Friday, December 23, 2011

2011-12-23 Jupiter

Temperature keeps dropping along in this windy night.  Seeing like 0.5/10, too bad that I don't want to rate it.  Jupiter appears as a featureless disc except during some very brief moments with that two major cloud belts.  You can't even know you're in proper focus.

Armed with my motorized Mark-X, tracking is a joy even with rough polar alignment.  This motor delivers a lot of torque even I've nothing on the other side for balance, it tracks very well!  Here's a shot with the existing mounting adapter which is heavier than the mount body!

So you see the scope was actually quite far away from the RA axis, so the torque could be huge even with a small scope, but the motor works very well.

Due to the poor seeing, I just did an over-exposure to bring out the Jovian satellites at prime focus (i.e. 480mm):-

With this initial success, I pushed the power to 960mm and then capture thousands of frames with my LU070M, and after stacking, the cloud belts were clear and good:-

Knowing the poor seeing, I pumped with the image scale with 2400mm but then nothing could be seen as expected, I just want to try out the tracking. I've to adjust the DEC axis manually in order to re-center my target after several minutes of tracking, but this is a result of poor polar alignment rather than the tracking motor. It seems like if I want to do high power imaging, I would need a motorized DEC as well... it should cost me something like another $600 HKD, got to think about that. But I won't do it at this moment.

I'm getting some fun out of my good old setup.  The adventure with the Mark-X brings a lot of joy without any high cost.  It's why amatuer astronomy was so much fun.

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