Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Three Evening Planets with the Celestron 4SE

Took my Celestron NexStar 4SE out last evening for a few quickie images of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

All were taken at prime focus with a Canon T3 at ISO 400 @ 1/125th sec. These are cropped from the single shot and are "actual" size comparison with each other. Nothing to write home about but it was an experiment anyway. Ideally I should have used my Canon t2i or t3i in the cropped movie mode and then used software to find the best frames and integrate them into a higher quality result.

You can see that the planet is gibbous (no longer a full circle)
as our planet is pulling away from Mars (getting ahead of it in orbit around the Sun).

You can easily see several of the cloud belts
and a hint of  in the the Great Red Spot
near the lower right edge of the planet.

The lower part of the rings of Saturn
are tilted downward in relation to us.
You can just make out the two major parts
of the rings as well and perhaps a hint
of a slightly darker cloud belt on the upper part
of the planet.

Just a reminder: These were taken with a small scope (4" mirror)
as compared with the Celestron NexStar 8iSE (8" mirror).
While the 8" is twice the diameter
it has 4 times the light gathering and detail potential of the 4".

Personally, I am just surprised that I was able to get what I did with this little scope! 

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