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Thread: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

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    Default Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)



    These images of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon were all captured back on the 20th (Easter Morning). The conditions weren't great. But I still managed to capture some pretty decent images (at least for me, anyway lol). I was fighting clouds the whole night, and there was a constant haze across the sky that produced a double halo around the Moon. I tried to get a photo of it with my pocket camera. But the FOV wasn't wide enough to capture the larger second halo.

    My main target for the night was Mars. So this is where most of my time and effort went into. The video of Mars was made from images captured every 4-5 minutes throughout a 3 hour time span (Starting on the East side of the meridian, and ending on the West side of the meridian). Each image was the result of a 4 minute exposure captured at ISO 200, using "Movie Crop Mode" in my Canon 550D camera (60FPS for a total of 14,400 frames ±200). I stacked the best 2,000 frames in AS!2, applied Wavelets in RegiStax, and did some final adjustments and cropping in PS. The image sheet was made up from some of the better images captured throughout this 3 hour time span, with the time each image was captured listed below it. The larger image at the bottom of the sheet is a 1.5x enlargement of my best image of the night (or at least the image I thought was my best). The equipment used is listed at the bottom of the sheet.

    The images of Jupiter were my first images captured this night (while I waited for Mars to climb into position). It was already getting pretty low on the horizon, and the clouds and haze didn't help matters! So these images didn't turn out quite like I had hoped. Even so, I was able to make a short video showing Europa orbiting Jupiter to the right, and the GRS coming into view toward the end.

    I haven't been out much this year due to the weather, and health issues. But all of my previous attempts to capture

    Saturn have resulted in very poor images, with no decent Cassini division in any of them. This image of Saturn is not great. But it is my best of the year so far, and shows a pretty clean division in the rings. Hopefully I'll do better as it gets closer to opposition.

    (Lunar images to will be posted in the following post...due to 5 image max per post)

    Thank you for checking out all my images captured on this busy Easter morning!


    * If you're viewing the Mars image sheet in the pop-up window, please double click in the window to view it at it's full size, as it was intended to be seen.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Some really nice stuff there Mark. I really like that Mars Gif, definitely one of the best around.
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    ...Because of the sky conditions, I wasn't able to get in to close to the Lunar surface. But I was still able to get a few decent images with the same setup I used for all of my planetary images. I would've liked to capture enough images to make a mosaic of the whole Moon. But decided to call it a night, so I could grab a couple hours of sleep before guests started arriving for our Easter party.

    As I packed up my scope, I could see Venus rising in the East. That would've made a nice target too!

    Thanks again for checking out all of my images captured on the 20th!


    * Once again, if you are viewing these Lunar images in the pop-up window, and don't think you are seeing the full image. Please double click in the window to view it at it's full size.
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Nice evening for you Mark! You have some very nice images there. I like you Mars montage the best. Looks very professional.

    Well done,
    Paul
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    Some really nice stuff there Mark. I really like that Mars Gif, definitely one of the best around.
    Thanks for the compliment Scott!

    I don't know about "the best around" lol...But I have been doing a little better with the consistency throughout my whole videos. It seems like there is always something screwing it up though (clouds, dew, camera settings, and unforeseen problems). With the Mars video it was the clouds, haze, and atmosphere as Mars sunk lower to the West. For the Jupiter video it was all those things, plus I didn't know which ISO setting to use, and alternated each exposure between ISO200 and ISO400. I wasn't able to process them both identically. Which is why it kind of flickers between each frame lol. One thing that was difficult with the Mars video was getting the images taken on the East side of the meridian to match up with those taken on the West side of the meridian. I had to shift the images one pixel at a time in both axes until the video flowed smoothly!

    I like the new AAPOD2 image in your signature...I didn't think I'd have to wait to long to see it there. Congrats again on being selected for the 2nd time! With a limit of only 700 pixels for a signature image, you're going to have to start thinking of a new way to display your achievements if you keep getting your images selected lol.
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Job well done Mark. Capturing that much of Mars rotation takes hours, not to mention processing. Jupiter is pretty nice too and your Moon shots are very sharp. Great work!
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Thanks for the compliments Paul & Gusztav!

    Quote Originally Posted by moxican View Post
    Job well done Mark. Capturing that much of Mars rotation takes hours, not to mention processing. Jupiter is pretty nice too and your Moon shots are very sharp. Great work!
    It did take hours to capture all the images used in the video. But I actually had quite a few more images that got left on the editing room floor, that showed the dark regions rotating all the way out of sight! These images were starting to get pretty degraded from Mars sinking into the atmosphere though. So I chose to leave them out of the video. The last image in the montage was the last image before things got too bad, and they degraded rapidly after that one lol.

    The processing would be enough to deal with on it's own. But I'm using a very old Athlon (socket 939) computer with only 2GB of DDR 400 RAM in it. So it took quite awhile for AS!2 to crunch all the numbers for each image. I found other things to keep me busy while the computer did it's thing though. So it wasn't that bad.
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Great pics Mark! I can't wait to get some low turbulence skies to try and get some images of Mars, in my skies in the NW Mars never gets more than about 45 degrees off the horizon so its always jumpy. I am really glad the skies cooperated to give you a great chance to capture some gems like those pictures!

    Kind Regards,
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Thanks for the kind words Koinonos, and good luck on the steady skies!

    ...I love your Avatar, too!
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    Default Re: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon...All in One Night! (Images & Videos)

    Very nice work! I really like the Mars video


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