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My first images of the season

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#1 Peter L.

Peter L.

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:42 PM

Hi all. It's been a while. Although this summer has been the best on record weather-wise -- absolutely gorgeous from Jun 1st until now -- extremely poor seeing conditions coupled with the low altitude caused me to skip Jupiter and Saturn altogether. Mars is decently high in the sky at 45o for me, so I've been waiting for a decent night. Finally got one this week -- 3.5 out of 5 perhaps. That's about as good as it gets here in eastern Canada under the Jetstream!

 

Here's a shot which combines my best 10% of frames from 4 different 3min runs. I was up around 400 fps with my C14 and 290MC at ~F14. I had to push the processing fairly hard to get any amount of clarity. Looks like the heavy processing might have introduced some artifacts, but I'm happy with the result given how poor a season it has been here.

 

Mars -- 20201019 v2.png

 

I also stumbled upon something in my observatory this week that might be impacting my imaging. When my obs was built, I paid extra attention to ensuring the dome room was well insulated from the rest of the building -- spray foamed walls and floor and R25 rigid on the hatch. I also vented the dome room well to try and keep its temperature similar to outside conditions, so when I open the dome, the scope doesn't take long to acclimate. Prior to my imaging session, I re-checked my rough collimation. I've always had trouble collimating, but always chalked it up to my poor seeing conditions. Here's what it typically looks like, even on a decent night:

 

2020-10-19-0039_2-U-IR Cut-Sat_lapl4_ap33.gif

 

...continued in reply...


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#2 Peter L.

Peter L.

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:51 PM

...resulting in this stack:

 

2020-10-19-0039_2-U-IR Cut-Sat_lapl4_ap33.jpg

 

One thing I did this summer was add an exhaust fan to the dome room on the north wall. It felt a little warmer in the dome room than outside, so I put the fan on high, and my view of collimation immediately improved to this:

 

2020-10-19-0047_8-U-IR Cut-Sat_lapl4_ap23.gif

 

Resulting in this stack:

 

2020-10-19-0047_8-U-IR Cut-Sat_lapl4_ap23.jpg

 

It still looks a little off to me, but at least I can now tell. Detailed collimation using the airy disk is still impossible for me -- seeing just doesn't allow.

 

Has anyone else experienced this kind thing with their obs?

 

Thanks,
Peter


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#3 Kokatha man

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:50 PM

Excellent Mars image Peter waytogo.gif waytogo.gif  - I bet you're happy..!



#4 sunnyday

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:55 PM

very nice shot of mars , love the details , thanks .



#5 Mirzam

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:59 PM

I think the best way to address dome temperature problems is to condition the interior like professionals do at major observatories.  Use a small window air conditioner and set the temperature to the expected nighttime temp.  Then when you open up to observe the temperature is already adjusted.

 

JimC




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