Saturday, July 16, 2011

D7000 – The return of planet Jupiter!

As summer progresses, Saturn slowly wanes as a convenient observing target and Jupiter begins its rise to dominate the night skies along with my favorite constellation, Orion.

I happened to be awake at 4 this morning and was playing with Stellarium, a spectacular piece of software that shows you the night sky exactly as it looks in 3 dimensions. It said that Jupiter should be sitting brightly in the eastern sky, so I looked out my window and there it was.

Of course, that automatically leads to the use of my new D7000 to shoot the planet and the four Galilean moons. What the D7000 brings to the table is very high resolution, which of course translates to digital magnification.

I did not spend any real effort to get a good exposure, I just popped it onto my tripod and aimed it through the window (double glazed no less!) and focused using live view, which is extremely reliable. The 70-300VR was zoomed in fully and I forgot to switch VR off, which appears to have made no difference.

I used my new infrared remote, which works perfectly (Shoot brand, 2 for around 10 bucks.) I have the D7000 set in mUP mode on the remote dialog, so it takes two presses to get the shot. Once to raise the mirror. Wait until the vibrations have dampened. Then once more to release the shutter and drop the mirror.

The result was decent, although I severely overexposed the planet and got a lot of gunk that had to be removed. The moons, though, came out crystal clear. If tiny.

I used the Juplet to find where the moons should be and I think you will agree that I captured exactly what was there.

No comments: