First, a bit of housekeeping. I have not been posting a lot this month, but that does not mean I have not been stargazing. On the contrary, the amazing weather my area has had for the last few weeks led me to take advantage of it as much as I can. For example, this week I did a triple feature with my telescope: first imaged Jupiter, then did some DSO searching, and finished with Saturn imaging. All under a clear new Moon sky.
And speaking of housekeeping, this post is a much delayed matter I finally got around too. On May 31st I took a good sample set of Jupiter images to attempt an animated GIF. I shot five video sets all about 15 minutes apart. The above is Jupiter alone. As you can tell, I do not have an equatorial mount, so Jupiter was in process of still ascending into the night sky at the time I took the videos.
While the planet came out pretty well, unfortunately this was a terrible time to include the Galilean moons. The only one that was reasonable close was Io. And bad for Io, it was at the edge of its orbit perpendicular to Earth, so over the course of that hour, it appears to have hardly moved. See for yourself:
Obviously this second animated GIF is overexposed in order to show Io. Given that I do not have an equatorial mount, I doubt I will be attempting this animation exercise next Jupiter season, preferring to focus on observing, still photography, and sketching. If anything, I now know the approximate radius of Io’s orbit through the telescope. Still, I am glad I attempted this exercise as it is one more achievement to cross off my astronomy to-do list.