Jupiter imaging with the 7.25" Schupmann Medial

This is a video taken on July 23, 2006 of Jupiter as shock waves, probably from a high altitude supersonic jet, passed in front of the planet.   Taken with a Philips ToUcam coupled to the 12.5" f/6 Newtonian with a 5x Powermate.  Effective focal ratio f/30.  Besides the turbulence caused by the shock waves, the seeing was very poor.

March 13, 2013.  I opened up the observatory just after the beginning of twilight when Jupiter was still high in the sky.  I used the DFK42 CMOS videocamera from TIS to obtain four 100 second duration videos of Jupiter with the C-11 and a 1.5x Barlow lens.  The camera was pulled back a bit to give slightly more magnification giving an effective focal ratio of f/17.8.  Seeing was rather poor and a good focus could not be obtained.  Still, the GRS shows nicely as do some dark reddish brown spots on the northern edge of the NEB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 10, 2013. Here is a more sharpened version of the image.  It brings out more details, but also some line artifacts from the camera, faint purplish lines at about a 5 degree tilt from the vertical.  Note: the original image was rotated about 5 degrees to make the cloud bands horizontal.

March 10, 2013.    Finally got a chance to give my new DMK 42AUC03 a decent workout imaging Jupiter with the CPC-1100 EdgeHD.  Seeing was not great, but  I only went to f/16.5.  I took a 90 second video in Y800 640x480 mode at 36 fps, dabayering with HQLinear in Firecapture, but getting poor color because the white balance was not adjustable when using Y800 formats.  Image was greenish.  I captured 3163 frames, but limited it to the best 1200 when I preprocessed in PIPP.  Ran Reg6 on the PIPP file aligning and stacking all 1200 frames and used wavelets 1 and 2 very minimally.  Reprocessed in Photoshop to fix the color balance and got the image at the left.  Fairly noisy,  might do better if I keep more frames.  I took some other videos as well Including f/10 prime focus, but had difficulty focusing the lower magnification image (still waiting for my motorized focuser kit).  I would have gone for a higher focal ratio had the seeing been better.

February 18, 2013.  If it weren't for poor seeing, I would not have any seeing at all this winter.  To the right is an image of Jupiter taken with a new camera, TIS DFK 42AUC03, a CMOS device with global shutter.  It was coupled to my new CPC-1100 EdgeHD telescope with a 2x Barlow lens.  Because the sensor of the camera was well behind the design location for the eyepiece focal plane in this Barlow, I got considerably more than 2x.  The effective focal ratio was f/31.5.  The white balance of this camera cannot be adjusted in Y800 formats, so I took the image as I got it from the camera and did the white balance adjustment in Photoshop Elements after Debayering with the Firecapture tool (HQLinear algorithm), and aligning, stacking and wavelet adjustment in Registax6.  Seeing was poor on this brief imaging opportunity, but at least I did get the chance to establish that the new CMOS camera has plenty of sensitivity to image Jupiter at f/31.5. Hoping for better seeing someday!

January 8, 2013.  I had a period of slightly better than average seeing tonight, maybe 6/10.  At the left is a stack of 15 derotated images taken from 0400 to 0420 UT.  The image is based on 60 sec. videos taken with the Flea3 color camera coupled to the 7.25" f/14 Schupmann using a 2x shorty Barlow to give an effective focal ratio of f/32.6.  Seeing was not good enough to go to longer focal ratios.  I preprocessed the videos in PIPP to center and crop the frames and keep only the best 1200 of 3000 frames.  Registax 6 was then used to align, stack and wavelet process each video, followed by using WinJUPOS to derotate and stack the resulting 15 images.

December 7, 2012.  Transparency was awful, but the seeing appeared to be pretty good, maybe 6/10 looking at the video on the computer screen.  Got a bunch of videos I am still processing.  An image from early in the session is shown at the right.  Not as good as I expected.  Seeing was probably only average or below.  That's Oval BA in the upper right.  The GRS is just past to the right around the limb.  It shows up in the later images (see above).  That bright, yellowish white plume coming out of the dark edge of the NEB and streaming into the EZ was easily visible in the raw video as the brightest spot on the planet.  Thought I might be looking at an asteroid impact for a while, but it hung on through the whole session.  Funny thing, visual observers named the blue streamers in the EZ "festoons" but don't have a name for the real streamers that define them.  The festoons are actually clear spots in the clouds through which you can see down to deeper layers.  Light scattering on the clear gas makes the blue color, just like our sky.  I don't know what the comet shaped streamers really are, but they seem to always erupt from the edge of the NEB or SEB and trail backwards (opposite to the direction of rotation) into the EZ.

December 4, 2012.  I used my Flea2 color video camera, Firecapture 2.2, a 3x Barlow lens and the 7.25" aperture f/14 Schupmann medial to take a set of fourteen 60 second videos of Jupiter from 0213 to 0228 UT of 2012/12/04.  The effective focal ratio was f/47.7. Seeing conditions were below average (about 4/10 through intermittent light clouds) over the whole imaging period, improving only slightly near the end as cloud cover was becoming complete.  The best 1000 frames from each video were stacked and sharpened in Registax6 to give 14 images.  These were then derotated and stacked in WinJUPOS to give the image at the left.

     Below is an image from a video taken near the end of the imaging session at 02:27:23 UT. It is the best resolution obtained over the session and shows the great benefit from stacking derotated images taken over a time span that would result in blurring if derotation were not used.

November 30, 2012.  This morning I took nine 60 second videos between 0547 and 0554 UT.  Seeing was below average, around 4/10.  Videos were obtained with Firecapture 2.2 and the Flea3 color camera coupled to my 7.25" f/14 Schupman medial with a 3x Barlow lens giving an effective focal ratio of f/48.5.  Videos were preprocessed in PIPP followed by alignment and stacking of the best 1200 frames out of 1900 in Registax6.  The nine images obtained from this process were derotated and stacked in WinJUPOS, and further sharpened with Registax6.

    The seeing was obviously not supporting f/48.  I dutifully submitted the final image to ALPO, but I am not that proud of the result.  Wish seeing would get better.  Jupiter was 74 degrees high at the time, right on the meridian.

November 18, 2012.      The seeing was a bit above average, about 6/10. when I took a set of 19 videos of 60 seconds duration between 0437 and 0458 UT.  I used the Flea3 color video camera and 2x Shorty Barlow on the 184 mm f/14 Schupmann to give a focal ratio of f/33.0 and an exposure time of 17 ms, around 60 fps to take the videos using FireCapture 2.2.  The videos were pre-processed in PIPP and then Registax6 and finally all 19 of the images were derotated and stacked using WinJUPOS.  The final result is shown at the right.

November 17, 2012.  I was able to get out last night a bit after midnight when I got home from the AAI meeting to catch Jupiter just east of the meridian.  Seeing looked really good through the eyepiece.  I was seeing satellites as disks.  I think it began to deteriorate right after I put the camera on the telescope though.  The first image was the best.  The rest weren't that bad though.  Attached is my derotated stack of ten images taken with the Flea3, 3x Barlow and the Schuppy giving f/48.6.

November 12, 2012.  Seeing conditions were poor (but a bit better than yesterday) when I took five 60 second videos with the Flea3 color camera coupled to the 7.25" f/14 Schupmann medial at an effective focal ratio of f/33.4.  Transparency was variable and exposures from 13 to 19 ms were used in an attempt to keep the histogram fill consistent.  PIPP preprocessing centered, cropped and kept the 1200 best frames from the videos and Regista6 aligned, stacked and sharpened to give 5 images over the period from 8:21 to 8:29 UT.  WinJUPOS was then used to derotate and stack them to give the final image shown at the right. 

       Resolution was considerably better than the results from Sept 11, but not quite as good as Sept. 10, but none of the recent images are up to the quality occasionally obtained back in October.  Perhaps it takes a while after a hurricane and a nor'easter for the atmosphere to quiet down.

November 11, 2012.      Seeing was poor when I obtained eight 60 second videos with the Flea3 color video camera coupled to the 184 mm, f/14 Schupmann medial with a 2x shorty Barlow lens giving f/33.5.  Exposure time was 13 ms at 75 frames per second.  The videos were preprocessed with PIPP to produce new videos containing only the best 1200 out of 4400 frames, centered and cropped.  The new videos were then aligned, stacked and sharpened with Registax6 to give 8 images taken between 8:43 and 8:57 UT.  These images were then derotated and stacked using WinJUPOS.  The result is attached, with very little improvement over the individual images, one of which is also attached.  Conditions were unique in that I had the combination of extremely bad dewing (the telescope was dripping and I was required to make use of a hair drier to keep the objective clear) and poor seeing.  Often, when dewing is bad, the atmosphere is calm and good seeing results.  Not last night!

November 10, 2012.  Using WinJUPOS, I derotated and stacked the image below with 6 others obtained from 3:32 to 3:48  am.  A significant improvement in resolution and s/n resulted.  See the result at the right.

November 10, 2012.  After a long stretch of cloudy weather, hurricane Sandy and a nor'easter dropping 6" of very wet snow, I finally got back to my observatory.  I was getting telescope withdrawal symptoms!  Seeing was not very good and did not support the longer focal ratio I usually use.  The picture at the left was taken with my Flea3 color camera coupled to the 7.25 inch, f/14 Schupmann medial with a 2x Shorty Barlow giving an effective focal ratio of f/33.5.

        One good thing came of the storms: a large, unproductive apple tree that was obstructing a considerable region of the eastern sky was uprooted and blown down.  It missed the supports for my rolloff roof by inches.  I have some chainsaw work ahead and a will get nice pile of applewood for barbecues.  The increased view to the east will let me start observing earlier in an opposition.

October 23, 2012.      My session this morning was spoiled by below average seeing and the presence of a speck of dirt somewhere in my system, I think either on the NIR blocking filter or the cover glass for the CCD.  I brought the camera up to the house for microscopic inspection and cleaning.  At the right is a typical result from the session.  The dark grey blob on the CM over the NTB is not an asteroid impact scar, it is the shadow of the dirt speck.  Later in the session I abandoned the reduced region of interest (ROI) I typically use, went to full field, and attempted to keep the planet's image in the upper left corner to avoid the speck which was just below center.  It was not completely successful since the dark spot encroached on the NE limb occasionally anyway.
    I gotta clean up my act...

October 17, 2012.  Seeing appeared to be a bit better than average here when I took 21 videos of 60 seconds duration with my Flea 3 color camera coupled to the 7.25" f/14 Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens, effective focal ratio was f/47.0.  The videos were preprocessed in PIPP to give the best 1200 frames from the original videos of about 3000 frames.  The image of jupiter was centred and the frames cropped and saved out as new .AVI files.  These were processed in Registax6 to give a set of Jupiter images covering the time from 9:22 to 9:57 UT.  These were derotated and stacked using WinJUPOS and further sharpened a bit in Registax.

October 13, 2012.   Seeing was only fair to average this morning, but I got a decent derotated stack final image.  I took 10 videos of 60 seconds duration and about 3000 frames each.  An individual raw frame from these videos had barely discernable details beyond the big cloud belts and I could focus the image only with difficulty. The image on the computer monitor  went from blurred to maybe blurred a little bit less when I fiddled with the remote focus.  Running the videos through PIPP gave me centered cropped videos containing only the 1200 best frames.  From these, Regstax6 gave me 10 stacked and sharpened images.  Derotating and stacking these with WinJUPOS gave a  final image that had data from 12,000 frames in it.  While the tiny features seen in the images of Sept 17, can not be seen in this image, a wealth of larger scale detail is seen in the equatorial zone.  The NEB is now seen to be completely distinct from the NTB.  The NTrZ is narrow and white. A narrow white zone in the southern part of the EZ separates the turmoil in the EZ from the SEB.  This is not so in the northern part of the EZ where light colored material seems to be streaming from the southern edge of the NEB into the EZ, moving opposite to the direction of rotation.  I assume they must be high altitude clouds and just do not participate in the more rapid circulation of the EZ.  The high altitude white clouds are probably ammonia ice crystals.  NNTB dark with scalloped northern edge.  NNTZ and the STZ remain broad and featureless. The motion of the reddish brown region in the EZ from the right to the left as you go from the image of the 6th to today's image shows how much faster the EZ is rotating than the rest of the planet.

October 8, 2012.  Seeing was not as good this morning when I took seven 60 second videos.  Some detail was visible in the images which resulted from Registax processing.  All were derotated and combined in WinJUPOS to give the somewhat better result shown at the left.

October 6, 2012.      My grand-daughter Karah went out to the observatory with me this morning at 4:30 to see the moon and Jupiter through my telescope and help me take some videos of Jupiter.  The seeing was predicted to be only average, but it may have been a bit better.  Attached is the stack of 11 derotated images taken between 858 and 912 UT.  Resolution came out pretty good.  Jupiter was very close to the meridian at 70 degrees altitude when I took the video.  Compare details with image from September 17th below.  This was taken with the Flea3 color video camera coupled to the Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens.  Effective focal ratio was f/46.8.

        It would have been my wife's 75th birthday today.

September 25, 2012.  Seeing was below average this morning from 09:40 to 09:56 UT when a series of 13 videos, each of 60 seconds duration, were taken with a Flea3 color video camera coupled to the 7.25" Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens giving an effective focal ratio of f/46.2.  The individual images obtained using PIPP and Regsitax6 were of low quality, however some detail was obtained when all 13 were combined using WinJUPOS to derotate and stack them.  The raw stack was then wavelet sharpened in Registax.  The result is shown at the left.

Oval BA is seen clearly surviving another close scrape with the GRS.  The small brown spot following Oval BA seems to be a long lasting feature.  I have seen it in my images as far back as July 30, 2012.

September 21, 2012.  Shown below is a composition of seven Jupiter images obtained between 9:59 and 10:07 UD on September 21, 2012 as well as the derotated stack of all images made using WinJUPOS.  Sixty second videos were taken and debayered with Firecapture using a Flea3 color video camera coupled to the 7.25" f/14 Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens. Effective focal ratio was f/46.2.  Videos preprocessed in PIPP, aligned, stacked and wavelet sharpened in Registax6.  Seeing was 6 or 7/10, transparency good.  Io and its shadow are seen transiting the SEBs.  South is up in these images.

Jupiter, September 21, 2012
Jupiter, September 21, 2012

September 20, 2012.  Below are shown the images I obtained on the morning of September 20, 2012 with a Flea3 color video camera coupled to my 7.25" aperture f/14 Schupmann.  Fifteen videos were taken between 9:45 and 10:08 UT using Firecapture to debayer the frames as captured.  Processing by PIPP and Registax6.  Seeing was poor and the resolution of the images obtained from the videos were not as good as recent ones.  Some improvement was obtained by derotating and stacking all 15 images with WinJUPOS.  This image is at the lower left corner of the attached composition.

Jupiter, September 20, 2012
Jupiter, September 20, 2012

September 17, 2012.  I have been getting some good Jupiter pictures during the past week, including this morning's which is shown at the right.  The tiny light brown specks in a triangular pattern in the STropZ near the bright limb are around the size of (or slightly smaller than) the Airy Disk diffraction limited image of a point source.  The Airy Disk is 0.75 arc seconds for this aperture in green light.  This corresponds to 5.5 pixels in the image and about 1600 miles at the distance of Jupiter.  It is clear that I am at the resolution limit of my 7.25" aperture.  To get higher resolution, I need a larger aperture.

     Seeing has been better (except for yesterday), Jupiter has been higher, and I have learned to use WinJUPOS to do de-rotation and further stacking of the de-rotated images to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (s/n).  It is worthwhile learning to use WinJUPOS, and it's free.  If you are using a color camera, just take a whole series of 1 to 2 minute videos and after processing them in PIPP and Registax, you load them one at a time into WinJUPOS and "measure" them.  This simply means entering the UT date and time for the midpoint of each video in a form and diddling a little oval outline with an equator on it until it lines up with your image and telling the program to save the information.  After you do that for all the images of the session there is a tool that derotates them all using your measurement data to the same central meridian and stacks them.  You can even wavelet sharpen this stack by again using Registax.  You gain s/n by the square root of the number of images you derotate and stack, ie, 9 images gives you 3 times and 16 gives you 4 times the s/n that your original images had.  There is an analogous procedure for monochrome camera/filter wheel users that works on a whole set of R, G and B images taken over a lapse of time which would be fatal if you were just trying to combine them as usual to get a color image. 

     All of the images obtained this morning are shown in the composition below, as well as the derotated stacks and a graphical illustration of the size of the Airy Disk compared to the light brown spots mentioned above.

September 16, 2012.  This morning was miserable.  I got up to fairly clear skies, but by the time I had opened up and gotten the telescope pointed and the camera ready (no more than 15 minutes, tops) the sky had become muddled up, what I call a "buttermilk sky".  I barely had time to focus the camera in tiny sucker holes in between the clouds.  Seeing was below average.  I got three very short videos and one that was a full 60 seconds long before I gave up.  Thank goodness for PIPP.  It managed to get the frames of the one long video untangled and sorted out.  I also had it stretch the frames to the same histogram level, Jupiter was really in and out of the haze during the capture.  I am trying to make osme sense out of the short videos, but the  image I got from the full video is shown at the left.  Europa is just finishing its transit of the disk of Jupiter.

September 14, 2012.  Shown below is a set of 16 images of Jupiter obtained with a Flea3 color video camera coupled to my 7.25", f/14 Schupmann medial telescope with a 3x Barlow lens giving an effective focal ratio of f/46.2.  All videos were of 60 seconds duration except for the last two which were 100 seconds.  Video capture with in-line debayering using the HQLinear algorithm was by Firecapture.   Seeing was above average, possibly as high as 8/10 at times but varied over the course of the imaging session, sometimes being as low as 6/10..  Transparency was good.  

Videos were pre-processed using PIPP to center, crop, sort by quality and save out the best 2400 frames as a new video file.  The new files were processed in Registax6.  The 16 images were derotated and stacked in WinJUPOS and this result was further sharpened in Registax6.  All 17 images were assembled into the composition below using Photoshop Elements.  The derotated stack of all 16 images is in the lower right corner.

Jupiter images 9/14/12
Jupiter images 9/14/12

September 13, 2012.  Seeing conditions were good and the sky of average transparency this morning when the attached images were taken between 08:48 and 09:17 UT using my Schupmann medial telescope, a 3x Barlow lens and a Flea3 color camea, model Flea3 FL3-FW-03S1C.  The effective focal ratio of this combination is f/45.6.  Twenty 60 second videos of approximately 3000 frames each were captured using Firecapture.  All videos were preprocessed using PIPP to center, crop and save out a new video of the 1200 best frames and then aligned, stacked and wavelet sharpened in Registax6.  All twenty final images were then derotated and stacked using WinJUPOS and the stack sharpened in Registax6.  Below is shown the derotated stack at three levels of wavelet sharpening as well as a composiiton of all twenty images.

No trace of an impact feature was seen in any of the images.  The probable impact point of the Dan Paterson impact sighting is close to the center of the derotated stack with a CMII of 158.4 degrees. Nothing seen besides the EB.

Derotated stacks 9/13/12
Derotated stacks 9/13/12
Jupiter images 9/13/12
Jupiter images 9/13/12

September 12, 2012.  Seeing was definitely above average this morning, at least 7/10 and the transparency was very good.  Calm air, strong dewing.  I obtained 13 usable videos of 60 seconds duration between five oclock and five thirty am using my Flea3 firewire color camera coupled to the 7.25" Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens.  The combination gives an effective focal ratio of f/45.6.  The videos were pre-processed using PIPP which centered, cropped, quality sorted and saved out the best 1200 frames as a new .avi file.  The new files were then processed with Registax6.  All 13 images are shown in the composition below.  The images were de-rotated and stacked using WinJupos and the stack further sharpened in Registax6 to give the result shown above. The probable impact point of the asteroid observed by Dan Peterson is on the opposite side of the planet.

Jupiter on August 31, 2012
Jupiter on August 31, 2012
Jupiter on August 30, 2012
Jupiter on August 30, 2012

August 24, 2012.  Shown at the right is an image of Jupiter taken with the GigE Flea3 color camera coupled to the 7.25" Schupmann medial with a 2x shorty Barlow lens.  The combination gives an effective focal ratio of f/32.  Seven videos were taken using Firecapture software.  They were debayered as captured using the HQLinear algorithm.  The videos were then preprocessed with PIPP to center the planet in a 450x450 pixel frame and the frames sorted by quality, saving out only the best 1200 frames as a new video file.  The new files were then processed with Registax 6, aligning and stacking all 1200 frames from each video to give seven wavelet sharpened images spanning the time between 09:14:44 UT and 09:245:46 UT on the morning of August 23, 2012.  The program WinJUPOS was then used to derotate all eleven images to the time of 09:20.0 UT and stack them.  The final attached image was sharpened again using wavelets in Registax6.  The blur below and to the left of the planet is the satellite Ganymede which moved considerably during the time the seven videos were taken.  Seeing during the video capture was slightly above average (6/10) and transparency was good (7/10).

August 23, 2012.  At the left is an image of Jupiter taken with my new Flea3 GigE color camera coupled to the 7.25" Schupmann medial with a 2x shorty Barlow lens.  The combination gives an effective focal ratio of f/32.  The 3.75 micron pixels of the new camera give a similar digital sampling and image scale at f/32  to images obtained with my older Flea3 camera with 5.6 micron pixels working at a focal ratio of f/45.  Eleven videos were taken using Firecapture software.  They were debayered as captured using the HQLinear algorithm.  The videos were then preprocessed with PIPP to center the planet in a 450x450 pixel frame and the frames sorted by quality and only the best 1200 saved out as a new video file.  The new files were then processed with Registax 6, aligning and stacking all 1200 frames from each video to give eleven wavelet sharpened images spanning the time between 09:07:25 UT and 09:25:07 UT on the morning of August 23, 2012.  The program WinJUPOS was then used to derotate all eleven images to the time of 09:16.0 UT and stack them.  The final attached image was sharpened again using wavelets in Registax6.  Seeing during the video capture was average (5/10) to slightly above average (6/10) and transparency was below average (4/10).

August 19, 2012.  Seeing was well below average this morning and the transparency started out good, but deteriorated to poor over the course of the imaging session.  However, I was able to obtain ten usable videos using the Flea3 color camera, 3x Barlow lens and 7.25" f/14 Schupmann medial.  The videos were of 60 seconds duration and taken at an exposure of 38 ms using Firecapture to debayer the video as it was taken.  The videos were preprocessed in PIPP to give aligned, centered and cropped videos containing the best 1000 frames.  The new videos were then aligned, stacked and wavelet sharpened using Registax6 and put together in the composition shown below.  The images were also measured and derotated using WinJUPOS and the final derotated stack sharpened again in Registax.  Shown at the right is a derotated stack of all ten Jupiter images obtained between 8:47 and 9:03 UT. 

August 17, 2012.  My observing conditions were disappointing this morning.  Forecast was for good to excellent seeing, but it turned out to be below average seeing, and only average transparency.  I took a set of eleven videos anyway using the Flea3 color camera, 3x Barlow lens and 7.25" Schupmann medial telescope giving an effective focal ratio of f/46.  The videos were pre-processed in Pipp, saving only the best 500 out of 1500 frames.  The resulting cropped and centered videos were further processed in Registax6 to give a set of vague and fuzzy looking images. However, some details show up in the de-rotated stack of stacks from WinJUPOS.  This image was improved after further sharpening with wavelets in Registax6.  The final result is shown at the left, derotated to a time of 08:22.0 UT.

August 16, 2012.  Seeing was only average with fair transparency this morning when I obtained 8 videos of 60 seconds duration between 08:47 and 08:57 UT with my Flea3 color video camera, 3x Barlow lens and 7.25", f/14 Schupmann medial telescope.  The combination gives an effective focal ratio of f/46.  Pipp was used to pre-process the videos and save out the best 900 frames from each as a new video file.  The new files were then processed in Registax6 stacking all frames and wavelet sharpening to give 8 images.  WinJUPOS was then used to derotate the images to 08:51 UT and stack them.  A final wavelet sharpening in Registax6 gave the final image shown at the right. 

 

     All eight of the individual images are shown in the composition below, put together with Photoshop Elements.

Jupiter images obtained on August 16, 2012
Jupiter images obtained on August 16, 2012
Animated GIF from August 13, 2012 images
Animated GIF from August 13, 2012 images

August 13, 2012.  Seeing was above average at the beginning of my imaging session this morning and transparency was excellent.  24 videos were taken beginning at 5:12 am EDT and finishing at 5:33 am.  Seeing rapidly deteriorated and was only average to a bit below average for most of the session.  The first and best image is shown at the left.  Note Red Spot Jr (aka Oval BA) is approaching the GRS and will squeeze past it soon.  The smaller brown spot has been following it for at least a month.  It will be interesting to see if both of them survive the passage.

WinJUPOS was used to derotate and stack all 16 of the images obtained on August 9 2012.  The image on the left is a single image obtained at 9:27:41 UT and the image on the right is the stack of derotated images.  I think it makes a significant improvement.

August 9, 2012.  I obtained 16 usable videos during average seeing this morning.  The 60 second videos were taken with the Flea3 color camera, 3x Barlow and 7.25" Schupmann using Firecapture with HQLinear debayering.  Videos were pre-processed with Pipp, centering, cropping and ordering by quality with the Ninox algorithm.  Best 2000 frames saved to new videos which were then processed with Registax 6 which was used to align and stack all 2000 frames and sharpen the stack with wavelets.  The composition below was prepared in Photoshop elements and the animated GIF at the right was made using GIMP.

August 6, 2012.  Thanks to Grischa Hahn's patient help, I have begun to learn how to use the derotation tool in WinJUPOS to combine a series of images obtained from a whole bunch of 60 second videos taken over a half hour period.  After some confusion about what has to be in which directory, I finally got the attached result.  The image to the right is the stack of derotated images.  The image on the left is one of the original images corresponding to the mid point in taking all the videos.  The derotated and stacked image looks overprocessed, but shows lots of detail.  Some edge artifacts though.  I think I will have to be more conservative on sharpening when I do the original Registax work.

Improvement stacking derotated images
Improvement stacking derotated images

August 4, 2012.  Below is a composition of 26 images of Jupiter obtained with a Flea3 color camera coupled to the Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens to give an effective focal ratio of f/46.  Seeing was above average but no more than 6/10, transparency was also 6/10.  Sixty second duration videos containing about 2500 frames each were acquired using using the video capture program Firecapture which debayered the raw frames during capture using the HQLinear algorithm.  The program Pipp was then used to prealign, center and crop the frames of each video and sort them by quality using the Ninox algorithm.  The best 1200 out of 2500 frames were saved out as a new video, which in turn was processed in Registax6.  The composition was put together using Photoshop Elements.  Universal times and CM values are for the halfway point of each video.

I am learning to use WinJupos to derotate and stack image sets like this to give improved quality images, but I am not ready for prime time just yet.  When I get them, I will put them on the site.  Grischa Hahn showed me an example of what could be done with my images in WinJUPOS and it is a significant improvement in resolution and s/n.

Jupiter August 4, 2012
Jupiter August 4, 2012

August 3, 2012.  Seeing was poor (2/10) and transparency below average on the morning of August 3, 2012 when I obtained a set of 25 videos of 60 seconds duration.  The videos were obtained and debayered using Firecapture, a Flea3 color camera, 3x Barlow Lens and 7.25" f/14 Schupmann.  They were pre-processed in Pipp which aligned, centered, cropped and grouped by quality (ninox algorithm) and the best 600 of 1200 frames kept.  The new videos were processed in Registax6 to give images with recognizable but very blurry features.  WinJUPOS was then used to derotate and stack the resulting 25 images which was again wavelet sharpened in Registax6.  The image shown below has one of the 25 poor images as well as the derotated stack of 25.  The CM values for the stack should be very close to those of the 09:31:13 UT image.  I think this is a good way to recover something useful from an otherwise miserable imaging session. Thanks to Grischa Hahn for helping me learn how to do this.

Image improvement by derotation and stacking
Image improvement by derotation and stacking

August 2, 2012.  Seeing was definitely above average for this part of New Jersey this morning, possibly as good as 7/10.  Sixteen videos were taken between 4:40 and 5:18 am EDT using the Flea3 color video camera coupled to the Schupmann with a 3x Barlow lens.  Video capture was done with the Firecapture program (thanks Torsten) which also debayered the raw video as it was taken using the HQLinear algorithm.  The videos were all of 60 seconds duration and contained about 1353 frames each.  The program Pipp was used to pre-process all the videos in a single batch.  This operation centered, histogram stretched and cropped each frame to a 450x450 pixel format.  The frames were sorted by quality using the Ninox algorithm (thanks Bird) and saved out as .avi files.  Registax6 was then used to align and stack the frames.  The stacked image was wavelet sharpened.  Photoshop Elements was used to put the composition below together.  Note the steady improvement in quality as Jupiter's altitude increased.

       Yet more changes are seen on Jupiter today.  Instead of a single merged band for the NEB and NTB, we now have two distinct narrow orange bands with a lighter chaotic region between where the NTropZ should be.  There is still a distinct EB.

Jupiter Images August 2, 2012
Jupiter Images August 2, 2012

This animated GIF was made from the sequence of Jupiter images taken on July 30, 2012.

Jupiter at 5:23 am EDT
Jupiter at 5:23 am EDT

July 30 2012.  I had a productive session this morning (July 30, 2012) imaging Jupiter with my Flea3 color camera on my 7.25" Shupmann.  20 usable videos of 60 seconds duration were obtained between 08:54 and 09:26 UT.  A 3x Barlow was used to get an effective focal ratio of f/46.  Videos were processed with Registax6 and the images put together in the attached composition.  Transits of both Io and Ganymede were in progress at the beginning of the session.  South is up in the presentation.  The NEB and NTB are merged into one chaotic cloud band.

       The video taken at 5:23 am EDT was processed to give the image shown at the left.  All 20 images obtained in the session were put together in a grand collage which is shown below.

Jupiter, July 30, 2012
Jupiter, July 30, 2012

July 26, 2012.  The dawn sky was hazy with intermittent clouds this morning.  I set up the telescope at 4:40 am and found the seeing conditions to be poor with a great deal of random image motion as well as blurring.  Nontheless, I took several videos over the period from 4:43 to 5:38 am.  By the end of the period, seeing had improved a bit but was still below average.  The image to the right was one of the best of the session.  I believe the prominent blue feature attached to the NEBs and protruding well out into the EZ is a clearing in the cloud deck of the EZ like the one the Galileo probe parachuted through.  This feature trails into the beginning of the narrow brownish cloud band in the center of the EZ.

July 22, 2012.  Seeing was very unstable as Jupiter rose above the trees to the east of my observatory this morning at 4:45 am EDT.  The altitude was only 27 degrees at the time.  Over the course of the next  hour I took a total of 14 videos of 60 seconds duration using the Flea3 color camera, 3x Barlow and 7.25" f/14 Schupmann medial.  The combination gives about f/45.  Seeing improved as the altitude increased.  My last video was obtained in bright daylight just before dawn at 5:48 am EDT.  The image at the left is from the video taken at 5:33 am.  Note dark red streak right on the equator in the EZ.  It seems to originate in a deep blue festoon on the border of the EZ and NEB.  The NEB is complex and dark and the NTB is deep orange/brown and narrow.  The GRS is quite pale in comparison with Oval BA which remains a rusty red color.  There is a small red oval in the STZ at L2 about 109°.

Jupiter 7/18/2012 Collage
Jupiter 7/18/2012 Collage

July 17,2012.  First Jupiter image after conjunction.  This morning Jupiter finally cleared the treeline to the east of my observatory.  Twilight was already pretty bright, but Jupiter was easily seen.  I began imaging with the Flea3 color video camera at 5:23 am EDT today using a 2x shorty Barlow to give me about f/30.  Seeing was about average with only fair transparency through thin overcast.  I took a set of 16 videos of 60 seconds duration.  The image at the left was obtained from one of them using Registax6 for aligning, stacking and wavelet processing.  Final image rotation, flipping and annotation done in Photoshop Elements.

      Note the amazing change in the NEB region, NTB and EZ compared to my last image before the conjunction shown below. 

March 10 2012.  Jupiter and Venus make a fine naked eye pair tonight, separation less than 5 degrees.  Seeing was only average and the altitude was only 33° when the image at the left was taken.  The flea3 one-shot color camera, 3x Barlow on the 7.25" Schupmann was used to take 45 second video which was processed in Registax6 to give the above image.  Effective focal ratio about f/45.  South is up.  Note how narrow the NEB has become.

February 17, 2012.  Seeing was predicted to be poor tonight, I decided that with the weather we have been having, if I didn't have bad seeing, I wouldn't get any at all.  So, I rolled off the roof and pointed the 7.25" Schupmann medial at Jupiter.  Visual appearance was quite indistinct with numerous wavy distortions on the image.  I did note an interesting arrangement of the Galilean satellites,  Ganymede and Callisto  close together and on the west side of Jupiter, and Io and Europa also close  but on the opposite side.  The Flea3 color webcam without a Barlow was used at the f/14 focus to take two videos at 75ms and a gain of 2239, the first of Ganymede and Callisto, the other of Io and Europa, both videos including Jupiter.  I took another video at a shutter speed of 9 ms to avoid overexposure of the planet.  The videos were processed in Registax6 and combined in Photoshop Elements to create the composite image shown above.

     The 2x Barlow was added to boost the focal ratio to f/28.5 and one more video was taken at 8:14 pm.  This was processed to give the image shown above right.  Although the resolution is quite poor, one can still see that the NEB is becoming quite thin and pale while the SEB remains dark and wide.

December 26, 2011.  First reasonable imaging opportunity for several days.  Some haze, average seeing predicted by the Clear Sky Chart.  When I began observing around 6:45 PM seeing was fair and got progressively worse.  The image to the left is the best of six images obtained with the Flea3 one shot color webcam, 3x Barlow and 7.25 inch f/15 Schupmann medial.

December 11, 2011.  Scintillation prediction indicated that we would have excellent seeing tonight.  Optimistically, I opened up the observatory around 8:45 pm and set up the Schupmann on Jupiter.  The eyepiece view looked pretty good at 238x (3x Barlow and 35mm Plössl) so I replaced the eyepiece with the parfocalized Flea3 color webcam and launched Firecapture.  Seeing was not actually excellent as predicted.  There was quite a bit of image motion and defocusing, but it was a bit above average.  I tuned out the atmospheric dispersion with the micrometer adjustments of the Schuppy's field mirror and began taking videos.  Between 8:49 and 9:25 I took eight 45 second videos and processed them with Registax6, making final adjustments of the levels in Photoshop Elements.  The best image of the set is shown here.  There is interesting detail in the SEB with hook shaped clouds in the south equatorial disturbance.  Prominent blue festoons decorate the EZ and the SEB remains narrow and dark.  The pair of dark red rafts sit on the northern edge of the NEB as usual.  These have lasted well over a year but were once imbedded in the NEB which was considerably wider in 2010.  Now they decorate the edge of the belt.  Is the NEB going away?  Time will tell...

December 8, 2011.  Poor observing conditions conditions tonight.  Scattered thin clouds give an intermittent view of Jupiter.  Seeing during the breaks in the clouds is average to a bit above average.  5 videos were taken with the Flea3 coupled to the Schupmann with a 3x Barlow to give f/45.  They were processed with Registax6 and final levels adjusted in Photoshop. The best image was obtained at 7:24 EST (0:24 UT) and is shown at the left.  This is almost exactly the same view as was obtained on December 3.

December 3, 2011.  The sky was mostly clear with some thin haze, with average seeing when I started imaging Jupiter tonight with the Flea3, 3x Barlow and the Schupmann.  This was a bit after 8 pm EST.  At about 8:25 the seeing began to get much more steady and I was able to focus the telescope on the increasing amounts of detail that began to emerge in the computer screen view.  Four 45 second videos were obtained in the period of best seeing between 8:30 and 8:38.  They  were aligned, stacked and wavelet sharpened with Registax6.  Photoshop Elements was used for final adjustment of levels and adding captions.  The best of the images was obtained from the video taken at 8:35 pm EST and is shown here.

December 1, 2011.  With at least a promise of clear skies and possible good seeing, I opened up the observatory at 10 pm EST and set up the Schuppy with the Flea3 one shot color camera and the 3x Barlow lens which gives me f/45 and pointed at Jupiter.  I have a 35 mm Tuthill Plössl which i have made parfocal with the Flea3 and used that for alignment, initial focusing and adjustment of the field mirror, then replaced the eyepiece with the camera and ran Firecapture using the HQ-Linear debayer algorithm to make the final adjustments.  As I looked at the image of Jupiter on the computer monitor, I could see the NE and SE bands and that the GRS was visible, but there was little detail to focus upon.  I took a couple of videos and processed one with Registax6 with disappointing results.  I continued to watch the image on the screen until around 10:30 pm the seeing settled down and some dark reddish spots in the NEB popped into clear focus.  I took several videos, but the one at 10:37 pm was the best.  It was processed in Registax6 and the levels adjusted in Photoshop Elements to give the result shown.  GRS is pale and the South Tropical Disturbance is very active.  Many bluish festoons in the Equatorial Zone and the NEB is thin and dark with two prominent red ovals on the northern edge.

November 25, 2011.  The sky was clear but the seeing was poor tonight.  I took a few videos with the Flea3 at both f/27 and f/45 with similar disappointing results.  One of the better images is shown here.

November 9, 2011.  I processed all 49 of the videos that I took on Nov. 5th to get the images for this animation of the transit and eclipse of Jupiter by Io.  The videos were processed in Registax6 and levels adjusted in Photoshop.  The images were then combined into a multilayer stack, aligned manually, cropped and then saved as an animated GIF from the freeware program GIMP.

November 5, 2011.  Tonight the observers on the east coast of the US had great seeing and an eclipse and transit of Io!  I took about 40 videos of the event using my Flea3 and 7.25" Schupman medial at f/45 using Firecapture and will probably be processing them for a week.  This image is a sample of what is to come.  The shadow of Io dominates the image over the NW edge of the GRS.  Io is harder to see.  It is the little pinkish marble just at the eastern (left in the image) ecge of the GRS.  Should make a great animated GIF.

November 2, 2011.  Seeing not as good tonight as last night.  Still, seems good enough to use the 3x Barlow to couple the Flea3 to the Schupmann.  Using similar concitions to those used last night, I took 7 videos of 45 seconds duration.  These were processed as usual with Registax 6 and Photoshop.  One of the better images is shown above.

November 1, 2011.  Seeing predicted to be better than average tonight.  I am happy that it will likely be clear at least.  I went out at a bit before 10 pm EDT and set up the Flea3 one-shot color webcam on the Schupmann using a 3x Barlow lens.  This gives me f/45.5 or so effective focal ratio and is my best choice for good but not exceptionally great seeing.  I started imaging at 10:02 PM using Firecapture software to operate the camera and capture videos.  Setup was for 45 seconds of video at full gain and an exposure long enough to get a histogram about 80% saturated.  This was around 20 milliseconds.  Some details were visible through the eyepiece before starting imaging, and even more were seen on the monitor screen during imaging.  18 videos were taken covering the period from 10:02 PM EDT (2:02 UT Nov 2) up to 10:41 EDT (2:41 UT Nov 2).  The videos were processed with Registax 6 for aligning, stacking and wavelet sharpening, and the results moved over to Photoshop for final levels adjustments.  One of the best images was from the first video of the night.  It is shown above.  There is a lot of interesting detail in the EZ.  Large blue clearings appear between white streamers which seem to be attached to the NEB.  There is a prominent white oval storm in the northern faded out portion of the NEB.  It is just west of the meridian int the picture taken at 2:02 UT and is exactly on the meridian in an image taken at 2:12 UT.  At that time the CMII longitude was 350.5 degrees.  The NEB seems to be getting progressively thinner.  Is it going to vanish like the SEB did last year?

October 22, 2011.  Seeing was predicted to be rather poor for this morning, so I set up with a 2x Barlow lens amplifying the f/14 focus of the Schupmann to f/27.  Five videos of 45 seconds duration were taken using an exposure of 15 ms and a frame rate of 54 frames per second.  After processing in Registax6 and adjusting levels in Photoshop Elements, the collage of 5 images was prepared.  It is shown below.

October 9, 2011.  Again, the prediction was for 5/5 seeing.  The image to the left is typical of the images obtained with the Flea3 using the same optics as the previous night.

October 8, 2011.  Clear Sky Chart predictions were for excellent planetary imaging conditions in the wee hours, good all night and excellent after 1 am.  I set up to image Jupiter at 2:15 AM EDT and took one video with the DMK31 monochrome camera equipped with a #25 red filter and working directly at the f/14 focus of the Schupmann.  A 45 second video was taken at 30fps and processed in Registax6 to give the image at the left, a stack of the best 675 frames, sharpened with wavelets.  The image seems slightly undersampled, perhaps a 2x Barlow would have helped.

I switched cameras attaching the Flea3 one-shot color camera and a Televue 3x Barlow lens. This combination gives a focal ratio of f/45.  I  took a series of 14 videos starting at 1:39 am and ending at 2:18 am.  Severe dewing was experienced, and the videos near the end of the session were degraded by the film of moisture on the objective that good images could not be obtained.  The best image resulted from the video taken at 2:02 am.  This is shown to the right.

September 27, 2011.  Clear Sky Chart predicted excellent seeing for the period between about 1 am to 6 am EDT, so I got up at 2am and opened up observatory #3 and attached the Flea3 webcam to the 7.25" Schupmann medial with a 3x Barlow lens.  This gives me f/45.6 or thereabouts and is long enough to give Nyquist level sampling under all but the very best conditions.  I began imaging a bit before 2:30 EDT, taking 60 second videos at about 45 frames per second and an exposure of 25 ms.  Seeing was definitely above average, but not excellent.  The image at the left was obtained using Registax 6.  It is a stack of the best 1879 frames from a total taken of 2348, sharpened with wavelets, and the final levels adjustment and color balance done in Photoshop Elements.

       South is up in this image.  Note promijnent reddish raft on the meridian in the NEB.

September 13, 2011.  I had a good imaging session this morning with the Flea3 color webcam on my Schupmann working at f/45.6.  Predictions of the Clear Sky Chart were for excellent seeing.  It was not nearly that good, but at least better than average.  Below is a collage of the images I got from 8 sixty second long videos.  The GRS is on the other side of the planet, but I believe the pink smudge on the right limb floating in the STZ is Red Spot Junior.  South is up in this collage. The figures in the second line below each image are the longitude of the central meridian in the three systems used for Jupiter.  CMI is just the equatorial zone, CMII is the rest of the visible planet and CMIII is a system based on whatever Jupiter has of a solid core that is responsible for the magnetic field.  It does not correspond to anything visible.  The third line gives the shutter speed/gain/gamma settings on the camera and the number of video frames stacked to give the image.

August 31, 2011. Jupiter was imaged under conditions of better than average seeing.  The Flea3 color webcam was used to take 60 second videos.  It was coupled to the 7.25” f/14 Schupmann medial refractor with a 3x Barlow lens giving an effective focal ratio of f/45.6.   Exposure time and gain given above.  The Edge debayering algorithm in Firecapture was used to create the 24bit RGB video files.  Registax6 was then used to process the videos into bitmap images.  Stack size indicated above  Final adjustment of levels was done in Photoshop Elements.  South is up in all of these images.  Note the interesting alternation of color between red and gray in the section of the NNTB between about 99° and 127° system II longitude.  The reddish brown raft in the NEB at 143° system II longitude remains prominent.  There is also a bright spot on the S edge of the NEB at 147° sys. II longitude I have not noticed before.  It is not present in my images of Aug 12, 2011.  The large collage below gives all 21 images obtained between 4:35 and 5:10 am EDT.  The individual image below it taken at 5:03 am shows the satellite Europa as well and a more highly magnified view of the features described above.

Jupiter and Europa 8/31/11
Jupiter and Europa 8/31/11

August 20, 2011.  The Clear Sky Chart had an ambiguous prediction for conditions this morning: excellent seeing coupled with very doubtful transparency.  Facing the possibility that I would be treated to a very high resolution view of the underside of an overcast layer, I set my alarm for 4 am.  To my surprise, the sky was clear with a very light haze and my initial impression looking through the eyepiece of the 7.25" Schupmann was that the seeing was quite good.  I replaced the eypiece with the Flea3 color webcam and 3x Barlow, giving me f/45.6 and proceeded to take a series of 6 videos 0f 60 seconds each.  Processing in Registax6 and Photoshop Elements gave the results shown below, good but not great resolution.  We see the trail of the southern equatorial disturbance in the wake of the GRS which has just rotated out of visibility.  Two prominent red rafts decorate the northern edge of the NEB.

August 17, 2011.  Jupiter imaged using Flea3 color webcam coupled to 7.25” Schupmann medial with either 3x or 2x Barlow lenses to give f/45.6 or f/27.  Seeing average.  60 second videos taken and processed in Registax6 and Photoshop Elements.  The Great Red Spot and the South Tropical Disturbance following in its wake are prominent as is a deep ruby red raft on the north edge of the NEB. 

     It is apparent from a comparison of the larger images taken at f/45.6 using the 3x Barlow with the smaller ones taken at f/27 using the 2x Barlow, that the seeing disk was small enough to require the longer focal ratio to properly sample it.  I also compared the two by reducing the size of the f/45.6 image to the scale of the f/27 image.  The resolution f/45.6 image was still considerably better than the f/27 image. 

     Poor imaging quality with one shot color cameras often results from the user not recognizing that the coarser pixel matrix created by the Bayer filter mask requires a longer focal ratio (1.4x for green, 2x for red and blue) than would be appropriate for a monochrome camera with the same pixel dimensions.  This is a consequence of the Nyquist-Shannon theorem that applies to all digitizations of analog data: the digital sampling frequency must be at least twice the highest frequency present in the analog data.  The Bayer filter matrix in effects cuts the digital sampling frequency in half for the red and blue pixels and by 1.4 for the green.  Lower focal ratios than what is theoretically required may be employed if the seeing does not support the highest resolution imaging.  In effect, you are down-sampling the image and using the turbulent atmosphere as a low pass filter to remove alias frequencies.  Unfortunately one doesn't have the option of not using the low pass filter.  It is just there in the sky above us.  I have a 3.57x amplifier on hand that would give me the proper sampling rate for my camera and the Schupmann if I ever were to have perfect seeing.  However, I have not had the occasion to use it.  One can only hope that the turbulent NJ atmosphere will someday calm down to the point that it might be useful to me.

August 13, 2011.  This morning was a bit of a disappointment after the exceptional seeing yesterday.  I took 6 videos with the Flea3 on the Schupmann at f/45.6, and gave up.  After processing them it looks like I should have continued imaging into the morning twilight.  The last few images were considerably better than the earlier ones.  Oval BA, aka, "Red Spot Junior" is seen rotating into view on the north edge of the STB.

August 12, 2011.  Sky was very clear and transparent when I rolled off the roof this morning.  It got even better when I had a look at Jupiter at 250x to tune up the field mirror.  Seeing was way above average, at least 7 maybe 8 on the Pickering scale.  I centered Jupiter and attached the Flea3 webcam using my 3x Barlow lens to give f/45.6 (8683 mm focal length) and took a series of seventeen 60 second videos starting at 4:28 and finishing around 5:20 am EDT.  After processing the videos in Registax6 and adjusting the levels in Photoshop Elements, I made a collage of the images.  If you look from top to bottom you can see the rotation of the planet very well.  The Great Red Spot is quite prominent on the south edge of the SEB.  It is a bit pale, but there is some indication of circulation inside.  There is a dark red raft on the northern edge of the NEB.  That has been around for quite a while.  Lots of tiny spots are resolved in the NTB.  Those pretty orange ones were visible at times on the computer monitor and I am sure would have been visible to the eye at the telescope given a high enough magnification.  By the way, looking at these images from a distance of about 14 inches on your computer monitor is about the same magnification as looking through a telescope at 850x, only when you use a webcam and Registax, it is not empty magnification...

Jupiter SEB outbreak spreads
Jupiter SEB outbreak spreads
Jupiter November 13, 2010
Jupiter November 13, 2010
Jupiter 10 13 10 10:20 pm EDT
Jupiter 10 13 10 10:20 pm EDT
Jupiter 10 10 10 10:09 pm EDT
Jupiter 10 10 10 10:09 pm EDT

The video from which this image was made was my first taken using an early version of FireCapture, a much more user friendly program.

 

Saturn July 17, 2013
Saturn July 17, 2013
The CPC-1100EdgeHD
The CPC-1100EdgeHD

The C14 retired from           Jenny Jump

Jupiter, September 11, 2013
Jupiter, September 11, 2013
7.25" Schupmann Medial
7.25" Schupmann Medial
Jupiter September 9, 2013
Jupiter September 9, 2013
12.5" Newtonian
12.5" Newtonian
Mars August 18, 2003
Mars August 18, 2003
Venus March 11, 2012
Venus March 11, 2012
Mercury July 30, 2013
Mercury July 30, 2013
The Sun August 14, 2010
The Sun August 14, 2010
The Moon May 17, 2005
The Moon May 17, 2005
Lunar Terminator Strip 3/12/11
Lunar Terminator Strip 3/12/11