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Droogie 2001

First Mars in 2 years - 05.06.16

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I thought I would have a crack at imaging Mars last night as I haven't taken any planetary images since 2014. I forgot what fun you can have with trying to focus and locate the target on a tiny CMOS chip!
Despite its elevation being a pitiful 16 degrees it did at least produce some detail.

Also tried Saturn but initial results look pretty poor.

ASI120MC, x2 Barlow, Celestron 8SE.
Fire Capture, PIPP,  Auto Stakkert 2, Registax 6, PS 2015CC
2000 frames, best 10% processed

Mars - 05.06.16.jpg

Edited by Droogie 2001
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What an absoloutly superb, truthful,  image of Mars! You obviously have a hidden talent that I hope you won't keep hidden. 

Thanks so much for posting!

Mike :thumbsup:

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Nice one Droogie, I was playing around with Mars and Saturn last night also in Surrey - then from nowhere some cloud came along.

I also use ZWO ASI 120MC + Firecapture; what settings did you use?

Graham

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Thanks for the positive comments guys.

Graham. Yes I think I had the same clouds as you had :icon_biggrin: . After spending 20min locating and focusing Mars they just rolled in, typical!

Just copied the log file. I also selected the Mars symbol from the Fire Capture pre-sets.
It wasn't too bad with adjusting the exposure as I was aware of not under and over exposing the planet. Nothing worse than being left with a bunch of videos which are impossible to process, been then and done that for sure.

Frames captured=2017
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=800x640
FPS (avg.)=67
Shutter=12.31ms
Gain=84
Gamma=50
WBlue=95
USBTraffic=80
Brightness=0
AutoExposure=off
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
Overclock=15
WRed=52
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=156
Histogramm=61%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=30 Seconds
Sensor temperature=16.2 °C
 

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Thanks Droogie, very helpful.  Might try again tonight if the Met Office have it right - let's see. 

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Lovely detail. Last night was excellent seeing here. Very little wobbling about and you could even see some detail on live view.

That is a lovely image.

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Interesting, that's 3 times the exposure length I was using, perhaps I should up the exposure a little and reduce gain?

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It seems that the gain and exposure work it opposites to each other so I never really know if I should apply more exposure and less gain or the opposite.

For once I seemed to get a good balance and considering I hadn't used Fire Capture for nearly 2 years I was pleasantly surprised it came out okay.

What is a little depressing is that following in 2018 the maximum height Mars will get to in the 50 Latitude zone is 14 degrees, however in 2020 it does reach a decent 40 degrees. I think Saturn is even worse for the foreseeable future...:sad2:

This site contains some useful information (scroll to very bottom for Mars elevation stats)

http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/mars.htm

 

Edited by Droogie 2001
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Nice image. I wish we would get a clear night here to have a go but it's just endless cloud every night.

Peter

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Mars shift by about two weeks every year, so next year it will be at opposition more or less spot on the solstice, but that won't be much worse than this year, then it improves a little every year as Jupiter drops down the sky rather faster.

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A very good outcome - next time try to capture for as long as clouds etc allow & you will have far more than 2017 frames to play with which will give you even better outcomes providing the seeing etc is up to what it was here!!!

6 minute long avi's are absolutely fine & what we do always...for  you that would've meant 24.000 frames to work with!

Nothing wrong with your FC settings although you could reduce your ROI...remember that the "height" of the ROI determines whether you can run at any specific maximum frame-rate.(in your case 600 pixels from the settings data you supplied)

Shutter speed multiplied by fps should give you unity for setting the optimum frame-rate/exposure adjustments & in this case you should have been able to increase the exposure to almost 15 milliseconds. (67 x 15 = 1 approx.)

What this means is that instead of 12.31 milliseconds you could have "let more light in" for each frame's capture...the result would have been a higher histogram which you would not have needed so you could have lowered the gain for the same frame-rate.

Setting "Brightness" to "16" also ekes out a bit more on the histogram & allows a tad more lowering of the gain setting - "0" is only necessary if daylight is starting to intrude upon your imaging! :)

Lower gain is always preferable if you can do so...& this should have been achievable in the FC settings...if not, then the 600 pixel high ROI/box you selected for capturing might've been inhibiting this & dropping it down to (say) 550 or 500 should fix anything therein - it has been a long time since I used the 120MC...but them's the facts! ;)

Nonetheless, as I said a very good outcome!!! :)

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Excellent result, great detail captured there... well done... awesome to see some great success from another 8SE owner.

 

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Thanks.

I did a reprocess in Registax and used a histogram stretch. I think it makes it less orangey and more natural?

 

 

 

 

Mars_050616_235537_pipp_g3_ap8_Registax._PS-In_progress2.jpg

Edited by Droogie 2001
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On 6.6.2016 at 16:08, Droogie 2001 said:

I thought I would have a crack at imaging Mars last night as I haven't taken any planetary images since 2014. I forgot what fun you can have with trying to focus and locate the target on a tiny CMOS chip!

 

Haha 100%!

I found the Spiraling of SharpCap funtion extremely usefull for finding your target. I think I also saw it in other ascom.mount controls but forget where, hints welcome, as Firecapture is IMHO better suited for planetary imaging, alone the AutoAlign is superp and helpfull.

Carsten

Left my images, right calculated from JuPos

Mars_2016.jpg

Edited by calli
Clarify
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You've captured some very good detail there Droogie, well done. I'm using the Celestron Nexstar 8i and I'd be over the moon to get detail like that.

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On 09/06/2016 at 21:36, Droogie 2001 said:

Thanks.

I did a reprocess in Registax and used a histogram stretch. I think it makes it less orangey and more natural?

 

 

 

 

Mars_050616_235537_pipp_g3_ap8_Registax._PS-In_progress2.jpg

Yup, that beautiful.... nice detailed and natural looking, not over cooked that's easy to do in the quest for ever more detail...

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A Mars to be proud of, well done, the detail you have captured is fantastic.

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Very nice Mars. I agree with above, I would be very proud of that image. 

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