LtE in CMO #273

From  Silvia KOWOLLIK

®. . . . . . Subject: Re: Mars Image and a new one...


Dear Masatsugu,


I was very surprised, when André asked me to forward this picture, because I am not really a Planetary Observer like him. Normally I work with public guiding on our Teleskopes on Swabian Observatory in Stuttgart. I just wanted to see, if I can "catch" Mars with my Webcam, because Mars is very close to horizon. But now I got the "Marsvirus" and I try to get as much pictures as possible. So I can document the growing of its scale and the melting of SPC...


I have several Problems:


- I must mount my Webcam each night new, so the orientation is not exactly the same on my pictures...

- If there are thin clouds or fog (not to see with naked eye), the colorjustage is not ok, and then the pictures are too yellow...

- It is very hard to put a "sharp" picture, because the original single pictures are very dark and I have to take about 600 pictures/min with my webcam and add them with Giotto to see a good quality result (adding takes about 10 min). And I only have a time window of about 60 min to take pictures, then if the sky is deep blue and I cannot take any more pictures... So I can try maximum 5x the right sharp point...


> Here in Japan our lands are all under a thick cloud belt because

> the rainy season has begun from around 9 June and continues up

> until the end of July.


We don’t have a rainy season, but during the last days we had some hard thunderstorms and 3!!! tornados and I went "blind" to the observatory in hope, that the sky will become clear. And I was lucky. Here is the next picture, taken on 16th June, 2:33 UT


Best regards

(16 June 2003 18:27:15 +0200)

®. . . . . .Dear Masatsugu,


> Thank you for your second image which I received this morning. You

> are very welcome to our CMO, and the second image is also nice. I

> shall soon send it to Murakami who is in charge of the CMO Mars

> Gallery to be uploaded within this morning.


I am very surprised/proud, that my pictures are welcome - this is the first time that I observe with a group... I will send as much pictures, as I can take...


> Sorry we are using our jargons, but lambda implies the Martian

> season counted by the areocentric longitude of the Sun (Ls), and

> omega does the longitude of the central meridian, while fai is the

> latitude of the central point (S implying that the tilt of the

> south pole tilts toward us). The delta denotes the apparent

> diameter, and iota does the phase angle which suggests how far the

> noon line is deviated from the central meridian.


> I think you can find a necessary ephemeris in



I think, I need some assistance for the next 1 or 2 pictures, and then I can do it alone... The picture was taken at 1:58 UT on Monday, 17th June. So:


lambda=204.65 LS

omega=299,27 deg ?

fai=20,98 deg S ?

delta=14,49 arcsec ?

iota=0,8815 ?


> I already made an access to the Web-Site of the Schwaebische

> Sternwarte, and it appeared to me as a good place to observe, and I

> am sure you will make rapid progress if you will continue.


I try to do it continuously, but it is hard to stand up 5 hours earlier than normal...


I take bitmaps with the programme "Giotto",


there I can take 600 Pictures each Minute with an exposure time of 1/25 sec. With good Seeing I take 1200 Pictures and stack them with "Giotto", then correct the blue and red channel (atmospheric refraction), then change contrast, sharpening, then correct color balance (depending on chip temperature/dust/thin clouds/moonlight...).


Stacking takes the longest Part - about 12 minutes with 1200 pictures, the rest is about 3 or 4 minutes "try and error", because not every function has a "wysiwyg"... but I got more and more experience, and so now I have some good "Housenumbers" for the filter functions...


"Registack", "Astrocap" and also "Astrostack" are not as good as I want: "Giotto" has more functions, works faster, and I knew the Guy, who programmed it... So I can tell him my wishes for the next version or tell him bugs...


Best regards


PS: May I ask you, are you male or female? I am female, the only active Webcam observer in Stuttgart...

(17 June 2003 09:59:46 +0200)


®. . . . . .Subject: Re: Mars Image and a new one...


Dear Masatsugu,


> I don't know about the so-called Mars Previewer, but though some use

> it, it looks no good. Ours depends on the Astronomical Almanac


ok, I will look for the Almanac...


> Next I should advise you that no details of decimals are necessary,

> because 0.5 of the season does not mean anything...


ok I understand...


> Another point: If the observable time becomes longer, you may

> produce a series of images one night. In that case, take images

> every 40 minutes, 


ok, I understood. I think, in 10 days I can start taking 2 pictures in a 40 minute span, then Mars will be higher over horizon, the observing time is longer and I can start earlier...


> ...In this way we can collect different day surfaces showing the

> same LCM (omega) to compare. Do you understand? 




Giotto is a free programme, but there is neither a German nor English helptext available. So I made a "small" helptext in German on my homepage,


but my (written) English is not good enough for a translation. Sorry.

(17 June 2003 13:51:03 +0200)


®. . . . . .Subject: Re: Mars Image and a new one...


Dear Masatsugu,


> (If you become accustomed, you may take every 20 minutes on a fixed

> time schedule as some others do. In that way, you can obtain two

> sets of series since zwei times 20 minutes =40 minutes.)


I think, that will be possible...


> I suppose you will be able start around 19:00 GMT at Stuttgart

> when Mars is nearly at opposition. The time 19:00 GMT implies

> here 4:00 o'clock in the morning here, and so it will be the time

> we shall end the observation.


That’s my situation now. 2:00 GMT is 4:00 o'clock here in the Morning and sky becomes blue...


Are there more observers from Germany? On your Website I found a lot of observer from USA and Italy...


> We shall put in our Favourite Links a linkage to your Web. Is it

> OK?


to my private site? thats ok. You may also put a link to the site of the Swabian observatory, where I take the pictures:


> I saw three cats + alfa in your web. My family consists also of

> three cats + three including me.


I love cats. They have their own head. They just do, what they want...


Tonight we had clouds, so I could not take a picture...


Best wishes

(18 June 2003 10:14:31 +0200)


®. . . . . .Subject: new Mars Image 21.6. 2:10 GMT


Dear Masatsugu,


between Clouds I could take this picture - not very sharp, Seeing was very bad... Are you also interested in such bad pictures?

(21 June 2003 08:53:47 +0200)


®. . . . . .Subject: Re: new Mars Image 21.6. 2:10 GMT


Dear Masatsugu,


> Thank you for your contribution. It's OK, maybe just be

> made slightly less dark.


I was lucky, to get the picture - it was in a very small "free" part of the sky - we had a lot of clouds. And I think, there were some very thin clouds, not seen by naked eye...


I will continue and hope on better weather conditions...

(21 Jun 2003 18:14:12 +0200)


®. . . . . .Subject: new Mars Image 22.6. 2:20 GMT


Dear Masatsugu,


> I thought the first one was too dark and the second too bright, and

> so I have just made another to show a light area of Hellas more

> explicit. Attached find please the one made by me and I hope you

> don't mind if I send this to CMO-Murakami to upload (who is in charge

> of the CMO Mars Gallery).


That’s ok.


Yesterday I could take a new picture of mars (at 2:20 GMT). Tonight however it was not possible...


lambda = 208 Ls

omega = 257 deg

fai = 21 deg S

delta = 15,2"

iota = 40


is this correct? I think, I understand it now...


Best regards

(23 June 2003 07:04:24 +0200)


Silvia KOWOLLIK (Stuttgart, Germany)  

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