It wasn’t long after setting up my astrophotography gear last night that the clouds began to roll in. Seems to be a common occurrence anymore, in fact I can’t remember the last night I was able to set up on a galaxy and image from one horizon to the opposite. Though I was able to capture some data on Messier 101 which I will be posting later.
As I was breaking everything back down I happened to look over my should and noticed a bright star to the south about 20 degrees west of the moon. Wait, or is that a star? Then it clicked, it is this weekend that the moon will mature into a fully illuminated disc as it rendezvous with Jupiter!
I was suddenly distracted from the task of tearing down all that gear and completely focused on capturing some worthwhile shot of moon and Jupiter within a single frame. With an 18mm lens attached to my 7D I was able to capture both, though I am now seriously looking forward to Sunday night when the two celestial objects will be standing side by side in the night sky. It should be quite a sight! More importantly to me is photographing the event.
After taking a couple photos of the moon and Jupiter with a wide angle lens I decided to turn to my 70D which was attached to my 80mm ED APO telescope and already mounted to an equatorial mount, not expecting much. The telescope that I am using is considered a wide field imaging telescope at 380mm with the attached focal reducer and field flattener.
To my surprise I was able to capture Jupiter with 4 of it’s moon in close to an aligned formation. I had really not expected that, not with this set up anyway.
Needless to say astro imaging and photographic equipment is very, very expensive, so I’m really limited to this one high end ED APO and a one other vintage type mirror lens at 800mm. Although old it takes beautiful images under the right circumstances and I do believe this transition of Jupiter is one of those circumstances. So you can bet I will be out tonight, as well as Sunday night focusing up both a wide field lens on a Canon 7D and this ancient telescopic lens on a 70D!
This will be a first for me, intentionally going out after Jupiter with a telescope. Ive always been more interested in photographic nebula and galaxies up until now.
Anyway, stay tuned, I will try to post more images of Jupiter and the full moon, separately and together within the next couple days.
Keep your eyes to the sky! Jer