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Mercury IR 10th June 2017

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About this observation
Observer
Chris Hooker
Time of observation
10/06/2017 - 08:45
Object
Mercury
Observing location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Equipment
25 cm Newtonian & x3 Barlow @ F/19
ZWO ASI120MM-S camera
Baader IR filter (685nm cut-on)
Exposure
0.346 msec (1/2890 sec)
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Poor seeing (Ant III - IV) and a strong gusty breeze made for tricky conditions. Out of a total capture of around 80,000 frames of video, the final image is a stack of only 350 selected frames. This and the verification frames are noisy thanks to the small stack size, but the comparison with the reference image shows that the markings recorded do match those on the planet fairly well. Registration and stacking were done in Registax, with frame selection in VirtualDub. Thanks to Steve Knight for providing the reference image from Sky Safari.

The apparent difference in phase between the telescopic image and the reference is due to the strong brightness gradient in the image. Trying to brighten the terminator region to show the markings there leads to saturation on the bright limb, and reducing the gamma lowers the contrast on the disc. If anyone can suggest a way to improve the processing to bring out more detail I would be happy to hear from you.

Comments

Fossil Light's picture

Another tremendous image Chris. Very well done.

I experimented with some techniques for Ganymede to bring out detail without overbrightening the limb and wonder if they might work with you Mercury images. if you want you can PM me at martin.rlewis@virgin.net and we can discuss more.

Cheers,

Martin

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