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Mars I thought, but what I am seeing ?

astrophotography imaging
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#1 mikejenningz

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:03 PM

Hi Guys,

 

I've been puzzling for the last 2 days , trying to identify this image.

 

I went out on the evening of the 14 December, to get some images of the moon.  The conditions for seeing were terrible , I think partially due to a neighbours central heating sending up waves of heat turbulence, but I got a few shots of the moon anyway (bond crater region pic attached).  Mars has been quite poor this opposition and low down, due to my high latitude in the UK, meaning I have not managed to image it this year.  However, even though its small now and probably wouldn't reveal much detail, I thought I'd at least get some images, since it was clearly just above the moon.

 

At just after 1800UT on this evening, I moved the scope upwards the 10deg or so journey to mars from the moon.  I was having trouble with finder scope alignment, but generally bright planets are not hard to find.  After I little messing around, I locked on to what I thought was Mars, but immediately noticed a companion (see pic A ) very close.  Could it be phobos I thought but as Mars is 1st mag, and phobos being listed as 12.8 . I thought this very unlikely.  However, If not then what is this faint companion close to the bright object.

 

Maybe I had got a bright star rather than mars and it was a double star, but yet no other bright stars seems to be in the region.

 

My ZWO ASI 120MM does not show colour so the image is purely mono, and my scope is a celestron C8, at F/10.

I set the exposure to about 2 seconds for this sequence which I stacked with registax.

 

I've only got 2 other faint stars in shot, I've not been able to match up to any star charts. You can see other marks on the image which I'm sure are noise or artefacts showing movement as the images are stacked.

I think the scale of this image is out 4'arc lengthwise.   Image 2 is a slightly stretched version showing the fainter stars a bit clearer.

 

In the region of Mars at that time we seem to have .  

 

96 Aquari 10th mag

HD 220035 - 6.2 mag

phi Aquari - 5.7 mag

 

I've had a look at star charts around these possibles, but not managed to find any matches for the centre bright object, and the 2 fainter objects, or the close faint object.

 

 

So there is my puzzle.  Much appreciated, if anyone could shed any light on this.  I really hate it when I fail so ID things like this, but I'm really stuck now.

 

By the way, has anyone managed to image phobos or demos,  must be a real challenge.

 

Thank you.

Mike.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Mars_180225-1.jpg
  • Mars_180225-2.jpg
  • Moon_173407.jpg


#2 Astroman007

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:06 PM

thinking1.gif



#3 Michael Covington

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:36 PM

A strong overexposure of Mars and a reflection in your lenses somewhere?


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#4 nicoledoula

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:38 PM

The people have indeed lost the ability to question those in authority;....How did I know you'd be here Astroman007? 


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#5 Jeff B1

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:40 PM

On 2018-12-14-1800UT  the difference between Mars and the Moon was: RA = 00:09:45,  Dec = -4.5dg. 


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#6 Astroman007

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 01:11 PM

The people have indeed lost the ability to question those in authority;....How did I know you'd be here Astroman007? 

I am everywhere. smile.gif



#7 RedLionNJ

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 09:31 PM

Not quite sure what to tell you....

 

At that date/time, Mars was just over 5 degrees from the moon, so 10 degrees would have put you well into Pisces.

 

I have no (reasonable) guesses as to what the bright object with the also-bright companion may be, but it's sure not Mars and m13.1 Phobos (at 6 arcsec separation).

 

Both Phobos and Deimos are capturable when near opposition. It would be extremely difficult around now, with the increased distance, shorter apparent separation and dimmer moons.


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#8 mikejenningz

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 05:23 AM

Thanks RedLion.  I am pretty such I was close to mars, I dont think I could have been more than a few degrees out max.  although my finder scope was out of action, I'm pretty used to finding Jupiter, Venus etc by looking down the line of the main scope and then doing a quick search pattern whilst looking at the laptop screen with camera attached.

 

Thats why I thought if not Mars, I it might  be one of the other possible stars listed above. However they are surely too dim to bloom so dramatically with a 1 sec exposure.  So I wondered about some kind of telescope internal reflection perhaps?

 

In the past while using the DSLR on Sirius, I used to get wild and wonderful internal reflections, but these would manifest as semi geometric wispy patterns towards the edge of the field, very arty but also irritating.  This is not quite the same.  

 

I thought phobos was a real long shot, and unlikely, so it must be a bright double star.  But really bright, I was able to drop the exposure times right down to .2 of a second and still easily detect the primary.



#9 happylimpet

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 05:53 AM

96 aqr is a double at 9.6", which looks about right...could be it?

 

About mag 5.5 too, so heaps bright.


Edited by happylimpet, 18 December 2018 - 05:54 AM.

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