Postcard from the Universe – Jupiter and Moons

A nice image of Jupiter with the moons (left to right) Europa, Ganymede and Io. Taken early Sunday morning from Hale Pohaku. Conditions were quite nice, both for photography and simply observing by eyeball through the telescopes set up.

The telescope used is not mine, but belongs to fellow club member, Maureen. We had just collimated the ‘scope, aligning the optics for optimum performance. I wondered just how good the performance might be. The answer? Pretty good!

I used the Canon 60D to shoot the video. The ‘scope was a Celestron 9.25″SCT operating at f/10. The camera has a 640×420 cropped video mode that is ideal for this sort of use. Shooting at 60fps it generates very high quality video.

The frame is a stack of 900 frames selected from well over 1500 frames in the source video. The result is quite pleasing, particularly the moons. Three of the four large Jovian moons are visible. They appear as disks, with the larger Ganymede notably bigger than the smaller Io. The disk of Jupiter shows good color and cloud formations. Overall the result is excellent and shows the promise of using the DSLR to shoot planetary video. I will be experimenting with this method and expect even better results in the future.

Jupiter and the moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (left-right)