Hi all - we drove out to the nearest Murray Mallee imaging location we use at Palmer despite the worry that errant clouds or mist were more likely there than at (say) Sedan or Bower, 1 to 2 hours further away.
Palmer is like that, for some reason misty clouds appear there more than Sedan for example which is only about 50 miles further North in similar country...Pat suggesting that the colour ASI224MC might be worth thinking about...
A short while after initial set-up we agreed that this was the best choice, because despite all of South Australia in drought-like conditions with hardly any rain at all this year, the air was saturated - the laptop table very wet from dew & the corrector (just cleaned!) fogged up immediately it was exposed.
By the time we were ready to attach the camera etc misty clouds were constantly passing through overhead...I'd forgotten just how much more savage the cool-down rate was mixing salt with the ice bag as we'd only used straight ice once this year to date - within about 1.5 hours the primary mirror was down to 5°C below the expected ambient & was still 2°C below when we began imaging with the 224MC...
Actually it was a pity that we didn't get out there & start a half hour or so earlier, notwithstanding the cool-down situation & that it was still well over an hour till culmination when we started anyway - but despite mist constantly dimming the onscreen feed during captures the first 5 captures displayed very good seeing conditions which we have only encountered once before this year...always wanting more & knowing that the conditions can be better, but still fairly satisfied nonetheless..!
We kept on capturing but there was a huge drop-off in seeing after those first 5 captures - this one (the 4th) being the best of these first 5.
We took a 1/2 hour break to get something warm into us then went back out to image Saturn, hoping the seeing might've improved somewhat...3/4 of an hour capturing dross rewarded us with 2 nice captures at the end before we decided that Mars would finish the night off nicely...& finish us off also - such tired old bodies we seem to have when we do an all-nighter these days!
We think in the circumstances that the choice of the 224MC was wise under the prevailing circumstances that night, although I should add that regardless, it is still a very fine planetary camera!
The first 2 images will probably need clicking on to display each at full scale...Ganymede with some albedo variations in the Jovian image...possibly the high Northern latitude storm - I haven't measured the one clearly revealed here - as well as other spots in the Saturn image...& a view of the Tharsis etc regions on Mars.