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Dalriada n:
Kingdom of the Scots,
home of the residents

Jupiter revisited (again), and some new technology

I lashed out on a new ‘planetary’ camera, a ZWO ASI224MC USB3.0 Colour CMOS Camera. It’s a jumped-up webcam really but a bit specialised for astrophotography. It’s going to take time learning how to use it well, but first experiments look quite promising. Also, it’s a lovely colour.

Planetary imaging from Glasgow in March 2016 means Jupiter and the sky cleared last night for my first attempt with the new camera, from the back garden. Stellarium showed what I might aspire to as usual:


Stellarium screenshot, with the occular plug-in set to show the ZWO ASI224MC view through the SkyWatcher Mak 150

Here is an image stacked from 500 frames of a ‘movie’ sequence – although the equatorial mount was doing its best to prevent Jupiter moving out off shot.


my actual image of Jupiter
you can just make out 3 of its Gallilean moons

Output Format=SER file
Capture Area=1304×976
Sensor Temp=13.6
Hardware Binning=On
High Speed Mode=Off
Turbo USB=82
Flip Image=None
Frame Rate Limit=Maximum
Exposure (ms)=0.007424
Timestamp Frames=Off
Subtract Dark=None

The camera comes with a 2.1mm CCTV lens, and a regular tripod fitting screw – which means it can be used without a telescope to take ultra wide-angle ‘all-sky’ shots! I had a go with that after I packed up the ‘scope but before I moved the tripod, so the mount was still polar aligned and could track the stars at the sidereal rate.


The Plough and Jupiter from Earlspark Avenue at 22:13 – sharpened just a bit via GIMP


and the same thing via Stellarium, without Earlspark Avenue

The 2.1mm CCTV lens does have quite a wide field of view, which might surprise the unwary: