Mars images processed - see the Polar Ice Cap

Posted by XTSee on 3rd March , 2010

Mars 1

Mars 1

Here are the processed images of Mars from my imaging session last night using an SPC900NC webcam and 2x Barlow, with my C6-SGT XLT telescope.

These were approx. 10 x 30 second duration AVI sequences which I aligned and stacked using K3CCDTools, and including some histogram and unsharp mask enhancement to bring out the details.

I only uploaded these 3 photos because the overall results are fairly similar.

Mars 2

Mars 2

The night was very misty, and with light cloud, and lots of movement due to poor seeing, so I’m very pleased with these first “proper” astrophotography pictures I’ve taken of Mars.

Another thing that surprised me was just how “red” the Red Planet really is.

The last time I attempted Mars was just over 2 years ago, by holding Pentax Optio L30  digital-cam to the eyepiece on my Orion XT10i 10inch Dobsonian, which were incredibly blurry and amateur.

You can see how awful those photos of Mars were in the Astrophotos section of the main website.

Mars 3

Mars 3

With these photos I feel like the results are actually worthy of being called “astronomy”, and I’m also impressed at being able to see the polar ice cap quite so clearly.

I’d like to have another go on a better night soon, while Mars is still bright and high.

Hopefully I will be able to get better detail, because observed by naked eye I am sure the polar ice cap covers more area, but I think the poor “seeing” has caused it to recede somewhat in the image processing.

If you look very carefully you can see NASA’s Spirit Rover stuck in the sand, poor thing! :-)

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One Response to “Mars images processed - see the Polar Ice Cap”

  1. pentax optio reviews (1 comments)

    hey i really like you post on Mars images processed - see the Polar Ice Cap the pictures look great.

    steve jones

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