Imaging Mars after a tough week was a nice change of pace. Historic snow storms brought an unusually long and intense cold snap to Texas, causing much of the state to fall into rolling blackouts for days. We lost home internet access for 5 days and the cell signal became too weak for a reliable connection. Snow was brought inside to melt in case the local water supply ran dry. The air outside was a little colder than normal and small patches of snow were on the ground tonight. Seeing was good enough to get an acceptable image with enough data.
Mars passed vernal equinox two weeks ago, bringing spring to the northern hemisphere and autumn to the south. The planet is now 200 million kilometers away and just over a fourth of the angular diameter it was at opposition in October. Valles Marineris can be seen near the center of the disk.
These images were taken less than two days after Perseverance touched down on the red planet. The landing site was facing away from us when taking these images.
Celestron C8 EdgeHD
FireCapture v2.7 02 BETA Settings ------------------------------------ Observer=Ethan Chappel Location=Cibolo Scope=Celestron C8 EdgeHD Camera=ZWO ASI290MM Filter=IR685 Profile=Mars Diameter=6.78" Magnitude=0.78 CM=92.4° (during mid of capture) FocalLength=4650mm (F/13) Resolution=0.13" Filename=m2021-02-20_03-27-27_ir685_ec.ser Date=2021_02_20 Start=03_24_57.189 Mid=03_27_27.191 End=03_29_57.193 Start(UT)=03_24_57.189 Mid(UT)=03_27_27.191 End(UT)=03_29_57.193 Duration=300.004s Date_format=yyyy_MM_dd Time_format=HH_mm_ss LT=UT Frames captured=37037 File type=SER Binning=1x1 ROI=160x160 ROI(Offset)=768x344 FPS (avg.)=123 Shutter=8.000ms Gain=240 (40%) AutoExposure=off AutoGain=off AutoHisto=75 (off) Brightness=1 FPS=100 (off) Gamma=50 (off) HighSpeed=on SoftwareGain=10 (off) USBTraffic=40 Histogramm(min)=0 Histogramm(max)=178 Histogramm=69% Noise(avg.deviation)=0.33 Limit=300 Seconds Sensor temperature=55.9°F Focuser position=28490
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