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MERCURY JUNE 2018

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About this observation
Observer
Ron Palgrave
Time of observation
26/06/2018 - 18:58
Object
Mercury
Observing location
STANLEY,NORTH EAST ENGLAND
Equipment
MEADE LX200GPS 14INCH
ASI224MC-S
NEAR IR FILTER 685NM
2 BARLOW
Exposure
0.43ms
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For a couple of years my Mercury images have been little more than fuzzy blobs. But after many failures I seem to have finally found a route to sucessful feature capture. 1)For my location,imaging conditions seem most suitable in late afternoon with the Sun still up.The effect,of increasing air mass seems to be offset by better contrast. 2) Filtering to near-infrared seems to stabilise the image somewhat. 3) Capturing 300,000 -frames or more, but only stacking 1% seems to work. 

In this image, the white spot near the limb is the crater Kuiper. It will move out of view as the planet comes round to inferior conjunction.I show the appropriate WINJUPOS representation for comparison. 

In establishing my process flow, I was helped a great deal by studying the prior observation notes of C. Hooker and S Kidd, I thank them both.

Comments

Chris Hooker's picture

Hi Ron,

That's a nice result, and I'm pleased that you found my notes on technique useful. It's good to see that other observers are benefiting from my experience and capturing detail on Mercury.

However, I think that you have stated the orientation incorrectly. On June 24th, Mercury was about 19 degrees east of the Sun, so the terminator would be on the left-hand side in the north-up view. This doesn't detract from the quality of your image, of course.

Best regards,

Chris

ronpal's picture

Yes you are correct. The brain fade of age!  Your observations were my inspiration to pick up the mercury challenge again, so thanks.  I need to better understsnd your constraint  regarding proximity to the sun

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