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Tommohawk

Mars from UK - anybody?

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Not sure how this will turn out its uploaded from the web on my tablet. I captured this between the various obstructions in my area, conifers, trees. A tough target with the atmospheric conditions, !et alone the altitude and plants!2016.05.17.png.5e4f93c9cf0c66dc78c0686645f1ad27.png

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15 hours ago, ArmyAirForce said:

17 degrees!! That's almost overhead! From here it is 13 degrees.

It is no longer high enough to see from my observatory, so a tried a semi hand held capture from the bedroom window sill with the Evo 80ED and x2 TAL barlow. The scope was on a home made MDF mount, balanced on the window sill on top of a pile of books, and nudged every so often to keep Mars on the Tiny ASI120mm sensor. Red channel only.

 

Amazed you got anything with just 13 degrees - I feel with 17! Nice effort, thanks for posting.

15 hours ago, Starwiz said:

I tried to image it last night, but couldn't get anything more than a quivering blob!  

John

Quivering blob - like it! Yes that's about what I got.

11 hours ago, Kokatha man said:

For such low elevations there are some pretty nice images here...an ADC should certainly help when other aspects are right & you only need to look at some of Alex Obhukov's images from Russia (Moscow region I believe) to see what can be done with really good seeing & an ADC etc, despite the very low elevations. Alex of course is no slouch as a hi-res planetary imager, I should add! ;) 

Thanks for that - so maybe I could do better with just 17 degrees! Not sure I can get an ADC organised for this showing of MArs, but I got an IR filter on order so will see if that helps - hopefully it'll arrive before MArs departs.

Question to all - if youre mono imaging with RGB filters, do you use IR block, either integrated into RGB filters or separately?

11 hours ago, neil phillips said:

I think you need a dedicated planetary camera, to cherry pick good frames from the thousands collected. There was 20000  in the red channel here. That is nigh on impossible with a DSLR

I haven't used a DSLR so maybe I am wrong. Maybe you have some kind of video mode on the camera. But if your only collecting hundreds of frames. Its not enough.

Its certainly not too late, its just reached opposition.

Neil - for Mars I did 5 mins at 60 fps, so 18000 frames total - best 5 10 and 15 percent. All equally horrible. DSLR not ideal, but I have managed some half way decent Jupiters:

2016-03-13-2310_2-MVI_2330_pipp-DeRot_g4_ap88_RS_PS.pngMVI_2603_pipp_g5_ap80_RS_PN.png

 

The above shots arent great of course, but most agree pretty good for DSLR. Point is I'm not getting anywhere near this with MArs. Hopefull its due to IR being a real pain at low elevation and IR filter will help. 

5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

No I didn't have an IR filter on.

This thread has some excellent examples of Saturn on the same night that show the red channel was spot on but blue and green were terrible!

 

Thats interesting too - didnt realise youre using OSC. So you have no RGB or other filters at all? So maybe I need to look more at per channel processing. I did look at that but even the red channel on its own was horrible.

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12 hours ago, Kokatha man said:

For such low elevations there are some pretty nice images here...an ADC should certainly help when other aspects are right & you only need to look at some of Alex Obhukov's images from Russia (Moscow region I believe) to see what can be done with really good seeing & an ADC etc, despite the very low elevations. Alex of course is no slouch as a hi-res planetary imager, I should add! ;) 

Having looked up some info on tehse suing google, it does seem an ADC would be the answer. But as one costs more than my entire setup minus the laptop... >sob<

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FLO have ZWO ADC for £118 - not sure how good they are, but ZWO generally seem good.

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1 hour ago, Tommohawk said:

Amazed you got anything with just 13 degrees - I feel with 17! Nice effort, thanks for posting.

Quivering blob - like it! Yes that's about what I got.

Thanks for that - so maybe I could do better with just 17 degrees! Not sure I can get an ADC organised for this showing of MArs, but I got an IR filter on order so will see if that helps - hopefully it'll arrive before MArs departs.

Question to all - if youre mono imaging with RGB filters, do you use IR block, either integrated into RGB filters or separately?

Neil - for Mars I did 5 mins at 60 fps, so 18000 frames total - best 5 10 and 15 percent. All equally horrible. DSLR not ideal, but I have managed some half way decent Jupiters:

2016-03-13-2310_2-MVI_2330_pipp-DeRot_g4_ap88_RS_PS.pngMVI_2603_pipp_g5_ap80_RS_PN.png

 

The above shots arent great of course, but most agree pretty good for DSLR. Point is I'm not getting anywhere near this with MArs. Hopefull its due to IR being a real pain at low elevation and IR filter will help. 

Thats interesting too - didnt realise youre using OSC. So you have no RGB or other filters at all? So maybe I need to look more at per channel processing. I did look at that but even the red channel on its own was horrible.

Just out of interest how many frames did you use on mars ?  Good left Jupiter image there

Edited by neil phillips

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2 hours ago, Tommohawk said:

FLO have ZWO ADC for £118 - not sure how good they are, but ZWO generally seem good.

Seems reasonable given that I just got quoted $160 for a pair of prisms, potentially plus import duties!

Still more than I paid for my DSLR, though... added to the bucket list for that small lottery win/PPI claim etc.

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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7 hours ago, neil phillips said:

Just out of interest how many frames did you use on mars ?  Good left Jupiter image there

For Mars I did 4 mins at 60 fps, best 10%, so 4x60x60/10 = 1440 frames

By  comparison, Jupiter above left was 3 mins at 50 fps, best 10% so 3X60X50/10 = 900 frames

When I did Mars, I changed as an experiment from PAL to NTSC format to get faster frame rate ie 60 fps rather than 50 fps. I wondered if the 60fps rate was too fast, so I did revert to 50 fps but result was the same - no discernible detail on Mars at all. I've tried looking at RGB channels and still no detail.

5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Seems reasonable given that I just got quoted $160 for a pair of prisms, potentially plus import duties!

Still more than I paid for my DSLR, though... added to the bucket list for that small lottery win/PPI claim etc.

Having read around this more, one thing I've discovered is that Bayer matrices transmit IR in a rather odd way.

See this if interested - scroll down about half way.  https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/digitalimaging/cmosimagesensors.html

R transmits red of course and also near IR. Blue and green transmit B and G respectively, but also "leak" IR quite significantly esp. green, so the B an G channels show some IR data. This wouldn't matter so much , but with planets at mow altitude it complicates the issue of dispersion.

Without IR, ie with an IR blocker, the sideways separation or spread of the RGB channels can be realigned in processing. But without an IR blocker the B and G channels receive displaced IR data which cant be resolved by realignment.

An ADC realigns RGB and IR (well, near IR to be precise). It does mean of course that IR data may be received to some extent on B and G, but at least it wont be displaced. 

Take home message seems to be if you cant lash out for an ADC, use an IR block.

Neil - your Saturn images seem to prove this this. Have you tried your IR block with Mars? Also I'm not sure if there's enough backfocus in a Newt to get the ADC in the path.

I really hope my IR filter turns up before Mars goes cos I'd love to put this to the test!

Edited by Tommohawk
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I hope you are right tom, because I am capturing Mars right now. Have had to minimise contrast as otherwise the centre f the disc is burning out. Good seeing (Jupiter was ace through the ep earlier) but lp + summer coming means I can't see Antares or saturn yet!

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IR filtered images were much better. Looks like your explanation was spot on, and also explains why green was 'smeared' and blue was a definite double image.

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The ZWO ADC is even cheaper if you get it direct - it cost me £92.95.  Unfortunately I still haven't mastered how to use it.  Hoping to have another go soon and do a bit better than with this image.

20160522 00_46_59_AS_p30_e00011110_ap7.png

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This is with the IR filter compared to without (different nights, same setup, excellent seeing on the night with the filter, to be honest)

 

Mars 6.jpg

Mars.jpg

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5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

This is with the IR filter compared to without (different nights, same setup, excellent seeing on the night with the filter, to be honest)

 

Now that looks really good especially given its done without a whole load of exotic kit. Nice job! How did you process it?

My IR filter arrived yesterday - so did the clouds. No sign of a break, but fingers crossed. 

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15 minutes ago, Tommohawk said:

Now that looks really good especially given its done without a whole load of exotic kit. Nice job! How did you process it?

My IR filter arrived yesterday - so did the clouds. No sign of a break, but fingers crossed. 

This is pretty much my workflow:

Pre-process using PIPP using histogram equalisation (vital or the ice and blue haze bits disappear forever)

Stack in AS!2 with 2x resample (I will try again with 3x drizzle soon)

RGB align in Registax then VERY GENTLE wavelets and play with gamma curve until detail is just visible across the disk.

Deconvolution then mulkti-scale contrast in Astra,

Play with colour balance across various packages

 

In Astra and Registax it is VITAL to back off as soon as artefacts start to appear - usually as a concentric ring inside the outer diameter of the planet.

I am satisfied that all the features are 'real' as I have compared the image to Kolkotha Man's incredible pics from Aus and all the features on my image are in his.

I'll be honest, I never expected to get a result anywhere near as good as this, so to say I'm chuffed is an understatement.

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Thanks Neil - that pretty much my workflow too, and I think youre spot on re Registax - the detail you have does look "real" and is remarkable for a 150PDS. 

I cant see any x2 resample setting in AS!2 2.3.0.21 though - maybe you have later version?

Also, out of curiosity, what barlow are you using?

I looked again at all my MOVs and re-processed - I just cant see any detail to speak of at all. I used C9.25 with 3x apo barlow (which gave very nice result on jupiter) and I tihnk thats just too much. Had I realised how poor the result would be I would have done some at native 2350mm EFL.

I now have IR blocker but weather has been grim - last night BBC weather for my area showed some nice suns followed by a whiff of cloud - what we actually got was about 2" of rain in an hour and flash floods. It was still cloudy at midnight.... but ... now sunny and forecast looks more certain. Fingers and everything else crossed.

Edited by Tommohawk

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1 hour ago, Tommohawk said:

I cant see any x2 resample setting in AS!2 2.3.0.21 though - maybe you have later version?

Also, out of curiosity, what barlow are you using?

Version 2.5.1.7, I don't get on with version 3 it keeps crashing.

My Barlow came with the scope when I bought it S/H it appears to be the half-decent Celestron x2 barlow rather than the cheaper Skywatcher one which would have come with the scope. It hasn't got a thread on the end, so I unscrew the lens, fit the filter and then re-attach the lens. Combined with the way I made my camera housing the extra length seems to make it work more like an X3.

A nice red spot transit forecast for tonight, fingers crossed for clear skies.

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21 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Version 2.5.1.7, I don't get on with version 3 it keeps crashing.

My Barlow came with the scope when I bought it S/H it appears to be the half-decent Celestron x2 barlow rather than the cheaper Skywatcher one which would have come with the scope. It hasn't got a thread on the end, so I unscrew the lens, fit the filter and then re-attach the lens. Combined with the way I made my camera housing the extra length seems to make it work more like an X3.

A nice red spot transit forecast for tonight, fingers crossed for clear skies.

Neil - I had another go last night with IR filter. Procesing the data now - early assessment suggests mixed results!

One thing - I now have AS!2 2.6.6, which has x2 resample but its greyed out. Any idea why or how to enable it?

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2 hours ago, Tommohawk said:

Neil - I had another go last night with IR filter. Procesing the data now - early assessment suggests mixed results!

One thing - I now have AS!2 2.6.6, which has x2 resample but its greyed out. Any idea why or how to enable it?

You can't, Emil says

"Yes. This one is unfortunately no longer supported in the 32-bit version. It should be up and running again in perhaps a later version, and for sure the 64-bit version.

 

To be honest, resampling hardly ever is useful.

"

I must admit that even though resampling doesn't add detail, it makes the image big enough to SEE the detail which is there, which is what matters to me, that's why I use 2.5.1.7 the last pre-beta version.

I am experimenting with 3xdrizzle (I need to crop down to a small image, say 200 pixels square) to avoid running out of memory. I am not 100% sure it gives more detail, plus if you oversharpen a drizzled image the original pixel pattern starts to be recovered and you get very odd results.

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My effort ...

Just clears my garage roof and neighbours roofs so very turbulent air !

Taken at midnight so about 16 degrees 

Think I'm going to read through your processing method and have a dabble .

Mars%2028_5_16.png

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Tell PIPP to stretch histogram to 85% with 0% black and to process the RGB channels separately. Without this I had the same 'intense orange' as your pic and couldn't colour-correct it out. I think it's the G & B channels that carry all the subtle detail for Mars.

These two images are pretty much the same starting data with and without that approach:

Mars 2.jpg

mars 5.jpg

 

 

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This is my Mars effort from the early hours of the 29th. Didn't hold out much hope - tried earlier on 14/15.05.16 with mixed results. Last night was utterly hopeless with a swimming blob! Was pleasantly surprised how this turned out! Imaged with a Celestron  C8, Tal x2 Barlow and a ZWO120MM with Baader filters.

 

 

 

(viii)LABELLED FLATTENED.png

Edited by Virgoman
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It looks like the 'you can't photograph Mars at low elevation' myth has been blown out of the water this week, with loads of successes on the night of 28/29 May.

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You can photograph it any time you can see it, but it all comes down to what quality do you want and what you will get? When it's very low, detail quality will also be low, no matter how many gadgets you fit to your scope and camera.

There are some good shots here, but what would that same equipment do with Mars at 40+ degrees elevation?

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Here was my effort of Mars taken on 30 May at around midnight when it was about 17 degrees. The AVI has terrible distortion and wavey patterns all over it so detail is lacking. This is actually the first time I have ever managed to even capture Mars in a image. Taken with my 130P DS and Philips Toucam 

Mars2 edited and resized.jpg

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Hi Anthony, that's much better than my first attempt!

If you use RGB align in Registax the blue and yellow fringes top and bottom will disappear and it will get a bit sharper.

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Cheers Neil for the advice and the kind words. I will take a go at the RGB align in Registax and see what I can produce.

Thanks again.

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