Jupiter and Io Transit Animation, 21st March 2009

On Sunday morning, I was able to capture my first Jupiter moon transit for the season, with the volcanic moon Io transiting the gas giant. I also took the opportunity to create my first Jupiter animation for the season, hopefully the first of many to come.

It was another busy morning (like Friday morning) with an ISS pass, a lovely crescent Moon and then of course Jupiter. Seeing was quite reasonable, and improved as Jupiter climbed out of the muck, reaching an altitude of about 39° literally 5 minutes before sunrise when I captured my last image. The sky was already blue and by this time I could only just see Jupiter naked eye.

The image below is the best from the session, taken 10 minutes before sunrise and shows Io just about to leave the disc of Jupiter. Oval BA is rising on the right.

Jupiter with Io Transit

Jupiter with Io Transit

Please read on to see the animation and to read more about the capture and processing.

I captured 8 frames to create an animation, and you can see the seeing improves as Jupiter gets higher in the sky over the 1 hour of capture time. The first frame shows Io’s shadow just leaving the disc.

Jupiter and Io Transit Animation. Click to play animation.

Jupiter and Io Transit Animation. Click to play animation.

I used my normal Planetary Imaging Equipment to capture the data. Each colour channel was recorded @ 30fps for 30 seconds, giving 1200 frames in each channel. Pre-processing was done using Ninox, and the best 340 frames from each channel was stacked and processed in Registax 5.

AstraImage was used for deconvolution and to combine the colour channels, before final processing in Photoshop CS2. I used Jasc Software Animation Shop 3 to create the animation.

I only recorded for 30 seconds each channel this time because Io moves so fast relative to the rotation rate of Jupiter. If I captured any longer, Io would’ve been a series of red, green and blue dots when I aligned the colour channels on the features of Jupiter.

After 2 mornings of capturing the Moon, the ISS and Jupiter, I’m suffering data backlog now, and still haven’t finished processing all of the Moon and ISS data. Hopefully I’ll find time to post those images in the next day or two.

UPDATE: Image of the ISS with Discovery Docked

Thanks for looking.

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