Astrophotography – solar system

The Day of the Trifid (and Mars!)

Another superficially nice night, but the Mars seeing was pretty poor, and I got clouded out quite rapidly.

Before looking at Mars I had a go at M20, the Trifid nebula, in Sagittarius. This was pretty low at about 11 degrees elevation for a dim DSO, necessitating a fair amount of processing to get anything reasonable.

Mars was like a wobbly jelly. This time I tried a X3 barlow. The ADC is clearly doing its stuff, but it won’t compensate for poor seeing! The Hellas basin was obvious visually – easy to mistake for the S. polar cap!- and Syrtis Major was just about in view.

Mars from the window-sill 30/07/2018

Here is another stab at Mars from the window-sill.

This time the configuration is with an Altair ADC between the X3 barlow and the camera. The extra spacing involved turns the X3 into X5-ish.

I had to “wring its neck” processing-wise to see any detail, but of course you have to bear in mind that it is only a lowly ST-80 through the double glazing!

Still, I fancy that some of the detail is real if you compare it to the Stellarium snapshot, and also with the splendid images here http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=146775&PHPSESSID=dgfiuql6dlb877kjt1fkbn4in4

All the images are rotated to put the S pole at the bottom.

Must get out more!

 

More lunar dome spotting from the Window-sill – -25/07/2018

Mons Rumker is a lunar dome way out towards the moon’s limb, making it challenging to image from the window-sill.

Sky and Telescope, in https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/a-little-guide-to-lunar-domes/ says

Mons Rümker forms a large, pudding-like mound of some 30 domes piled one atop the other in far western Oceanus Procellarum. The feature appears quite foreshortened near the limb  – – – – – –  The mound is about 43 miles (70 km) across and climbs to 3,608 feet (1,100 m) above the plains. Rümker represents multiple, massive outflows of lava. Amazing!”

I have been waiting ages for the correct lighting conditions, and tonight was the night!

 

 

Mars at opposition – what we are missing!

Mars is at opposition on Friday, but very poorly positioned. Rummaging through my archives I found these images from the opposition of 2005, when the planet was much better placed. I couldn’t find the original jpegs, so the image below is a scan from my notebook. You can see how rapidly Mars reduces in size post-opposition.

They were taken with the 8″ f/10 SCT with a X2 barlow and the Toucam.

Mars surface features? 23/07/2018

Here is an attempt at Mars from the window-sill from the other night when I couldn’t sleep. Only just got around to trying to process the image. It was a 1000-frame avi stacked in Registax 6 /Registax 5 and processed in GIMP (I can’t get the RGB align to work in R6 with W10, but it works fine in R5) You can just about see a feature or 2. (The 2nd image is from Stellarium) – not surprisingly though, not as good as Neil’s. I didn’t deploy the ADC, which I now have, as it doesn’t work too well on a short focal length refractor.