JWST animation

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MikeT
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:23 pm

JWST animation

#1

Post by MikeT »

For the past couple of weeks I've been imaging the JWST on its journey - but most nights have been wasted with cloud as usual.

This animation from 2nd Jan shows frames taken two minutes apart and about 16 minutes in total. Estimated JWST magnitude from the nearby stars is Mag 15

Scope: 10" LX-200 Classic @ f10, pier mounted, unguided
Camera: ZWO 1600MM, 20 sec exposure, Gain 240
Capture: SharpCap Pro, Livestack while imaging but all raw frames saved for post processing
Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, IrfanView and ezgif.com
JWST 2022-01-02 compress.gif
JWST 2022-01-02 compress.gif (56.73 KiB) Viewed 207 times
timh
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:50 pm

Re: JWST animation

#2

Post by timh »

Wow! That is impressive. I wonder whether it's apparent magnitude (accounting for increased distance) might go up enough for it to remain detectable now the sunshield is up?

Tim
MikeT
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:23 pm

Re: JWST animation

#3

Post by MikeT »

Tim, I think it will remain detectable long term once it is orbiting around L2. The images on the 2nd had the sunshield was deployed but not fully tensioned. I have observations from the 5th also which show variation in brightness - two glints off the shield lasting about 5 minutes each. Hopefully clear tonight so I will have another go.

Mike
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admin
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Re: JWST animation

#4

Post by admin »

Hi Mike,

awesome image - thanks for sharing :) Do you happen to know the magnitude that it is going to be at L2 (presumably not much different from the current one as it is most of the way there already).

cheers,

Robin
MikeT
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:23 pm

Re: JWST animation

#5

Post by MikeT »

Robin,
I'm imaging again tonight (at least until the mist rises off the river near me), I would still estimate it at Mag 15 from nearby stars. It is currently 1.14 million km away and that is 80% of the distance according to the NASA website - so I dont think it's going to change much and certainly detectable on a clear night with my rig of 10" scope and ZWO1600.

SharpCap is working well tonight on stacking, my old LX-200 mount has it's usual wobbles to spoil a few frames. If clear skies were regular there would be time to improve it I'm sure but that never seems to happen!

best regards,
Mike

Drift graph after 103 minutes of stacking (unguided)
2022-01-11 21_22_58-.png
2022-01-11 21_22_58-.png (14.96 KiB) Viewed 154 times
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admin
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Re: JWST animation

#6

Post by admin »

Hi Mike,

wow, that's quite a drift...

I wonder if a nice feature would be for live stacking to plate solve / recenter the target automatically if the drift gets beyond a threshold (say 50 pixels)

cheers,

Robin
chongo228
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:34 am

Re: JWST animation

#7

Post by chongo228 »

dang, that is cool. I never even thought about trying to image the JWST.

Well done.
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Re: JWST animation

#8

Post by admin »

btw... @MikeT, would it be OK to post your animation on the SharpCap facebook page? I feel something this cool needs a wider audience than the forums :)

cheers,

Robin
MikeT
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:23 pm

Re: JWST animation

#9

Post by MikeT »

Robin,
Yes that's fine to post it on Facebook, I did upload it to the ZWO forum but there is so much goes on there it soon disappears.

It's funny I was just thinking tonight - as I again did not have time to setup guiding before I needed to start imaging JWST - that for this sort of purpose SharpCap could do the job for me if I could schedule a plate solve cycle at a chosen interval. Effectively that's what I do if I issue a nudge through the ASCOM device hub buttons. Of course you lose one frame due to the movement but I guess you could automate LiveStack to ignore that frame.

If any of you want to try imaging JWST you can get the ephemeris data from the JPL Horizons site
https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons/app.html#/

People asked the other night about magnitude and I estimated Mag 15 - however I've found that the magnitude drops considerably as the night goes on - a function of the sun-JWST-observer angle. By about 23:30 (UK time) last night it was barely detectable on the stacked image - so it's best to try from as soon as it has got dark and is visible from your scope. You may also see that the track is not striaght - it has a complex motion in the sky including retrograde motion each 24hrs period. I've managed to capture it track as a slight arc and also seen some brightness variation from glints off the JWST.

best regards,
Mike
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