Wonderful Jupiter during Saturn’s Opposition, August 2021

Wonderful Jupiter during Saturn’s Opposition, August 2021

August 2nd, 2021, 1:40 a.m. local time

Why did I wait to 1am to photograph Saturn a few days ago? Because it had to clear the trees blocking my South sky view.  Saturn’s elliptic is lower than Jupiter’s right now.  Jupiter, far brighter and “behind” Saturn considerably after their December conjunction, sits higher in the sky and clears all those tall trees.  So while I was out imaging Saturn, I decided to turn my telescope a bit East and check out Jupiter as well.

But it was more than just a second image set.  I used the Jovian system for all my refocuses on Saturn.  I cranked up the ISO to 12800 which allowed me to focus easily on Jupiter’s moons, which is the most accurate focus I can make with my limited equipment.

My Saturn image is proof the method worked, and I think it worked even better for Jupiter.  This may be my best Jupiter yet with a remarkably clear GRS.  A combination of great focus and my first successful ISO at 400 for Jupiter combined for what you see here (the lower the ISO, the less noise).

This image turned out so good, it is now the lock screen wallpaper on my phone.

Summary of my equipment, settings, and software used:

  • Telescope: Dobsonian reflector 254mm / 10″ (homemade)
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel SL3
  • Barlow: TeleVue Powermate x5 1.25″
  • Filter: Baader Neodymium 1.25″
  • Canon T ring and adapter
  • Relevant camera settings:
  • ISO 400
  • Exposure: 30
  • HD video at 60fps
  • Created from three videos of about 25s each, best 60% of frames (via Autostakkert)
  • Software for post-processing:
  • PIPP
  • Autostakkert
  • Registax 6
  • PaintShop Pro for minor touch-ups


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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