Category Planetary

Saturn Reprocessed

saturn3

I’ve really been missing doing astrophotography because of the poor weather this last month so I decided to reprocess an old shot I took about a month ago of Saturn. This time around I didn’t use the curves tool as much so the color isn’t modified. In exchange, I wasn’t able to bring out the contrast between the bands on the planet itself. I was, however, able to maintain some detail in the rings at the cost of just a little noise. I also didn’t flip the image this time in order to give a sort of “bottom up” view.

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Dance of the Planets

dance1

Subjects: Jupiter, Mercury, Venus
Technique: 1/6 seconds at 800 iso, f/5.6

During the next few days we have the chance to observed the “Dance of the Planets” in the early western sky. In this image, you can see three “stars”. The top left is Jupiter, the bottom is Venus, and the right is Mercury.

Tonight’s weather didn’t allow for any spectacular images, but I’m hoping that the next few nights may be clear. Tomorrow night, the planets may even be close enough to fit into the objective with my camera in prime focus with my telescope.

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Saturn

Saturn2_pr2

Subject: Saturn
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~1200 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

After hours of deep sky photography I decided to have a quick attempt at Saturn before going in for the night. I’m glad I did. At this point in the evening the corrector plate on my SCT had already begin to accumulate dew. That makes me wonder if I could have done¬†even better than this.

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Saturn

saturn18_proc2

Subject: Saturn
Telescope: Orion XT8i
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~800 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

When compared to my first attempt, this second attempt at Saturn shows the difference atmosphere seeing can make. Even with fewer frames, I was able to capture Cassini’s division as well as some of the bands on the planet.

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Saturn Early in the Evening

saturn

Subject: Saturn
Telescope: Orion XT8i
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~1000 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

Here is my first attempt at Saturn. This was taken a little after midnight when the planet had only risen about 15 degrees from the horizon. Due to its low angle, visibility was highly affected by atmospheric seeing. That is why it looks so blurry.

This was actually about my third time of ever even seeing Saturn through a telescope. There is something eerily breathtaking about Saturn that humbles me every time I see it.

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Second Try at Jupiter

jupiter2

Subject: Jupiter
Telescope: Orion XT8i
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~600 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

Here is a second try at Jupiter. After learning a few techniques for increasing resolution and normalizing the color, I had to try again. Unfortunately, the planet was turned so I could not see the great red spot.

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A First Attempt at Astrophotography

Jupiter_final

Subject: Jupiter and one Galilean moon
Telescope: Orion XT8i
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: ~1000 frames stacked with Registax and post-processed with Photoshop.

This was my first attempt at astrophotography. I was able to mitigate problems with atmospheric seeing by using my camera to take video and stacking the resulting frames. This was the result of about 1000 frames stacked and processed. I accidentally set my white balance to tungsten when taking the video so I had to play with the curves quite a bit in order to bring the color back out of the bands.

I was lucky enough to not only catch a glimpse of the great red spot, but also a moon. This tends to be very difficult in planetary astrophotography due to the brightness of planets...

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