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Mercury and Saturn

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19 years 3 months ago #10109 by dave_lillis
Mercury and Saturn was created by dave_lillis
Hi All,
The only decent evening I've had here so far for Mercury was last Sunday (6th March 2005).

So I took out the scope out for the first time in weeks and had a go at getting Mercury.
I couldn't wait for the sun to do down and trees would have blocked my view of the planet, so I waited for the sun to go behind a shed.
After carefully checking that no stray sun light was entering the tube (a large dose of paranoia is good here) I did a goto to mercury and there it was!

Even though it wasn't near the horison it was boiling very badly, plently of atmospheric refraction going on, lots of red and blue !!
Registax does a fab job on cleaning that up !!!
It was probabily the hardest focusing job I've done in a long time, over 2 minutes!!

So, I tried to get the little 6 arcsecond disk with the webcam and this is what came out.


www.irishastronomy.org/user_resources/fi...10717511-mer3_a2.jpg

A distorted shape but you can just see that maybe it has a 2/3 phase.

A small while later Saturn came up, so I gave it a go also.

www.irishastronomy.org/user_resources/fi...aturn1_1b_small2.jpg

A put on the binoviewers and the detail was amazing, the image pretty much shows what you could see visually through the bino/scope combination.
One fo these days I'll convert the webcam to RAW mode, I just never seem to get around to it.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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19 years 3 months ago #10110 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Mercury and Saturn
Nice images Dave. Both taken with the Webcam? What were your exposure lengths?

Did you try processing Mercury to increase the image size? Would that show the phase a bit better?

Cheers

Dave McD

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19 years 3 months ago #10115 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Re:
Dave, damn good effort, I can appreciate that, I've only ever gotten near this view of Mercury just once through the scope, it's very hard to image :x

Saturn is beautiful, what a shot! That's the best i've seen in a while, how about jupiter soon? Sorry if i've asked before, what webcam is it you're using, do you need a laptop out there 'in the field' ?

Keith..

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19 years 3 months ago #10116 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Mercury and Saturn
Yep, well done Dave! It does look like Mercury is at Gibbous phase alright.

Super shots!

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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19 years 3 months ago #10118 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Mercury and Saturn
Keith,
I used a toucam pro with a laptop in my backgarden.
Jupiter was rising too late for me to stay out that night, maybe later on in the Spring. Its not a DaveG image, but it'll do for now.


Dave,
I was using 5 frames a second, I can't remember the exact exposure, maybe something of the order of 1/60 - 1/100 of a second, but I usually select it so that it doesnt have the image saturated at any point, and not too faint so you dont get noise.
With Mercury, I tried increasing the size and using barlows, but it was just too "all over the place" so I couldn't get a sharp image, I prefer to have the image small if it means it has a descernable shape.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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19 years 3 months ago #10134 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Mercury and Saturn
Great images Dave. The Mercury image is especially impressive considering how low over the horizon it would be and also it's size. The Saturn image is also impressive. Mind me asking how many frames you used?

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