Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jupiter and the Moon, super bright conjunction 11-28-2012

According to Astro Bob, Jupiter is at opposition making it the biggest and brightest it will be for the year. I've been watching Jupiter rise in the evening while taking my puppy out to pee, and it's been fun watching Jupiter slowly pull away from the moon each night.

I tried my hand at capturing a close up of the Jupiter-Moon conjunction, but the moon was so darn bright, the best I was able to managed looked like a big white dot next to a little white dot.

To solve this, I did my first bit of astrophotography hocus pocus (e.g. Photoshop) to take back to back exposures of the pair at two different settings so that each could be appropriately exposed. Then in Photoshop I lined them up to the exact position and cropped the best of each into the same photo.

Here is the finished product:

Photoshop composite moon jupiter conjunction
Photoshop composite of multiple exposures

I tried to get Jupiter's moons in the photo as well, but the nearly full moon blew my chances. The bright halo of light makes the photo pretty cool in its own interesting way, but ruined my ability to crop out the black background for a composite. Zoomify the picture to see the tiny moons caught in the bright moonlight.

Single exposure jupiter moon conjunction
Single exposure showing Jupiter's moons

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