DMK 31AF03.AS Used for 'Astronomy Picture of the Day'

Blogged by Jonathan Maron on December 6, 2007 and tagged with Sample Images, Mars, Sun.

We have just received a message from Francois Colas at IMCCE-Observatoire de Paris in France, telling us that one of our astronomy cameras - namely a DMK 31AF03.AS - has been used to capture an image, which appears on today's Astronomy Picture Of The Day (NASA):

The image was captured by Jean-Luc Dauvergne and Francois Colas, using a DMK 31AF03.AS mounted on the one meter telescope at Observatoire du Pic du Midi on the border of France and Spain in the Pyrenees.

The Astronomy Picture Of The Day web site explains the image as follows:

Very good telescopic views of Mars can be expected in the coming weeks as the Red Planet nears opposition on December 24th. Of course, opposition means opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky - an arrangement that occurs every 26 months for Mars. Because of Mars' more elliptical orbit, the actual date of closest approach to Earth will be December 18, when Mars will be within about 88 million kilometers of our fair planet. Situated in the constellation Gemini and rising after twilight, the bright, ruddy disk of Mars will reach nearly 16 arcseconds in diameter. In this already exceptional image taken on November 18, north is down and surface markings around the sprawling, dark, albedo feature Syrtis Major are remarkably clear. The image was recorded with a video camera and filters on a 1 meter telescope at Pic Du Midi, a mountain top observatory in the French Pyrenees. Taking advantage of the shorter travel distance near opposition, NASA launched the Phoenix lander to Mars in August, scheduled to arrive in May 2008.

It is an absolute honor to have an image captured by an astronomy cameras manufactured by The Imaging Source appear on Astronomy Picture Of The Day. Great thanks and appreciation go out to Jean-Luc Dauvergne and Francois Colas.