This is my first blog post so apologies if I break any rules!
Several folks made kind comments about my imaging setup at last Friday’s meeting; It’s a Skywatcher 150PL on a HEQ5, I was using a ZWO ASI120MC camera (colour) with an x3 barlow and an atmospheric dispersion corrector (ADC). The filter wheel was just set for a an IR cut filter. The ADC has a pair of prisms and is used to correct the ‘blurring’ caused by the low angle of the planets at the moment – I’m still getting the hang of it.
Seeing and transparency for Jupiter was very good, but Saturn was less good and I only got one decent run before it hid behind a tree…
Mars came up and I spent about an hour on it, my first try of the year. Unfortunately my EQdir lead blew up (literally!) and although the mount was tracking it was drifting a bit and I had to target manually which was ‘challenging’. The imaging runs when it was low down were awful, especially as it took a while to get the ADC dialled in with my attention more on keeping the red blur on screen! The final image shows next to no detail, but all other images form that evening are pretty low on detail 9although some are a bit better than mine). This is because of a planet-wide dust storm on Mars, hopefully it will die down before opposition in about a month.
The good news is that mount and computer survived the exploding dongle and an off the shelf USB-serial dongle was easy to wire up as a replacement.
Thanks to all RAG members for making me feel welcome, and giving me some really helpful advice and assistance.
<edit, the previews should now link to the full size images – I hope!>