Saturday, August 13, 2011

Perseids a bust, but Jupiter is in its glory …

The moon is incredibly bright tonight … which is unfortunate since the Perseids peaks in a few hours. Total bummer … I saw nothing this year, although Nick mentioned that he and a buddy saw four a few nights ago. Such is luck …

Meanwhile, Jupiter is pretty high in the eastern sky by 2am these days, so I thought I’d shoot a few images and see what I could get. Remember that I managed to find my Kenko 2X teleconverter the other day and got a few decent moon images.

The usual setup … D7000 on Feisol 3471 tripod legs and Markins M20L ball head. Mirror up remote mode using infrared. Manual focus in VF first, then checked in live view at full magnification. I could see the moons already on the LCD :-)

I’ll spare you my struggles … it takes time to find what looks like it might be an optimal set of exposure settings … so here is the image I used:

900mm effective focal length
6400 ISO

And here are the moons identified by using the Juplet.

I had severe flare at first and eventually I shined a very strong LED flashlight on the objective and saw dust and grease galore. Many a finger has printed that glass … I wiped it about 5 times before it came reasonably clean, but the final set of images were quite good. A bit of cross star glow, but that’s actually pretty normal with a bright light.

Anyway … a bit of fun, this combination.

Update: Here is the kit I used, shot by the F550EXR at 640 ISO.

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