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Mercury daytime - How the hell do i find it?

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#1 Daniele

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 03:28 AM

Hello,

 

i wanna shot Mercury in the daytime but i can't find it.

 

For Venus i do the folowing:

 

1. Put the Astrosolar and do a Solar System alingment with the Sun. My planetary imaging setup is mounted.

2. Point Venus with Go-To and remove the Astrosolar when i'm sure that the telescope is far from the Sun.

3. Look through the 9x50 Celestron FinderScope and clearly see Venus. 

4. Point it and go.

 

For Mercury i tried the same approach but i can't see it through my FinderScope.

 

So yesterday i tried this with visual setup instead (32 mm 70° FOV eyepiece that gives me 73x with my C9) :

 

1. Put the Astrosolar and do a Solar System alingment with the Sun.

2. Point Merury with Go-To and remove the Astrosolar when i'm sure that the telescope is far from the Sun.

3. Try to look through my eyepiece BUT i could not see it! Just blue sky. 

 

So how can i do that?

 

I saw some people shot Mercury in daytime, how the hell do they find it? 

 

Bests.


Edited by Daniele, 18 October 2020 - 03:29 AM.


#2 james7ca

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 04:23 AM

You may do better trying to use the camera (with an IR filter) to find Mercury. However, you need a reasonably good polar alignment and a mount that has fairly decent GOTO accuracy. However, trying to find it with the narrow field of a C9/ASI290 may be somewhat of a problem. I've captured Mercury at least twice during daylight hours, once with an 80mm refractor (with 5X barlow, 2800mm e.f.l.) using an ASI174MM camera and once using a C6 (1500mm f.l.) and a ASI178MM camera. In both cases I used an IR filter. You can visit the above links (on CN) for more details on the capture and some other targets that I imaged during the day.

 

Neither image was that good but I don't remember spending that much time finding the targets, maybe several minutes of searching with the slew of the mount after the initial GOTO.


Edited by james7ca, 18 October 2020 - 04:28 AM.


#3 Daniele

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:24 AM

Hello James and thank you so much for your reply.

 

Well the C9 has a good diameter that may show me some good details. Mercury requires at least 40.000 frames to show something good even with such diameter.

 

 

So with this setup:

 

C9 at native focal (2350mm), ASI 290MC with IR pass filter and the ZWO ADC.

 

I may try this:

 

1. Put the Astrosolar and do a Solar System alingment with the Sun

2. Point Mercury with Go-To and remove the Astrosolar when i'm sure that the telescope is far from the Sun.

3. Look at the PC if i see Mercury. If i don't see it i try to move the mount "up, down, right and left" and see if it appears on the screen.

 

What do you think about this plan? It's the best it comes in my mind lol.gif



#4 james7ca

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:52 AM

Hello James and thank you so much for your reply.

 

Well the C9 has a good diameter that may show me some good details. Mercury requires at least 40.000 frames to show something good even with such diameter.

 

 

So with this setup:

 

C9 at native focal (2350mm), ASI 290MC with IR pass filter and the ZWO ADC.

 

I may try this:

 

1. Put the Astrosolar and do a Solar System alingment with the Sun

2. Point Mercury with Go-To and remove the Astrosolar when i'm sure that the telescope is far from the Sun.

3. Look at the PC if i see Mercury. If i don't see it i try to move the mount "up, down, right and left" and see if it appears on the screen.

 

What do you think about this plan? It's the best it comes in my mind lol.gif

That's about what I did, however, I think I first found Venus or the star Vega and then did a sync to that. But, right now the moon and Mercury are fairly close so I'd use the moon to sync and determine your initial focus.


Edited by james7ca, 18 October 2020 - 07:56 AM.


#5 Daniele

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 11:19 AM

I tried again but nothing. I could focus on the Sun, saw Venus, Moon but not Mercury.
Maybe need to wait a better phase?

#6 RedLionNJ

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 12:48 PM

I tried again but nothing. I could focus on the Sun, saw Venus, Moon but not Mercury.
Maybe need to wait a better phase?

The thin crescent is the most difficult phase to see - not only is it close to the sun, but it's just not as bright as it can be at other times.

 

During an eastern elongation, I locate both Venus and Mercury (and also Mars and Jupiter when they're east of the sun) in daytime by doing the following:

 

I open my observatory roof part-way to shield direct sunlight from falling on my corrector

I use my dewshield to additionally block sunlight

The previous dark night, I made sure my 9x60 RACI finder was well-aligned when my ADC was in the null position

The previous dark night, I left my largest-chip cam in the scope, at native F10 and focused on a star.

I fire up my observatory PC and do a time-sync via the internet

I fire up TheSkyX and connect to the mount, home the mount and then goto target (Mercury, say)

I fire up FireCapture and enable full-chip mode and adjust the brightness so the blue sky is barely visible

I enable the audio histogram feature in FC

If the planet is not in the field on the preview, I check through the finder to see if it's really close by

If it IS close by, I nudge it to the center of the cross-hairs while listening to the audio histogram for confirmation of acquisition

If it's not visible in the finder, I slowly sweep around from the center, listening again for the audio confirmation of acquisition

 

Once I definitely have it centered on the sensor, I switch out cameras to my desired model and refocus, 

 

I have never captured Mercury as a fine crescent.  I did, however, track Venus all the way through inferior conjunction a few years back.



#7 Daniele

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 01:13 PM

Thank you!

 

I use SharpCap, does it have the audio histogram feature too? 

 

And, if Mercury is in a good phase can i see it through my 9x50 finderscope?

 

If so, i just have to wait a better time.

 

Bests.




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