Photographing Mars

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kulvinder Singh Matharu, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    very bright and close at the moment).

    Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    recommend.

    I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.

    Any tips? Thanks.

    --
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/

    "It ain't Coca Cola, it's rice" - The Clash
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu, Aug 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Charlie D Guest

    In article <>,
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu <> wrote:

    > I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    > very bright and close at the moment).
    >
    > Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    > recommend.
    >
    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    > I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.


    Here's an example of what a guy got with 15,000mm focal length
    <http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1008&message=5675818>

    --
    Charlie Dilks
    Newark, DE USA
    Charlie D, Aug 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    If you intend to photograph Mars as anything but a red dot in the black
    sky, you are going to need a telescope. 400 mm isn't even enough to
    adequately photograph the moon. I don't remember what size scope I was on
    the one time I saw any detail on the surface of Mars but I'm pretty sure it
    was 8 or more inches - and probably a 12 inch reflector. A 6 inch reflector
    will give a decent view of Jupiter but it would still be awfully small for
    photography.
    My information is pretty old as I haven't done much planet gazing since
    the 60s but if you were to pick up a copy of Sky and Telescope or one of the
    other astronomy magazines, I would assume you'll find all the details you
    need for photographing Mars this month.
    I should point out that 'very big and very bright' in astronomical terms
    does not mean a whole lot in photographic terms usually.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    "Kulvinder Singh Matharu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    > very bright and close at the moment).
    >
    > Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    > recommend.
    >
    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    > I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.
    >
    > Any tips? Thanks.
    >
    > --
    > Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    > Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    > Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/
    >
    > "It ain't Coca Cola, it's rice" - The Clash
    Tony Spadaro, Aug 5, 2003
    #3
  4. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Bob O`Bob Guest

    Kulvinder Singh Matharu wrote:
    >
    > I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    > very bright and close at the moment).



    Well ... yeah -- it is.
    In a few days, it'll be closer than at any time in the last 60,000 years.

    But it'll do it again in another 280 or so.

    I'm not waitin'


    Bob
    Bob O`Bob, Aug 5, 2003
    #4
  5. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Kulvinder Singh Matharu wrote:

    > I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    > very bright and close at the moment).
    >
    > Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    > recommend.
    >
    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    > I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.
    >
    > Any tips? Thanks.
    >


    A nice 12" would be feasible, but I rather suspect that getting one
    about now will prove a challenge.
    Ron Hunter, Aug 5, 2003
    #5
  6. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Kulvinder Singh Matharu <> writes:
    > Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    > recommend.
    >
    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    > I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.
    >
    > Any tips? Thanks.


    Try sci.astro.amateur.
    Paul Rubin, Aug 5, 2003
    #6
  7. On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 14:15:04 -0500, Ron Hunter <>
    wrote:

    [snip]
    >A nice 12" would be feasible, but I rather suspect that getting one
    >about now will prove a challenge.


    Thanks to all. Found a good page at the Jodrell Bank site...

    http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/nightsky.html

    Turns out that a friend of a friend has a telescope so I'm about to
    enter into negotiations!

    --
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/

    "It ain't Coca Cola, it's rice" - The Clash
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu, Aug 5, 2003
    #7
  8. Kulvinder Singh Matharu wrote:

    > I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    > very bright and close at the moment).
    >
    > Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    > recommend.
    >
    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    > I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.
    >
    > Any tips? Thanks.
    >
    > --
    > Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    > Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    > Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/


    To photograph distance planets you need a long
    focal length. Mars will be only about 25 arc-seconds
    in apparent size, so you need a large aperture telescope
    so that it has a small diffraction spot size, and
    a long focal length to spread the detail across
    your pixels.

    The 10D has about 7-micron pixel spacing, so at
    700 mm focal length you would get:
    arctan(0.007/700) = 0.00057 deg = 2.1 arc-seconds per
    pixel. So on the 10D that gives about 12 pixels.
    You really need at least 4 pixels per diffraction
    spot size (because of the RGBG pixels).
    On a 10-inch telescope the diffraction spot size is
    about 0.5 arc-second, so 0.1 arc-second per pixel
    is needed. This is 21 times longer focal length
    than 700mm = 14700 mm. On a 10-inch telescope
    that is f/58! Next: you need a really stable
    atmosphere or turbulence will wipe you out.
    Also a very stable mount that tracks compensating
    for the Earth's rotation. The Earth rotates at a
    rate of 15 arc-seconds/time-second on the celestial
    equator. Focus will be
    critical too. Thus, it is very difficult.
    Anything above f/20 or so should be pretty good
    (5000 mm focal length).

    That said, the 10D is superb. If you can pull it
    together, take lots images trying for the most
    stable air (which may last only a fraction of a second
    every minute or so).

    Good luck.

    Roger Clark
    Photography, digital info, astrophotos:
    http://www.clarkvision.com
    Roger N. Clark, Aug 6, 2003
    #8
  9. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Luke Guest

    Kulvinder,

    From what I understand as far as the average consumer goes you will be able
    to do much better with film than with any normal digital camera.

    To get a good exposure you need very slow shutter speeds and you will
    generally end up with too much noise in a digital camera. Film doesn't
    really have the same problem, you can take very long exposures and still
    maintain dynamic range.

    CCD's used in astronomy are cryogenically cooled to reduce the dark current.

    For any consumer grade telescope if you want to take a photo which will
    revel detail on Mars one of the major limiting factors will be how still you
    can keep the telescope. You will need a very firm mount and don't go
    anywhere near it whilst you are taking the exposure.

    Good luck, it's a fascinating project, but don't expect miracles unless you
    can get hold of some top notch astronomy kit.

    Luke
    Luke, Aug 6, 2003
    #9
  10. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    DL Guest

    See
    http://www.szykman.com/Astro/AstroDigiCamFAQ.html
    which is the FAQ from the digital_astro
    yahoo group.

    You definitely need a telescope. The size you need is another matter, but let's
    just say that size isn't everything ;-)

    Here's what I'm doing with my 4" refractor:

    http://home.houston.rr.com/dtlocke/Mars-2003.htm
    -Dick


    On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 18:50:51 +0100, Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    <> wrote:

    >I've got a Canon 10D, and am considering photographing Mars (it's
    >very bright and close at the moment).
    >
    >Is it worth while hiring a telescope? and which one would you
    >recommend.
    >
    >I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is inadequate and that
    >I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.
    >
    >Any tips? Thanks.
    DL, Aug 6, 2003
    #10
  11. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    DL Guest

    On Wed, 6 Aug 2003 00:08:49 +0000 (UTC), "Luke" <> wrote:

    The mount is indeed very important. However, digital cameras have far surpassed
    film for lunar (moon) and planetary (e.g., Mars) work. For planetary, the
    technique is to take a lot of digital images in a short period of time, and then
    combine them. Film still rules for widefield stuff IMHO, though digital cameras
    are catching up.

    Strangely, cheaper digicams and webcams are better for planets than DSLR's as
    you don't get mirror vibration in the former, and you can capture a huge number
    of images in a short time with the latter.

    See also my other post on this topic.

    Dick

    >Kulvinder,
    >
    >From what I understand as far as the average consumer goes you will be able
    >to do much better with film than with any normal digital camera.
    >
    >To get a good exposure you need very slow shutter speeds and you will
    >generally end up with too much noise in a digital camera. Film doesn't
    >really have the same problem, you can take very long exposures and still
    >maintain dynamic range.
    >
    >CCD's used in astronomy are cryogenically cooled to reduce the dark current.
    >
    >For any consumer grade telescope if you want to take a photo which will
    >revel detail on Mars one of the major limiting factors will be how still you
    >can keep the telescope. You will need a very firm mount and don't go
    >anywhere near it whilst you are taking the exposure.
    >
    >Good luck, it's a fascinating project, but don't expect miracles unless you
    >can get hold of some top notch astronomy kit.
    >
    >Luke
    >
    DL, Aug 6, 2003
    #11
  12. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Luke Guest

    > For planetary, the
    > technique is to take a lot of digital images in a short period of time,

    and then
    > combine them. Film still rules for widefield stuff IMHO, though digital

    cameras
    > are catching up.
    >


    What do you use to adjust alignment in recombination? Or do you just stack
    and hope for the best?

    Luke
    Luke, Aug 6, 2003
    #12
  13. Roger N. Clark, Aug 6, 2003
    #13
  14. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Kulvinder Singh Matharu writes:

    > I have a 400mm zoom, but I gather that this is
    > inadequate and that I'll need to at least get a teleconvertor.


    Mars will be no larger than 25 arc-seconds across, which is about 1/1200
    the field of view of a 400 mm lens, and 1/60 the diameter of the full
    moon. You'll need more than a teleconverter.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
    Mxsmanic, Aug 6, 2003
    #14
  15. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Bob O`Bob writes:

    > In a few days, it'll be closer than at any time
    > in the last 60,000 years.


    But only very slightly closer. It will still not be clearly visible as
    a disc to the naked eye; it will just be a red point of light.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
    Mxsmanic, Aug 6, 2003
    #15
  16. On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 17:56:23 -0600, "Roger N. Clark"
    <> wrote:

    [snip]
    >That said, the 10D is superb. If you can pull it
    >together, take lots images trying for the most
    >stable air (which may last only a fraction of a second
    >every minute or so).


    Thanks very much for the advice!

    Took a hand-held photo of the Moon using my 28-135mm IS zoom lens a
    couple of months go...

    http://www.metalvortex.com/photo_art/moon/index.htm

    I rather like to think that it came out OK!

    --
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/

    "It ain't Coca Cola, it's rice" - The Clash
    Kulvinder Singh Matharu, Aug 6, 2003
    #16
  17. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Charlie D Guest

    Kulvinder Singh Matharu <> wrote:

    > Took a hand-held photo of the Moon using my 28-135mm IS zoom lens a
    > couple of months go...


    > http://www.metalvortex.com/photo_art/moon/index.htm


    > I rather like to think that it came out OK!


    I think so too. I like the clouds. We usually see "just the moon" shots.

    --
    Charlie Dilks
    Newark, DE USA
    Charlie D, Aug 6, 2003
    #17
  18. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Zol. Guest

    Love the composition of that shot - great! Zol.

    "Kulvinder Singh Matharu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 17:56:23 -0600, "Roger N. Clark"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > [snip]
    > >That said, the 10D is superb. If you can pull it
    > >together, take lots images trying for the most
    > >stable air (which may last only a fraction of a second
    > >every minute or so).

    >
    > Thanks very much for the advice!
    >
    > Took a hand-held photo of the Moon using my 28-135mm IS zoom lens a
    > couple of months go...
    >
    > http://www.metalvortex.com/photo_art/moon/index.htm
    >
    > I rather like to think that it came out OK!
    >
    > --
    > Kulvinder Singh Matharu
    > Contact details : http://www.metalvortex.com/form/index.htm
    > Website : http://www.metalvortex.com/
    >
    > "It ain't Coca Cola, it's rice" - The Clash
    Zol., Aug 6, 2003
    #18
  19. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Dr Bach Guest

    > Mars will be no larger than 25 arc-seconds across, which is about 1/1200
    > the field of view of a 400 mm lens, and 1/60 the diameter of the full
    > moon. You'll need more than a teleconverter.


    Here is where My Sony F-717 will be In the next few Days :
    http://www.mvas.org/archive/jbspo/jbpicnic.jpg

    At this scope It's a 12" reflector F-12 Made just for Planetary
    Observations and photography!
    http://www.mvas.org/archive/jbspo/12inch.jpg

    I'll post the results!
    Dr Bach, Aug 7, 2003
    #19
  20. Kulvinder Singh Matharu

    Lionel Guest

    On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 18:15:31 +0100, in
    <>, Kulvinder Singh
    Matharu <> said:

    >Took a hand-held photo of the Moon using my 28-135mm IS zoom lens a
    >couple of months go...
    >
    >http://www.metalvortex.com/photo_art/moon/index.htm
    >
    >I rather like to think that it came out OK!


    Nice!
    I'm very impressed. I'll have to try it myself with my 100-300mm 'L'
    lens.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    Lionel, Aug 7, 2003
    #20
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