Two planets, one moon – March 20, 2014
While at an deep-sky objects observing session together with a friend of mine, Bogdan, I’ve also wanted to do some planetary imaging. The seeing conditions weren’t good, but Mars and rising Saturn proved to show some nice details at the eyepiece.
I’ve waited for a while for the seeing to improve but it didn’t, so I’ve decided to do something new: image the moons of Mars. At that time only Deimos was far enough from the planet to catch it, so the final stack shows only one bright dot:
Eventually Mars got a little higher, so I did some imaging of the Red Planet also. Unfortunately the Green filter for the RGB sequence was missing (sometimes I forget staff back home) so I could only do an Red-Blue sequence, and also some Infrared. Luckily, the software for aligning the color channels (WinJupos) tries automatically to create a Green channel. So I did end up eventually with this:
Now, having both Deimos and Mars imaged, I’ve placed them both on the same image, but not at the same corresponding time. The scale and orientation of Mars in relation with the distance to Deimos is correct, because while I was imaging Deimos, I’ve also imaged the disc of Mars briefly to have a relative scale and orientation of the images, but that sequence is of a too low quality to post here (and of a much smaller scale being acquired at F/10).
After just a few more minutes, I’ve change the target to Saturn and got quite impressed with the image in infrared, showing the Cassini Division rather well, despite the low altitude of the planet.
The initial image together with a WinJupos polar representation and a detail of the “Hexagon” polar formation:
Also, just for fun, I’ve made use of the WinJupos polar representation this time together with the rings.
It’s a rather interesting perspective. If only we could fly over the poles of the ringed planet…
(March 29, 2014)