Mars imaged with the ST4
by Lorenzo Comolli
Thanks to Mauro Facchini for his great help in the digital elaborations.

After the first attempts made on the deep sky and the Sun (see the page), I understood that the only sectot in witch the ST4 could do a decent work is the planetary imaging, because of the little and bright objects. In this way I put in shadow the defects of the CCD: small field, high termal noise, absence of a mechanical shutter. But I cannot eliminate the low A/D range, only 8 bit, thing that I can exclude if I take a lot of images to be summed.

So I start to image Mars in the middle of 1999 opposition. The first images are of 1 and 14 may, when I was learning how to take good images, so the quality is not very hi. The other images (if the seeing is good) are more rich in details even if they are not equal to the images taken by experienced amatour astronomers with much more expensive instruments.

Click on the images

1 may '99
14 may '99
26 may '99
28 may '99
30 may '99
1 june '99
9 june '99
24 june '99
28 june '99

In each image there is a b/w enlarged image with all the name of the visible details. A big satisfaction was to image the clouds over the higher volcano of the Solar System: Olympus Mons.

The colors
The images has been elabotated with the LRGB tecnique to add the colors to the original images (that are in b/w). It's a sort of "true color palette" (even if they are not obtained with the tricromy tecnique). I used my images fot the light channel and some blurred images for the colors. The color images were taken from a software that show the visible disc of Mars as saw by the ALPO members in the last opposition. The freeware is avaiable to download in this page:

General picture
I then pick up all the image in a picture, for a better vision of the changes that happened during the 1999 opposition.

The original images taken with the CCD and also the sum of many frames, show only weak constrast or also no details. It's thanks to the unsharp mask tecnique that it's possible to increase the very little differences in the brightness of the images. Thanks to Mauro Facchini of the Cavezzo Observatory (MO, Italy) that helped me to learn the elaboration tecniques.

For every comment about images, or about my bad english:

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