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Planetetary pictures

Mars from Trondheim, Norway, October-05:


Toucam web camera through 200mm f5 reflector with IR-filter and 5x Powermate. 15 pictures/s for 1.7 minutes on October-17-05, 02:15 local time (UTC+2).

Left: 188 of 1543 exposures chosen manually and stacked in K3CCDtools. Dark frame subtracted. Rotated 90 degrees.
Right: Processed with unsharp mask and corrected for chromatic shift. Contrast in bright areas increased with levels(0, 0.8, 255). Deband filter applied to remove horizontal (vertical berfore rtoation) stripes in the r and b channels. The processing was done in Matlab based on the 16-bit tiff-image output from K3CCDtools.

The picture is similar to this excelent picture that was capture through a larger telescope in Austria two days earlier at 01:15 (UTC+2). One day on march latst 24 hours and 40 minutes, so the planet has made two rotations minus 4.8 degrees between the two exposures. The bluish cloud near the north pole on the Austrian picture is seen as a bright area near the top of my picture.

It is also interesting to compare with this picture taken 19 hours later than my Mars picture by Stein Wasbø from the TAF observatory only 8 km away from where I took my picture. Mars has rotated 83 degrees less than a full rotation in these 19 hours. Another great picture taken by Geir Hagabråten at 02:50 (UTC+2) the night before me with a 16" reflector can be seen here.

Saturn from Røros, Norway, Easters eve 2005:


Toucam web camera through 200mm f5 reflector with IR-filter and 5x Powermate. 5 pictures/s for 4.2 minutes on March-27-05, 00:16.

Left: 165 of 1270 exposures chosen manually and stacked in K3CCDtools. Dark frame subtracted.
Right: Processed with unsharp mask and corrected for chromatic shift. Contrast in bright areas increased with levels(0, 0.6, 255). Processing of the 16-bit tiff-image and output from K3CCDtools was done in Matlab with Photoshop-type routines. This approach resulted in less noise than 8-bit processing in Photoshop5.5.

Saturns rings are described in detail on this page based on pictures from Hubble. The Cassini-division between the outer A-ring and the inner B-ring can easily be seen in the picture above. A darker region can is seen on the center of the A-ring at the left and right sides of the planet. Unsharp mask may have contributed to this, but this dark area also exists in reality, called the "Encke's minimum" (not exactly the same as "Encke's gap", which is too narrow to be resolved by my telescope).

If you move the mouse over the picture to the right you will see a version where the contrast in darker regions has been increased by using the levels parameters (0, 1.4, 255). You may have to allow "active contents" in your browser to make this work. In this picture you can see a faint region inside the B-ring that is maybe the C-ring.

Two excelent amateur pictures of Saturn taken with 14.5" and 18" telescopes can be seen here and here. (Click on "Attachment" in the last link). On these pictures the Encke's gap are just visible.

Jupiter from Røros, Norway, Easters eve 2005:


Toucam web camera through 200mm f5 reflector with IR-filter and 5x Powermate. 5 pictures/s for 3.2 minutes on March-27-05, 03:04.

Left: 840 of 947 exposures stacked in K3CCDtools. Dark frame subtracted.
Right: Processed with unsharp mask and corrected for chromatic shift. Contrast in bright areas increased with levels(0, 0.6, 255). Processing of the 16-bit tiff-image and output from K3CCDtools was done in Matlab with Photoshop-type routines. This approach resulted in less noise than 8-bit processing in Photoshop5.5.

 

Erlend Rønnekleiv, www.eronn.net
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