Astrophotography Gets Real: Jupiter in Color

Today my LRGB ZWO filter set arrived. Psyched, I headed out just after sunset with my brother. Setting up in the usual spot, we had the ZWO ASI 120MM-S hooked up to myy AWB OneSky with the 2x Barlow. Filtering through each RGB (didn’t try L today), we’d first focus on the moon, then find Saturn and Jupiter. While we got some very solid content that stacked well, it turns out the images were not aligned and even at different angles… yet another reason to consider purchasing a tracker :(

Once I got back inside, I set to Googling. Coming across many different programs, I hacked until I had something that satisfied me enough to go to bed. HEre is my process from the beginning to the end:

  1. find a partner to shoot with
  2. set up telescope
  3. set up camera
  4. set up first filter, focus on moon, focs on planet
  5. repeat 4 for other two (or three) filters
  6. stack each color separately
  7. rotate and crop with Photoshop
  8. align and make the same size with PIPP, outputting FITS
  9. combine with StarTools
  10. do some other random edits you don’t understand with Star Tools
  11. realize you have to pay to save with Star Tools and die a little inside, this is not the perfect tool it seemed
  12. screenshot the Star Tools generated image and go to sleep a winner

Jupiter

Here is what I finished up with:

Jupiter