Kenneth Setzer

Camera as Telescope — Jupiter’s Moons!

Just a quick post today. I’ve been into photographing the moon for a few years when it appears in an interesting way, like as a blue moon (the 2nd full moon in a month), or during an eclipse for example. I never seriously considered shooting stars and planets, since I believed I’d need a fancy telescope set up to get anything other than a white dot.

But with Jupiter out in full force this time of year, I went for some shots of it near the moon.

The Moon on December 7, 2011

It was near impossible to capture both the moon (so bright it required a fast exposure) and Jupiter (dim enough for a much longer exposure) in the same shot, without resorting to combining two separate images digitally.

Now Jupiter is so absolutely huge that it’s been appearing as second only to the moon in brightness. Even so, its moons are not visible to my nearsighted naked eyes.

After photographing Jupiter at my max zoom (300mm) I zoomed in on my camera’s LCD and couldn’t believe what the camera’s sensor could capture that my eyes could not:

Jupiter and Some of its Moons

There are at least three moons near Jupiter in this image, as well as a pinpoint of light further from it, at about 11 O’clock (not sure what that is). They are fairly detailless, just pinpricks of light, but that light comes all the way from the freakin’ moons of Jupiter to my camera’s sensor!

I was, and still am, humbled and amazed that I can see this using a camera! Don’t forget to look up!

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2011 by in imaging and tagged , , , , , .

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