Solar System Family Portrait:

This is something I saw online a few years back by a guy that had my dream telescope (11″ SCT on a computerized GOTO mount attached to a pillar in his own observatory…drool…).  He took images of all the planets with his telescope and put them all in one picture, at size, to show the scale differences in the planets.

Well that’s all fine and dandy, but he was able to show you what an observatory could see of the planets.  I aim to show you what anyone can see with a moderate sized scope (8″ ain’t all that big anymore, you know!), an inexpensive camera, and do it all from my driveway.   Okay, so I have to do it from the driveway because the back yard and the deck (which is just perfect for setting up the scope) is on the north side of the house so if I set up back there I’d be looking over the top of the house (and through some nasty thermal currents).  But the driveway is free and clear.  The front or side yard is even better.

Anyway, that’s the first project listed on here.  I will capture the images from the Wisconsin Annex (home) so they’re all from the same location.  I was able (in an extreme case of dumb luck) able to snap a picture of Uranus in the TYCO using my old cellphone (of all things!) in 2010, but I won’t count that.  Uranus is nearly at opposition so it’ll be bigger now anyway.

So far I have the following planets captured on “film”:

  • Venus
  • Jupiter
  • Uranus

So here is the image, so far (I will update as I add more planets so check back):

Click the image for a larger view…


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