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By Cosmic Geoff
Some images of Jupiter including a transit by Europa's shadow. 127mm Maksutov, ASI224MC camera, captured with Sharpcap4, processed with Registax6. Because of a mistake with a newer laptop and software, I recorded the videos as thousands of .fits files and had to figure out a way of converting them to something usable (=use PIPP to output an .avi file).
The images have turned out much better than I expected - I noted the seeing as "not good". I have had worse results with my 8" SCT which seems to under-perform unless the seeing is really good.
Since coming back from hols late August I’ve enjoyed a few back garden planetary sessions on Jupiter & Saturn, due to work & weather though I seem to have missed the nights of best seeing, tonight’s views however have been my best yet.
Seeing was mostly steady and contrast seemed really good - not sure but think the proximity of the 95% moon may actually have been helping with this.
Saturn looked super with the Cassini division easily apparent around the rings and several cloud bands visible. The shadow of the rings on the planet & vice versa were crisp at the best moments of seeing. 3 moons, 1 always & 2 with averted vision. I fetched my 15 year old son out to look who immediately said “Oh wow there’s a stripe around the rings!”.
Jupiter showed many bands and more detail than I’ve yet seen. 2 pronounced dark areas on the upper edge of the Northern equatorial band and lots of swirls and texture in the bands visible at times. Using a UHC filter I was able to locate the GRS and thereafter able to discern it with the more natural colours rendered by the Baader Neodymium. Galilean moons clear with diffraction rings. 1 moon to the West and 3 East, 2 of them looking like a fairly close double star. I find the moons the best way to focus as the planet features come and go a bit with the seeing & if I’m not careful I end up twiddling the focuser all the time to no avail.
I started the session with a Baader Mk IV zoom but was soon scurrying off inside to fetch the 18mm & 10mm Baader Classic Orthos & 2.25 Barlow which I have found to be a super planetary setup combined with the Neodymium filter which just adds a bit of punch.
Best view was with the 18mm Barlowed to 8mm - 167x by a squeak over the 10mm at 150x. The Mak 127 was a great tool for the job tonight.
Will get back to those Messiers eventually…
Jupiter in the visible range Shooting date: 03.08.21; Capture time 01:21 - 01:22 UT + 3h Visible diameter 48.59 sec. arcs; Magnitude -2.83; Azimuth 191 °; Height 31 °; The illumination of the planet by the Sun is 99.9%; Distance from Earth is 606.926 million km; Telescope: Sky-Watcher 150 / 750PDS Camera: ZWO ASI462MC Accessories: Optolong UV / IR Cut Filter 1.25 " Barlow Lens Televue Powermate 3x Atmospheric dispersion corrector ZWO ADC Mount: Sky-Watcher Heq5 ProSynScan Roller 90 sec; Focal length: 3050mm 66 FPS Exposure: 15ms Gain: 250 (41%) Histogram: 63% Stacked 500 of 5999 frames De-rotation of 13 stacks out of 30 Treatment: PIPP, Autostackert 3, Registax 6, WinJupos, Photoshop
Here's the best of five 45 second videos taken Monday night with my brand new ASI533MC pro. 1200+ frames captured in ASICAP, stacked in AS!3 and tweaked in Registax. Seeing wasn't too good so I couldn't get it any sharper. I've since downloaded Sharpcap since it seems to have a lot more capture features than the ZWO offering. Time will tell. Also forgot to fit my IR cut filter (can you tell it's my first time with a CMOS camera?). Celestron C8 and 2Xbarlow.