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First Ever Mars 05.03.2014


catman161
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Mount: NEQ6 Pro      Scope:200P     Camera: ZWO ASI120MC      Accessories: Televue 2x Powermate

 

So I have been doing planetary imaging for a year now and been doing stro for just over 2 years. In that time I have only imaged Jupiter and Saturn.....until last night!

 

I thought  would give Mars a go as it is apparing above neighbours trees at around midnight whic isn't too late i the grand scheme of things. I took 6 3000 frame avis via sharpcap 2 with the above equipment. out of those 6 the below image consisting of 1500 of the 3000 frames is the only one that has turned out looking like a planet!

 

Mars is hard to image!! It was so hard to get (what I thought) would be focus, I say "thought" as it was so wobbly that I really did have to guess!

 

Anyway advice/comments welcomed :)

 

12946722444_647dc865ee_o.png
Mars 05_03_2014 00_21_06 PSP by Gattouomo161, on Flickr

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Cor, another lovely Mars on EMS. Well done :)


 


Looks very impressive.


 


How did you sort out the focus? Literally just get the planet as small as posisble, or is there another trick?


 


Really pleased you captured this, well done. Lovely image.


 


JD

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Nice capture Felix, it is a hard Planet to image, stick with it though as it will all come together one night.


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Cor, another lovely Mars on EMS. Well done :)

 

Looks very impressive.

 

How did you sort out the focus? Literally just get the planet as small as posisble, or is there another trick?

 

Really pleased you captured this, well done. Lovely image.

 

JD

No tricks dude, as I said it was so wobbly I just went in and out of focus and guessed at somnewhere in betwen! It didn't even look circular on live screen!

 

Thanks though, it's come out okay (if a little blurred) despite conditions

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Nice capture Felix, it is a hard Planet to image, stick with it though as it will all come together one night.

Thanks Mark :) I am hoping as we get into April conditions may improve and make things  little easier.

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Would be nice if it got as high as Jupiter, was a larger target. I struggled with Mars last time it came towards opposition but just kept at it and started to get some decent results.


Do you use an auto focuser or do you focus by hand as I find my auto focuser a must.


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Oh I use a moonlite CR2 with moonlite DC motor focuser. I used to focus by hand and since switching to electric wondered why it had taken me so long!

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That's really nice Felix, I would be so pleased if I'd produced that.


 


I'm going to have to get into the dark side when I get a scope again. :facepalm:


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That's really nice Felix, I would be so pleased if I'd produced that.

 

I'm going to have to get into the dark side when I get a scope again. :facepalm:

Thanks Craig :)

 

Well you don't have to get into the dark side.........oh who am I kidding! :lol: I still maintain I am only half sith (somewhat of an adolescent Anakin) as I just do planetary ;)

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That's impressive Felix,


 


Just shows what can be achieved...


 


Had a look at Mars the other morning but it was all over the place and for some reason Saturn had a more stable and clearer image.


 


Ade

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Nice one Felix


I thought I was the only one mad enough to have a go at Mars just yet


 


motorised focuser is the only way to go


I also recommend a flip mirror


 


I have read on SGL that reducing the gamma while focusing may help then return it to default when taking the avi or ser, but have yet to try it


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Hey Steve, you're a mind reader I actually used my flip mirror to get it on the chip lat night :D

It's not just you Steve I'm part of the "Mad Mars Crew" too ;)

Yes a guy called snakey on SGL commented on my Mars image thread about the gamma trick and I hadn't heard of it. Will definitely give it a go next time.

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"I still maintain I am only half sith (somewhat of an adolescent Anakin) as I just do planetary " better not let the Dark Lord (alias Kim) hear you  :)


 


Nice pic - does the flip mirror work ok - e.g. enough focus tube travel on std tub or do you need extension - I notice you used your PowerMate which I guess increases the tube and acts as an extn (???)


 


Which Flip mirror do you use - I was looking at the Vixen but some have had problems with tube travel ?


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"I still maintain I am only half sith (somewhat of an adolescent Anakin) as I just do planetary " better not let the Dark Lord (alias Kim) hear you  :)

 

Nice pic - does the flip mirror work ok - e.g. enough focus tube travel on std tub or do you need extension - I notice you used your PowerMate which I guess increases the tube and acts as an extn (???)

 

Which Flip mirror do you use - I was looking at the Vixen but some have had problems with tube travel ?

I use the vixen one and have had no trouble using it with my low profile moonlite CR2 crayford focuser with the 2x powermate. Obviously everything that you add in to the image train will add extension regardless of whether it containes glass so the powermate does add length but it's the 2x maginfication with no decrease in image brightness that i have it there for to increase the scale of the image on the screen. Having enough outward focuser travel can be a problem. If i try to use the 4x powermate I do not have enough outwards travel to achieve focuse regadless of how I set up my extension tubes. I am currently in process of speaking to FLO regarding exchanging my 50mm drawtube modl Moonlite for the 70mm version so I can achieve focus using the 4 xpowermate and get that elusive surface detail :)

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I use the vixen one and have had no trouble using it with my low profile moonlite CR2 crayford focuser with the 2x powermate. Obviously everything that you add in to the image train will add extension regardless of whether it containes glass so the powermate does add length but it's the 2x maginfication with no decrease in image brightness that i have it there for to increase the scale of the image on the screen. Having enough outward focuser travel can be a problem. If i try to use the 4x powermate I do not have enough outwards travel to achieve focuse regadless of how I set up my extension tubes. I am currently in process of speaking to FLO regarding exchanging my 50mm drawtube modl Moonlite for the 70mm version so I can achieve focus using the 4 xpowermate and get that elusive surface detail :)

Thanks Felix for the info

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So I was just going over the mars avis again from last night and messing with one in particular (the one I shot just a couple of mins after the original post above) in photoshop and I actually think that its better than the first one I posted-what are your thoughts guys?

 

12955883935_a048089387_o.png
Mars 05_03_2014 00_22_08 PSP by Gattouomo161, on Flickr

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I upped the saturation which gives a slightly redder appearance And then increased the contrast robbing out more of the surface detail and then sharpened a little more aggressively. I think I prefer second one maybe? Oh man I dunno anymore! I've got the processing madness :D

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Yeh I was a bit worried on the ZWO web site when they said by careful when screwing the filter in not to damage to "protect window"


 


"the lens could be screwed in too far to scratch the protect window!Please adjust it very slowly!don't beyond the focus at infinit!"


 


presume you had no such problem


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No I have not had any problems with that even when you screw the nose piece adapter in there is no way you willl get it to touch the protective window. But I guess they have I have disclaimers in everything.

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I am not sure but I doubt he will get any imaging due to cloud. He only finished work 5 mins ago so if it clears we may see an update tomorrow.

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