My Best Jupiter This Year as the Seeing Finally Improves

Well it’s been a long time coming. Usually the seeing at my location is best between February and June, but this year it’s been horrible every day – I’ve been out trying to image Jupiter almost every clear morning for 2 months and have been increasingly discouraged at not having anything better than 5/10 seeing all year.

Well finally the good seeing has started to arrive with a high-pressure system overhead. On Saturday morning, 2nd May 2009 I had the best seeing I’ve had this year so far, as it peaked at 7/10 in my last imaging run of the session. Jupiter was at a nice high altitude of 67°, and was reasonably steady on the screen as I captured this image.

Jupiter, Oval BA and Europa's Shadow

Jupiter, Oval BA and Europa's Shadow

Oval BA still appears orange but does appear to be lighter than last year. The resolution still isn’t there yet to see any other structure within it. Europa’s shadow is visible on the Eastern limb.

Continue reading to see two other images from earlier in the session.

The morning was very dewey with no breeze overnight to keep it away. Temperatures dropped to a chilly but comfortable 9°C and Jupiter looked quite nice through the eyepiece as it rose in altitude.

Venus and Mars looked very nice in the early dawn glow. I really want to capture some images of them but I have a lot still to do with Jupiter this year so it’s going to be a tough decision when I decide to point the scope down near the horizon again!

Jupiter and Oval BA

Jupiter and Oval BA

The image above was the first image from the session when the seeing was still average. Oval BA can be seen crossing the CM.

I captured at 30fps in good transparency. Jupiter is getting bright enough now that I have to reduce the gain slightly (from 1024 (max) to 998) in the Green channel so as not to overexpose the EQ region. 

Approx 450 frames in each channel were aligned and stacked in Registax, followed by LR deconvolution in AstraImage and final colour/contrast touch-ups in Photoshop.

Europa's shadow right on the limb

Europa's shadow right on the limb

The image above was the second image and shows Europa’s shadow right on the limb as it starts its transit. Europa itself was just out of frame so couldn’t be included in this field of view.

While there’s still some way to go i’m happy that I’ve finally got a semi-decent image to add to the collection of blurry and soft images captured so far this year. Hopefully it’s the first of many to come over the next few months.

Thanks for looking.

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