes, when my previous efforts over the last couple of weeks have been absolutely awful.  You wouldn’t have known it was a planet, it just looked like a small fuzzy splodge, through the SPC900 or the DMK21!

I’d been starting to wonder whether that was all I would be able to get on Mars, and I’ve been struggling to reconcile that with the view I had of Mars a couple of years back through the little Mak, where I could see bags of detail (by Mars standards anyway! :grin:).

Anyway, just after midnight I set the camera up to run on Jupiter and the moon for a while, before I realised I was about to lose Mars behind a huge tree for an hour or more, so I swung round and had a crack at it.  Thought I could see a hint of detail, just a dark patch on the right hand side when I was trying to find the right settings, so figured I must be close.  Did 3 runs with different settings, praying the dew didn't get any worse, packed up for the night and came inside.

OK, so in hindsight, imaging the ‘Red’ planet in mono means that a certain amount of the wow factor here might have been lost, but I was dancing around like an absolute loon when this popped up in Registax…

post-23024-0-47311400-1394804660.png

Far from perfect I know, but a huge ‘personal best’ for me on Mars.  The seeing wasn’t great here either, though it wasn't terrible like it has been recently, though most of the frames looked real fuzzy.  This gives me some hope that I might even be able to improve a bit more over the coming weeks.

This was 5 minutes at 30fps, Exposure -6, Brightness 15, Gamma 97, Gain 809, with a stock Skywatcher 2x barlow, run through PIPP and then stacking the best 20% in Registax.

I’ve been on a high ever since!  Picked up a couple of reasonable lunar shots as well – I think the DMK21 (which I actually picked up in FLO’s clearance last year, but have had very little time / clear nights to use it) will be amazing on the moon once I get my settings and focus right.

post-23024-0-14040000-1394805025_thumb.p post-23024-0-62407200-1394805071_thumb.p

Can’t wait for Saturn to rise a little earlier – I tested the camera out very late in the Saturn season when it first arrived last year, and it outperformed the SPC900 by a mile, so even though Saturn isn’t going to be particularly well placed for us this year, I’ll be ready for it! :police: 

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Nice Mars looks good to me it's low and not well placed at the minute

Pat

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Thanks Pat, yes, it floats just above the roofs of all the houses up the road from me, so it's been shimmering beyond recognition for weeks now, especially with the cold weather when everyone has their boilers pumping out steam!

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Thank you Richard, that's very kind of you!  :icon_salut:

When I was looking through the frames of the moon in registax I was worried that I might have been a touch off focus, but thankfully the stacking process and a healthy dose of wavelets seems to have lessened the appearance of that somewhat!

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That's nor great if you over the house the boil will kill it a bit I saw it pop in up over the trees the other night I was tempted but will wait another month or so should be better

Pat

April and maypost-9980-0-75883700-1394822673_thumb.jppost-9980-0-44714900-1394822664_thumb.jp

Edited by todd8137

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Thank you Richard, that's very kind of you!  :icon_salut:

When I was looking through the frames of the moon in registax I was worried that I might have been a touch off focus, but thankfully the stacking process and a healthy dose of wavelets seems to have lessened the appearance of that somewhat!

What I do to check focus is capture 200 frames stack them whilst out side and see what focus looks like takes a couple of mins that's all and do it till they look crisp usually takes two hoes to get good focus same for planets

Pat

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Good Mars detail Derek and crisp moon shots, you even picked up a couple of craterlets in Plato :)  The little 127 Maks always punch above their weight.  I'll be using mine on Saturn this year as I won't be able to reach it with my C9.25 and I know in advance that I won't be disappointed with the view.

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Pat, I agree, that's a good idea, I used to do that every time, but I'm so out of practice with having had so little good weather that I completely forgot!  It took me 3 attempts to get my alignment and tracking right when I was setting up earlier in the evening!

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Thanks for that Alan, yes I was pretty pleased given how much haze seemed to be hanging around.  Thankfully it didn't get really misty until after I'd packed up.

You're right, the little mak is a reliable beast!  It's a wonderful scope.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how far I can push it on Saturn this year!

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Pat, I agree, that's a good idea, I used to do that every time, but I'm so out of practice with having had so little good weather that I completely forgot!  It took me 3 attempts to get my alignment and tracking right when I was setting up earlier in the evening!

Might be time for a home made pier

Pat

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That's a great shot from the 127 Mak! 

I think Mars was higher and closer a couple of years ago, so we had a better view of it.

Angie

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Those Maks are just a cracking little scope, very nice image of Mars.

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Those are excellent moon images Derek and a nice, tight detailed Mars. The polar cap and Syrtis Major are clearly visible. Very well done  and Mars will be more favourable in the coming weeks so your looking good for it and Saturn as well of course.

                                                 Best regards,

                                                                        Ralph

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Might be time for a home made pier

Pat

Think I might need to show this to Mrs_Hog!  :grin:   I'd love a permanent set up, but I'm moving house in a couple of months, so I'll get settled in to the new place and figure out where the best place to put the observatory is going to be!  I'd like to get into doing some dso imaging, so that might end up on a pier, then I can keep the little mak as a portable set up.

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That's a great shot from the 127 Mak! 

I think Mars was higher and closer a couple of years ago, so we had a better view of it.

Angie

Thanks Angie!  Yes now that you mention it, I do seem to remember people mentioning that Mars was at its closest to earth for some time then.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a little more detail out of it over the next few weeks, and oh for a night of excellent seeing! :rolleyes:

Those Maks are just a cracking little scope, very nice image of Mars.

Thanks Tich, I think I've lost count of the number of times this scope has surprised me by what it can do.  For its price I don't know of many scopes that can beat it on lunar and planetary. :smiley:

Those are excellent moon images Derek and a nice, tight detailed Mars. The polar cap and Syrtis Major are clearly visible. Very well done  and Mars will be more favourable in the coming weeks so your looking good for it and Saturn as well of course.

                                                 Best regards,

                                                                        Ralph

Thank you very much Ralph, I've been meaning to look into which part of Mars I had captured, but work has taken over a bit since then, so thank you for the info.  :icon_salut:  I must admit that after a relatively poor Jupiter season with the seeing conditions here (as many others have too I think) I'm relieved to get a reasonable image in ahead of opposition.  It means I can experiment a bit more next time out without worrying so much about ending up with a good'un, and maybe try pushing the scope a bit more! :smiley:  

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Nice images mate!  The moon is good (am I right in thinking that's taken without a barlow?) but the Mars image is loads better than I've managed in my 127 this year.  Like you said, I'm still in the fuzzy blob stage of imaging.  I'd kill for some detail!

Doesn't look like you'd need many panels to do a lunar mosaic with that camera?

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Thanks Fred, you're right, no barlow on the moon pics.  I've not tried a mosiac yet, but I think you're right, probably 3x3 panels would do the trick on a full moon, though I guess if you wanted some serious detail you'd barlow-up and get closer in.  Might give it a whirl next time out.

I'm pleased with the Mars image, but I know the Mak can do better - I've seen other members' photos on here with the 127 that are superb.  I'm really hoping we get some decent conditions here around opposition, but for now we're back to windy and raining again for the next few days by the looks of things.

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very nice images. the Mars is excellent, it is not an easy target at the best of times you have captured it very nicely.

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Very nice sets. I like the moon shots especially, their are very crisp. Good work

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Thanks Pete, thanks Moxican, and thanks Twintin, it's kind of you to say!  :icon_salut:

Twintin, I agree on the black and white.  I'd always planned to get into using colour filters, but I've grown to love a good mono image, sometimes they can be just as spectacular I think.

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