Imaging Mars

Posted by XTSee on 3rd March , 2010

Just a quick diary post tonight. More practice at setting up and polar alignment of my EQ5 Synscan Goto, and C6 SCT, to try and get some webcam images of Mars. I’ve managed to get some footage at prime focus and 2xBarlow recorded into K3CCDTools. Too late to be processing tonight, so pics will have to wait. The seeing was not terribly good, and I was doing a lot of chase-me focusing! In fact that seemed to be about all I was doing. I was impressed by the redness of Mars through the webcam, and spent ages trying to get not only focus correct, but also experimenting with the settings; FPS, Gain, Shutter Speed, Gamma, Brightness.

I must be getting the hang of polar alignment, and scope 3-star alignment now, because even at 240x magnification Mars took a good 15 minutes to move only slightly off centre. I’ve yet to master drift alignment. Dew control was good also.

Really I had wanted to try out the webcam long exposure mod too, but yet again I’ve been foiled by light cloud and mistyness moving in after an hour or so, which meant that by the time I’d got to grips with Mars, there was just no way I would get any DSO’s, and the moon was rising, with a big misty halo, and consequently a very poor view of it. Patience is definitely a virtue, but I’m getting a bit fed up with all this waiting. I turned on the LX mode anyway, and was pleased that it is working properly now, with Mars looking like a mini-Sun.

On another note, I’m about half-way through creating a new page for the main website detailing my dew controller, with lots of pics and links to the various other sites I came across while researching it.

That’s all for now. Anyone else doing webcam imaging of Mars recently?

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