Astronomy, Photography and Weather

General Category => Astronomy & Space => Topic started by: brianb on February 03, 2010, 12:50:43 pm

Title: Unexpected Mars, 02 Feb
Post by: brianb on February 03, 2010, 12:50:43 pm
A somewhat surprising mostly clear evening last night allowed me to image Mars for the first time for several weeks. Though transparency was good (between patches of drifting low cloud) the seeing was poor, with considerable boiling. However, with only a light wind and much lighter than average dewing, I had to have a go:

2010 Feb 02, 2308 UT. CM 351 degrees. Celestron CPC1100, Meade series 5000 x3 tele-extender (f/30), Astronomik type 2c colour seperation & Planet Pro 742 filters, Imaging Source DMK 21 camera.

Top row: LRGB composite using IR (contrast reduced) as luminance; LRGB composite using red channel as luminance; RGB composite; simulation (Starry Night Pro v6.21).
Bottom row: infra red, red, green & blue channels. (900/6000, 600/3000, 600/3000 & 900/3000 frames)

f/30 was too much for the conditions; I intended to make another sequence with a shorter focal length but the seeing deteriorated to awful shortly after this sequence was completed, an hour or so later the cloud closed in completely, terminating the night's activities.

The dust band over the polar cap can be seen, most clearly in the green image, and both morning and evening haze / cloud can be seen - all along the NE limb and just north of the equator at the W.

Title: Re: Unexpected Mars, 02 Feb
Post by: martinastro on February 03, 2010, 06:07:42 pm
Congrats Brian on another stunning sequence of Mars images during your ongoing battle with the unsteady atmosphere. I can see the dust storm on the polar cap very clearly - excellent result!

Title: Re: Unexpected Mars, 02 Feb
Post by: markt on February 04, 2010, 12:33:44 pm
Brilliant shots Brian!  8)

Title: Re: Unexpected Mars, 02 Feb
Post by: Roman White on February 05, 2010, 06:53:07 pm
Great results Brian!  :)