LtE in CMO #247,248,249


@. . . . . . Thank you for including some of my images on your excellent CMO website. I recently received a forwarded message from Barry Adcock in which you have asked about some of my details. I am happy to provide them.


 I observe from Viewbank, a suburb of Melbourne, here in Victoria, AUSTRALIA.


 My location is very close to Barry Adcocks home, the co-ordinates are approximately S 37d 44m 2s lat. and 145d 5m 45s long. Altitude about 47 metres.


I currently use a 15cm f/11 refractor with a TeleVue 5x 'Powermate' at my home observatory for my imaging purposes, together with a 'cookbook' style TC245 based CCD camera. Generally I take filtered images through a BVRI set made for me by Steve Lee from the Anglo Australian Observatory. For processing I use the Berry/Burnell unsharp masking and Van Cittert deconvolution routines in AIP4WIN, together with final touch-ups in Photoshop.


 I have attached a four image set from the 4th July; covering the time period from 9:14 UT to 12:4 5UT, and showing the dust cloud movement over the p limb.


Also, I have attached a more recent version of my image from the 26th June -I believe the one you have on your web page is the initial draft which contained some errors - I had very little sleep over that two day period.


For now, I wait for the sky to clear, in the hope of imaging again soon.

 (7 July 2001 email)


@ . . . . . . . . . . . Thank you for your reply. I would be glad to send you my images as they come to hand. Yes, Mars is currently very close to the zenith, and so is very favourable for observations from here - the only thing against me at the moment is the weather! Who shall I send my images to? Is your e-mail address OK? 

 (9 July 2001 email)


@. . . . . . Thank you for including my images of the 13th July on your CMO website.


Barry Adcock has asked that I forward  my images to you through him - he is the solar system section Director of the Astronomical society of Victoria -and I am happy to oblige. I hope that this is OK with you too.


Recently, I have read with interest your CMO#10 Director's report. You make mention of a number of image processing methods, and to some degree make comment on their relative merits. I thought that I would seek your guidance in this matter.


I personally have approached the processing of my Mars image data with the following strategy in mind:


I feel that because of the enormous flexibility that CCD imaging can provide, we are not bound by what merely appears visually through the eyepiece those subtle colour differences that we cannot pick up visually can be accentuated by appropriate image processing, which can, in turn, lead us to a better understanding of the dynamics of the weather patterns which we are witnessing. This is what I have attempted to do in my images.


I do not favour LRGB processing, nor do I favour synthesized layer processing. Since June, I have produced purely RVB (as RGB) images - all IR blocked.


What I have done though, is to accentuate certain colour components so as to enhance the perception of the data present. Should I also include an image balanced in such a way as to mimic what I see visually in my telescope with my composites? As an example, please see the attached image from the 9th July. The image on the left is balanced to simulate my eyepiece view.

  The image on the right has been processed by harder unsharp masking and by biasing the gamma scaling of the BV & R channels to enhance the differences between image components. Note that the processing of the individual raw image channel data for both is exactly the same. It is in the assembly of the colour composite where there is a difference.

  Dust is obvious in both images; but the one on the right I think shows more clearly a variation in intensity of the dust distribution. See particularly the more prominent line extending from around Thaumasia to Aonius Sinus. M. Erythraeum is more obvious in the rightmost image, but is relatively undefined. There appears to be a more intense dust area running S to N through it.

 In your opinion, should I alter my strategy? Am I approaching the task inappropriately?  Are you aware of the strategies employed by other imagers; and are mine similar to those?


 I look forward to your comments.

Kind regards 

 (20 July 2001 email)


@ . . . . . . . I looked at your CMO web page today and noticed that my image from the 24th does not appear. I am wondering if you have received the attached information which I sent to Barry Adcock?  Subtle, yet interesting dust patterns show. Regards

(28 July 2001 email)

 Maurice VALIMBERTI (Viewbank, Victoria, Australia )

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