Jupiter + Venus… + the Moon!

Ah yes, another good night for stargazing and astrophotography. Slightly hazy, often actually helps as it means the atmosphere is calm.

Without further ado I present my trophy pictures for the night. The first is of the lovely triangle formed by Venus (top), Jupiter (bottom left) and the Moon.

(click to full size)

Unfortunately because Venus is so far up, this is zoomed-out far enough that the moons of Jupiter are not visible. Still a really nice shot, I think, especially getting all three objects within the dynamic range of a single exposure.

Zooming then – and helpfully using auto-focus on the moon, often a good trick when the moon is up – got this image off of the Moon and Jupiter being nice and close. Again this is from a single exposure, I like seeing the disk of the moon, I also like that this image displays objects so disparate in brightness as two of Jupiter’s Galilean moons and the moon, whilst retaining details (craters on the day/night border) on the moon. This would be my favourite shot of this night, despite Venus not being in it.

(click to full size)

For those too lazy to zoom in fully, here’s tonight’s close-up of Jupiter, this time only two moons visible, grmpf, lol two moons are easily visible below Jupiter: Ganymede closest and Callisto further out, and as I was informed by Stellarium, the two tiny tiny specks just top left of Jupiter (!) are, in fact, the other two moons, Europa just a little to the left of Io. Intat amayzing? I think so!

I’ve got a set of around 40-odd photos, some may be good for stacking and making into a composite, ‘astro-HDR’-like image. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for that tonight. Also, tomorrow the moon should be close to Venus, so I’ll have another go at getting some nice shots – although Venus isn’t as interesting as Jupiter, having no moons and all that. But I will have a go at the remaining photos, watch this space! Until then, enjoy these :).

Jupiter + Venus

You live, you learn (by trying)

A few years back (Nov 2008), Venus and Jupiter were also in conjunction. Back then, I just had my DSLR for a few weeks, knew buggerall about exposures, used the wrong lens and no tripod, and so my photos came out utter shit:

Venus + Jupiter not really in focus and weak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jupiter, sharp nor clear, and no moons for sure

Later, I managed to get a decent shot of Jupiter plus its moons, however the quality (…lack thereof) of my telelens was not really up to scratch.

Not quite really in focus nor sharp, but for the record, Calisto is the moon to the left, and then to the right are Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

But now, I has learned! And I has a better telelens. So now, with another Jupiter + Venus conjunction, I managed to get this after just a few attempts – I could have optimised with a few dozen more photos with micro-adjustments in the manual focus but… meh.

This time, pretty good!

If you look close at this (click to open the full size), you will already see the four Galilean moons next to Jupiter (left). Zooming in a bit more, but as said, without much optimisation, this is what I got:

Not perfect but it will do! (from top left to bottom right the moons are Ganymede and Calisto further out and Io and Europa closer)

Wonders of the Solar System

The one thing that always fills me with wonder when seeing the four major moons of Jupiter, is to realise that one night, a few hundred years ago, Galileo was the first human to ever see this. To realise that I can replicate that, I can see what he saw (it works with a good set of binoculars, too), with just some stuff I bought for not a lot of money in a camera shop, is just… wow :).

Hope you like it too!