Apr 102010

Hi there,

the night of April 6th looked promising, skies perfectly clear and the seeing forrecast was excellent. I set the C11 up at dusk, collimating the scope at a star showed only mediocre to fair seeing. I started imaging the only 8.8″ measuring Mars after a short visual glance at Mercury and Venus low above the horizon. Seeing was quite unsteady, Mars jumped a lot with a high frequency but there seemed to be very short sharp moments inbetween. Seeing deteriorated constantly over the session – maybe due to the quickly falling temperatures – and quite strong winds arose later and blew the planet of the CCD quite often.
I originally planned to image Saturn after midnight but gave up the plan and gave it a try after Mars but gave up after only two AVIs due to seeing and the winds constantly blowing Saturn out of the capture window…
I was quite surprised when I processed the Mars AVIs of that night: Imaging with short integration times resulted in quite sharp frames in the AVIs packed between many blurred ones. Olympus Mons and the Tharsis Vulcanoes are visible in all channels, there’s nice dust over the Tharsis planes at the morning terminator.
The subsequent Mars AVIs are yet to be processed but some quick processings show that they are not on par with the first ones. The Saturn AVIs are not really worth spending time with them…

Cheers, Oliver