Saturn and Jupiter

I looked at Astrospheric right after dinner and saw that pretty good imaging conditions were forecast for a couple of hours starting at 0100. Looking at the weather radar forecast, I saw the possibility of thunder storms moving through between 2200 and 2300. I decided to go to bed at around 2100 and get up at 0045 to see what would happen. Because of the threat of rain, I did not do any of the “before dark” stuff that I usually do like put the camera on the scope, run an extension cord, and check software to accessory connections.

I was hating life when the alarm clock woke me up, but I managed to get up instead of going back to sleep. I looked out the window and could see clouds to the south. I went outside to check, and could see clearing to the west, so I started setting up for imaging. I had to wait just a few minutes for the last clouds to pass, and had no further issue with them.

Saturn was already out of the trees. Set up, power up, and target acquisition went very smoothly. I had Saturn on the display by 0115, just as it was crossing the meridian. I shot a L only run of about 30s of over exposed frames to capture the four of Saturn’s satellites that I could see. I then captured five RGB runs at 30s per filter.

Jupiter was above the trees by the time I finished Saturn. I shot 20 RGB runs at 30s per filter.

I did not check polar alignment, and was still able to manually guide with moderate amounts of guiding pulses. During one of the captures I noticed a Dark button and Flat button. I was tired and the laptop battery was low, so I only shot Dark frames. I did not have any directions, but it seemed logical to capture them while the main capture ROI was still active. We’ll see what happens in processing.

The temperature was quite comfortable. There was just a little dew starting to form on my table top, but everything else stayed dry.

The session was over at 0310.

Here are some typical capture numbers for a single filter capture:

                Saturn: ROI size 704x424px, Exp 1.8ms, Gain 210, Histogram 53%, Avg FPS 98, 30s, Frames captured 2890, 850 Mb.

                Jupiter: ROI size 648x606px, Exp 3.4ms, Gain 398, Histogram 53%, Avg FPS 143, 30s Frames captured 4312, 1.6 to 3.2 Gb

Total Capture Storage:

                Saturn (5 RGB runs x 3 filters = 15 capture files): 28 Gb

                Jupiter: (20 RGB runs x 3 filters = 60 capture files): 120 Gb

Jupiter - 2022-08-10 06:39 UTC
Saturn - 2022-08-10 05:28 UTC

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