Monday, 1 February 2016
Two views of Jupiter
My latest interest is, of course, taking photographs of Jupiter with my camera. I'm fascinated by the orbits of the four visible Galilean moons around this planet. At different times of the month, the moons would align differently on the two sides of the planet and no two photographs are ever the same. The two pictures below were taken just two days apart at approximately the same time in the morning, that is, around 6.30 a.m.
Of course, there are various limitations to my ability to take a clear picture of Jupiter. First, the zoom lens on the camera itself. I'm using an Olympus EPL-7 which although a decent micro four-thirds camera for everyday use, it is not enough for sky photography. However, the longest focal length on my zoom lens is only 150mm (equivalent to 300mm on an SLR camera) but this is not a very big issue by itself since I tend to process my pictures with computer software. Second, the aperture is also an issue because the widest on my lens is f5.6 after zooming out to the maximum. Relatively inadequate. Third, because of the night sky that I have to work with, my shutter speed has to slow down to one-quarter of a second which makes camera shake a big challenge. So I've to resort to bracing myself against my gate. I've used a camera tripod too but it is quite cumbersome because I have to adjust and readjust the tripod legs just to point the camera in the correct direction and place the planet in the right centre of the view. And constantly I would have to make adjustments to compensate for the Earth's rotation. But challenges aside, it is a fascinating hobby indeed.