by Larry Owens


Planetary imaging is the art and science of capturing images of the great planets of our solar system and our moon.  The enormous distances and the very nature of each planet, require extremely high magnification, special filtering, specialized cameras and imaging techniques to resolve the unique features and atmospheres of the planets.

Here’s some of the equipment I use.

This is the “C14″ (3910mm FL F/11 – 14″ aperture) poised to capture the planet Jupiter (upper right) from my suburban location in Alpharetta, GA.  Mounted in tandem is a 5.1″ APO TMB refractor (980mm FL F/7, 5.1″ aperture triplet).  The optics are mounted on a Celestron CGE computerized German Equatorial mount that points the telescope automatically from a hand controller or laptop.  In home position the big scope stands at about 8 feet tall and weighs well over 200lbs.


Here’s a shot of the C14 mounted alone on the CEG mount:


Here’s a shot of the system transpported to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Management Area (CEWMA) near Mansfield, GA, just after sunset.  The Charlie Elliott chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club maintains an observing field there, open for public use.


I’ve recently purchased a second Celestron CGE mount from a local friend, so now I have a mount dedicated to deep sky work, using the TMB130, with an Astroview120 as a guide scope.