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Mercury in red light, 9th October 2018

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About this observation
Observer
Chris Hooker
Time of observation
09/10/2018 - 12:40
Object
Mercury
Observing location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Equipment
254 mm F/6.3 Newtonian
TeleVue 3x Barlow lens
ZWO ASI120MM-s camera
Baader 610 nm and IR-cut filters
Exposure
1 msec
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Conditions for this observation were very difficult, thanks to the low altitude of Mercury (26 degrees at culmination) and a gusty breeze which resulted in poor seeing (Ant IV, occasionally improving to III) and shaking of the telescope. A total of 260,000 video frames was captured over nearly 2 hours, but the proportion of usable frames was very low, so that just over 900 (0.35%) were selected and combined for the final image. The quality of the data was such that I had to include frames that I would normally reject, but even so, a pair of verification images processed from independent stacks showed similar features, so it was worth combining all the selected frames to produce a final image. The agreement with a blurred Messenger image is reasonable, considering the poor quality of the data.

Comments

Fossil Light's picture

Great image Chris and pushing the boundaries as always- hats off to you.

Can you tell me how you manage to sort through so many frames. I know you do some manual sorting but wonder if you take it down to say 1% with something like Autostakkert then hand sort after that. However, even 1% of your total is 2,600 frames  which is a huge number to sift through.

Thanks for sharing the details of your inspiring work.

Cheers

Martin

Chris Hooker's picture

Hi Martin,

See my new post today for a detailed answer to your question and a comparison of manual and software frame selection.

Cheers,

Chris

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