I got mooned!

So while I was out dialing in the 6d on the scope in preparation for some moon shots, I noticed that Jupiter was pretty bright, and in a gap between the trees. Slewed over, and swapped in the 2x barlow lens to try and get a little video. Despite the bright moon nearby, transparency was pretty good, but as is usually the case for things to my southwest (up over the nearby power plant) seeing was TERRIBLE. Still, I managed reasonable focus and grabbed a little better than 1,000 frames of video. With the seeing as bad as it was, I really didn’t expect too much out of it, and didn’t have time on a school night to wait for Jupiter to get over to the better area of the sky for imaging.

So anywho, I take the resulting video and run it through PIPP (Planetary Image PreProcessor), cropping down to the pixels right around the planet. Run the resulting AVI through Registax with drizzling (greater detail), and end up with an image of Jupiter. And Europa. And a funny dark bulge in the Northern cloud band.
Jupiter plus moons2 crop

Hmm… I didn’t expect that! After a quick trip to Stellarium to check the positions of Jupiter’s moons at the time the video was shot, I realize I’ve caught Europa and Io, but since Io is North of the Northern cloud band, it’s not resolved in the image… but its shadow shows up as the funny spot I saw. Cool! Okay, so now let’s see if I can catch the other two moons as well… Back to PIPP, zoomed out to 1000×1000 pixels for the crop size, then back to Registax for another alignment.  Run the result through wavelet processing, and I can see another moon below Jupiter.  Callisto is supposed to be there, but I can’t see it in the image as processed.  Well then, over to Lightroom for some post-processing.  A couple of adjustments to the exposure and some spot filters to bring up the moons without blowing out the cloud bands… and voila:
Jupiter plus moons

Here’s everything labeled:
Jupiter plus moons - Labeled

Sometimes one would rather be lucky than good…



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