Outdoor Ontario

Off Topic => Anything Goes => Topic started by: Howieh on December 18, 2020, 01:15:59 pm

Title: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 18, 2020, 01:15:59 pm
It looks like the weather gods are conspiring to prevent me from seeing the two giant planets at their closest on Dec 21 so I have been observing them lately every chance I get. Although I didn't take any pictures, yesterday evening I was easily able to get Jupiter and a few of it's moons and Saturn in the same field at 50x zoom with my SX50 and it looks like this evening may be the last chance to see them until late next week because cloudy conditions are expected to persist for several days starting tonight.
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/1615/how-to-photograph-the-conjunction-of-saturn-and-jupiter/
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 18, 2020, 05:10:55 pm
 So, if you have 50x zoom ratio then you must have at least 20x at maximum FL and therefore enough to capture some detail (satellites and rings). Why not try a few frames at different exposures and share regardless of the level of success.

 
If I didn’t have a 93-year old to take care of then I might even give it a try with only 200mm even though I have a terminal case of laziness.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: TransAtlanticGoose on December 19, 2020, 12:13:25 pm
I hope you manage get a couple of shots, despite the weather.
I finally had a clear night tonight, but my longest lens is only 50mm, so I couldn't capture much more detail than a could see with my naked eye. (They were also pretty close to the horizon.)

(Photo: a 1 second time-exposure on a tripod, with a 16MP sensor, cropped)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 19, 2020, 04:38:35 pm
 What a trooper.
I finally located Jupiter with my naked eye but couldn’t make out Saturn because the twilight sky was still too bright. The trees in the woodlot blocked my view. It was too cold to mess with a camera and tripod. I thought that you were having dull, overcast weather with rain. Looks clear to me. Must have been fairly warm out, what … say 6 – 7 degrees?
How did you manage to get a trailing effect with a 1 sec exposure? Only about 50 sec of arc/second and you shouldn’t be able to see that with a 50mm lens. I managed 2.5 seconds at 200mm before trailing was detectable after cropping when trying to capture the comet. Dino had trailing at 5 seconds with a 300mm, but it still turned out to be the best exposure solution for stacked images. My 2.5 sec at half the lens speed (same ISO) just barely worked and not with enough success to wrestle with DSS software that would probably render me apoplectic.
 
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 19, 2020, 06:39:02 pm
I looked at the conjunction in the past few evenings, but have not felt motivated to photograph them. Guess I just don't know how I should photograph them.


However, I took a shot of the crescent moon a couple of days ago. Since the weather is cold and wet, and with all these depressing covid news, I thought I needed a change.

https://charline.pixels.com/featured/new-moon-over-ruins-charline-xia.html (https://charline.pixels.com/featured/new-moon-over-ruins-charline-xia.html)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 19, 2020, 07:04:43 pm
 Your moon above columns shot (Guild Inn?) shows penetrating depth-of-field. The detail on the lunar surface close to the terminator is impressive, therefore implying perfect focus, while the capitals are also in fine focus. Two stacked images perhaps? Setting a lens to infinity is not always appropriate to capture a celestial object in proper focus. Using live-view and digital magnification with manual focus is a reliable method for focusing.
I guess capturing both Saturn and Jupiter in the same frame demands that you wait until they are separated by the least celestial arc using the greatest magnification that manages to embrace both of the planets. Two stacked images might be needed since Jupiter is much brighter than Saturn and Saturn’s rings need a longer exposure, but not too long (smear) and that probably demands a really fast telephoto lens. I once managed Saturn’s rings with a few seconds exposure but with some manual tracking, something that seldom works and is the last resort of the desperate.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 19, 2020, 07:49:49 pm
SS. thanks for your comments. I was thinking if I should soften the moon and allow it to be defocused, ..., I am not sure what I am going to do with it.

I had hoped that the crescent moon and the planets are somewhat closer, like that: https://charline.pixels.com/featured/toronto-evening-skyline-with-new-moon-and-venus-charline-xia.html (https://charline.pixels.com/featured/toronto-evening-skyline-with-new-moon-and-venus-charline-xia.html)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Dinusaur on December 19, 2020, 08:02:49 pm
Great discussion and thanks for sharing the link. The weather god is not in our favor - I was really hoping to make another trip to Minesing the same way I did for Neowise. Since these two planets are far brighter than Neowise, exposure shorter than 5 second should produce good results.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 19, 2020, 09:00:29 pm
Ok, I have replaced the sharp crescent moon with a blurry moon. It may take a day or two for the website to update. :)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 19, 2020, 09:20:56 pm
 I only mentioned the DOF issue because I was surprised to discover such a deep field of fine focus. It was not meant to suggest a flaw. The warm crisp lunar sickle captures the viewer’s attention, as does the stark B&W architecture, so the eye fails to anchor itself to a subject. The moon tends to deliver greater gravitas by virtue of its material significance, but the columns, capitals and supported entablature have visual appeal as well and therefore a conflict exists … where to look?
Softening the moon would tone-down the moon’s contribution to the conflict. Let the exquisite festooning on the stone provide the fine detail and serve as the nidus for our attention. Either de-saturate the moon or add warm filter tone to the columns. Warm on one side and cold on the other creates more conflict. Much of the architecture is black, even darker than the night sky. I wonder what the moon may have looked like if it were between columns with a lighted column on the right side of the photo and the moon on the left side close to a dark column. I’m not sure that the silhouette of the tree has much to say. I know ... I know,  if only I were a tree.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 19, 2020, 10:05:18 pm
SS, again, thanks for you thoughtful musing. It was my original intention to have a blurry moon which was in the original image. After looking at it again, I feel a blurry moon would serve the image better - Perhaps subconsciously, the ruins is the reality such as the pandemic, which we are in right now, and the waxing crescent moon is a new beginning of a not so clear future such as the hope of some magic vaccines, lol.

Does it make sense?
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 19, 2020, 11:14:04 pm
I kinda like the original image but I'll reserve my uneducated judgement until I see the blurry moon version. So I dug out my old cheap tripod, set up between me and my neighbour and shot the conjunction until my right hand froze. As anybody who dabbles in astro-photography knows, seeing is believing, and the 'seeing' was actually pretty good. I still remember hauling the old Skyscope out in the cold and waiting half an hour for the mirror to settle down (i.e. stop contracting?) but I'm not sure if the same conditions apply to today's camera optics. I'm still hoping for another chance to shoot Jupiter and Saturn close together so I haven't downloaded yesterday's images but here are a few from the past.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 20, 2020, 11:39:07 am
 Wow. Your view to optimistic analogizing and symbolism is way beyond the powers offered by my stash of mushrooms. You must have more potent mood enhancers than I do. I see the ruins as folly, albeit very exquisite expressions of greatness that have fallen and now all but vanished amidst new incantations for the next powerful regime that aspires to control everything while the moon just continues to look on, unconcerned and perhaps a little amused by the episodes of folly unfolding below.
The celestial world is both beyond comprehension in its vastness and well outside the understanding of our species when you get down to the mysterious quantum world where nonsense and chaos abound, perhaps because our three dimensional perspective limits our investigation. The ruins of past vainglory are not even up to the role of long forgotten stage props to some inconsequential puerile play.
I don’t see the crescent moon as the sign of a new beginning in the post covid-19 world. Its presence undermines the machinations of the man-made world, while the ruins are the denouement of mankind’s collective ego, so their very presence in your photo are more valuable in their portrayal of how are mindset is expressed in architectural motifs and the building technologies of the time. The moon was built by the laws of physics, still the technology of the day, and does not represent some illusion of power. The moon is a speck in the universe and still dominates your picture. Throwing a veil over it doesn’t obfuscate its omnipotence as it faces mankind.
Your post covid-19 optimism is probably an essential part of the beauty of youth. I see possible mutations to coronavirus as likely, as with all respiratory viruses, even the version that causes the common head cold. Vaccines may not be able to keep up. The microbial problem may be a protracted one. While this all slowly unfolds, the moon looks on with resolute dissociation. It could be renamed “shingles” because shingles just doesn’t care.
Since you seem to have more latent energy than Vesuvius you might be up to engaging in a photographic essay of covid-19 in our times. There is so much that has changed and the lens likes change. The moon will always be there and designing a veil for it seems fiddling while Rome burns.
No offense intended. I just have a knack for it.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 20, 2020, 12:11:14 pm
Howieh, was the first Jupiter image a single shot from a telescope? It looks amazing! I tried to use DeepSkyStacker for Neowise earlier this year, but my result was not much better than that from a single DSLR shot. Maybe I will buy a light-weighted tracking device one day. With my multiple  injuries, I really cannot handle heavy camera gears.

SS, I wish I were young. The youthfulness you perceived from my photos is perhaps a reflections of my naivety?? lol.

Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 20, 2020, 12:33:33 pm
Nice try with the moon and Jupiter. The planet would capture well with an even shorter exposure. I've applied a little PS to clean up the glow around the perimeter of these bodies and a lighter version of HDR.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-57fB9xH/0/6ba1d89b/S/i-57fB9xH-S.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-57fB9xH/A)
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RK8QMtx/0/5d0fcf01/S/i-RK8QMtx-S.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-RK8QMtx/A)
I'm wondering what Charline's exposure was for Neowise. What was your exposure for Jupiter?
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 20, 2020, 01:11:27 pm
SS, I had to take consideration of the focal length and aperture in order to avoid trailing. My shots were not great photos, because they were shot in jpg for some time lapse clips.  I will have to re-edit when I have the time.

This one was 16 sec - https://charline.pixels.com/featured/ontario-cottage-country-with-comet-neowise-over-water-charline-xia.html (https://charline.pixels.com/featured/ontario-cottage-country-with-comet-neowise-over-water-charline-xia.html)

This one was 32 sec, the stars had some slight trailing:  https://fineartamerica.com/featured/comet-neowise-charline-xia.html (https://fineartamerica.com/featured/comet-neowise-charline-xia.html)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 20, 2020, 01:30:49 pm
My apologies for not including descriptions. I thought the file names would suffice but of course they are not displayed. The red star in the moon shot is actually Aldebaran, in Taurus the bull. The seeing was terrible but it was interesting to watch the star just skim the north pole of the moon. I'm sure there was an occultation of Aldebaran visible south of Toronto.
 The Jupiter shot is a 100x zoom from the SX50. Unfortunately the shutter speed required to see any detail on Jupiter was too fast to show the three moons that were visible at the time. It didn't occur to me then but it might have been better to keep the zoom at 50x (the limit of the optical zoom) and crop.

The vertical shot shows the crescent of Venus above Mercury.
 Venus approaching the Pleiades was shot last April. Next time I'll borrow one of my sons 5D's and (my) old 100-400 lens!

All images are from the SX50.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 20, 2020, 02:10:41 pm
 In 30 seconds the earth’s rotation smears across 450 seconds of arc, or about 9 x the diameter of Jupiter. Even a wide angle lens might show star trailing. If you have DSS software and know how to use it, incorporating all the ancillary files (flat, dark and bias files) then you may not need to invest in a tracking engine because they too are flawed for very long tracking times. Have you used the stacking tool at say 10 seconds and take 25 frames with 25 ancillary frames and see what pops up? You already have some terrific galaxy shots presumable taken way up north, or out east in the Maritime area. What more do you want? The Neowise comet shot turned out fine for having tried a contextural approach, while I tried to crop into the comet, ... always a mistake with my camera when shooting at 3200 ISO. At only f4 and only 2.5 seconds of trail-free exposure I didn’t really have any choice. Perhaps a 100 frames at a lower ISO would have been better except then I would absolutely need to figure out the DSS program. I don't have a lot of time.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 20, 2020, 02:55:14 pm
SS and anyone who knows how to use DSS, I would really appreciate if you could teach me why my stacked comet is not showing the blue tail?

Also after being stacked, the core of the comet lost its cyan color.

This is a 13-seconds time lapse clip from a 50mm lens. It has 390 frames. I thought I would have enough frames to stack. What did I do wrong? 

I feel very frustrated. :(

https://www.pond5.com/stock-footage/item/135633374-comet-neowise-night-sky-time-lapse (https://www.pond5.com/stock-footage/item/135633374-comet-neowise-night-sky-time-lapse)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 20, 2020, 06:41:45 pm
 In photography frustration is part of the package, but too much of it can make one crazy. I should know. I am perpetually frustrated by lack of opportunity and lack of equipment. Every hobby that I have ever had has come with its share of frustration. Whatever you do in the realm of hobby requires gear, tools or material sundries, including fine instruments that all cost money. I have left a trail of hobbies that were abandoned because of lack of funds or great difficulty in obtaining essential materials.
Frustration does stimulate creativity. When anything comes too easily because you have and everything you need at your whim and disposal then you probably don’t manage to learn as much.  Working with marginal equipment means you need to try harder and innovate. In fact, some neophytes purchase superb gear without even knowing what is most desirable. Large sums spend on the wrong thing because of an underlying misunderstanding of the basics of the hobby.
Shooting planets with a bridge camera sporting an enormous zoom ratio may seem like just the thing because the maximum magnification is so impressive. The magnification, while important, is not the main requirement for this kind of photography. Celestial targets demand high resolution and that feature only comes with a large diameter objective lens, or mirror. The small diameter of a bridge camera’s zoom lens cannot deliver the resolving power needed. A 400mm f4 lens has a 100mm objective lens, a 500mm f4 has a 125mm lens, while a 600mm f4 has a 150mm lens diameter. So, although these three lenses have the same speed and comparable magnification, the bigger lens is sharper, has a greater resolving power. The bigger the objective lens the higher the cost, just like the analogy of rapidly escalating cost as the sensor size is increased. Is it any wonder frustration arises when the gear available is just not able to do the required task.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Ally on December 21, 2020, 12:31:35 pm
I don't understand most that was said in this thread. The tech terms, the metaphor. I don't think it will help if it were in my mothertone ;D ;D  Am I the only one who takes photo without thinking how it's done? Despite years effort SS spent tring to teach me, still I mostly just point and shoot.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Dinusaur on December 23, 2020, 04:25:00 pm
Haha, I do the same Ally; With 12 frames per second I end up getting too many spray and pray shots, no time to think in between.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 23, 2020, 05:00:47 pm
 Actually Ally, you do think before you shoot. Practice has made it almost intuitive but you position yourself to favour a clear line of sight, you locate to favour the light, you compensate to the right or the left of center as required by circumstances and you likely choose the lowest ISO you think you can get away with. You get down-to-earth when possible and appropriate, you pan without OS when needed, you likely sometimes follow your subject through the viewfinder until the wonder-bird is in profile, you direct your center-weighted focus where it counts. Yes, I’m sure you do a lot of thinking but at this stage of the game you don’t even realize it. You even reconnoiter and plan your trip. Your results are not an accident. They are evolving skill and that means you think about it.
So, do you think?   Ya think?
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 24, 2020, 11:57:33 am
So here goes nothing! I picked one of the 'better' shots from my conjunction folder, cropped it, denoised it, resized it, etc. and here is the result - not pretty but I am quite pleased that after all that finagling Saturns rings are still apparent.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 24, 2020, 02:06:17 pm
 Way to go!
I never thought I would see both Jupiter and Saturn in the same frame. Looks to be about 22 minutes of arc apart (17x the relative optical diameter of Jupiter). You even have enough exposure to reveal a couple of Jovian moons and the rings are resolvable. I’m glad that you took the initiative and tried the project despite the overcast weather and the twilight pollution. You said that you cropped the image so it’s hard to determine the magnification. This looks to be about 40x – 50x (2000mm – 2500mm in 35mm telephoto equivalent). Wouldn’t it be great to have a 10” reflector with that same focal length. The resolution would be amazing. Even with film emulsion the results were OK back in the day when I tried it with a dilapidated 10”. With a sensor of far greater sensitivity the exposure would have been much shorter and the image sharper. You did quite well using a bridge camera with all its limitations. I feel like a real loser not even having tried.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 24, 2020, 10:59:28 pm
I'm pretty sure the image was shot at 50x zoom. I have a few images taken at 100x zoom and I thought I saw Titan(?) in one of them but anything beyond 50x is not worth posting. I was looking at some really old stuff and I found these aurora shots from the great display of May 15, 2005. Unfortunately, my only digital camera at the time was a Canon G3 and low light shots at ISO's greater than 50 were very noisy so the pictures are kind of dim. These were taken from Bestview Park so the light pollution was pretty bad but I really enjoyed my all night stay in the park because the display was really spectacular.

Check this out:
https://www.pbase.com/stanzman/aurora_51505 (https://www.pbase.com/stanzman/aurora_51505)
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 25, 2020, 01:49:06 pm
For a sky time-exposure captured within the city the aurora has come out quite well.Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Howieh on December 25, 2020, 10:53:20 pm
And the same to you and yours Shortsighted. Btw, the lens on the G3 was (IS actually because my G3 still works!) really sharp because just before dawn the constellation Lyra appeared in many of my overhead shots and both main stars of epsilon Lyra are easily visible!
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 26, 2020, 11:22:50 am
 Just for a second, I read all “four” stars of Epsilon Lyra and I recoiled in disbelief. That would be a hell of a lens. I guess Dinu’s 500mm f4 might actually pull-off resolving all four stars with that 125mm diameter objective lens. My Canon G9 would still function just fine if I hadn’t smashed the viewing screen by dropping it. The ground had some tufts of grass but the screen hit a small rock otherwise it may have survived. Once, when I was taking melt-water pictures, I slipped on rocky terrain and fell. The camera flew out of my hand and landed on the rocks after an arc trajectory. Barely a scratch. The lens was not deployed at the time otherwise there may have been a different outcome. Sometimes I take "down-to-earth" too literally.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Charline on December 29, 2020, 05:12:53 pm
Howieh, great capture! I have never tried to capture Saturn. Wonder if a 400m lens will get the ring.
Title: Re: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Post by: Shortsighted on December 30, 2020, 06:00:27 pm
 A 400mm lens with a speed of f5.6 would have an objective diameter of 71 mm, which is certainly large enough to provide the resolution needed to see the rings of Saturn. At a magnification of 8x the planet would not be large enough within the viewfinder to maximize the resolving power of the lens and therefore a great deal of cropping in post is needed. The limit to effective cropping depends upon the ISO setting selected at the time of exposure. A planet is brighter than a comet so an ISO of 3200 is probably not necessary, nor is it necessary to have an exposure of several seconds. At that length of exposure the rings would be smeared out a little. I really cannot recall what exposure would be needed at f5.6. If you are considering coupling a 1.4x TC then your exposure would need to be longer, but the slight degradation in image quality might counter the slight boost in magnification.
When Saturn is viewed in a telescope there is satisfactory detail at 60x (3,000 mm lens). Even then the planet is very small. A good viewing size is achieved at 200x (10,000 mm lens). Obviously using the straight focal length of a telephoto lens will not deliver the magnification needed to create a captivating image of Saturn.
The viewing angle of a 400mm lens with a FX sensor is about 5 degrees (FOV). That is equivalent to 18,000 seconds of arc in the sky. Saturn is about 20” of arc. The rings maybe 50” or more. Do the math and you will appreciate how small Saturn will look on a jpg without cropping and how much cropping would be needed.
The only way to get enough magnification is with an ocular lens element between the 400mm lens and the camera’s sensor. Sort of like a TC, but with a much shorter focal length. This would boost the magnification of your image but it would also greatly reduce the amount of light falling on your sensor, therefore requiring a much longer exposure. You could experiment with digiscoping, coupling a small bridge camera to a spotting scope, or to a telescope. Good luck with that. 
 (https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-m9LJhmB/0/c657316f/M/i-m9LJhmB-M.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-m9LJhmB/A)
Saturn at about 20x (1,000 mm lens)
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XkkQj5q/0/f0014911/M/i-XkkQj5q-M.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-XkkQj5q/A)
About 100x
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xd6xdsJ/0/fb3c3474/M/i-xd6xdsJ-M.jpg) (https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-358cgw/i-xd6xdsJ/A)
About 200z with 10" telescope