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Although this image is not of a planet, it is of a planetary satellite and I can't find anywhere more appropriate to post it.
Last summer I imaged (the locations of) some satellites of Jupiter and Saturn but have only just got around to processing them. One target was Albiorix, aka Saturn XXVI. Discovered in 2000, it is only 30km across, roughly half the diameter of the M25 motorway. At the time of observation it was magnitude V=21.5.
62 1-minute subs taken with an unfiltered SX814 on a 0.4m Dilworth were stacked on the mean motion of the satellite and the result compared with the MPC ephemeris and the DSS2 images. The stars are trailed; the faintest one nearby is catalogued at g=20.68 in Gaia EDR3. Its trailed image is marked with the asterisk and red arrow. Despite the low signal to noise, Albiorix shows up untrailed in precisely the correct location; there are no stars of comparable brightness at that position in DSS2 and there were no asteroids thereabouts at that time according to the MPC, so I'm reasonably confident of the identification.
I don't expect any replies - think I'm just braindumping for the mental wellbeing aspect of a frustrating night.
Having been ill through the week, Saturday found me feeling well enough to get outside and see if I could hook some things together and try to get FirstLight through some of my recent purchases. I've been using my Star Adventurer mini-rig [SA non-wifi, Canon 200D (unmodified), >30yr old Tamron 200mm f3.5] but knew things were going to be very different, and was keen to get going.
So the kit was all lined up:
> Laptop (Win10), Raspberry Pi4 with Astroberry
> EQ6-R Pro
> SW 80ED-DS Pro (Kit), SVBony SV106 190mm/50mm Guide Scope
> ZWO ASI 224MC, Canon 200D, SVBony SV205, 7TC ASI 120MC clone
> USB GPS Dongle (G72 G-Mouse Glonass Beidou GNSS) for location
and mains power for all via various PSUs with enough USB cables to circle the planet
Didn't take too long to get both Win10 (ASCOM) or Astroberry (INDI) talking to the mount and progress was being made - RA/DEC all seemed fine so onto the cameras. Found a distant object and SharpCap gave me images for all three USB devices once I had the SVBony as a Windows WebCam (RESULT!) and the same through INDI on the Astroberry, all three displayed images when enabling Streaming.
Settled on EQ6-R, SW 80ED, ASI224MC for imaging, SV106/SV205 for guiding
That's it (I thought!) and I broke down the rig and moved it to the lawn - I say lawn, more like a mossy bank but serves the purpose - and wait until dusk where a simple Polar Align and I'll be grabbing images of M51 Whirlpool in no time ...............
(I must cut the lawn, even if just to get rid of the blue from spray-painting a new table a couple of weekends ago)
(please ignore the middle dew heater, was there to remind me to put it on the guide scope later)
PA on the Star Adventurer, 30mins (5mins for the alignment, 5mins for remembering which phone app has a PA Clock and the obligatory 20mins to find the flamin' polar illuminator!) - this has been giving me consistent 5min exposures with no trailing.
PA on the EQ6-R is 'interesting' - I have a QHY PoleMaster but am waiting on the adapter from FLO (stock issues) so it was SharpCap alignment.
Wait for it to get dark enough, then get focus, then wait for platesolving in a "change exposure, gain, star threshold, black threshold, platesolve again" loop for over an hour. Woohoo, plate solved ..... oh, rotate around RA ..... and perform the same operation again ..... ARGHHH!
Over two hours later (probably more like 3hrs+) I've got polar alignment to within 12 seconds (wishing I'd screengrabbed that now). I really don't like the adjustment mechanism, the thread pitch is far too high for minute adjustments of alignment!
And onto guiding ........................ or maybe not.
PHD2, Nothing through it at all .... then remembered I'd not refocused the guide scope, then it was taking the Darks library. Still nothing. Opened the SV205 via SharpCap and got focus, switched back to PHD2, still nothing ...... hmm, is this just an unsupported camera (windows 'webcam'). So switched out for the 120MC copy - Amazon 7TC special.
Repeated the SharpCap for focus, then PHD2 Darks library and BOOM I have stars showing up in PHD2 - RESULT ...... I'll leave it at that for a moment and try looking at something, see what I get from the 224MC main camera and what PHD2 gives me in the guide scope.
So onto the next 'learning opportunity' - target selection
Erm, how do I select a target for goto with just two camera apps .... aha, Stellarium
No Telescope selected, easy - it went something like this:
"Open Stellarium, select telescope, select ASCOM ... there we go ... nope, it won't connect ... restart everything (twice) ... redo settings (twice) ... check ASCOM diagnostics (all passed) ... quick google search, aha I'm not the only one, you have to select the scope within the options pane ... what options pane .... oh, scroll down ..."
And I now have Stellarium control of the scope - again a RESULT - it's taking time but I think I'm making progress here .... hmm, it's getting bloody cold, wow, it's midnight!
So I now have an in focus 224MC, an in focus guide scope and control over the mount, here we go ... I'll be stacking images in the morning and making millions from selling prints online
Easy targets for testing were below the horizon (basically M42) so I'll just pick Vega and make sure slewing works, imaging works and can see how guiding works.
Nothing, no bright star at all - okay, bigger target - the moon.
Again nothing, no bright screen - so switched out the camera for a 26mm LER EP and a diagonal and manually aligned the moon - then, and here comes stupid, refocused (!) for the moon.
Stellarium wasn't syncing with the mount - I was 'off' on any selected target and by a lot
Quick google search and I'm no the only one - no sync points on my clean build so wasn't that, but use of the GPS dongle for location and TIME might be the problem.
And at this point it as 2:30am - prime viewing time last night with the moon disappearing in the West behind me - the garden slopes due-West to due-East so I only get Partial-North>East>Partial-South viewing.
Time to give up, have a small glass of Red and look for more things to buy on SGL/Astro B&S.
Today - well I had to break everything down to get it into the garage (too heavy to carry as one with current health) - I'll try to get the ASCOM/GPS element sorted out and maybe this evening try some targeting/lunar rate tracking so see if that major element is resolved.
And, if you've made it this far, please accept this for your perseverance🎖️, you've earned it.
Ingenuity has just taken its first successful up and down flight on mars!
Amazing considering there's almost no atmosphere to fly in.
Only a couple of pics so far at the end of the broadcast but I'm sure more to follow.
Shooting date: 10/16/2020; Shooting time 23:00 - 23:55; UT + 3h; Location: village #Dinskaya, #Krasnodar Territory; Equipment: Telescope Sky-Watcher 150 / 750PDS; Mount: Sky-Watcher Heq5 Pro SynScan; LB 3x #Televue Powermate; #ZWO ASI 120MC camera; Visible diameter 22.04 sec. arcs; Gloss -2.37; Azimuth 134.31 °; Height 42 °; The illumination of the planet by the Sun is 97.7%; Distance from Earth to Mars 63.5 million km; km; Roller 120 sec Crop video frames 8 bit, 380x380, 30% of 12,615, (69) FPS; Software: FireCapture; gain 36 (36%), exposure 7,000ms, Brightness (offset) = 9, Histogram = 60%; PIPP; AS3; RS6; PS CC (2020)
This image is a compilation of my captured images of Mars during this years (2020) opposition season of Mars. All of the images were taken using a 8" SCT at 6764mm focal length (f33.3) with an Celestron Skyris 618C CCD. All of the images were taken with the same telescope at the same focal length so shows the size of the martian disc as it was closer, at opposition and further from Earth.