Lunar Observations and Sketches
This week, I've decided to wake up early and view Jupiter. This has been far from an easy task, but surprisingly, seeing has been rather good at these early hours of the morning and Jupiter’s two great bands and Giant Red Spot were easily visible every observing session.
I drew an image of what I saw at around 4am, returned to Jupiter about an hour later to draw another field sketch and then wound the practice down as the sun rose around 6am.
With these sketches in hand, I divided the total angular movement perceived into 15 minute frame shots. Often, between these smaller sketch-shots, there was very little observable movement, so I cheated a little and used Sky and Telescope's program to help me find some of the slower moons’ orbital movement and direction. Nevertheless, with that said, what you see is very much what was perceived in the entirety of the observing session between the two hours.
I have tried to sketch Jupiter as accurately as possible but was compromised between either drawing it to seeing scale or colouring it to what was seen. With the free program I use (Piant.net), it wasn’t possible to do both, so in the end, I opted for accuracy in size. Jupiter, as seen from the eyepiece, should have its bands just a little darker, with a more rusty feel to them and with more observable lines seen within both its belts and zones.
I have placed the sketches from the most recent session to those conducted the previous week. Of particular interest has been those drawn today, 30th July, which show Io’s shadow cast over Jupiter’s surface. If you open up the sketches and save them, you will be able to flick through each seeing session quickly and by doing so, like an old fashion film, you will be able to perceive the four Galilean moons’ general orbital movement.