Friday, June 26, 2015

planetary conjunctions: moon, venus, and late jupiter...saturn

After sunset on 6/21/15 there was a scenic arrangement of the crescent moon, venus, and jupiter--and it was clear (which has been problem here in June).  Though too wide to be captured in a telescope, I decided to turn my new mono planetary camera on the subjects. 

venus gave her usual inscrutable crescent:

Though very low in the sky I was able to get some detail on jupiter and lucky enough to catch the great red spot:

and the moon...well it's really big.  the widest field my planetary rig could manage was just a small section of the terminator:

a bit later i took crack at saturn:

while the moon has now wandered off, jupiter and venus will continue to close until tues 6/30/15 when they will be .3 degrees apart, and can be caught together in a medium power telescope field. 

Processing notes:
One of the problems with imaging jupiter with a mono camera is that it rotates so rapidly that the surface details move between red, green and blue filter images.  Here are the rotating originals:

I used a software program called WinJupos to "derotate" the images for the RGB combine:

nexstar 8 GPS (8" SCT on alt azm mount)
zwo RGB filters stacked in autostakkert, Drizzle 3x
wavelets in registax6 derotated and compbined in winJupos

red channel only was used for venus and the moon as it's less subject to atmospheric distortion due to poor seeing

RL deconvolution in maxim DL and finally reduced to 2x scale
except moon drizzle to 1.5x.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Saturn's out

prime viewing time for saturn
unfortunately i've been clouded out almost every night since Saturn's transit.

Here it is on the evening of 6/1

If you look closely you can see faint moons Tethys above and Dione below.

Also, if you look west after sunset later this week you should see a nice you should see a nice pairing of bright Venus and Jupiter along with the crescent moon.

interestingly, a year to the day from the first saturn of last season.

Imaging details:
nexstar 8 GPS (8" SCT on alt azm mount)
ZWO ASI120MM-S Camera
captured with firecapture @ 76 fps (exposure limited at 40% histogram with gain 82)
1 minute exposure for each color, zwo RGB filters
stacked in autostakkert, Drizzle 3x
sharpened in registax 6
RGB combine in maxim DL then RL deconvolution
downsized to 2x
6/2/15 fair seeing

~ (UT)=080100 (1 AM local 50 minutes past transit)