Astrophotography – solar system

Photographing Mars during RAG observing session

With Neil Wyatt’s help, I have managed to take my first photograph of Mars – I am very excited!

  • ZWO ASI174MM camera
  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 100mm OTA
  • HEQ5 Pro mount
  • I used Pole Master to polar align.
  • I learnt that SharpCap to take the photos – I discovered this is better than FireCapture & ASICapture.
  • The image on SharpCap needs to be quite bright – so change settings so histogram about 75% – initially I took video which wasn’t so bright & then AutoStakkert would not recognise the planet.
  • I also need to use 5x Barlow to reasonable image scale.
  • To focus – need to focus on star first as difficult to focus on planet.


Focus point on Sky Watcher Equinox 100mm scope with Tele Vue 3.5 inch extension tube and 2-1.25 inch adapter for ZWO ASI385MC camera with 1.25 inch nosepiece

In my ongoing attempts to successfully take a photo of a planet, first step is to focus and get image of window on neighbour’s house at bottom of garden – gives me approx. focus point for stars/planets – last time I tried to photograph a planet I couldn’t see anything on the laptop!

I really am not very good at this astrophotography stuff…


Newly processed version of my colour Moon data from 4/4/2020 – processed 4/10/2020

My skills in astrophotography processing have improved over time – so I decided to have another go at processing my colour Moon data from 4/4/2020, in order to see if I can get something I am happier with – I wanted to be able to show the mineral composition of different areas through their different colours.


First version has had some sharpening applied using Topaz Denoise:

Without using Denoise:

Mars – First pass on processing

Hi Folks

Here’s my first pass at processing some Mars image runs. I’ve been a bit too gentle on the processing this time round so I’ll go through again. The polar cap and some of the surface is starting to appear nicely. I need to get a better Barlow though.

The data set I’ve got to work with is 3 image runs totalling 15000 subs, taken with ZWO 170MC and Celestron 8SE with a x2 Barlow