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Finally - Mars!

Adam Y

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I finally got a rare combination of a clear night, good seeing, low winds and no frost and was able to get out and capture Mars!   I got about 17,700 frames in FireCapture with an ROI set and the Cutout tool enabled for tracking.  Gain and exposure set resulting in about a 40% histogram and 70 FPS.  4 minute capture, which i've read is about the limit if I don't want to deal with rotation.  I did also about 50 frames each of darks and flats, but messed  up so didn't use them.  Then over to PIPP which gave me a really nice stable AVI to work with in Autostakkert3.  Mostly default settings there, ended up with 23 alignment points.


Over to registax 6 to balance and align RGB and a little bit of sharpening (linear).  I still think I need to do this on something better than my laptop monitor, but it is what I have for now.  After that its GIMP for a touch of saturation and contrast and making sure the black level was the way I liked it.  That at least I can do on my mac with the massive monitor.  I hope that I have stopped just short of over-doing it.  It's the internet, so I know someone is sure to tell me 😁


I would probably like to use a 3x Barlow for Mars, even though the pixel size of my camera (3.75 mic) seems to dictate 2x gets close to the ideal focal length.  I don't mind experimenting, and maybe a larger image will withstand a bit more processing before tipping into Artificial Land?   I also want to add an ADC to remove the red/blue edging.  For now, registax does an admirable job.


My other question is on these smaller, harder-edged targets like Mars.. sometimes it seems that just as I get the sharpness right about where I want it, it almost looks like it is squaring the edges off.  I don't want to make an octagon out of it, is there any technique I can watch for there?  Obviously, "practice" being the main one...


Skyris 132C > IR/UV cut > 2x barlow > celestron 8SE.


Anyway, enjoy my first attempt at Mars:




GIMP Mars final 20221221.bmp

Edited by Adam Y
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