The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Outdoor Ontario

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Howieh · 31 · 1525

Charline

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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

This one was 32 sec, the stars had some slight trailing:  https://fineartamerica.com/featured/comet-neowise-charline-xia.html
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 01:13:45 pm by Charline »


Howieh

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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.


Shortsighted

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 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.


Charline

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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
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 03:05:25 pm by Charline »


Shortsighted

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 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.


Ally

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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.


Dinusaur

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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.


Shortsighted

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 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?


Howieh

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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.


Shortsighted

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 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.


Howieh

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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
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 11:59:51 pm by Howieh »


Shortsighted

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For a sky time-exposure captured within the city the aurora has come out quite well.Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas.


Howieh

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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!


Shortsighted

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 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.


Charline

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Howieh, great capture! I have never tried to capture Saturn. Wonder if a 400m lens will get the ring.