Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Best close-up made so far of the celestial giant

During the evening of February 8th, I carried out a 3-hour observation session dedicated to finding the best settings for my new ZWO 120MM planetary/lunar camera. Results show that a fine balance exists between the seeing conditions and choice of camera resolution, during which I shifted the camera resolution between 1024 and 1280 with a registered fps ranging from around 50 down to 30 respectively. Results also show that a resolution of 1024 gave optimal results under the relatively bad seeing conditions (5/10) and in the presence of a rather strong breeze, both of which amplified the image instability during the entire session. Conclusion: More fine tuning is needed.

The imaging train consisted of Astronomik RGB + 672 and 720 nm filters, flip mirror and Televue 2x barlow.

Surface features:

Evidently the IR image shows the best surface features such as (1) halo and wake next to the GRS (2) highly active equatorial zone showing spectacular festoons (3) white plumes and elongated rifts in the NEB (4) complex subtle group of barges along the NEBn, some of which have collided since my last observation (5) the wake following GRS is much more extended than in the previous image taken on January 22nd.

The RGB image (20:41-44 UT) shows (1) GRS with a slightly darker centre (2) dark gases are emanating from the GRS to both sides of the STrZ.

The IR-RGB image (21:18-21 UT) show the three white ovals  group nicknamed 'mickey's head' to remain defined and conserved in shape since January 22nd. This trio is being followed by another prominent white oval which is worth following for any future interaction.

Comments are welcome.

20:41-44UT I: 341 II: 245 III 61 RGB, C14 (c) 2014

21:06:39UT I:356 II: 260 III: 75 - 672 nm filter, C14 (c) 2014

21:18-21UT I:4 II: 268 III 84 IR-RGB, C14 (c) 2014

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