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Hello all. I’ve tried a few times in the last month to image Mars but have had very little success. Although a decent size, Mars is very blurry and wobbly. I am fairly new to the hobby, but I would say it appears to be poor seeing conditions.
I am using a Celestron 6SE and Canon 600D. I have tried 2x and 3x Barlow. I focus using a bahtinov mask (on stars). I used movie crop mode on various ISOs and exposures, stacking at least 3000 frames (keeping the best 1%, 2%, 5%, etc).
Is Mars too far away now? Or am I underestimating how rarely you get a night of good seeing? How do you find out when the best seeing will be?
I've had a Star Adventure since October, but haven't had a chance to use it until Friday night (work and weather limitations). Also, I don't have a car at the moment, so I'm quite limited to how far I can travel on my e-bike and get to dark skies.
Ran into a couple of issues, 1. my Nikon Z50 is limited to 30 second exposures and the wifi connection to my phone so I could use qDslrDashboard was terrible (now found out I can tether directly to the phone via USB, yey!). 2. my lens started to fog (a warmer was ordered as soon as I got home and has now arrived).
Anyway, what I did manage to get was a nice shot of the Orion Nebula.
Nikon Z50. 50-250mm kit lens @250mm. F6.3. 26x30s exposures. ISO640. Sky Watcher Star Adventure.
I want to try the Horsehead or Rosette next, not sure how well the unmodded Z50 is with HA though.
I would like to share my fourth image.
With my "lucky week" of imaging, along with M33, I managed to finish also this project. This is my longest integration to date.
These are IC 405 and IC 410, also known as the Flaming Star Nebula and the Tadpole Nebula, respectively, taken over 7 nights, under my Bortle 5/6 home sky.
Total integration time: 18h 29m 00s.
Here are the acquisition details:
Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro
Telescope: Tecnosky 80/480 APO FPL53 Triplet OWL Series
Camera: D5300 astromodified
Reducer/flattener: Tecnosky 4 elements, 0.8x
Guide-scope: Artesky UltraGuide 60mm f/4
Guide-camera: ZWO ASI 224MC
2020/11/18: Number of subs/Exposure time: 41@240s + 1@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, no Moon
2020/11/21: Number of subs/Exposure time: 48@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, Moon 46% illuminated
2020/11/24: Number of subs/Exposure time: 48@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, Moon 75% illuminated
2020/12/07: Number of subs/Exposure time: 15@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, no Moon
2020/12/13: Number of subs/Exposure time: 22@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, no Moon
2021/01/10: Number of subs/Exposure time: 37@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, no Moon
2021/01/11: Number of subs/Exposure time: 18@300s. Notes: L-Pro filter, no Moon
Total exposure time: 66540s = 18h 29m 00s.
Pre and post-processing: PixInsight 1.8.8-7.
This image was particularly hard to process, since there are many bright stars and stretching the nebulosity while taming the stars was quite difficult. I am sure I didn't manage it as well as I would have liked.
Here's a link to the full resolution image: Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) and Tadpole Nebula (IC 410)
Thanks for looking!