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Mars through the Big Mak

Discussion in 'Astrophotography and Imaging' started by Orion25, Aug 8, 2020.

Mars through the Big Mak

Started by Orion25 on Aug 8, 2020 at 7:49 PM

18 Replies 624 Views 4 Likes

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  1. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Another late night, but with my 180mm Mak this time. I catch Mars at about 2 a.m. as it just clears the big oak tree and get in some quality observing and imaging. I can easily the south polar cap, Terra Sirenum, Terra Cimmeria, and the Elysium plain. Olympus Mons is there but I have trouble seeing it. It didn't register on the image either, but that's ok ;)

    ASTRONOMY - MARS BIG MAK BARLOW (5MP) 8-08-20.jpg
    ASTRONOMY - MARS BIG MAK BARLOW CAPTION (5MP) 8-08-20.jpg

    Regards,
    Reggie :D
     
  2. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    Reggie, I noticed that you have an ASI224MC. Is that the cam you used for these images? Just curious.

    Ed
     
  3. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Very nice Reggie. Not sure I'd be able to see Olympus Mons with my Starwave or 150mm Newtonian. I had another go at Mars on Sunday with my 72ED. I thought there was less cloud in the north this time. If that was what I was seeing. I was surprised how big and high Mars is getting though. Sixty four days until oppo'!



    Time for some Northern Soul Girl I think.
     
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  4. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, no. I used the Orion StarShoot V solar system camera. I'm still learning the ASI224MC; haven't been too jazzed with my results with it yet.
     
  5. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Mak. I'm looking forward to a good Mars show this time around, And...there's always time for some Northern Soul Girl, lol!
     
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  6. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It's about time we got a good Mars show. I'm really gonna have to pull my finger out and set up the EQ5 lol. Meanwhile ... there's always Northern Soul Girl.
     
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  7. stepping beyond

    stepping beyond Well-Known Member

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    All the heat and storms got my back , neck and legs just killing me and no getting out for me until I get this under control friend , I'm still trying to get out but, the weather isn't helping . Awesome Mars , you pulled some nice detail .
     
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  8. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    We've had a bit of a heatwave here. Then there were six hours of thunderstorms. Yesterday, after the storms, it was cooler outside at about 04:00 (British Summer Time) than indoors. So I went out with my grab and go 102mm Mak primarily to see Venus at maximum elongation west (and get cooler lol). I could see it out of the window.

    The conditions were a bit hazy as I was basically observing it through light cloud. At around 05:00 the cloud cleared a bit and I could see the Moon. Then I got a glimpse of Mars virtually at transit. I switched eyepieces to get more magnification (185x). I decided any higher would be pushing it.

    Screenshot 2020-08-13 at 23.26.39.png
    Screenshot from SkySafari

    Even in dodgy conditions and with no filters I could see a lot of detail. It was so high in the sky. This is the first time I've seen it at transit this year with a scope. The southern pole, Noachis Terra and Terra Sirenum albedo areas were readily apparent. So I'm pretty hopeful of a good oppo' this year.



    I'll only really be happy when it rains and empties the bloody clouds!

     
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  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Cloudy city here, I was hoping for more. I decided to add another diagonal to my bino case to supplement the Amici that I use for the Moon. I would really like to get the WO bino on Mars this year with the 127mm Mak.

    tak2 copy.jpg

    The Tak' was the obvious choice. These are great diagonals for a decent price (under a hundred quid here). It's only 130g which is important for me. The loaded bino can add an extra 6~700 grammes in top of that. Unfortunately I wasn't happy with the twist-lock and the 2x WO nosepiece.

    m8xnLh0.jpg

    At 45mm it would rock slightly and didn't feel secure. The 2x Barlow is the longest out of the three. I looked at a WO dielectric but it had a brazed draw tube, and I've had those break in the past, with less weight than the bino. The Tak' also has a smooth nosepiece which can slip in the Mak'.

    b2fx copy.jpg

    Then I found this, less scatter than a dielectric, and cheaper!

    b4fx copy.jpg

    Cast in one piece of aluminium and has a nosepiece undercut, ideal for the Mak' visual back. Aluminium mirrors scatter less.

    set1fx copy.jpg

    So I'm happier than Larry now.

    b1fx copy.jpg

    Plus, it all fits in the Elephant case.



    I wish the weather would improve soon, I'm beginning to become an historical fantasy Netflix junkie.

    55 days to opposition.
     
  10. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Getting daily (and nightly) rain bursts here now. Dog days, yuk! I want to see Mars! I hope things clear up your way, soon. Nice kit!
     
  11. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Reggie, I've been shagging about with that bino case for years.

    jWJLP2R.jpg

    I can't get everything in though lol. Got a couple of hours tonight. Which surprised me. I only took the 72mm ED doublet but I got 168x on Mars for a bit, before the clouds came back.



    I think I'm going through a bit of a pagan phase. Again. lol
     
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  12. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I decided to go out last night, but it rained. Which tends to put the dampener on astronomy. I have this new weather app called 'Yo Weather', honestly, you couldn't make this shite up lol. It reckoned the weather would be 'fair' at 03:30 and clear by around 04:30. I set up the 72ED DS Pro at 03:20 and sat outside staring at cloudy sky porridge for about an hour. I did get a hint of Mars, which then promptly disappeared. Then, around 04:25 it started to clear and I could see Mars approaching transit. The 72 had been set-up with the 5x Powermate and a 10mm Vixen NPL most of this time just sitting there.

    marsmirror.jpg

    I got a sharp, clear 210x and could easily see the phase. Mars was 89.9% illuminated, 17.6 arc seconds in diameter and -1.6 visual magnitude. There was a Baader Semi APO in the diagonal nosepiece in case I wanted to swap eyepieces more easily. The southern polar cap was visible and a lot of albedo features. I recognised the Syrtis Major Planum, although I was expecting to see it. The small, white albedo object/cloud was in the northern polar region again as well. I actually did swap eyepieces, but to a 10mm Baader Eudiascopic as I thought it might give more contrast as daylight approached. It has around a 43 degree FOV but I could keep Mars in field at 210x with some effort with the alt-az. I observed Mars until an hour after transit. I was really impressed. Later I caught a rising Venus and saw Orion rise with the naked eye.

    52 days to oppo' ...



    Flo in a Martian red outfit!
     
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  13. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhh, a transiting Mars and a rising Venus and Orion...what a nice way to bring in the morning. I've got nothing but cloud and rain for now. I'm hopeful for later in the week, though. Reading your report helped to brighten my weekend, as well as seeing Flo in her flowing red gown!
     
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  14. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Those pagans do seem to have fun, lol!
     
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  15. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was certainly welcome, for a while I thought it would just be Sunday morning sky porridge. I was tempted to change eyepieces and try a rich field session, but I really wasn't sure how long it would last and decided to stay with Mars. I'm still curios about the white albedo feature I keep seeing in the north.

    white1.jpg

    This is an approximation of the white spot I saw. The odds are this is just cloud, I've been seeing it for a while, with different scopes, eyepieces and diagonals. On Sunday I actually started off with a Baader Amici prism and switched to a Baader T2 prism. The simulation above (SN8/Photoshop) is mirror reversed. I'm pretty convinced this isn't being caused by anything in my optical train.

    white2.jpg

    I'm wondering if I'm seeing a bright white albedo feature rather than clouds. I did some research and this might be one or more of the lobate debris aprons (LDA's) in the Promethei Terra region. These may even be glaciers or ice/snow deposits.

    arabiaterra.jpg

    I can't recall seeing anything like this in past opposition years.

    white4.jpg

    It could be sunlight glaring off a low flat plane like the Indus Vallis area.

    white5.jpg

    It could be a giant blancmange, I have no idea lol. Speaking of Blancmange ...



    Enough of this 80's synthpop and possible psychotropic desserts! Weather's looking decidedly dodgy for me over the next few days, could be 40 kph winds soon. I'm quite high above mean sea level so I've bolstered one of my privacy fences with some wood screws. Breaking a drill bit in the process, as this was in my cordless drill set my OCD went into overdrive, forcing me to buy a new Bosch set of drills lol.



    Enough of this anorak rant ... I'll end with more Flo. Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  16. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Well, dancing skyclad is about the only thing you can do when there's a Full Moon. Makes sense, kinda.

     
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  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    50 days until opposition!
     
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  18. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    Mak, have you tried using color filters to isolate the white area shown in your post #15? I checked in both Cloudy Nights and ALPO Japan and there are enough images that suggest there is something there. Additionally, in ALPO Japan there are images in RGB where the G-Channel shows something there.

    Ed
     
  19. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    So far I've only used Baader Neodymium, Contrast Booster and Semi APO filters. I want to try a Baader Orange and a Tele Vue Planetary next. The TV is more or less a magenta Mars filter.

    The Contrast Booster and Semi APO filters make it slightly yellow, although it's still whiter than the southern pole.
     

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