View Full Version : Did my naked camera capture Mars features?

2005-Nov-03, 01:15 PM
hi all,

i was looking for some people who might be able to verify these digital photos of mars i took this morning.

i went out last night to take some simple astrophotos of orion, mars, pleides, cassiopeia...the usual with just my digicam on a tripod. after i downloaded the pictures to my computer, i zoomed in all the way on the mars photo using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. To my surprise, i noticed dark features on the enlarged disk. i used the "mars from earth" view on http://www.marsbase.net/m/mars-from-earth.php to see if the features coincided with what i saw, and i think i can see the correlations.

i went back out to take some more photos of mars but didn't get near the clarity of the features as i did in the first one. i do know that i am getting features, though.

i'm attaching two pictures: a whitish one (mars10x.jpg) and a smaller more reddish one (mars1s.jpg). details of the settings i used are below. you will have to zoom in on the dots on your own computers. don't get me wrong, they are by no means impressive, but i thought it was impressive that my camera caught any details at all.

can someone tell me if the dark features in the whitish one do, in fact, show syrtis major planitia and naochis terra / terra meridiana?

the whitish one (mars10x.jpg): zoomed (3x optical 7x digital) 15 second exposure at F4.8 ISO50 settings at 3:57AM EDT, 11/03/05, with my Canon PowerShot A75 fixed on a tripod in exton, pa.

the reddish one (mars1s.jpg): zoomed (2x optical 7x digital) 1 second exposure at F4.8 on auto ISO setting at 4:37AM EDT, 11/03/05.


J. P. Morgan
2005-Nov-03, 05:47 PM
Sure looks like something there, but since you went 7x digital, I find it hard to figure how you got anything at all. Might just be artifacts from the digital zoom. The red image doesn't seem to want to come up.


The Bad Astronomer
2005-Nov-04, 03:53 AM
I would need to know more about the camera, but I strongly suspect that what you have there is Mars out of focus, and you're seeing defects in the camera (dust, etc). It's really hard to get digital cameras to focus on infinity when you're zooming, which is one of the reasons I think that's not a real feature. Plus, Mars is only 20 arcseconds across, and even with my telescope the other night, features were very hard to see. Sorry to say this, but I have to be honest.

2005-Nov-07, 07:18 AM
who knows?

2005-Nov-11, 04:24 AM
Hi, as with any digital image, the more you try (digitally) to pull information out of it, the more erroneous information you will get. This is a prime "tool" of flying saucer (UFO) and "Rod" photographers since digital photography began. Any time you digitally magnify INSTEAD of optically, you WILL end up with a UFO photo. Try it yourself on any bright star or planet. Zoom in using digital zoom instead of optical and see what you end up with compared to what you saw with your own eyes. I have some great "UFO" videos of sirius and jupiter and venus! Complete with dome and lower disc structure!!! Consumer digital is still far too error prone, primitive, and lacking deep resolution, for serious discovery or insight...even if you have a pro digital photo imager with 15-20 megapixels, it may take all your computing power to get full resolution from just one image...see-ya