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December 20, 2020

Jupiter and Saturn: This December’s Excitement

by John A. Blackwell

A few nights ago we had some clear evening skies. What to do? Grab the camera gear, head out and image the upcoming Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, of course! We took out two tripods and two Nikon D810 cameras, each with different lenses: one a 200-500 Zoom and the other a 28-300mm zoom. We wanted to grab some wide field shots with appropriate backgrounds and some closeup shots to show the planets’ details. Sunset was at 4:11pm local time, so we headed out just about that time, and got things setup after scouting out the area around the observatory. The waxing crescent moon was up, and we could easily make out Jupiter and Saturn headed into the trees by the western horizon. By 5:00pm we were taking photos. Here are some of the better images… ahhh these days of electronic photos, where one can simply delete the bad ones and keep the good ones!  Be sure to click on the images which will bring you to a place were you can see them in higher resolution.

A wide field view of the Moon and planets over the 0.7m telescope dome.

Zooming in a little, the same view as above.

Zoomed in with the 500mm system. This lens has autofocus and vibration reduction, which allows a pretty good view for such a system. The rings are clearly visible.

 

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