Photographing Saturn

I’ve made a lot of progress in 2 months with astrophotography. Here’s my best attempt at Saturn from June 17 and then on August 12.

What changed? Phone and telescope stayed the same. However, I learned how to use the exposure settings and focus lock on the Pixel 3a’s video mode, meaning that my photos were no longer blown out. I also increased the resolution to 4k.

At the eyepiece, I switched from a Celestron X-Cel 12mm to an Explore Scientific 14mm. The biggest difference here is the field of view – moving from the 60-degree to the 82-degree means its easier to keep the planet within the frame (.3 degree TFOV vs. .47 TFOV), even though magnification is down (200x vs 171x when Barlowed). This means that focus and exposure are more consistence when I split and stack the frames from the camera using Registax.

I’m still not happy with my Jupiter photos, but I’m starting to pick up color details. The problem has been edge resolution, which is a focus issue.

Definitely having fun!