Friday, October 22, 2010


Tonight when letting Amber out before bed, I noticed that the sky was mostly cloudless, and that Jupiter was pretty much overhead. Looking at the moon, the atmosphere had a bit of moisture and haze in it, but I've been wanting to photograph Jupiter for days now. It wasn't the best viewing conditions, but I figured they were good enough for a first try. With my 400mm lens and doubler, f/11 is the brightest I could make it, and I was not sure I could find Jupiter in the viewfinder, or have much success tracking and focusing. Only one way to find out - try it!

It turned out that my experience tracking the moon with almost the same equipment (different tripod) had given me some mad skillz. Finding and tracking Jupiter was no problem. Focusing was a bit harder, but for the most part I managed ok.

The first picture here is an overexposed one of Jupiter. This is so I could get good exposure on Jupiter's moons. I do not know which ones are visible here. A guess would be the ones on the left are Io and Europa, and the one further away, on the right is Ganymede - though it could easily be Callisto. I have not been tracking orbits, so I would not bet on that being accurate.

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO400, 1/4]
[Jupiter's moons, 10/22/2010]

The second pic here is of Jupiter with a more reasonable exposure, trying to see the bands. They are plainly visible, but there is no detail or color coming through. On the one hand, I'm disappointed in the clarity, but on the other, I'm happy that I can at least see that there are bands.

Not too bad considering the viewing conditions and that I was using equipment meant for terrestrial photography.

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO200, 1/200]
[Jupiter, 10/22/2010]

Click on images for slightly larger views!

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