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Mars - what we've been waiting/hoping for! ;) EDIT

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#1 Kokatha man

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:13 AM

EDIT: In reading John B's post down this thread I went & checked & he is indeed correct waytogo.gif - the image immediately below (well, replaced by the selfsame image with a corrected time etc) is an r-rgb!

 

I got into a lather with the WinJupos integrations due to a couple of things (see my latest post I'll make presently for a fuller explanation) & posted the r-rgb as an rgb: nothing wrong with that btw & somewhat understandable although I'll have to send an amendment to Richard etc...I also include the straight rgb in this post now for integrity & completeness. wink.gif

 

As I intimated in Mark's (Laicalle) thread earlier & also as I commented in another Adelaide imager's thread here tonight (Lepton) just then, despite clouds & winds not appearing very conducive to planetary imaging it seems the old adage about "you never know" might've been true...

 

Forecast clouds & relatively strong winds had us ignoring the fact that for several nights the sky was mostly clear - but last night in desperation (probably the least favourable from the forecasts lol.gif ) we decided to set up & "have a go, ya mug!" in our backyard.

 

All wind layers were moving relatively fast & clouds were expected very late with a chance of showers where we live...stars twinkling & a not very impressive star-collimation adding to the "c'est la vie" feelings mixed with a healthy dose of pessimism...

 

Around 11:30pm we started recording & wound up at about 1:45am - the last iR742nm & the final r-g-b sequence yielding the best onscreen images but with thin, high clouds creating mayhem with the histogram: Pat deserves full marks for her application where, without her computer glasses (she lost them & is awaiting new ones from the optometrist) she rode the gain slider "on the fly" for 13 minutes as the histogram attempted to dive & soar as the cloud thickened or thinned..! waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

Mind you, "Der Kommandant" had to give her a pep talk & some wheedling when she attempted to rebel before these last 4 captures rofl2.gif but she is very pleased that we stayed out to get them, as they were clearly the best: 5 minutes for the iR742nm & an intended 5 minutes also for each of the r-g-b sequence - but mindful of her capricious personality I said to cut the red capture after 4 minutes, thinking that would be the timespan for the g&b also...but we had not altered their limits from 2 minutes each...so that was that!

 

It was getting pretty bad by the end of the blue capture & I suspect the thin veil of magenta draped on part of the rgb image was a legacy of clouds &/or capture histogram fluctures, throwing the so-so seeing in to boot - but we can live with that! wink.gif

 

I think we can say that the dust is settling, particularly in these regions...& as John & others have suggested perhaps we are starting to see a quite-altered Martian landscape, although on both counts we'll have to wait & see to be certain.

 

Most interesting for us (apart from the fact that such poor conditions resulted in very satisfactory outcomes) is the clarity of the Argyre Basin area: this huge impact crater in far Southern latitudes is resolved very well as are numerous smaller craters in close proximity - a first in this region for us mainly because in past apparitions Mars has been much more Northerly-inclined in its perspective.

 

2+ hours & over 120Gb of data later it all boiled down to 13 minutes at the end of the night - but well-satisfied with our best so far for this apparition imo & strong signs that the dust may be settling in time for opposition or shortly thereafter - but fingerscrossed.gif !!!

 

The rgb is a WinJupos integration of 4 minutes of red...& 2 minutes each of green & blue: btw, the rain did arrive but not till well after we had the ota inside & the mount under tarps.

 

m2018-07-18_16-09_rrgb_dpm.png

 

m2018-07-18_16-09_rgb_dpm.png

 

m2018-07-18_16-06_r_dpm.png

 

Note that although the iR742nm image has the greatest contrast, the red channel image has better resolution (finer details) although certain features do appear stronger/clearer in the iR image: newbies often confuse contrast & resolution! wink.gif

 

m2018-07-18_15-54_ir_dpm.png


Edited by Kokatha man, 19 July 2018 - 10:08 AM.

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#2 Mattimac

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:18 AM

Congrats -- your persistence paid off!



#3 Alexander83

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:20 AM

Oh my God! These are amazing! Congratulations! Your images are truly awe inspiring!  



#4 kevinbreen

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:33 AM

Wow! They're the best I've seen in a loooooong time (so long, I can't remember seeing any better image actually) and greatly surpass even my most optimistic hopes for Martian detail given the current circumstances. 

You've given me a ray of hope that I can maybe get something good on this my first foray into Martian-opposition imaging. And there I was thinking lately that I must dig up some info on Martian terrain so I can identify in very broad brush strokes the faint detail I'm grabbing; now all I need to do is look at these posts. 

 

Thumbs definitely UP for this one!


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#5 John_K

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:39 AM

Nice work Darryl - I had pretty much given up trying to image Mars during the dust storm, but now things appear to be returning back to normal in time for opposition. 

 

Great work on this image - looks like you have captured some craters as well which is testament to the resolution of your image.

 

Clear skies.

 

John K.



#6 coopman

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:40 AM

Whoa...those are fantastic!

#7 Jeff B1

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:45 AM

There must be a Solar System Dusty-Flu bug going around; Mars dust storm and now we have an African dust vail over us!  Yikes!  Is the Moon next?  smile.gif


Edited by Jeff B1, 19 July 2018 - 06:46 AM.


#8 phileefan

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:00 AM

Darryl,

 

Excellent as usual! bow.gif  I am always in awe of your results...........



#9 deSitter

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:03 AM

WOW nice!!! Look at Valles Marineris!!! It's filled with sand!

 

-drl



#10 CPellier

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:13 AM

Hi Darryl,

This looks like excellent data but the sharpness of details of the RGB is ... a bit strange though. The level of real contrast is certainly not as high and we are still many weeks off to a return to a normal clear atmosphere. Although all I see are real details, no doubt.


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#11 wargrafix

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:19 AM

The details really do show things are improving

 

 

I legit had 2 questions at a recent outreach event.

 

1) Are the dust on earth causing the dust storm on mars?

2) Is the dust storm on Mars aliens hiding their ships for an invasion of earth?

 

 

Yeah, outreach events can get weird......


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#12 NMCN

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:41 AM

NASA called to say they didn't appreciate you two hacking the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to obtain your close up shots of Mars, no matter how good they look.


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#13 John Boudreau

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:30 AM

These are beautiful Pat and Darryl! Most excellent work! bow.gif waytogo.gif

 

I see that Bird and a few others on that side of our planet also got some detailed near-IR and R images in that timeframe. Looks like that side of Mars is clearing up a bit quicker that much of the rest of the planet. Hopefully there won't be a flare-up of the storm so that we can all enjoy the appearance of surface features as soon as possible!

 

However, I suggest the color image be labled as an RRGB, not an RGB. The G and B channels are fraught with R data overlay.


Edited by John Boudreau, 19 July 2018 - 08:30 AM.


#14 kevinbreen

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:35 AM

The details really do show things are improving

 

 

I legit had 2 questions at a recent outreach event.

 

1) Are the dust on earth causing the dust storm on mars?

2) Is the dust storm on Mars aliens hiding their ships for an invasion of earth?

 

 

Yeah, outreach events can get weird......

All I have to do is turn on the radio to hear weird stuff, a vox pop yesterday morning had a woman being interviewed who blamed the current heatwave/drought on the government.



#15 Sunspot

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

I never thought about adjusting the gain on the fly. Is this a normal procedure for those frustrating evenings where cloud-lets interfere?

 

Oh yoe, gotta give the devil his due...those are incredible images! Congratulations....bow.gif bow.gif bow.gif


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#16 Foehammer

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:06 AM

Darryl, you have given us hope! Thank you! 


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#17 wargrafix

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:24 AM

IR, thing look bolder. But red has the fine delicate detail. I salute you!



#18 wargrafix

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:27 AM

Question: With RGB you can alter the times of capture to give better color. What does a one shot camera person do?



#19 JMP

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:29 AM

Truly wonderful image! I love the way the RGB image seems to be floating in space. Bravo Darryl and Pat!!    -Jeff


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#20 Kokatha man

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:39 AM

 

However, I suggest the color image be labled as an RRGB, not an RGB. The G and B channels are fraught with R data overlay.

You are correct John!

 

The mix-up occurred for a number of reasons...when creating the WJ integrations I was surprised to find hitherto unfamiliar to me .ims files appearing such as these below:

 

ScreenHunter_392-Jul.-20-00.15.jpg

 

I deleted the first lot so as not to confuse myself with unknown files & of course I deleted other files accidentally, did some re-namings to make sure I wasn't confused rofl2.gif & wound up in a complete lather as to what was what...not the least side-tracked by the fact the WJ-RGB appeared much redder than the LRGB...the long story short is I've now posted the r-rgb & the rgb in the first post with correct timestamps etc - I have no idea how they each came out with different UT's at the time either..?!?

 

Anyway, that's it (perhaps answering a bit of Christophe's query) but I should also note that the red channel data was far superior to that of the green & blue channels (which can clearly be seen in that mono image) & for some reason influenced the rgb more than the r-rgb with red in V. Marineris & the Argyre craters that took a lot of processing applications to get under some sort of control...another confusing aspect tonight while I was re-naming/processing them...see images below. (RGB on left, LRGB on right straight from WinJupos pre CS4 apps) 

 

2018-07-18-1608_7-RGB&LRGBcomps-Strch.png

 

The whole thing was bothering me so much I had to sort it out before I went to bed...it's 1am here now!

 

Thank you to everyone who has responded to this thread, including the "Likes" - we were quite rapt to get the data outcomes we did last night in the conditions we had...perhaps capturing, processing & dispatching them within 19 hours was a bit ott but it was great to see so many craters resolved as John K mentioned! grin.gif

 

ps: I don't agree about your estimation of the time it will take for a fairly complete settling of the dust Christophe, although it is obvious it still has some way more to go...but only time will answer that question. wink.gif


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#21 Kokatha man

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:49 AM

I never thought about adjusting the gain on the fly. Is this a normal procedure for those frustrating evenings where cloud-lets interfere?

 

Oh yoe, gotta give the devil his due...those are incredible images! Congratulations....bow.gif bow.gif bow.gif

Apologies fellas - Paul, we look at these as "desperate measures" tbh - AS!3 doesn't like fluctuating brightness levels where the frames are pretty dull & I was busy trying to keep the planet onscreen with a small ROI in the windy conditions.

 

It gives low quality estimations for starters & broken frames are a real issue where PIPP really comes into its own. (I guess we should start auto-guiding again, though I'm not sure how effective that is in those situations!)

 

Question: With RGB you can alter the times of capture to give better color. What does a one shot camera person do?

 

Wargrafix, I don't really understand what you are saying - no saturation or vibrancy etc were applied to either the r-rgb or the rgb & in fact I had to lower saturation in the straight rgb as per the manipulations I spoke of in the post above...

 

Mars doesn't respond well to increases in sat & vib, although Jupiter & Saturn do seem to need it with many of these cameras...


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#22 james7ca

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:43 AM

A really good image, maybe we will get some nice shots this year (yours is one of the best I've seen so far).


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#23 wargrafix

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 01:01 PM

I meant how to color balance on one shot cameras. Sorry about the confusion

#24 azure1961p

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 01:03 PM

Darryl thats beyond stunning, wow. Yeah, beyond wow as well.  The dust is finally settling???? 

 

That's beyond words sir!

 

Pete



#25 Tom Glenn

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:23 PM

Very nice images Darryl!  That side of Mars looks much better than the view I had last week.

 

Regarding adjusting gain on the fly, a few times with passing thin cloud cover I tried using the "Auto Gain" feature in Firecapture to let it automatically keep the histogram at a certain level by adjusting the gain, because I also had to keep the planet centered and so couldn't also pay enough attention to the gain and histogram to manually adjust it.  This did not produce an ideal outcome, for the reasons that you stated above, but it did allow an image to be captured which otherwise would not have been possible.


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