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Mars Is Getting Close To Earth

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Post  adrian ss on Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:50 pm

Mars is starting retrograde motion as the Earth overtakes it.
At just on 60.million klm distant from us it is a very bright object in the night sky after around 2200 hrs our time. and was even visible in the west just before dawn. Sky was pale blue. That is pretty close considering that Mars is usually around 150 million klm from earth and around 200 million klm from the sun.
Been trying to get a pic with the 900 no success yet. Having problems achieving good focus & exp.
Plenty of light but total crap image.
Will have another go tonight if clouds stay away.
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Post  4rd on Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:18 am

Had a go at it on Thursday,  was a relatively clear night for the first time in a while and probably won't be again for some time longer as the rain settles in for the weekend and beyond.  Some light cloud cover rolled past as did a satellite lower right to make it a little more interesting.  I think the slight cloud coverage is causing the flaring, hopefully I can get a sharper image on a much clearer or totally cloudless night, still practicing.
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Post  adrian ss on Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:23 am

Nice shot.
That flaring was in all of the shots I took the other night. In each pic the flaring was identical in shape. Curious?
Just looking at the details of your pic it stated exp was 13/1. at f 5.6 Is that a thirteenth of a sec or 13 sec?... Thirteenth should appear as 1/13.
If 13 seconds then that satellite must be an asteroid?

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Post  4rd on Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:46 am

Thinking about it some more,  I think the flaring may be exacerbated by mist on the lens just as much if not more so than the thin cloud layer drifting through(?)  In any case I have just taken delivery of a dew heater I can wrap around the lens to reduce/eliminate mist so it will be interesting to see what that does if anything, hoping for clear skies although not likely for some time yet.  Looking at the EXIF data you are right, it reads 13/1 which isn't very clear and a strange way to record it however I can confirm it was 13sec using a GEM to track star movement.

I should probably go back and see if I can find out which satellite it was at that particular time and location,  would be very surprised and quite pleased if indeed it were an asteroid but I doubt it.  I am curious, do you know why the flaring sunny  in all your shots were identical, most likely the aperture blades at at a higher setting?
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Post  adrian ss on Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:16 am

The flaring I am referring to is the cloud like effect near the top of Mars in your pic.
At 13 seconds I would expect a much longer trail from a satellite unless maybe it is 20 thousand or so km away.
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Post  adrian ss on Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:34 am

Ran off quite a few shots last night but the 900 is not capable of detailed pics of Mars.
I had much better results from an old brownie box camera with black and white film attached to a home made telescope when I was 16, The pole cap and some surface markings were visible.
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Post  NativePride on Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:01 am

I'm at Long Gully Station FNQ and have had very clear visuals of Mars for around the last week or so.

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