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9thMay 2018

The image below is an animation created from a series of captures taken as Jupiter approached opposition this year: the precise time of opposition in 2018 was UT 01:00 (give or take a few minutes) on May 9th 2018.

The last frame of this animation (before it reverses & sequences back to the first frame) was captured 9 hours & 10 minutes before the precise time of opposition.

Note that this is an animation using real frames created as a sequence - as opposed to those animations that rely upon a “skin” being created in WinJUPOS…the WinJUPOS types of animations look very convincing, but in my opinion have an inherent element of artificiality that I prefer to avoid! ;)



Recent discussion about types of planetary animations on the Cloudy Nights planetary imaging forum brought up questions on the differences & merits between “traditional” animations (time lapse images arranged in a sequential, animated display) versus those created using a cylindrical projection “map” or  “image” with the WinJUPOS software program such as the example above for the WinJUPOS animation here.

This WJ software, in simple terms, effectively “wraps” a map we generate from a series of images of the planet we have captured (the more the better) around a simulated globe where the viewing perspective shifts to give us the impression we are looking at a rotating globe of the planet.


Because it is only one image (albeit being made up of possibly many separate images) this type of animation can appear very impressive, with smooth, uniform detail (because it never changes) & motion that is difficult to emulate in “traditional” animations

On the other hand, the “traditional” sequential set of captured images is far more “dynamic” in that it is influenced by the varying seeing that occurs over the time taken to acquire the number of individual images used.

It is important to note that the WJ versions still utilise multiple images, but when these are combined to form the “map” that is wrapped around the “virtual globe” the single image created is a smoothed-out single “wrap” that might display differences in different sections (for instance, between the left-hand, middle & right-hand sides of said “wrap/map”) but none of these sections will vary as the virtual globe rotates – in the “traditional” animated sequence the same details will vary as the globe/disk rotates.

Once the WinJUPOS .ims files are created (& this is often done for “traditional” animated sequences as well as WJ types) the WJ animations are then created very rapidly, whilst the “traditional” still require a lot of pain-staking application!

However, I personally believe the “traditional” animation above the WJ “map” to to be a much more “real” animation because you are actually viewing a genuine rotating disk as opposed to viewing a single rotating image – but I emphasize that this is only a personal opinion.

In the example above – more images over a longer timespan would do this WJ type more justice, & remove the “phase appearance” at the start of each “rotation” - just as they would in a different manner for the comparable “traditional” example.








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