Jupiter 2015 April 08 01:24 UT

Jupiter 2015 April 08 01:24 UT

Went out last night at 23:30UT and at 01:00 UT April 8th.
I try to file this run as 2015April07
It gets confusing imaging across the UT midnight.

1st time out with the Meade 20cm LX200, with dew heaters but no shield, the ZWO ASI 120MC camera and firecapture software.
At 19:30 it was too bright to do a two star alignment but I manually drove to Jupiter and did one run using the driftscan method of imaging.
It actually worked out not too bad. Seems to have caught the GRS coming on and a moon shadow on the surface of Jupiter.

After 01:00UT it was dark, did a two star alignment on Capella and another star in Auriga (wonky hand controller.. really gotta find out if a replacement can be found). It found Jupiter in a low power eyepiece, syncd on Jupiter and put the camera in. With FL=2000mm, that is twice the magnification of the Meade 10cm FL=1000mm scope, and hence harder to centre Jupiter in the FOV Eventually got it and the focus.

It was cold sitting out in a chair by the scope, so I thought, let’s ramp it up a bit. Hooked the camera and telescope into a USB hub, connected it to the 5m USB repeater that went into the observatory and put the chair inside. It was much warmer there, even with the doors open.
Tracking was not bad but I still wanted some remote control of the scope.
Firecapture has a telescope control option but only for autoguiding.. and I have not come anywhere close to learning about that.
Stellarium.. nope.. finally settled on Handyavi. It also you to slew and to control the microfocuser. Bonus.. it worked!

20cm Meade lx200 FL=2000mm F10
Jupiter altitude 60 degrees, apparent size 40.56″
exposure: 6ms over 53 seconds and using 50% of 5033 frames to create this image.
Jupiter now covers 112 pixels give or take
The Great Red Spot features prominently in the southern equatorial belt. The planet is rotating from left to right. North is up.

Can’t wait to add a new dew shield and better pointing and tracking.
This is the first powerup of the lx200 since the fall.
The neighbours graciously turn ON their two back lights and left them on for the full session.
Damien Peach, astrophotog extraordinare, built a portable “wall” of 2×4’s with black plastic to block local light… sounds like a plan!