Last night, as I was going to bed, I spotted Jupiter from my bedroom window. The weather has been poor recently and clear skies have been rare so I decided to get the telescope out to have a look. The viewing was really good; I was surprised at how clear the planet was despite the haze that had been around all day. I could clearly see the two main cloud bands either side of the equator, and the four Gallilean moons, Ganymeade, Io, Callista and Europa.
There was no sign of cloud in the sky, so I decided to have a go at imaging the planet too. I’ve only just started trying to photograph the planets through the telescope and it’s not a simple process. Recording the image is only the first step. There’s a lot of processing involved because the image is captured as a series of video frames – this helps to eliminate the effects of the Earth’s atmosphere. Each frame is then aligned and stacked to form the final image.
There are a lot of parameters in the software and I’m still coming to grips with them. Nevertheless, I’ve added my first attempt here . One detail on the picture that I didn’t see through the eyepiece is the red spot, although it appears as a faint dark blue blob at about 9 o’clock in this image. I’m not sure what caused the blue tinge. I suspect it’s something to do with the atmospherics as it appeared like this on the screen as I was capturing it.
Jupiter is between 400 and 576 million miles from Earth. My image doesn’t compare with the published photos in magazines or on the net, but I’m pleased with it as a first stab.