Simcoe Skies Astronomy


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September 1/09
The Great Red Spot is visible just below the darkest band (and on the left).

Camera: ToUcam Pro II, NON-RAW mode (factory defaults)
Filters: IR filter
Settings: Lmeter: 107, 10fps (others not noted)
Frames: 1774
Magnification: Approx. 330 (5x televue, reduced to 33.3% of result)

Notes: Seeing was 5/5 but transparency was only average. Tracking issues due to scope not being properly balanced. Focus was "eyeballed", not via a nearby star due to transparency and tracking problems (esp. at this mangification). Would be better to use the 2.5x televue (more forgiving and easier to focus).

Jupiter - August 16/09

Jupiter + 3 moons

August 16/09
Left to right, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto. The Great Red Spot is barely discernable in the upper right quadrant of the planet. This image was taken through my Meade ETX-25PE!!

Camera: ToUcam Pro II, RAW mode
Filters: IR filter
Settings: a1 b50 gn37 ga52, r52b26 t1/50 10fps Lmeter:110
Frames: 365 of 1202
Magnification: Approx. 380x (f15; 1900mm FL; 5" aperture), exceeding the 50x per inch of aperture rule.
Notes: Seeing was 4/5; best shot of the evening, Jupiter was 2 nights after its opposition. Subsequent trials with a 2.5x TeleVue yielded inadequate results (950x = almost 4x the recommended maximum for this size aperture).

Solar elcipse on Jupiter

IO transit of June 30th/06.

Settings: a1 b51 gn33 gm0 r30b18 t1/25 10fps Lmeter:111 500frames of 1400
IR filter, 5x Televue, reduced to 1/2 size in Photoshop

June 17/06 image. Experimenting with noise reduction.
Settings: a1 b51 gn51 gm0 r34b22 t1/50 10fps Lmeter:113
400 frames of 2000, 5x Televue, reduced to half size in Photoshop

Jupiter with moon transit in stereoview (focus in front of image until you see 3 pictures, the center one will be 3-d)

Top image shows Great Red Spot, and transit of Europa (on right) with shadow (on left). Lower images were from May 29, and show a different view of the planet's clouds - and the best detail I've captured yet, with swirling cloud "festoons" and small round white spots of cyclonic activity. Note that the camera orientation for the bottom two images was rotated slightly.

Magnitude: -2.5
Location: varies - Libra at time of image (4.41AU away)
Date: May 27 and May 29/06
Magnification: 1000x, F/20 (using 5x Televue, IR filter), image reduced to 1/2 size in Photoshop
Camera settings, etc: move mouse over each image for details

Notes: My best shot yet of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot! Seeing was 4/5.



The largest planet in our solar system.

Magnitude: -2.5
Location: varies - Virgo at time of image
Date: Apr 9/05
Exposures: 195 (of a total of 800)
Exposure length: not recorded (short)
Amp on setting: n/a
Brightness: not recorded
Gain: not recorded
Sizing: x2 Barlow

Notes: First try at Jupiter - using a brightness reading (in K3CCDtools) of approximately 90. I was happy with this shot - although seeing conditions were about 5/10.

Jupiter sized x2

Details: April 9/05 data, 270 frames, resized in K3CCDtools

Notes: A 3X barlow might be in order when seeing conditions are better!

Jupiter animation

Jupiter Animation

Jupiter completes one rotation in just under 10 hours. Here is a sequence of captures that I took to show its movement.

Magnitude: -2.4
Location: varies - Virgo at time of image (4.48AU away)
Date: Apr 16-17/05
Exposures: 150 of 600 x 21 (a total of about 12000 frames)
Exposure length: 1/50 sec)
Amp on setting: n/a
Brightness: 60%
Gain: 10%
Gamma: 50%
K3CCDtools brightness level meter:110-115 at start (varied during capture)
Capture frame rate: 10fps
Sizing: x2 Barlow
Animation sequence: 60 second capture at 10fps, 4 minute total period (21 sequences for a total of 84 minutes before seeing conditions became intolerable)

Notes: Seeing was quite poor for this sequence. It was supposed to show the transit of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, but atmospheric conditions were pretty dicey. You can JUST make out the Great Red Spot coming into view (in the band below the equator) by the end frame.

Some of the seeing was so poor, it looked like Jupiter was at the bottom of a swimming pool with waves rolling over it. However, after investing almost an hour and a half imaging, I followed through with processing it.

Each 1-minute sequence of frames at 10fps was processed as a single image, taking the best 150 frames each. These were then adjusted with the "unsharp mask" of K3CCDtools, with settings of 3/0/600 to bring out the more subtle details. The result of each sequence was saved as a TIFF file with identical processing.

All the TIFF files were then brought into K3CCDtools together as a collection of input data files. They were course aligned and fine aligned, and the result frame size was set to 256x256. At that point they were summed each INDIVIDUALLY (i.e. - only one frame was summed from the group at a time). The single-frame result was saved as a BMP file, and this was done once for EACH single frame.

These frames were then brought into Photoshop and color corrected (the white balance was off in the original AVI), and the final phase was to turn the frames into an animated GIF file. I used Coffeecup GIF Animator and specified a 100ms frame rate.

As a first attempt at an animation, the results were satisfactory, but next time I'll ensure seeing conditions are better so that more detail can be drawn out (with a 3x barlow).

transit of Ganymede

Great Red Spot and shadow of Ganymede

These two images show the GRS and the shadow of Ganymede as it eclipses Jupiter.

Magnitude: -2.5
Location: varies - Libra at time of image (4.41AU away)
Date: May 3/06
Exposures: 150
Exposure length: 1/1000 sec)
Amp on setting: n/a
Brightness: 88%
Gain: 63%
Gamma: 52%
Framerate: 10fps
K3CCDtools brightness level meter:102
Sizing: x2 Barlow
Seeing: 2/5

Notes: Poor seeing conditions, possibly out-of-focus image (hard to tell with seeing). The shadow of Ganymede is visible in both these shots, as is the Great Red Spot and some planet rotation.

Great Red Spot revisited

An improvement over the previous shot.

Magnitude: -2.5
Location: varies - Libra at time of image (4.41AU away)
Date: May 8/06
Exposures: 470
Exposure length: 1/100 sec)
Framerate: 10fps
Amp on setting: n/a
Brightness: 65%
Gain: 67%
Gamma: 52%
Camera Color: R39,B16
K3CCDtools brightness level meter:107
Optical Magnification: 1000x, F/20 (using 5x Televue)
Sizing: image reduced to 1/2 size in Photoshop
Seeing: 4/5, but too close to horizon

Notes: A better view of the Great Red Spot. This was taken when Jupiter was a mere 18 degrees above the horizon, so I had to reduce the size to 50% in order to improve the quality of the image. "GRS Jr." can just be made out to the left below the GRS.

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