The next planet after Mars is Jupiter. It is the largest planet in the solar system and will be the subject of my next research. With its coloured bands and the bright Galilean moons it is an attractive object in the skies. Adjacent image was taken on 23 July 2018 on a warm summer night and at an altitude of only 11 degrees, causing it to be slightly blurred.
Still learning a lot about planetary imaging, and a long way to go. On 22 July 2019 I imaged Jupiter, but again with poor seeing. Reason was that I had just swapped my C11 XLT for a C11 EdgeHD and had acquired a ZWO ASI290MC with a ZWO ADC (Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector). Wanting to test this trio made me decide to image Jupiter despite the conditions. In the meanwhile I had learned that exposure time should be kept as short as possible (10ms in this case), while the stack length should be as large as possible.
On 24 July seeing was reasonable, but sadly enough it came with a thin cloud cover. As I wanted to experiment with various settings in recording and processing, I took images of Jupiter despite the conditions.
Image taken with C11 EdgeHD, no PowerMate, ZWO ASI290MC. Video of 11000 frames of which 1100 were stacked.
After the previous Jupiter image I decided to install a 2x PowerMate. Sadly enough the cloud cover increased, consuming most of the light (although visual still attractive through the SkyWatcher Esprit. This image was made using only 550 frames, so still need to increase the camera output.
Image taken with C11 EdgeHD, 2x PowerMate, ZWO ASI290MC. Video of 5500 frames, 550 stacked.
On 25 June 2019 seeing finally became quite good. A total of 108Gb of data was collected during twelve recordings over a period of 1 hour, 3 minutes and 57 seconds using the C11 EdgeHD, ZWO ASI290MC, ZWO ADC, and Televue 2x PowerMate. Capturing was done using FireCapture, while processing was done in AutoStakkert and PaintShop pro. The twelve recordings were processed to become 12 jpeg files, which were then combined using an online gif-animation maker.
On 29 June 2019 I imaged Jupiter again. This evening Io and Ganymedes were close to the planet and could be captured in the same frame. Io is the moon at the top, Ganymedes at the bottom. The time-lapse consists of 5 frames spanning 36 minutes and 12 seconds. A total of 65Gb of data was collected with the C11 EdgeHD, 2x PowerMate, ZWO ASI290MC and ZWO ADC.
If I checked out well in Stellarium, Saturn and Jupiter can be captured on one plate for three days this year (20, 21, and 22 December 2020) with the combination of C11 with ZWO ASI174MM (the image was captured without Barlow, but with ADC). Tonight (20 December) was the first chance, the two others opportunities will follow for the next two days. The circumstances were far from ideal: a lot of clouds, but fortunately also a few holes, and the planets at low altitude. Saturn was at an altitude of 11░ 13′, Jupiter at 11░ 04′. Their separation was roughly 9.5'.
Instead of using my usual 4 x 120s script, I set FireCapture up to make 30 second SER movies on demand. Then in between clouds (between 4:05 PM to 4:15 PM UTC) various recordings were made in LRGB, constantly manually adjusting the exposure to adjust for the thin cloud cover. In this way, several videos were recorded per filter, the majority of which had to be stopped well before the 30-seconds limit. The remaining movies, usually with no more than a few thousand frames, were subsequently stacked and the best chosen for further processing.
In the end the RGB stacks were combined into a colour plate and the L-stack used as luminance. Finally in PSP the colours were corrected and the brightness increased. The whole image was constantly processed as a whole to maintain the difference in brightness between Saturn and Jupiter. Jupiter also shows the moons Ganymede (left) and Europe. Io was in front of Jupiter at the time of the image, its shadow is just visible.
Click here for the full image.
If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.
InFINNity Deck... Astrophotography... Astro-Software... Astro Reach-out... Equipment...
Deep Sky... Solar system (Main)... Solar System (Meteors)... Solar System (Comets)...
Sun Moon Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Venus