Imaged Mars tonight

It was about 65º F and breezy tonight with fast-moving intermittent clouds (low-level Cumulus?). I did about 10 runs with the camera, refocusing before each run. The reason I do this is because it’s close to impossible to tell if I’m in focus with Mars unless I can make out some surface details — which is close to impossible on my red-screened iBook using the Meade LPI imager. I had similar trouble with Jupiter earlier this year and I learned that by refocusing before every exposure I give myself the best chance of hitting one right on.

Here is the image from tonight’s optimum run. It’s a stack of 250 frames.

click for larger

Notice the “tan” area in the upper left quarter of the image. I tried to find current information regarding dust storm activity on Mars but I was not able to — or I just didn’t look long enough. I would be interested in knowing if this is indeed a dust storm or just an artifact introduced somewhere along the line in my imaging/processing sequence.

While we’re on about Mars, take a look at these synthesized images of the rovers on Mars. The images were created using a photorealistic model of the rover and Mars surface images shot by the rover. The size of the rover in the image is approximately correct and was based on the size of the rover tracks in the image. I think I’m going to add the color shots to desktop images I’m currently compiling for December.

They really fire the imagination!

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