Dynamic Jupiter Near Opposition 2022

What’s that you say? Two years? Surely not!

Ok… let’s put it like this. Pandemics and life have a habit of getting in thew way of astronomy and imaging. But good news is – I’m back in the game. I’ve recently upgraded my CCD to an Atik 383L+ (okay, it’s old, bit it’s new to me, and a big upgrade in real-estate from the 314L), and I’m moving over to NINA for image capture, so watch this space…

In the meantime – here’s the King of the Solar System, Jupiter, near opposition on 16th September 2022. Captured when the Great Red Spot was conspicuously hiding around the other side of the planet, beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to clear nights currently, so I found the first Jovian event I could (a shadow transit of the moon Io), and went for that instead.

Jupiter With Io Shadow Transit – 16-09-2022

After a few false starts with the LX90 ACF (despite collimation I’m yet to get a usable planetary capture out of it… still not sure why!), I went back to the trusty F/6 8″ Sky-Watcher newt on the HEQ5, with the Revelation 2.5x Barlow (giving a focal length of 3000mm, or f15). I captured across the course of about an hour, and ended up with about 5 or six processed sequences. These consisted of 8000 frames with the ZWO ASI224MC planetary camera, with the best 40% of these stacked with AutoStakkert. Sharpening with wavelets in Registax 6, then some more tweaking with Photoshop CC 2022 (including upscaling) and Lightroom Classic 2022 finished the job.

I was pleased with the amount of detail for an 8″ newtonian, and think I’m reaching the limits of what I can grab via this particular scope (seeing aside of course – good seeing will always produce better results all other things being equal.

The sequence is shown below, and shows the progress of Io and its shadow across the face of Jupiter over the capture period (an hour…ish).

Jupiter Sequence showing Io Shadow Transit Over an Hour

Here are the details…

Capture and Processing Information

  • Object  – Jupiter
  • Magnitude – -2.9
  • Annular Size – 49.7 Arcsecs
  • Camera – ZWO ASI224MC
  • Exposure – 1ms frames @ approx 250fps
  • Stacking – 40% of 8,000 frames (3,200 frames)
  • Filters – Astronomik Luminance (IR/UV cut)
  • Telescope – Skywatcher Skyline 200p f/6 Newtonian Reflector @ f/15r
  • Mount  – Skywatcher HEQ5 with Rowan Belt Mod
  • Capture Software – Firecapture
  • Stacking – Autostakkert3
  • Post-Processing – Wavelets in Registax and final scaling and Processing in Photoshop CC 2022

Clear skies all!

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1 Response

  1. Emad says:

    Stunning. Well done..

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