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Mars 2018 in infra-red and colour

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#1 Lacaille

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 01:44 AM

Hi All,

 

Things have been a bit grim for imaging here in Australia with bushfires widespread and persistent, and smoke haze and hot gusty winds affecting us badly here in Canberra, even though we have not yet had a major fire this season.  A friend of mine further north has had to pack up all his gear at his observatory in the bush and bring it home.  

 

So I cheered myself up by planning for the 2020 opposition of Mars. I will get back to RGB imaging this time, when conditions allow - I imaged using the ZWO224MC in 2018, and I will be using an 8 slot electronic filter wheel (from ZWO) so I can quickly do the RGB  sequences and intersperse some IR imaging as well.  I thought I would post some comparisons of IR and colour images from around opposition in 2018 to highlight the value of IR under dust storm conditions.  I like the way details emerge patchily in soe mof the IR images, as if the dust was too thick even for IR in some regions.

 

IR685 vs Colour.jpg

 

Best wishes

 

Mark


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#2 AstroEthan

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 02:59 AM

A nice throwback to last year! waytogo.gif

 

I have heard from said friend how bad the bush-fires have been this year, but I didn't realize how much had been burned until I came across this interactive map: https://www.theguard...interactive-map


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#3 Rustler46

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 03:17 AM

Hi All,

 

Things have been a bit grim for imaging here in Australia with bushfires widespread and persistent, and smoke haze and hot gusty winds affecting us badly here in Canberra, even though we have not yet had a major fire this season.  A friend of mine further north has had to pack up all his gear at his observatory in the bush and bring it home.  

 

So I cheered myself up by planning for the 2020 opposition of Mars. I will get back to RGB imaging this time, when conditions allow - I imaged using the ZWO224MC in 2018, and I will be using an 8 slot electronic filter wheel (from ZWO) so I can quickly do the RGB  sequences and intersperse some IR imaging as well.  I thought I would post some comparisons of IR and colour images from around opposition in 2018 to highlight the value of IR under dust storm conditions.  I like the way details emerge patchily in soe mof the IR images, as if the dust was too thick even for IR in some regions.

 

attachicon.gifIR685 vs Colour.jpg

 

Best wishes

 

Mark

Thanks so much for the nice comparison of full color versus IR imaging. Your composite says all images were taken with a ZSO224MC. Does that mean you used an IR filter with the one-shot color camera? If so what filter was used?

 

My camera will be an ASI290MC. If I can do IR imaging with that camera, it would be a big help if another dust storm occurs. Would you give us some specifics on how those IR images were obtained?

 

Best Regards, 

Rusterly


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#4 Lacaille

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 04:03 AM

Thanks for the likes and comments!

 

Rusterly, check out this article by Christophe Pellier on colour cameras like the 224MC and the 290MC.   These cameras are so sensitive in the IR that you need to use a luminance or UV/IR cut filter for normal colour imaging, otherwise you get a weird hot pink Mars!

 

The filter I used with my 224MC for imaging Mars in the IR was a 685 nm pass filter.

 

Below are the settings from Firecapture.

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

FireCapture v2.6  Settings
------------------------------------
Camera=ZWO ASI224MC
Filter=IR685
Profile=Mars
Diameter=23.89"
Magnitude=-2.71
CM=316.8°  (during mid of capture)
FocalLength=7300mm
Resolution=0.11"
Filename=2018-07-21-1316_9-UVIRCUT-Mars.avi
Date=210718
Start=131426.578
Mid=131656.581
End=131926.585
Start(UT)=131426.578
Mid(UT)=131656.581
End(UT)=131926.585
Duration=300.007s
Date_format=ddMMyy
Time_format=HHmmss
LT=UT +10h
Frames captured=33344
File type=AVI
Extended AVI mode=true
Compressed AVI=false
Binning=no
ROI=304x300
ROI(Offset)=464x32
FPS (avg.)=111
Shutter=8.597ms
Gain=203 (33%)
Brightness=1 (off)
SoftwareGain=10 (off)
WRed=52 (off)
USBTraffic=75 (off)
HighSpeed=off
FPS=100 (off)
AutoExposure=off
AutoGain=off
HardwareBin=off
AutoHisto=75 (off)
WBlue=95 (off)
Gamma=50
Histogramm(min)=0
Histogramm(max)=94
Histogramm=36%
Noise(avg.deviation)=n/a
Limit=300 Seconds
Sensor temperature=10.0°C


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#5 Rustler46

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 05:07 AM

Thanks for the likes and comments!

 

Rusterly, check out this article by Christophe Pellier on colour cameras like the 224MC and the 290MC.   These cameras are so sensitive in the IR that you need to use a luminance or UV/IR cut filter for normal colour imaging, otherwise you get a weird hot pink Mars!

 

The filter I used with my 224MC for imaging Mars in the IR was a 685 nm pass filter.

Mark, thanks again for the very useful reply. It has been some years since I've photographed Mars, and much has changed. My ASI290MC came with a small diameter IR cut filter. Now to use the 685 nm filter, would that be something like a Baader 1-1/4 inch screw on filter? Or is there available a less expensive small diameter filter similar to what came with my camera. I will be using a ZWO ADC, followed by a Barlow lens set giving around f/17 with my C-11. I don't see where ZWO offers a 685 nm filter, just an 850 nm filter.

 

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

 

Kind Regards,

Russ


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#6 rms40

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 09:34 AM

Mark, Those are some great images. I really like the IR. Maybe that could be combined as lum with RGB for color? Was the Mars dust storm a problem in some of those later images?

 

I bought a C11 just for planetary imaging in 2018. I really struggled with focus, whether to use an ADC (do you use one?) and the C11 was a bit heavy for my MYT mount. I plan on trying planetary again next year. This time with a CDK14 I have finally setup.

 

Randall


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#7 gfstallin

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 01:38 PM

Mark, thanks again for the very useful reply. It has been some years since I've photographed Mars, and much has changed. My ASI290MC came with a small diameter IR cut filter. Now to use the 685 nm filter, would that be something like a Baader 1-1/4 inch screw on filter? Or is there available a less expensive small diameter filter similar to what came with my camera. I will be using a ZWO ADC, followed by a Barlow lens set giving around f/17 with my C-11. I don't see where ZWO offers a 685 nm filter, just an 850 nm filter.

 

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

 

Kind Regards,

Russ

Russ, 

 

The 685nm filter is from Baader. Both the 685nm and the 610nm from Baader are popular, at least as such items go. I figure I might try the 742nm from Astronomik as well just to see how it goes. 

 

George 


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#8 Lacaille

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 01:43 AM

Yes Russ the filters are indeed from Baader as George says.   I am not sure if there are others on the market but as I gain in experience I realise that the filters are worth their weight in gold. Last Mars opposition, when the dust storm happened, I recall making a post on "the five stages of imaging Mars in a dust storm" which went something like:

 

1. Anger

2. Denial

3. Bargaining

4. Acceptance

5. Specialized filters!

 

Randall, you could certainly try combining an IR image as luminance with an RGB image but I personally prefer to handle the colour and the IR separately.  I have also seen some IR-GB images which have a colour that to my eye looks odd but again if it works for you, and you make it clear what you have done, it is your call.

 

I do use an ADC (mine is a ZWO) but was not using it around the 2018 opposition where Mars was at the zenith around midnight here in Canberra.  At that stage in my career I was tending to discard the ADC for planets over 40-50 degrees but I will be revisiting that rule of thumb this coming year to try and improve my methodology. 

 

Regards

 

Mark


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#9 rms40

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 09:49 AM

Mark, Thanks for your info. I also have the ZWO ADC and it seems to work well. I had to fiddle with it to get it and a barlow to work. I ended up taking the lens off a Celestron barlow barrel and screwed it to the bottom of the ADC. That was a kluge and didn't really have the right spacing.

 

You have inspired me to try planetary imaging again. Your IR and RGB results are really good. Hopefully, Mars won't have dust storms next year and your conditions will be perfect.

 

Randall


Edited by rms40, 17 December 2019 - 10:25 AM.

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#10 Rouzbeh

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 12:22 PM

That 21-Jul image is beautiful! 

Thanks for sharing.


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