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Jupiter, the GRS, Callisto Animated


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During the early hours of September 9th, I set my telescope up for the Google hangout / Virtual Star Party event, where amateur astronomers around the globe can share their view of space with the internet.

This event is a regular occurrence, with PhD astronomers also joining in, providing their expertise, commentary and humor. Unfortunately the event was cancelled as most of the amateur astronomers had cloud cover.

Fortunately for me, clear skies prevailed.

Jupiter makes for an exceptional view in the night sky, but that morning I had the chance to photograph a rather special moment.

The Jovian moon Callisto was transiting Jupiter, casting a clear shadow over the cloud tops and as an extra treat, the Great Red Spot (GRS) was also facing towards Earth.

This video was produced by taking a 60 second capture roughly ('very' roughly) every five minutes. Each video was then processed and stacked in Registax and sharpened in Photoshop. These images are then "played" forwards and backwards in this video. From this you get the motion of Jupiter's rotation, and the transit of Callisto.

I hope to make a much longer video of Jupiter's rotation, as the planets ten hour day means you can see almost all of the surface, but currently it is barely over the rooftops by 4am, I'd need a much earlier start to capture more footage.

The following is the technical spec of the equipment used to capture this video.

Hardware:

Meade LX90 8" SCT (Focal Length 2032mm, f/10)

Eq Wedge, Drift Aligned, No Guiding

Meade 3x Shorty Barlow

ZWO ASI120mc (10ms Shutter, Gain 100, Gamma 50, ROI 448x448, FPS 100)

Processing:

PIPP: Centering, Quality Ordering, GRGB Debayer

Registax: Alignment, Limiting (Best 80%), Stacking, RGB Balance, RGB Align

Photoshop:Sharpening, Saturation, Curves, Enhancement of Callisto

Conditions:

Clear, High Humidity, 10c, Suburban Light Pollution, Infrequent Gusts around 7mph

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