Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jupiter ANIMATION Io and Ganymede

This night was a lucky night.  I had not looked at the weather forecast enough to know  it would be good or not.  Cold temps aside, I decided day of to setup and go out with the 14" f/4.5 scope ( +Akule ).  As an added bonus +Mitchell Duke tipped me off to a transit of the Jovian moon, Ganymede.  Looking closer at the ephemeris Io was slipping into Jupiter's own shadow and disappearing behind the disk of Jupiter just a couple of minutes before the Ganymede transit.  That stability of the atmosphere, seeing, was also favorable.

Additional details I provided to a reddit post regarding my blog entry:

I shoot the planets with my 14" f/4.5 (native focal length is 1600mm). I add a 5x barlow which gets me close to 9200mm (isn't not preciesly 5x but varies) Then I add a monochrome Flea3 camera from PointGrey Research. To get color I shoot with filters to give me Red, Green and Blue images. Each color image consists of capturing many frames of each color as fast as I can. I shoot the red at 120 frames per second (FPS), then the same for the green and bit slower for the blue as it's not as sensitive. So for example the red is running at 120fps for 30seconds. That nets me ~3,600 images (stored in .avi video format), again for green and then blue. Wait on second and start another sequence of R, G and B, 30s, 30s, and 30s. So each color image is 90 total seconds of capturing. I capture back to back and if you can believe it, the moon Io (right one) moves so fast in 90seconds I had to adjust the color channels in the final image. I capture many RGB runs back to back for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I use a very sophisticated program called WINJupos to derotate (a method of combining individual images that have rotated to a different central meridian or longitude) all of them. This increases the signal-to-noise present in each of the single RGB runs. I also capture many RGB runs in order to make a cool animation of the moons moving and planet rotating.

Raw frames as promised: Nearly the worst of a single sequence of red filtered images

Best of 3600 frames in Red:

Normally I stack the best 75% of the 3,600 frames in AutoStakkert which uses a process called 'lucky imaging'
After stacking I sharpen using some deconvolution tricks in AstraImage. I also combine the filtered monochrome frames to a composite RGB.
Then derotation win WINJupos.
Then photoshop magic like denoise, color, high pass filters, rgb channel alignments.
I have yet to look at the features on Ganymede to see if they're accurate or if I just messed up in my processing treatment.

Video assembly was done with stills hand processed in Photoshop per the above prescription and then some Photoshop actions for the mundane processing (I highly recommend PS actions!)  Then the stills are copied and renumbered to move forwards then backwards with a simple python script.  Then, again in python, I used 10 differing frame rates to render 10 separate videos.  FPS values are [3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27,30].  These 10 rendered videos are then renumbered to start slow and then move faster each time, building to a maximum then slowing back down.  I rendered each of those videos 2x times in openshot where I also added the title screens and music that I stumbled upon via  It was literally the 2nd song I clicked on in the classical/ambient section and I think matches the video quite well.

Thanks to all who shared their joy with me in this post!

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Loving husband, proud father, computer geek, astro freak, music lover, sports nut and general fun-loving guy

I think I'm the kind of person who doesn't like strong opinions.  It doesn't matter if I agree with your opinion or not, it's not factual, it never will be 100% factual and I don't care for it.  That's probably why I hate politics.

I've always loved facts, provable facts of nature and things concerning science.  

Over time, I found that most facts are mostly reference and it was the creation of and discovery of new things that intrigued me.

"A good friend once told me you are our memory
without them we equal nothing
And all I can see is the place I wanna be
Suddenly my life was so free
Leaves at my feet, blown to the ground
their echoes are reaching my ears
Nights coming fast, suns going down" - A7x