SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


Latest news

December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts

Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!

Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!

Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!



Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k): Color RAW Hack
Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
Scope: TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor
Configuration: Negative Projection (Barlowed)
Additional Optics: TeleVue 5x PowerMate
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 6000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/39.5
Exposure: 256 @ 1/25s, 5fps, gain=0%
Date: 12/21/2007 1:45 AM PST
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: IRIS
Focus: Manual
Dithering: None
Guiding: None


  • Registax: AVI Conversion, Registration, Best Frame Selection, Stacking
  • IRIS: Wavelets
  • PhotoShop: Unsharp Mask, JPG Conversion

Image Description:

This is my first planetary image with the new TMB 152/1200 APO Refractor. I used a (also new) 5x PowerMate to crank up the focal length to 6000mm. The 7th of the 15 AVIs I captured this night produced the best stacked image, which is shown above. The other ones had worse seeing, worse focus, or some combination of the above. Interestingly, the insertion of a Baader UV/IR filter yielded a worse result than without it, indicating that the TMB 152/1200 is well corrected into the IR and UV wavelengths. Cool!

This animation consists of 15 frames, each of which is a stack of the "best 128" of the frames in the respective AVI. (Each AVI consists of roughly 1000 frames). Note how bad the seeing gets toward the beginning of the animation. The UV/IR filter is present during the last 5 captures (frames). I refocused after the 5th and before the 6th capture. Note how quickly Mars rotates in this animation, which spans only 1.5 hours of Earth time.

Earth's North is up, which means that Mars' North is leaning roughly 23.5° to the right.