A shot of Jupiter from last night. Nikon D70 w/1.4 teleconverter, Orion 120mm refractor (f/8.3, 1000mm focal length), ISO 200, 1/6 second. On the left is the RAW file (straight from camera, little or no in-camera processing) and on the right is after some near-futile photoshop adjustments.
I had reduced the exposure a number of times but still ended up with Jupiter overexposed in all of the shots. When I reviewed them on the camera lcd I was worried about losing the moons. Next time I'll take photos exposed for the moons, some shots exposed best for Jupiter, and try to combine the photos in photoshop.
Through the telescope eyepiece (19mm w/2x barlow) Jupiter and the moons looked very nice. Once you start hooking up cameras that's when things get complicated.
The blue tint is called chromatic aberration typical of refractors with achromatic lens. Upgrading (more money!) to an apochromatic telescope would solve that. Instead, I've removed the color in ps. I'll have to research other methods of post-processing.
It was a beautiful night. If not for the last dregs of this damn head cold I would have spent more time under the stars. An airplane almost flew across Jupiter while I was photographing, which would have been a fun shot.
Saturn is in quadrature which means we should have a good view of the rings tonight. Check out Sky View Cafe, they have an online java star chart and ephemeris. Check out the moons tab to see the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Jeff, from work, has been trying to spot Iridium flares. He passed along a link to the website Heavens Above which is a good resource for planning those and other astronomical events.
Additional April events.