Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jupiter on 12/10/11--image 2

Like the previous image, this one was captured with the 14 inch.  It was converted from WMV to AVI, which seems to eliminate the macroblocking visible even in high bitrate MPEG-2 conversions.  3500 of the original 10,000 frames were used in this image.  Stacked and processed by Astrostack.  The Great Red Spot is visible a little below center as a bulge in the S Equatorial Belt.  Whenever I see Jupiter in any scope, I'm always reminded of the passage in H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds.'  Wells writes of seeing Mars in a telescope, but it is clearly Jupiter he is looking at: "Looking through the telescope, one saw a circle of deep blue and the little round planet swimming in the field. It seemed such a little thing, so bright and small and still, faintly marked with transverse stripes, and slightly flattened from the perfect round."  Today, our imaging capabilities make is possible to see much more than Wells did.  Times may change, but the magic of astronomy never fades.