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North is up and east to the left unless stated otherwise. I have attempted to create all images at the same scale.

Mercury transit
Mercury's 2006 transit of the Sun 
19:14 UTC November 8, 2006
1/125 sec - f4.9 - ISO 100
solar and 25% ND filters
25.0 mm eyepiece with 3x optical camera telephoto (150.0×)

This is an average of eight photos. Each individual photo was brightened and had an <3.0, 1.0, 0.0> unsharp mask applied. The resulting images were combined and another <3.0, 1.0, 0.0> unsharp mask applied.

This is the first and best of the photos I took during the transit. The white section in the upper right is part of the Sun's disk. Mercury is the small dot below and to the right of center near the edge of the Sun. Above and to the left is a large sunspot designated 0923.
Mercury gibbous 02:10 UTC May 28, 2006
1/15 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
32.0 mm eyepiece with 3x optical camera telephoto ( I did not halve the resolution of the image so this photo is effectively at 234.4×)

This is a average of three photos. In each of those images, I split, aligned and recombined the red, green and blue components to minimize the effects of atmospheric dispersion.

I'm happy with this photo given the conditions: Mercury was at an elevation of 14°, I my telescope was not aligned in its alt-az configure. But it does, I believe, show Mercury in its correct phase. I do not believe the markings are real. Rather, I think they are product of the telescope slightly out of focus at high magnification.

Venus gibbous Venus gibbous
02:29 UTC February 26, 2004
1/8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x optical camera telephoto (300×)

This is a average of three 1/8 second images. In each of those images, I split, aligned and recombined the red, green and blue components to minimize the effects of atmospheric dispersion.
Venus crescent Venus crescent
02:29 UTC May 8, 2004
1/8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x optical camera telephoto (300×)

This is a single 1/8 second image. I again split, aligned and recombined the red, green and blue components.

Mars 2005 Conjunction.
Here are the first and last colorized, B&W images taken on October 28, 2005. Each has had its contrast enhanced and had a <3.0, 1.0, 0.0> unsharp mask applied.
Mars north is to the upper right. Mars west is to the upper left.
4:22 UTC
colorized B&W 9 image average
1/15 s - f/4.9 - ISO 100
White balance = Auto
Noise reduction = OFF
3.0× telephoto
12.0 mm eyepiece (312.5x)
The north-south structure near the meridian is Syrtis Major. South and to the east is Mare Tyrrhenum, south and to the west is Iapygia, Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridianii. Hellas is the plain to the southeast, Arabia/Eden to the northwest.
6:42 UTC
colorized B&W 7 image average
1/15 s - f/4.9 - ISO 100
White balance = Auto
Noise reduction = OFF
3.0× telephoto
12.0 mm eyepiece (312.5x)
Syrtis Major is just rounding the limb to the east. Sinus Meridianii is the prominent feature on the meridian. Mare Erythraeum is coming into view in the west.
This is the full movie including the two still images shown above. In the last few frames, a lighter spot moves into view from the north-west (upper-left). This is a dust storm which had formed in the previous 12 hours and was first seen that morning.
Mars Mars 2003 Conjuction
06:13 UTC August 23, 2003
1/4 sec - f2.8 - ISO 400
6 mm (208.3x)
This image was scanned from a negative taken using Kodak HD ASA 400 color film.
The contrast has been enhanced. Technically, this is my best image of Mars from the '03 opposition but it happened at a time where there was virtually no prominent surface features. The physical motion or "slap" of the mirror in the SLR camera moving out of the way when the shutter is opened, shakes the camera and results in a slightly distorted, vertically compressed image. Enhancing the contrast makes the south polar cap appear to protrude slightly.
Mars Mars 2003 Conjuction
08:00 UTC September 6, 2003
1/4 sec - f22.0 - ISO 400
6 mm (208.3x)
This image was scanned from a negative taken using Kodak HD ASA 400 color film.
This is a single 1/4 second image. I removed the background skyglow, then split, aligned and recombined the red, green and blue components. Then the contrast was steeply enhanced. Syrtis Major is on the eastern limb. Sinus Meridiani, Mare Erythraeum and Aurorae Sinus should be near center on the planet's disk.

Jupiter 2010-11-06T03:49 UTC Jupiter without SEB

2010-11-06T03:49 UTC

White balance = 6000K (Cloudy)
Noise reduction = Off
positive projection using 15 mm occular at 13.5 cm (650×)
Created from the six best 0.5 s - ISO 100 photos. I applied an unsharp mask (50,0,0.5) to each photo, aligned and averaged them together. Next, I aligned the red-green-blue layers, adjusted the contrast and applied an unsharp mask. Finally, I rotated to north-up, cropped and reduced the image by a factor of five.

The conditions were better than average but not perfect. I was able to capture the missing Southern Equatorial Band (SEB), the Great Red Spot, and a couple storms. I've enhanced the contrast a little more than normal so that, If you look carefully, you'll see a very pale grey or blue band where the SEB should appear. It is still there, just hidden by higher clouds. According to Sky&Telescope, this rare event should evolve into a very unsettled appearance as the SEB returns.


Jupiter Impact Scar 2009-07-31 05:56 UTC Impact Scar on Jupiter

05:56 - 05:57 UTC July 31, 2009

White balance = 6000K (Cloudy)
Noise reduction = Off
positive projection using 15 mm occular at 13.5 cm (650×)
Created from the nine best 1.6 s - ISO 100 photos. I aligned the red-green-blue layers, adjusted the contrast and applied a (10,1.0,0) unsharp mask to each photo. I averaged the modified photos and applied a (10,0.5,0) unsharp mask to the resulting image. Finally, I rotated to north-up, cropped and reduced the image by a factor of five. Click the photo to display a larger image in a new window.

The conditions were more challenging and the impact scar continues to disperse, but the site is just visible as a faint smudge at the edge of the south polar region.


Jupiter Impact Scar 2009-07-26 06:53 UTC Impact Scar on Jupiter

06:52 - 06:53 UTC July 26, 2009

White balance = 6000K (Cloudy)
Noise reduction = Off
positive projection using 15 mm occular at 13.5 cm (650×)
Created from the eight 1 s - ISO 100 photos. I aligned the red-green-blue layers, adjusted the contrast and applied a (10,1.0,0) unsharp mask to each photo. I averaged the modified photos and applied a (10,0.5,0) unsharp mask to the resulting image. Finally, I rotated to north-up, cropped and reduced the image by a factor of five. Move the mouse over the photo to see features labeled. Click the photo to display a larger image in a new window.

Hmmm, it is almost 2010... No, I'm sure it couldn't be the monoliths. Nevertheless, it is quite a thrill to spot the impact scar which was just visible in the eyepiece and individual photos. This image turned out much better than I'd expected given seeing that was average at best. In fact, I believe this is my best photo of Jupiter to date. This is a credit to my new equipment, not my skill.



2006-07-29 Europa is occulted by Jupiter Europa occulted by Jupiter
02:55 - 03:27 UTC July 29, 2006
1 sec - f4.9 - ISO 200
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
Each frame is an average of two to eight photos and has been enhanced slightly. Jupiter appears as a white oval with no detail because it was overexposed in the original photos. The animation spans 27 minutes but has been sped up for convenience and dramatic effect.
Jupiter 2006-07-08 4:33 UT
Jupiter with Europa, Io and Ganymede
04:33 UTC July 8, 2006
1/8 s - f/4.9 - ISO 200
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3× camera optical telephoto (300.0×)
This is a combination of twenty-three photos. The color was adjusted to make the planet white, the contrast was enhanced, and an unsharp mask (3.0, 1.0, 0.0) was applied to each photo. The photos were then averaged in groups of 5-4-5-4-5. An unsharp mask (3.0, 1.0, 0.0) was applied again. These groups were then combined and another unsharp mask (2.0, 0.5, 0.0) applied.

This photo is actually a mosaic of the same image processed in two slightly different ways: one was processed to enhance the planet, the other, to better show the moons. Europa is to the lower left and very faint, Ganymede to the upper right. Io is to the right of Jupiter and Io's shadow appears as a dark spot on the right side of the planet just above the dark north equatorial band.
Jupiter 2006-06-03 Jupiter
07:55 UTC June 6, 2006
1/8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 200
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
This is an average of twenty-one images. I strongly enhanced the contrast and applied an unsharp mask (3.0; 1.0; 0.0) to the individual photos. Next, I combined the photos in subgroups of four (five in the last subgroup). I applied the unsharp mask again and combined the subgroups. Finally I applied the unsharp mask one more time, aligned and balanced the red, green and blue channels creating this final image.
Jupiter strongly enhanced This was my second attempt to capture oval BA, A.K.A. Red Spot Junior. I believe BA is just barely visible with a size of two or three pixels, i.e. about 1" and the resolution limit of of my equipment. If weather permits, and I can catch BA crossing the meridian when Jupiter is higher, I may be able to improve upon this photo but only marginally. Overall, this photo matches up well with higher resolution images, see, for example, those from Go, the person who first detected the change in color of the BA oval. In particular, compare this photo to his May 28 image when almost the same longitude on the meridian.

The image to the right is the same photo but at full (twice) resolution. In either image, the Great Red Spot should be obvious as the large orange oval to the right of the central meridian in the southern equatorial belt. I think BA is barely visible as a lighter spot near the meridian of the planet in the southern temperate belt, the darker region below the southern equatorial belt that appears to extend southwards to the pole.

Jupiter Jupiter
06:16 UTC March 10, 2004
1/4 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
This is an average of five images taken between 6:16
and 6:19. I then steepened the contrast and applied an
unsharp mask (radius: 10.0; amount: 0.50; threshold: 0).
Jupiter later that same night Jupiter about ½ hour later
06:41 UTC March 10, 2004
1/4 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
This is an average of five images taken between 6:41
and 6:49. I then steepened the contrast and applied an
unsharp mask (radius: 10.0; amount: 0.50; threshold: 0).
The GRS is just coming around the limb (left on the southern equatorial band). Ganymede is to the right. Note the motion of both from the top to the bottom image. The sky was wonderful, particularly early in the evening. I was able to see the GRS on a single image although I could not see it by eye. The first of these two images is probably the single best planetary image I've captured.
Jupiter with Io shadow Jupiter with Io's shadow
06:08 UTC February 27, 2004
1/8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
This is an average of four images taken at 6:08. I then steepened the contrast and applied the unsharp mask
(radius: 10.0; amount: 0.50; threshold: 0).
Io's shadow is the dark spot west of center on the northern equatorial band. Io should be trailing just behind the shadow. There's a lighter spot there but it is virtually impossible to be sure from this photograph. The Great Red Spot (GRS) is just rotating into view on the left. Europa is just to the right of Jupiter.

Saturn 2009-04-11 Saturn
02:55 UTC April 11, 2009
1/8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 200
I took 108 photos but kept only the 10 best. I expanded the brightness range and applied an unsharp mask (5.0; 1.0, 0.0) to each. I then averaged them and applied an unsharp mask (5.0, 0.5, 0.0) to the average. Finally, I rotated the image to north-up and cropped it.

The rings, which are open only 11%, are pretty sharp and there's just a hint of the Cassini division at the far left and right in the full resolution image. Note the faint, brownish temperate bands and the blue-grey polar regions.
Saturn Saturn
02:00 UTC April 15, 2005
1/15 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.0 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (312.5x)

This is an average of three sets of images images: six, five and nine in each set. taken between 1:47 and 2:03 UTC. I then steepened the contrast and applied an unsharp mask (radius: 5.0; amount: 0.50; threshold: 0).
Saturn's moons
3:37 UTC March 14, 2005
An average of two 4 second exposures.

The blob in the middle is an over exposed image of Saturn. Starting from the far left and moving clockwise we see: Titan, Dione, Tethys and Rhea. The lower arrow points to Enceladus. The upper arrow indicates another object which is probably a background star. My picture of Saturn is pretty but not detailed.

Saturn Saturn
04:30 UTC March 11, 2004
1/4 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12.5 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (300×)
This is an average of eight images taken between 4:30
and 4:32. I steepened the contrast and applied an
unsharp mask (radius: 3.0; amount: 1.00; threshold: 0) on the individual photos. Then I aligned and stacked them. Finally I applied another unsharp mask (radius: 3.0; amount: 0.50; threshold: 0).

Uranus Uranus
04:02 UTC September 3, 2004
1 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
25 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical and 4x digital telephoto (300×)
This is an average of nine images taken between 4:02 through and 4:13. I then steepened the contrast a little at the low end while flattening it at the high to sharpen up the disk edge.

Neptune Neptune
03:32 UTC September 27, 2004
8 sec - f4.9 - ISO 400
12 mm eyepiece with 3x camera optical telephoto (312.5x)
This is an average of three images taken at 3:32. After the photos were combined, the final image was split into its RGB components and aligned. There is a slight vertical flattening which is probably attributable to poor tracking during the 8 second exposures.

Last modified: 2010-11-07