My first shot of Mars in 2020 – a year and a half passed my previous shooting. The visibility conditions of Mars are gradually improving; now it can be observed quite high above the horizon closer to the morning. The angular size of Mars is currently small – about 11 seconds of the arc, but by mid-October 2020 it will be 2 times larger than now.

Mars, 2020/06/19, 03:59

Mars, 2020/06/19, 03:59

-Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope
long Barlow lens 2x
extender tube NPZ
ZWO ir-cut filter
ASI ZWO 183MC camera (100 fps).
Stacking 1000 frames from 11908 with Autostakkert.
Location: Russia, Anapa, backyard.

Also, at the end of the capturing, I managed to visually test the Celestron Mars filter with Meade HD-60 6.5 mm eyepiece. When using this filter, the planet’s color changed to pinkish, however, the visibility of the darkening on the disk of Mars significantly improved.

The O-III light filter (read as “o-three”) is an astronomical accessory designed to improve the visibility of gas nebulae, namely planetary nebulae, supernova remnants and regions of active star formation. The O-III filter passes the green region of the spectrum around the doublet of the spectral lines of doubly ionized oxygen O2+ (or O III), highlighting these lines (495.9 and 500.7 nm) against a darker background of the rest of outer space. Perhaps this is one of the most useful filters for visual observation of nebulae.

Explore Scientific O-III 1.25

Explore Scientific O-III 1.25″

The filter comes in a colored cardboard box with a magnetic lock. Inside the box there is a filter in a plastic box and a bag, sealing material, as well as a filter bandwidth graph.
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Venus visibility conditions are getting better every day. The brightness of the planet is so high that under favorable conditions it can be found with the naked eye during the day. The angular size at the time of the capturing was 16.72 “, the angular distance from the Sun was 42 degrees. It is interesting that the distance from the Earth to Venus was exactly 1 astronomical unit (150,000,000 km).

Venus in false color, February 14, 2020.

Venus in false color, February 14, 2020.

-telescope Celestron NexStar 8 SE
-NPZ Barlow lens 2x cell
-camera QHY5III178m
-filter Meade green CCD (red channel)
ZWB2 + NPZ SZS-22 filter stack (blue channel)
Stacking 1500 frames with Autostakkert, wavelets with Registax 6.
Location: Russia, Anapa, backyard

Details of Venus’s cloud cover are best obtained when shooting with a light filter that transmits only ultraviolet light. There are special filters for shooting Venus (for example, Baader U-Venus), but they are very expensive. As a budget solution, I decided to use a bunch of ZWB2 filters with a diameter of 20.5 mm and a NPZ SZS-22 1.25″.

ZWB2 transmits ultraviolet radiation with a maximum at 365 nm. I bought it without a rim – an inexpensive 1.25″ filter perfectly fit as a housing. The disadvantage of the ZWB2 filter is that it also transmits infrared radiation, to which the camera is also sensitive. To reducing it, a second filter is used – the NPZ SZS-22.
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