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!



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