We begin the journey back into high resolution planetary imaging! This is a much different challenge. I have done some planetary work in the past with mixed results. The most important variable is seeing. To really get the details you want the atmosphere has to be like the “glass ocean” or like the ocean that is completely calm with no waves. I don’t know if that ever happens! The guys who are expert with this actually live near large bodies of water. Maybe that’s not a coincidence. The other problem is that planets are usually low in the sky for us here in mid northern latittudes so at these altitudes, usually less than 60 degrees the atmosphere is more dense. So tonight we are going to be at the telescope in the TSH (short for Talavera Space Hut) and let’s see what happens! Certainly we have the equipment to do it. I understand most folks are using SCTs for this but RC optics should work great I would think. After all that’s what the Hubble is using! We also have a great permanent mount, high frame rate USB 3 camera so no excuses there!
This video demonstrates the equipment we will be using for planetary imaging: AT12RTC scope, Celestron Skyris 132M usb 3 camera, Moonlite stepper focuser and of course our trusty Paramount ME mount!
In this video segment, the telescope is turned on, initialized and we are waiting for Jupiter to come up over the mountains!
In this video some of the basic functions of the program Firecapture are demonstrated. Use of ROI (region of interest) is explained. Live video of Jupiter as we begin the session.As it is for deep space imaging, video also should be calibrated for dust but the ROI function can also help.
In this segment we point out some additional features found in the Firecapture program. The image details are somewhat improved as Jupiter climbs a little higher in the sky
In this final sequence we are capturing an R-G-B sequence of Jupiter