Fixing Jupiter

Fixing Jupiter

Jupiter on August 1st, 2019.

I mentioned previously that on the evening I captured the ISS fly overhead, I also got the telescope out to see Jupiter.  It was a clear night with no Moon, very comfortable for early August, and most importantly, and strangely, hardly any insects to annoy me.

(And in case you are wondering, I didn’t want to wait for Saturn, as it would have been another 1-2 hours before it cleared the trees blocking my backyard’s Southeast view.  School night/work night and all that…)

I only took a few sets of videos.  None of them had great focus.  Of the three sets of videos (three ~25s videos each spanning no more than 90 seconds total due to Jupiter’s fast rotation), I chose the middle set.  But then I thought, what if I chose only two of the videos instead of the full three?  That might reduce some of the rotation blur, at the cost of detail.

Above is the result of two stacked videos.  And for reference, I also tried processing just one 25s video, but it was much too grainy.  Plus, I experimented with stacking the best 30%, 60%, and 80% of frames, and in this case, 80% looked best (I usually stack 60%).  The magic of planetary imaging is to find that sweet spot on a given night of clear skies, focus, and number of good frames to stack.

Summary of my equipment, settings, and software used:

  • Telescope: Dobsonian reflector 254mm / 10″ (homemade)
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel SL1
  • Barlow: TeleVue Powermate x5 1.25″
  • Filter: Baader Neodymium 1.25″
  • Canon T ring and adapter
  • Relevant camera settings:
  • ISO 1600
  • Exposure: 125
  • Created from two videos of about 25s each, best 80% of frames
  • Software for post-processing:
  • PIPP
  • Autostakkert
  • Registax 6
  • PaintShop Pro for final minor touchups


I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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