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Mercury IR 9th October 2016

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About this observation
Observer
Chris Hooker
Time of observation
09/10/2016 - 12:30
Object
Mercury
Observing location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Equipment
250mm Newtonian
Imaging Source DMK212AU04.AS webcam
Baader IR-pass filter
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Mercury was imaged in daytime (from around 8 to 10 am) with an IR-pass filter. Due to the small size of the planet and poor daytime seeing, the proportion of good frames is very small, a few percent at best. To acquire enough data for a good image, multiple videos of 5000 frames were captured. The total number of frames captured in this observation was more than 45,000. Initial frame selection using Registax reduced the total number to around 1500 per video and eliminated most of the worst-quality frames. The final selection was done by visual examination in VirtualDub, retaining only the best frames prior to registration and stacking. Two independent sets of frames were each stacked and sharpened to yield the “verification images”. Common features in these images can be considered as genuine markings on the surface of Mercury. A final, more critical selection of frames was made to yield the final image. Comparing the result with a suitably blurred Messenger image shows that the features are indeed real.

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