Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Window to Mars

Yet another week of clouds and rain.

As I usually do each morning, I checked the astronomy forecast at Astropheric.  It has been pretty tough to find a clear night with steady seeing that lines up my schedule, but I'm always hopeful.

Yesterday, Astropheric presented me with this forecast:

A Window of Above Average Seeing!

It didn't look like much, but Astopheric was forecasting a brief amount of time when the sky would be clear and the seeing above average. 

I went outside at 2030 (EST) and took a look at the sky.  Humidity was really high, but the sky looked promising.  I brought out the CAT, leveled it, and attached the imager and waited.

The humidity was high, equipment was wet, and fog was threatening.

I'm glad I persevered.

This is the Mars image for the night.

Hello Mars!
It was captured at 2309 (EST) using my planetary imager, a ZWO ASI224MC, attached to my Celestron CPC-1100.

Fog started to roll in shortly afterwards and everything was drenched... Except for the corrector plate on the CAT.  The dew strip and shield did their job.  This session was a really good test.

Bonus Image

While waiting for Mars to rise high enough to get out of turbulence of the lower sky, I played with the imager while focused on Jupiter.

Ganymede was nearby, so it was captured, as well.

Hello Jupiter and Ganymede!

It was a fairly success astronomy session, even though the viewing window was so narrow!




  1. WHOA!!! Great details of Mars! And what a tilt on Jupiter! Is that us tilting? Or the ZWO? Or both? I did see Mars clearly this AM. 🙌

    1. Thanks. Mostly, it was just the way Jupiter was leaning last night. Could have fixed it by rotating the ZWO but then Mars would have been out of whack.

  2. Fantastic images! Can't believe they turned out so well in such high humidity conditions.

    1. Thanks. There were riverlets flowing on my equipment, but the corrector plate was dry. Yay for the DIY dew strip and controller!


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