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2 minute Mars - ASI290MM 2nd light


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Hi all - apologies for lumping all the Mars RGB images into one image composition...you'll  have to click on the images to see them as large as your screen will allow... ;)

 

I am caught up with a lot of work with some more processing to do also, but this 2nd outing with the new ASI290MM allowed us to see how it ran in far less-than-ideal seeing conditions: I've dubbed them "2 minute Mars" even though some on the 1st night ran to 3 minutes... :)

 

We'd been kicking back staring into campfires day & night from Friday till Tuesday but SkippySky claimed that seeing would be passable despite the strong jet-stream running that night - who are we to argue even if it sounded somewhat far-fetched - so we headed up the road about 30 miles to Carrieton to give it a go...our campsite is alongside a gully where air movement doesn't seem to suit planetary imaging...

 

Seeing Tuesday evening started off woeful for Jove, so we went inside  the van for a cuppa to wait for Mars...when we came out the sky was completely clouded..! :( 

 

After sitting there for about half an hour some breaks started appearing, but these were actually little "strips" of clearish sky between much larger bands of cloud...but with the weather we've had this year we were ready to have  go in any half-chances!

 

Hence the "2 minute Mars" where we got about 40 seconds of capture for each channel before any particular clear sky strip was swallowed up by clouds...then waiting for another clear strip.

 

After a while the strips of clear sky vanished leaving total cloud cover again, so we sat there for an hour & thinking it was time to pack up...we had almost finished packing up when I looked up & noticed hat  the sky was almost completely clear - this isn't the 1st time this has happened by a long shot...but one of the few times I convinced Pat it was worth unpacking again & plugging the laptop etc back into the scope/camera.

 

We went straight to Saturn to be greeted by some very nice r&g feeds - blue was pretty nice also, but not quite up to some of the very good seeing nights we've had over the years...but the 3 channels gelled into some very satisfying rgb outcomes. :)

 

Returning to a descending Mars we grabbed some of the remains of the better Saturn seeing...packing it in before it got too late & cold.

 

The next night the seeing was jittery early but steadied up without  ever approaching that of the night before at Carrieton - although without any clouds - so we ran a few r-g-b's, some iR's & a couple of l-r-g-b's before deciding we had had enough... ;) 

 

The ASI290MM is certainly a good camera, possibly the best mono camera going around atm: a little more noise than the outstanding ASI224MC colour unit but with the advantages folks like us utilise in a mono camera.

 

Even from our practical/anecdotal appraisal (what else really matters btw! ;) ) it is delivering in quite challenging conditions: manual channel alignment is a real task, possibly reflecting the atmospheric conditions but it's been a long time since I have seen such demanding alignment: I should note that this is for Mars, not Saturn (very similar elevations btw) & much is connected with the blue channel Vs red which is understandable to a large extent...but still very observable, & I thought it worth mentioning...

 

The variable f/l unit (simple version) is working quite well, adding over 1/2 metre to the f/l with some more possible...probably working at the optimum we'd usually employ but still having a tad greater sale if required is good...

 

Here's the .jpg composition at 150% & capture scale, North up.

 

We were impressed quite accidentally by this cams ability to pick up the fainter objects - Pat had the gain ramped up to keep track of Mars through the thinner clouds & I noticed how visible Phobos & Deimos were - we decided to image these tiny lumps of stone & did a quick 186" capture at 1fps - stacking 91 frames to get this image of the Martian Moons.

 

I think this gives another insight into this particular camera: this image is not one where any "compositing" etc is done...raising the levels easily elicited the moons for selection &  then slightly more levels raising to make them more apparent...then inverting the selection to drop the exposure drastically for Mars itsef...imho the fact that the image resolved both moons & also, despite the enormouns over-exposure on Mars itself, the lowering of the exposure thereon allows us to easily discern the Acidalia/Nilokeras regions in the North & the Sinus Meridiani/Mare Erythraem/Solis Lacus regions in the South...complete with the S.P. Hood.

 

This surprised me quite considerably...

 

This Mars/Phobos/Deimos image was a red channel recording, btw. 

 

Next is a selection of some of the single channel recordings of Mars from these 2 nights, mainly the first night...oops, seems like SGL wants it at the end..!!! :)

 

Next,  the best rgb Saturn capture (classic 6 minutes captures) along with an iR685 capture.

 

The rgb Saturn reveals quite a lot of disk activity on close inspection... ;)

 

Finally, a North Polar map via WinJUPOS using the above rgb Saturn. :)

m2016-05-17&18_5imagesNorthUp_FIN.png

Stk49Nm100%_Mars_132827_R_170516_Phobos&Deimos#3.png

 

 

 

s2016-05-17_15-55_ir_dpm-Nup@200%.png

s2016-05-17_15-42_polar_dpm.png

 

AllSingleChannelsBothNights@150%.psd

s2016-05-17_15-42_rgb_dpm-Nup@200%.png

AllSingleChannelsBothNights@150%.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kokatha man
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Stunning as always.  I would be so happy if I could  generate anything half as good.

Question... Do you really see any difference between the ASI174, ASI224, and ASI290 once you have adjusted your image scale?  It seems you have generated world class results with all three cameras.

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"After a while the strips of clear sky vanished leaving total cloud cover again, so we sat there for an hour & thinking it was time to pack up...we had almost finished packing up when I looked up & noticed hat  the sky was almost completely clear - this isn't the 1st time this has happened by a long shot...but one of the few times I convinced Pat it was worth unpacking again & plugging the laptop etc back into the scope/camera."

This happens to me all the time. I have limited amounts of time (having to pack it in usually 1-2am local time) and this often happens to me. Just as I finish packing I look up and it looks amazing. Stupid work/school.

 

Anyways, spectacular images, as always. 

 

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Thanks for the kind words everyone - atm it is sunny & clear here but more rain is on the way...I suppose it has been a bit like the UK here lately with drizzling rain constantly...only quite a bit warmer! ;) 

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On 24/05/2016 at 02:05, mikeskor said:

I think your images are the reason that so many people hunger for the C14. Very impressive indeed.

Absolutely!!!  Truly amzaing images :)  Oh yes - I want a C14 :D 

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