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Mars Live Video Feed

Discussion in 'Astrophotography and Imaging' started by Orion25, Sep 10, 2020.

Mars Live Video Feed

Started by Orion25 on Sep 10, 2020 at 4:04 PM

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  1. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Here is some video of Mars taken from a live videoastronomy feed at r.j.s. observatory on September 2, 2020. Can you see the detail?

     
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  2. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Far out!
     
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  3. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I got a good view of Mars last night with my 127mm Mak and again had a hard time seeing the polar cap. I did easily see the dark regions Hesperia Planum, Terra Cimmeria and Terra Sirenium and the lighter regions surrounding them. Couldn't make out Olympus Mons. Mars rises above that big oak tree around 1 a.m. now, so I don't have to stay up TOO late, lol.
     
  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, nearer the end of September it should be in a pretty high position in the SE around 01:00. Tonight's out for me, even though it cleared a bit. Tomorrow and Monday are looking good.



    I might get to say hello to Mars lol.

    newfocuser.jpg

    With the new (sort of) focuser.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  5. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Last night wasn't bad, no clouds, although the overall transparency could have been better. Seeing was a decent Antoniadi 1~2. The 80ED performed well with the SW focuser. Jupiter and Saturn weren't bad considering how low they are and the Galilean moons resolved well. I couldn't really get more than 120x on either of them. I could see Callisto on the limb about to transit. I had a pretty good rich field/deep sky session even though the transparency wasn't improving. It took me a while to find M31 as I thought it had been replaced by a globular cluster or something lol. I can usually make out the spiral arms. I could just see the nucleus. I did use an OIII for a hint of the Veil Nebulae and M27 looked good.

    I saw M57 and the Double Double at low and high magnifications. I also saw the Hercules clusters and spent time in Cassiopeia until at about 23:00 Mars was visible to me. I used both the Semi APO and Contrast Booster filters in a direct comparison. I started off at 187.5x and could quite clearly see detail. The polar cap was small but I could pretty easily see it. The dark albedo features of Aonia Terra and Noachis Terra were easily made out and eventually I dropped down to 160x for better definition. It wasn't bad at 187.5x but as there was a fair bit of detail I went for definition over magnification.

    I can still see the white feature north of the equator, I'm pretty convinced these are high altitude clouds, unless it's one of those optical delusions lol. At 00:00 there was a hint of dew on the objective and I packed up. I'm still preferring the Semi APO filter this opposition year. Weather's warm here, so I'm going to try for a session with the Starwave tonight. September can often be very warm here, but it's the early dew season. So I'll take the powertank out tonight. Unless it rains lol.
     
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  6. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great night of observing despite the transparency. Bravo! :) Rain, rain, stay away, lol
     
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  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't bad at all really. I'll start setting up the Starwave in an hour. Not a cloud in the sky at the moment ... lol.
     
  8. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Go for it! Waiting to hear your report :D
     
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  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    OK, I was set up for around 19:45 British Summer Time. At 20:15 Jupiter (15.8º altitude at transit at 20:39) was easily visible with the naked eye. It always fascinates me that you seem to be looking for it for ages in the twilight, then it suddenly appears like magic. I used a 5mm Vixen SLV for 142.8x and a Baader Neodymium in the diagonal nosepiece. The seeing and transparency were about the same as last time. It was warmer and less humid however. The GRS was plainly visible and the NEB and SEB were fairly well defined, as were the Galilean moons. As it got darker I turned to Saturn. I could see the Cassini Division and faint surface detail. Titan was pretty easy to make out.

    CzaHxNm.jpg

    I then had a bit of a deep sky/rich field session. The extra 22 millimetres of the Starwave over the 80mm Evostar was quite apparent. I had a good view of the Ring Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy spiral arms were easier to see. M34 in Perseus was one of the highlights, as well as the Double Cluster and splitting the Double Double. Finally at about 22:40 I could get a good look at a rising Mars at about 19º.

    marsfilters.jpg

    Initially I used two eyepieces alternately giving 178.5x and 223x respectively. I started off with the Semi APO, then changed to the Contrast Booster, finally finishing with the Tele Vue Planetary Bandmate.

    marsrotate.jpg
    Above image from SN8, mirror reversed and rotated.

    By the time I'd sat down and rotated the focuser the image was more like this. Obviously much smaller and less defined through the eyepiece. Noachis Terra and the Aonia Terra regions were recognisable and I thought I was getting a hint of the Arabia Terra as well. The pole was still pretty easy to discern and the white 'clouds' were there north of the equator. The pole also had a yellow hue to it as usual. I originally attributed this to yellow in the Baader filters but it still appears a bit yellow with the magenta TV filter. It really must be a yellow pole lol. This time I thought the Contrast Booster revealed the darker albedo features slightly better than the Semi APO. The latter appears to work better on smaller aperture refractors as it gives a more natural image in my opinion. The TV filter seemed to reveal the most detail to my eyes. It's always been a favourite of mine for Mars. As Mars got higher I thought it got brighter and the TV filter seemed to help with reducing glare as well. I even pushed to 238x with the TV. So, the TV filter won overall, with the Contrast Booster coming in second place. At about 00:20 clouds started to appear from the west, so I called it a night. Not a drop of dew during the session and it was quite pleasantly warm. I'm not surprised there was no dew as I'd taken the powertank and dew controller out this time lol.
     
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  10. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Great report. I gotta get one of those Bandmates, maybe for Christmas, lol. Bring out the dew controller and you'll never need it! Still dealing with cloud from the outer bands of Hurricane Sally. No clearing expected until Sunday so I'll be waiting patiently till then. Oh, Sally, why won't you do right?

     
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  11. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Reggie. It wasn't a bad night at all. Thursday and Friday are looking promising. Thing about the Bandmates is that TV have discontinued them. At one time there were two Mars filters by TV; an 'A' and a 'B'. One of them was orange and the other magenta. I believe they're also a form of diffraction filter as well. I'm not sure whether the magenta was A or B but the orange was discontinued and the magenta filter re-marketed as the Bandmate Planetary. I don't think it sold well. It's great for Mars though. The Orion Mars filter is pretty similar.

    https://www.amazon.com/Orion-5599-1...nics&sprefix=orion+mars+filter,aps,227&sr=1-1

    Tell that Sally to stop messing around!

     
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  12. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I've got the Orion and Celestron Mars filters and find the Orion a bit more pleasing to the eye, but the Celestron is not far off the mark. The pole stands out a little more and the dark maria is a bit more defined through the Orion. Love The Specials!
     
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  13. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people rave about the Contrast Booster but I reckon a Wratten #15 would be almost as good. Last oppo' I used a Baader Orange the most. It helped after the dust storm settled a bit lol.

    7lV0cS6.jpg



    This makes me want to wear shades and get a pork pie hat.

    8cvTr8w.jpg

    I have the shades.
     
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  14. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Coooooool shades! I wonder how they work as filters, lol!
     
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  15. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It was a toss of a coin between the Wayfarers and Aviators. lol
     
  16. squeege3000

    squeege3000 Well-Known Member

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    This image of Mars was taken with an 8" Newtonian? It's about the best I've ever seen!
     
  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The rotated and mirror reversed image in my post is a screenshot from Starry Nights 8 software. I just wanted to give an impression of what I was seeing. Obviously it is more detailed and larger than I saw through the eyepiece. But the pole and the larger dark albedo features could be recognised.
     
  18. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    No, squeege, that image is from Starry Night 8 (SN8).
     
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