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My First Mercury, 2020-09-23

dslr Maksutov planet astrophotography
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#1 BQ Octantis

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 06:49 PM

G'day all,

 

I noticed a pair of stars near the western horizon a few days ago, and one of them turned out to be Mercury. My son had chided me recently for never having imaged it (the only planet I had never imaged), so I took a look through the eyepiece. It was quite low when I first noticed it, and the seeing had plummeted…so I didn't bother shooting it. But I captured it last night at 15˚. Shooting below 20˚ for me is usually a fool's errand, but the seeing was quite good at dusk—good enough to make out several albedo features:

 

mercury.jpg

 

This low, my red channel was my best channel for a change—at zenith it's usually my worst channel.

 

Cheers,

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 24 September 2020 - 05:43 AM.

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#2 rkinnett

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 07:00 PM

That's awesome!

 

Have you found Stellarium to be a good visual reference for planet rotation?  I've found it to be unreliable but I wonder if I'm using it wrong.  I've started using WinJUPOS ephemerides instead.



#3 jeremiah2229

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 07:01 PM

Wow! Thanks for sharing!  bow.gif

 

 

Peace...



#4 sunnyday

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 07:02 PM

very very nice , mercury is very difficult to photograph, captures really well. thanks



#5 BQ Octantis

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for the kind words and likes!

 

Have you found Stellarium to be a good visual reference for planet rotation?  I've found it to be unreliable but I wonder if I'm using it wrong.  I've started using WinJUPOS ephemerides instead.

Hi Ryan,

 

I've found it to be good enough for Mars, the Galilean moons, and now Mercury. I find its offsets to be quite manageable for feature identification.

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 23 September 2020 - 09:00 PM.


#6 R Botero

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:12 AM

Great result; some albedo definitely showing. waytogo.gif

 

Roberto



#7 BQ Octantis

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:20 AM

Thanks Roberto! I had my doubts I'd get anything. Here's what the starting stack looked like:

 

001.jpg

 

Kevin Breen would be proud!

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 24 September 2020 - 04:21 AM.

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#8 Tulloch

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:30 AM

That’s a great result BQ, especially seeing where it came from!

Edited by Tulloch, 24 September 2020 - 04:30 AM.


#9 BQ Octantis

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:57 AM

That’s a great result BQ, especially seeing where it came from!

Thanks, Andrew!

 

There's a double entendre in there…for it came from under the raging jet stream over the Red Centre. laugh.gif

 

Seriously, it's currently in the 50's (m/s), so I almost didn't go out. And getting this kind of quality from 15˚ all they way to zenith was just incredible.

 

BQ




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