January 20, 2013

Jupiter, It Moons Us!

Following an unfortunate accident recently involving a falling camera, our latest astrocam candidate, an Ixus 125, arrived in the mail the other day. Great little camera, it shoots full 1080 video making it a hopefully-ideal planetary and moon shooter.

Sadly, no port of CHDK yet, though work seems to be in progress on that. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get RAW out of it soon. A trip to the local hardware store and much experimenting with the camera and an eyepiece in store ("Can I help you find something?" " No, I don't know what I'm looking for") resulted in the acquiring of an odd looking piece of plumbing hardware. A quick hacksaw and much sanding and filing later, and I had an adaptor that takes a GSO 1.25" eyepiece on one end, and slips fairly tightly over the Ixus on the other. Et voila, the birth of astrocam 3 (or is it 4? what are we up to valHallen?).

The bush fires in Aussie were casting a pall across the sky last night, so seeing wasn't the best. Unfortunately it also clouded up around the horizon denying us what would have been a spectacular sunset, if the brief glimpses of a blood-red sun an hour before it hit the horizon were anything to go by. I pointed valHallen's scope at the Moon and then Jupiter once the sun was sufficiently in hiding, and was quite stunned at the details on the camera screen. I shot a few movies and fed one of them to Registax, and below is the resulting shot of Jupiter with (L to R) Ganymede, Europa and Io in tow through the 15mm GSO 1.25". Registax is quite daunting to the newcomer, so I'm sure we can do better with some practice, better focus, and better seeing! Very happy with the result though. Click the link below for Flickr, as usual.

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