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Jupiter with all 4 moons, plus Saturn

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Hi guys

So i finally got around to processing my last sessions data, the 2 targets being: Jupiter together with 3 of the Galilean moons; and Saturn.

Equipment used was my C8, Canon 60D (unmodded), HEQ5 Pro, and a basic x2 barlow.

Ok so first up is old Jup.

I took this just before midnight on the night of May 14 from the UK. Jupiter was only at about 30 degress altitude so I wasn’t expecting much tbh, so I decided to go for a composite shot if it with however many moons as I could nab, just for something different. The Jupiter image was meant to be shot at F20 using my x2 barlow, although I have now come to realise that it’s in fact acting more like an x3 barlow as the image ended up yielding an F-ratio of F30! I took one big 15 min long video using the 60D’s movie crop mode, but I used Magic Lantern at 45 fps to record Raw video instead of using the usual compressed .mov file (which would have been at 60 fps). I’m still unsure if this actually helped any though! I had to convert the .MLV file to .DNG files first, then run a batch conversion overnight through Photoshop to convert the many, many thousands of images (!) to .TIFF files. I then separated these out into 1 min long batches and ran each one through Autostakkert (using best 30%). I analysed each stack and discarded the ones with the worst seeing, which left me with 9 useable stacked images (~ 7,300 frames). I then ran these through WinJupos to de-rotate them, before applying further sharpening in Registax and then finishing off in Photoshop. Oh also, I wasn’t expecting to capture Callisto at all, I didn’t even know it was there until I started processing the videos so it was a total bonus J For the moons shot, I removed the barlow and shot them at F10 at a much higher ISO (can’t remember exactly, 1600 or 3200), using a single 2 min video which I then stacked and sharpened as usual. I made sure when shooting the moons, that half of Jupiter was just in shot, so that when it came to merging the two images together in Photoshop it would make things much easier to line them up (and it did!). I did a quick eyeball check with Stellarium and  the positions look pretty close, so I’m quite pleased with how it turned out in the end.

The order of the moons is: Callisto, Io, Europa, and Ganymede.


Jupiter with 4 Galilean Moons.jpg

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My next target was the moon, and my plan was to do a mosaic using the standard movie crop mode of the 60D. Unfortunately I got half-way through before the darn thing disappeared behind my neighbour’s house so I never got to finish it (raging!). So by this time it was late (correction: Very late!) and then I noticed Saturn was in view so I decided to try and capture it instead (I’d never actually even seen it through my scope before so this was super exciting!).

This image was captured at 02:45 and Saturn was only about 14 degrees high at the time :/ I used the standard movie crop mode and recorded a 4:30 min long video (~16000 frames).

I can say, without doubt, that this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to process! The low altitude (and over a neighbour’s house) made it a real pain to try and tease out any  proper detail. In the end, I also ran it through WinJupos (which made a massive difference) before then stacking as normal (best 20%) and then the usual R6 and PS tweaks. In the end I’m happy enough with it, although I did have to resize it down by about 30% to make up for the fact it was over-sampled.

May your skies be clear!


Saturn v3.jpg

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