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Hawksmoor

Martian Clouds and Volcanoes

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Captured some video clips of Mars on the night 18-19 . Clouds at the northern cap are clearly real.  So tried heavily processing the image to bring out clouds in the Martian atmosphere. Think I have captured some clouds rather than all amplified noise artifacts but could be wrong? Need a bit of help as to whether said clouds are over volcanoes. I am absolutely rubbish at identifying features other than Syrtis Major on the Mars disc. Volcanoes on the night of the 18th-19th Sept might have been around the other side of the planet as far as I know. Knowledgeable assistance will be much appreciated. Best regards from George next the Sea.

00_36_06MarsCloud.png

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There is some decent detail visible in the image, what were the capture details, scope, camera, length of capture and stacking?

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5 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

There is some decent detail visible in the image, what were the capture details, scope, camera, length of capture and stacking?

Hi Pete

Thanks for looking and commenting. The scope used is a 10 year old Meade 127mm Apo Refractor with a x3 Televue Barlow. The camera is a Qhy5-11 colour planetary camera. 3mins of RGB avi video was captured using Sharpcap (set with medium gain and exposure and bias set at 127) and then stacked using Registax6. From memory I think I stacked the best 1000 frames. It was an exceptionally steady and transparent night. For some unknown reason PIPP and Autostakkert3 which I usually employ on planetary images didn't like the clip and returned errors. I did initial processing for colour alignment, colour balance, noise reduction, sharpening and a stretch of the image using the Registax wavelets. I used APS and Fitswork 4 to complete the image processing. I used APS to increase the blue channel and Fitswork iterative Gaussian sharpening feature to enhance atmospheric clouds.

Hope helpful from George in a very wet and windy Lowestoft

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I don't know if sharp cap allows it, but the general consensus is you are better saving files as SER files rather than AVI files. What did the original unprocessed output from Registax  look like ?

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Hi Pete

Yes Sharpcap does give you the option to capture and save in a SER format and  I have tried this. It does seem to capture at a higher frame rate but I struggle to achieve as good an image when I process it.  In the past, I have taken two videos one after the other of the same planet (Jupiter) one in AVI and one in SER  and then processed them. Invariably what ever I'm doing seems to look worse  on the SER version. I use a colour camera with an infrared blocker rather than a mono camera with filters maybe that is an issue or maybe just my processing?

I have added two images the Registax Stacked no wavelets applied image and the Stacked Image plus wavelets that I then heavily processed to produce the accentuated clouds image previously posted.

Best regards George

 

00_36_06stack.png

00_36_06Mars.png

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The 2nd image is excellent George, lots of very nice detail visible. Maybe a little to red to my eye are. Are you using the RGB align and RGB balance options in REG6?

I think you are just over doing the sharpening after you have enlarged the image perhaps?

 

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Some nice images! I've had limited luck with Mars so far, due to poor conditions.

I've just had a look in WinJupos to try to identify some of the features for you. I think you took the image around 01:15 (12:15 GMT) on the 19th, so central meridian was roughly 36 degrees. South Polar cap is on the bottom, with Mare Acidalium at the top, Mare Erythraeum in the middle and the feature sticking out from the right of the image is Sabaeus Sinus. Unfortunately the volcanoes were out of sight at the time!

Tony.

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6 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

The 2nd image is excellent George, lots of very nice detail visible. Maybe a little to red to my eye are. Are you using the RGB align and RGB balance options in REG6?

I think you are just over doing the sharpening after you have enlarged the image perhaps?

 

Hi Pete

Thanks for your kind and helpful comments. The enlargement is definitely over-sharpened. I have a tendency to over colour all my images not sure whether this is my artistic bent , badly adjusted laptop or failing eyesight in old age 😆. Yes  I did use the Registax RGB Align and  Balance.  In particular, I find the RGB Align function particularly useful  whilst  many of the planets are so low on my southern horizon.

Best regards George

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No problem always happy to help. 

Just a few other questions. 

What is the focal length and R ratio of the scope, also how frames did managed to get during your imaging run? 

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5 hours ago, Taman said:

Some nice images! I've had limited luck with Mars so far, due to poor conditions.

I've just had a look in WinJupos to try to identify some of the features for you. I think you took the image around 01:15 (12:15 GMT) on the 19th, so central meridian was roughly 36 degrees. South Polar cap is on the bottom, with Mare Acidalium at the top, Mare Erythraeum in the middle and the feature sticking out from the right of the image is Sabaeus Sinus. Unfortunately the volcanoes were out of sight at the time!

Tony.

Hi Tony

Thank you so much for your assistance. regarding the position of the volcanoes  (out of sight).  I really have difficulty in finding my way around Mars. Mind you some days I have difficulty finding my way around Aldi. Thank you also for your kind comments regarding my images (its not for nothing that they call the process 'lucky' imaging'). Hope the weather improves for you in Jersey and you get a crack at Mars in good conditions. I have to say the weather was spectacularly good when I imaged Mars on the 19th.  The live view on my laptop was quite amazing and unlike anything  I've seen whilst imaging the planet  since 2014.  The long suffering astro-widow - Mrs. Hawksmoor was even impressed when she came out for a look.

The last couple of days here in Lowestoft have been absolutely terrible with gale force winds and torrential rain which has only abated this afternoon.  Lets hope we get some clear skies before Mars goes spinning away. I shall definitely be too old to lug my hefty refractor out and fix it on my NEQ6Pro by the time Mars presents such a large disk. again. Thinking about my last sentence, that is probably the most upbeat spin I can put on it! 🤣

Best regards from George in a rather moist Lowestoft

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1 hour ago, Pete Presland said:

No problem always happy to help. 

Just a few other questions. 

What is the focal length and R ratio of the scope, also how frames did managed to get during your imaging run? 

The focal length of my refractor = 952mm with a F Ratio = 7.5.

I was using a x3 Televue Barlow so the image was taken at F22.5 which is about max from my location on a  stable night otherwise I use a x2.5 Barlow and image at F18.7. The clips were 3 mins long and I captured 2848 frames of which I stacked 500. ( approx 17.5%)

Cheers George.

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2 hours ago, Hawksmoor said:

Hi Tony

Thank you so much for your assistance. regarding the position of the volcanoes  (out of sight).  I really have difficulty in finding my way around Mars. Mind you some days I have difficulty finding my way around Aldi. Thank you also for your kind comments regarding my images (its not for nothing that they call the process 'lucky' imaging'). Hope the weather improves for you in Jersey and you get a crack at Mars in good conditions. I have to say the weather was spectacularly good when I imaged Mars on the 19th.  The live view on my laptop was quite amazing and unlike anything  I've seen whilst imaging the planet  since 2014.  The long suffering astro-widow - Mrs. Hawksmoor was even impressed when she came out for a look.

The last couple of days here in Lowestoft have been absolutely terrible with gale force winds and torrential rain which has only abated this afternoon.  Lets hope we get some clear skies before Mars goes spinning away. I shall definitely be too old to lug my hefty refractor out and fix it on my NEQ6Pro by the time Mars presents such a large disk. again. Thinking about my last sentence, that is probably the most upbeat spin I can put on it! 🤣

Best regards from George in a rather moist Lowestoft

Hi George

No problem! I'm finding it fascinating that most of the Mars maps are out of date and the Mars landscape is changing slightly all the time! It's fun trying to identify things.

We've also had gales here in Jersey, but finally seem to have got rid of the haze that has been present for the last few weeks. There are just normal clouds and the Moon to contend with now!

Mars is currently about 22" apparent diameter and should still be over 20" before the end of October. This is my first Mars season, so hoping there's plenty of time for some clear skies to appear! 

Best wishes from (sunny) Jersey.

Tony.

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7 hours ago, Taman said:

Hi George

No problem! I'm finding it fascinating that most of the Mars maps are out of date and the Mars landscape is changing slightly all the time! It's fun trying to identify things.

We've also had gales here in Jersey, but finally seem to have got rid of the haze that has been present for the last few weeks. There are just normal clouds and the Moon to contend with now!

Mars is currently about 22" apparent diameter and should still be over 20" before the end of October. This is my first Mars season, so hoping there's plenty of time for some clear skies to appear! 

Best wishes from (sunny) Jersey.

Tony.

Please send a bit of Sun over we are going rusty!

Best wishes from George next the sea.

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15 hours ago, orion25 said:

Great images, George!

Hi Reggie 

thanks for your kind comment. How are you?  Hadn't seen any of your posts for a while so wondered if you were ok. 

best regards George

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Have started re processing some of the videos I captured on the 19th September  adopting a less technicolour and over sharpened approach. Have abandoned Autostakkert3 and gone back to Autostakkert2 +Registax wavelets and all is crash free.  This is my favourite effort so far.

Saw a little bit of blue sky today so hopefully I might get to capture some more M\ars videos soon.

cheers George

 

Mars best.png

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2 hours ago, Hawksmoor said:

Hi Reggie 

thanks for your kind comment. How are you?  Hadn't seen any of your posts for a while so wondered if you were ok. 

best regards George

Doing well. Thanks for thinking of me. I've been dodging cloud trying to observe and image Mars. I got a pretty good shot a few nights ago that I posted in the imaging section (see my avatar). I'm looking forward to perigee/opposition this year! How are you, my friend?

Edited by orion25

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1 hour ago, orion25 said:

Doing well. Thanks for thinking of me. I've been dodging cloud trying to observe and image Mars. I got a pretty good shot a few nights ago that I posted in the imaging section (see my avatar). I'm looking forward to perigee/opposition this year! How are you, my friend?

Glad you are doing well. I had a look at your post. Very nice image of Mars you captured! 

Weather has been poor in the UK over th last week. Particularly bad where we live on the East Coast. Had gale force winds and torrential rain. Still plenty of cloud about tonight but I can see the Moon and a few stars. Maybe a chance of imaging tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!

I am well but my partner has not been so good. She has developed a form of arthritis which is related to her immune system malfunctioning. Thankfully the hospital has put her on medication that seems to be working.  Covid 19 is on the rise again in the UK so we are social isolating as a matter of course but we miss seeing our grandchildren.

Stay safe where you are Reggie!

Hope you get clear skies for opposition and look forward to seeing your images.

George

 

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