Rotating Jupiter

Jupiter 3x barlow ZWO ASI120MC-S colour


New aspect:
This time I wanted to capture two things at once:
A) The first proper image of Jupiter with its great big red spot and
B) An animation of Jupiter revealing it’s rotational movement.

Image acquisition:
I centered Jupiter with my 28mm stock eyepiece delivered with my scope and then attached the ZWO ASI120MC-S Colour camera to my Skywatcher Newtonian telescope (750mm FL). After reviewing the seeing conditions (OK’ish) and centering the planet again I chose the 3x barlow-lens and magnified the planet with the new effective 2.2m FL.

After focusing the best I could I stared taking 32 video files each of 3min length with a frame rate of around 50fps (equals 9000 images each clip) in RGB24 colour space. Longer video files are problematic because Jupiter rotates so fast, that you will see blurring artifacts at the image edges after stacking one clip. Greatest concern was the disk space!! Each video file was about 6GB big! And I took 32 of them! A lot of memory usage – check your disk in beforehand!

Image post processing:
I did a complete rundown of the processing. In short:

  • Image stacking (Autostakkert!3)
  • copying in new folder
  • choosing the best and sharpening with Registax6
  • batch mode with Registax6 on every other stacked image file
  • adding watermarks with IrfanView 64 4.54 to every frame
  • importing everything in GIMP as layers
  • exporting the stack as .gif

Here is the complete rundown:

Capturing Jupiter was a lot of fun! Be aware of your disk space when taking large numbers of planetary images.
Next time I want to include the moons in the final .gif image. But either way: I really like the movement of the planet – it reveals so much more information and perspective than „just“ one single image. Definitely a lot of fun!

Final „still“ image of Jupiter with its moons:

Jupiter 3x barlow ZWO ASI120MC-S colour