The Planet Mars ... 4th Planet from the Sun



The Planet Mars
The Warrior planet with its angry ruddy red color. I took this image on the night of August 26, 2018 right around midnight. Mars has just past opposition and its closest approach to earth at a distance of 35.78 million miles now a bit further away at 40.14 million miles. You can see one of the polar ice caps along with what could be long striated dust clouds.

I used the software; SharpCap Pro which has a ROI (Region of Interest) function to capture the planet. Instead of taking pictures with a dimension of 5440 x 3648, I am able to set a capture area around the planet, and in this case, 800 x 600 pixels (there are several options for sizing the capture box). This greatly reduces the avi file size by 97% allowing for much more frames for better resolution and faster stacking times.

Techy Stuff:
Telescope: 11" Celestron Edge HD with the Orion 2x 4 Element Barlow yielding a focus ration of f/20
Mount: CGEM ii
Camera: Altair Hypercam 183C (Color)
Capture software: SharpCap Pro 3.1
Guiding: PHD 2
Filter: None
Number of Frames in .avi file: 1000
Stacking Program: AutoStakkert! 2.6.8
Used best 100 of the aligned 1000 frames for stacking
Post Processed in Photoshop CC
Seeing Conditions: 7 (0-10, where 0 is total cloud cover)
Bortle Light-Pollution zone: 6-7 (can barely see the Milkyway)
Temperature: 78F, Dew Point 72
Location: Backyard, Savannah GA


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