Photographing Mars

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Ziggi, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Ziggi

    Ziggi Guest

    Hi. I wanna try to take some photos of Mars this w/e using a 12in refractor
    (which has a drive) with my Nikon F65. Firstly, what kind of mount do i
    need to mate the camera to the telescope? Secondly, what exposure +
    aperture do you recommend? Thanks in advance.

    Ziggi, Aug 28, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Ziggi

    PR Guest

    12'' refractor - that's some piece of kit!!


    uk.sci.astronomy - number of people in there photographing Mars
    PR, Aug 28, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. I think he's trying to prove the existance of Spiders.
    Martin Francis, Aug 29, 2003
  4. You should try to get a T2 mount to Nikon mount converter. Adaptors
    from standard eyepiece mounts (usually a push-in mount only) to T2
    thread are widely available.

    There are some magazines about star watching. You might also consult
    your local star watchers association - there are quite a few of them.

    Winfried Buechsenschuetz, Aug 29, 2003
  5. Ziggi

    Lionel Guest

    Word has it that on Thu, 28 Aug 2003 23:01:30 +0000 (UTC), in this
    Hm, I wonder if Mr Stardust has an email address. I'm sure he'd be able
    to provide a definitive answer to that question.
    Lionel, Aug 29, 2003
  6. Ziggi

    Ziggi Guest

    It's the Northumberland Telescope in Cambridge.

    Ziggi, Aug 29, 2003
  7. Ziggi

    Ziggi Guest

    what are you talking about? if you have nothing helpful/contrustive to say,
    please do not respond.

    Ziggi, Aug 29, 2003
  8. Okay. The typical method involves a Nikon -> T2 mount, which are very widely
    available (at least in the UK). I'm sure others can help further with the
    details of the attachment, as I personally have only ever held a camera body
    up to an eyepiece (short, daylight exposure through a spotting scope) and
    never actually physically combined the two. It is worth considering how you
    will meter with the F65 and a telescope, however, as the body only meters
    with AF-type Nikon lenses. With a body that doesn't require contacts in the
    lens mount to calculate exposure it's very easy.

    Oh, and if you cannot spot the humour in a Mars-related question asked by a
    person named Ziggi in a world where David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust has asked a
    certain Mars-related question for over a quarter of a century, then I
    suggest you lighten up somewhat.
    Martin Francis, Aug 30, 2003
  9. Well, just be careful you don't get any Chocolate on the lens
    Tony Parkinson, Aug 30, 2003
  10. Ziggi

    Bob Ashby Guest

    A 12" refractor is major piece of hardware. There are a couple of
    questions that need to be answered I think. What kind or size barrel
    eyepiece does this scope accept. 1.25, 2" or something else. You can order
    number of adapters depending on the type of eyepiece used. A "T" adapter
    will be your first requirement, beyond that it is a function of eyepiece
    size. The two most common methods of connecting a 35mm camera to a
    telescope is eyepiece projection and prime focus. The projection method
    requires a device that hold a eyepiece and is then connection in place of
    your lens. The size eyepiece will determine the amount of magnification.
    Choosing the best eyepiece will depend on a number of variables, scope,
    atmosphere... Prime focus just requires you to attach the camera to the
    back of the telescope and shoot what you get. Astrophotography is a very
    rewarding avocation, but it take time to get it right. You may want to look
    up a astronomy club in your area to get some pointers. I have a 7" APO
    refractor and the view is great, I can only imagine the view using a 12"

    Good luck

    Walk in peace, for they shall know us only by the tracks we leave
    Bob Ashby

    A Wolf's Creed:
    Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack.
    Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between.
    Share your affections. Voice your feelings.
    Leave your mark.
    Bob Ashby, Sep 1, 2003
  11. I dug out my old 4" reflector but didn't get a great view, just a
    yellow/orange disc with a few brighter bits.
    John Halliwell, Sep 2, 2003
  12. While generally a larger aperture is a good thing in astronomy it is
    irrelevent (within limits) to the magnification of object. You need high
    power to see Mars well, not a bigger aperture. A simple refractor will
    likely do a better job since this is what they are designed for.

    Dale DePriest, Sep 2, 2003
  13. I was running 45x (with & without a 2x Barlow) and 225x on its own
    (couldn't keep 225x + 2x Barlow lined up). The problem was more one of
    definition really (given the very simple optics I'm not surprised).

    In the past I've had some success with a tripod mounted pair of 15-80 x
    70 binos on Jupiter upto about 60x (beyond that the definition drops off
    John Halliwell, Sep 2, 2003
  14. I've spent a good bit of the last week learning how to observe Mars
    using a 4.5" reflector in a Dobsonian mount.

    My telescope has a 1200mm focal length and I'm using a 6.8mm eyepiece
    in the focuser, or about a 175x magnification. The 4.5" aperture is
    more than enough to get suitable brightness, a bigger aperture would
    just allow a brighter image.

    175x magnification allows adequate image size get a decent sized disc
    to view, with a bit of work and study. I don't have a clock drive so
    much more magnification and Mars would move too quickly to see anything
    significant, plus atmospheric movement would likely obscure it too
    much. As it is, I wait until Mars is well up over 20-25 degrees of
    elevation as haze and light pollution degrade the observations.

    At this magnification, it takes about 30-40 seconds for Mars to
    traverse my field of view. I focus carefully, then set the planet to
    the edge of the field of view. I then cup the eyepiece and allow it to
    progress across the field. I can see the polar cap, features in the
    atmosphere at the limb, some of the basins and markings in the
    equatorial region. Red, yellow and blue filters allow you to see
    different features.

    The best amateur photography I've seen was done with a Philips ToUCam
    webcam with about a 4mm lens fitted on a similar telescope. The images
    were created by doing a continuous capture at about 1/30 second and
    then layering them and enhancing the result over about 25 seconds time.
    Due to the short lens, the magnification was up around 250x, likely the
    practical limit for such ground-based telescopes. The results are
    really amazingly good, presented as short videos where you can see the
    features of the planet quite clearly.

    Godfrey DiGiorgi, Sep 3, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.