Photographing Jupiter and Moons with a DSLR

In June 2016 I set out to capture Jupiter and its moons. This proved quite tricky as Jupiter in relation to the earth moves quite quickly. The following section will show you how to photograph Jupiter and its four primary Jupiter Moons.

Step 1: Getting Started

The following steps show you how to get ready:

1.    Wait for the sun to set

2.    Make sure you have a fully charged battery, with a spare battery,
3.    Mount your camera onto your tripod, and Connect your cable-release to the camera
STEP 2: Set the settings – Refer to the next page for the settings
STEP 3: Take a Test Photo

In Playback make sure that all the stars have pinpoint accuracy. If they are not very sharp then re-focus your lens until the ultimate sharpness can be obtained. If your photo is sharp then sit back and admire your first photograph.

STEP 4: Taking the photographs
STEP 5: Download it to a PC and enjoy it!


White Balance:  Change the white balance to daylight. Daylight will produce the closest colour range to your visible perception. I usually shoot in tungsten but Daylight setting will capture the “true” colour of Jupiter nicely.
Aperture: I would recommend setting your lens to the maximum aperture it can go to e.g. f/6.3 so that the maximum amount of light and colour can be captured by your camera.
Shutter speed: 1/60. I found that this fast shutter speed enables the camera to capture the fast moving planet the best. You can possibly use 1/50 or 1/80 as well but this will not produce the same results.
Zoom: Set your camera to its maximum zoom. I have a Tamron 150-600mm and took the Jupiter photo sequence with this lens.
ISO: Set the ISO to 12800. The high ISO will assist your camera to capture as much as possible light and colour from the Jupiter image.
Stability: Jupiter moves extremely quickly in relation to the earth, thus you must ensure your tripod is stable. Ensure as well that you constantly re-frame your image to include Jupiter, as it will move quickly out of the field of view of your camera.

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