Sighting in

The Jupiter / Saturn conjunction is coming, so I started some preparatory imaging, mostly to make sure the tree in the front yard wouldn’t be in the way of the big scope. It’s not too difficult to shift the camera tripod around, but once the heavy-duty CPC tripod is leveled and has a 42+lb telescope installed on it, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to move. So, I took the 400mm lens, 2x adapter, and the little EOS M2 out to check location, and start framing up some shots. Happily, the concrete sidewalk immediately outside the front door is a good location to shoot from, and also provides nearby access to one of the few exterior outlets on the house.

Saturn and Jupiter in the WSW sky from our sidewalk.

The live view looked better than the individual shot posted above, since it was running constantly and mitigated the seeing in the atmosphere. I was barely able to make out Saturn’s rings on the camera’s screen, while this single frame shows Saturn as elongated, and Jupiter as over-exposed. For Monday I’ll definitely be set up to shoot video so I can run a Registax average of 500-1000 of the best frames, and I’ll have the micro-focuser capability of the big scope, vice the ham-fisted adjustability of a ‘meh’ 400mm lens. and 2x adapter. I should probably makes sure the M2 will shoot video ‘w/o a lens attached’, since there are no contacts to tell the camera what’s up when attached to the scope. I need to run some timings on Stellarium and see when / if the GRS will be out, since GRS and Saturn’s rings on the same image would be really, really cool. Fingers crossed!

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