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Paul G. Abel

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Everything posted by Paul G. Abel

  1. Thanks guys, glad you like it Here's a tip, try using a W#11 (yellow) filter for examining the boundaries of the belts and zones, it really helps bring out the details and is a good all round filter. I also find it helps with the white ovals in the STB. -Paul
  2. Greetings all, and happy 2014 to you all! The skies are finally starting to clear, and here is a recent strip map I made of Jupiter which shows almost a half rotation. The seeing was quite reasonable for a time and I was able to observe some nice details in the belts and zones. Best wishes, -Paul
  3. Thanks all. Yes, thanks heavens for setting circles- everyone should know how to use them in my opinion, they're invaluable
  4. Greetings all, Please find a drawing of Venus I made this afternoon. I used setting circles to find the planet, and this is probably the largest phase I have ever observed the planet (~97%)! Seeing wasn't great, but it was nice to make a start on the current elongation. Illuminated disk: Seemed to contain some subtle shadings- one darker one near the limb though it is hard to be sure. Unilluminated Disk: Not seen Terminator: Geometrically regular Cusp Caps: NPC seemed to be brighter Cusp Collars: NP collar seemed to be marginally more prominent, hard to be certain. Best wishes, -Paul
  5. It was a truly splendid event- a hearty congratulations to the organizers for delivering a slick and polished show! Nice to meet so many of you all in person as well!!! Best wishes, -Paul
  6. Thanks to you all for your kind remarks, it really does mean a great deal to myself and the rest of us that both Patrick and the program is so well loved and highly regarded. Patrick very much wanted the program to continue after his passing, he often said this. He also wanted the program to continue with the team he had put in place. I will pass on your best wishes to the rest of the guys. If you've not already found it, further information on upcomming programs, times of transmission and other stuff can be found at our website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h Let the good work continue I say! Keep looking up;-) Best wishes, -Paul.
  7. Hi all, hope you enjoyed tonight's program, a lot of hard work went into it and I think it was truly magical. I hope we did Patrick proud. The Sky at Night programs I spoke about on Twitter will be presented by Chris Linttot, Pete Lawrence, Chris North and myself. I thank you all for your support. Best wishes, -Paul.
  8. Greetings, happy new year to you all! Here's some reasonable drawings of Jupiter made in perfect conditions! Strangely, we had a late clearing on 3rd January and the seeing was superb for many long periods of time. I was able to examine the disk and satellites at x400 and record an above normal amount of detail. Alas the clouds rolled in at 2316UT, but I was more than happy with the night's work (though a full rotation would have been excellent). By the way, if you don't know, the next two Sky at Night programs after tonight- will be looking at the Sun in February, and in March we shall be going through the results of the Winter Moore Marathon. The program with be presented as usual by Dr. Chris Lintott, Pete Lawrence, Dr. Chris North and myself (Dr. Paul Abel ;-) ) I would also like to say a note of thanks to all those who have expressed their support for the program along with some well deserved affection and tributes for the great Sir Patrick Moore. May he always be our patron saint. Let the good work continue. Best wishes, -Paul.
  9. Greetings all, The sky cleared here last night and produced some good seeing for some time. As a result, I observed the planet from 2012UT to 0305UT and was able to produce the attached half rotation map. I was rather surprised by how prominent Oval BA was, and the dark section of the STropB which seems to touch the GRS. Some fascinating structres in both the SEB and NEB. Best wishes, -Paul
  10. Many thanks! To answer your question, the GRS has demonstrated much variability, both in size, colour and intensity over the last 150 years or so. The spot seems to be contracting, but when the SEB fades, the spot tends to become much darker and redder, then as the SEB revival occurs and the SEB returns to its former self, the GRS becomes much more pale. Quite why this should be the case, or the precises mechanisms by which this occurs are not wholly understood at this time. Best wishes, -Paul.
  11. Greetings all, Attached are two drawings of Jupiter I made on the 21st November. Seeing was rather variable, but there were a number of interesting features present: Drawing 1: Shadow of Ganymede near the proc. limb. Seeing variable. A number of dark sections present in the SEBz, GRS coming onto the disk. Ganymede in transit but not seen. NMumber of festoons in the EZ, and a number of darker sections in the NEB. The northern edge of the NTB dark and irregular. Drawing 2: Ganymede now nearly off the disk. Some wonderful detail in the SEB just fol. the GRS. Seeing has improved somewhat. STropB dark for a short section fol. the GRS. Best wishes, -Paul.
  12. Greetings all!! Attached are 5 disk drawings and a strip map I made on the night of 05-06 November 2012. After a month of almost continual cloud cover, the clouds parted and I was able to observe the planet from 2200UT- 0510UT. The main of rthing of interest was an enormous rift which was present in the NEB. The rift was rather obvious, and by making transit timings, I estimated it to be some 35 degrees long. It was hard to say if the rift was one long rift or a series of smaller ones whose boundaries were beyond the resolution of the telescope. By 0407UT, oval BA and the GRS were on show. It seemed to me that BA had more colour than the GRS and was darker and more prominant. Best wishes, -Paul
  13. To be honest, it really doesn't matter too much about the make of the eyepiece, so long as the glass is a reasonable make. I have a mixture of wide angle and some standard plossl eyepieces. You will no doubt here advice about choosing the most expensive eyepieces, but I would ignore that personally, none of mine are particularly expensive. The main tool you need is time. When most people have a go at visual observing, they have a quick five minute look and declair that all they can see is a white disk with one or two bands on it. Well yes, that is the first impression, but you have to work beyond that. I spend 15-20 minutes looking before I even make a drawing. You have to train your visual system to see what's there, get your eyes to respond to the faint delicate markings and the subtle colours which are present on the Jovian disk. Visual observing is like exercising, the more you do it the better you get. As for magnification, the answer is the right magnification is the one which suits the seeing- your telescope may allow powers of x400, but this is quite pointless if the seeing is poor, all you will see is a steam pudding. So always make sure the disk of Jupiter is sharp and as focused as possible. On an average night, Jupiter will tolerate anything from x160 to x250. Good nights I use x300 or more, on truly excellent nights I have used x400 and x500 for some overwhelming views. Hope this helps, Paul
  14. Thanks all! @James, they're called festoons, and they have been well documented by Jupiter observers from at least the 1800s. Like everything else on Jupiter, there is some variability in their frequency and contrast since the EZ seems to undergo periods when it is not as active as at other times. A red W#25A filter helps to enhance them visually.
  15. It's a skywatcher. It's permanently mounted in my observatory.
  16. Many thanks I observe Uranus as often as possible; it is now on my planetary observing program and I treat it in the same way as the other planets. There's something fantastic about this world, and it deserves our attention!
  17. Greetings all! Here's a couple of drawings of Jupiter, one showing the GRS and Oval BA, the other drawn much later after the spots had rotated off the disk. There is much activity on Jupiter now, the NEB is broader and darker than it was, similarly the NTropZ is a darker almost salmon colour. Looking forward to some long nights with the planet around opposition! Best wishes, -Paul.
  18. Greetings all, I just thought I'd share some recent drawings of Uranus I made with the University of Leicester's 20" Planewave DK. They were made in IL and with a W#25A (red) and W#80A (blue) filters. Some markings are discernable including a brighter EZ, some banding. I strongly urge anyone with an 8" 'scope or larger to observe the planet regularly. Best wishes, -Paul.
  19. We all opted to be with everyone else- where's the point in going off to a cushy hotel. Got to be with everyone else and get the full experience!
  20. Well I don't think it would work if we weren't Nice to see so many people like and support the program!
  21. I didn't sketch the Sun, I sketched the prom.You should check these things ;-)
  22. @Rustmonkey don't worry! There's one at every star party, desperate to jump in and seek attention! Pete and myself are getting quite good at giving night sky guides without any actual night sky!
  23. It was a great event, thanks to James and co for putting it together, and thanks also to everyone who allowed us to interview them! I think this will be part of a Sky at Night program that's going out in January 2013, and even though it was largely cloudy (and foggy!) we still got some good stuff! I have still to develop a like for camping however! Best wishes, -Paul.
  24. Greetings. I have seen some subtle details on the disk of Uranus, but you need to have a resonable transparent sky (the planet is quite faint) and you need to use high magnificatio, so good seeing. I find powers of 350x-400x will show some details but they are subtle and not always present. Sometimes, like you I have observed Uranus in good consitions and the disk has been blank. I am pleased we have more people observing the planet as I'm sure storms must come and go on the disk. For high power work I use the University of Leicester's 20" DK and x600 which helps. One thing which may help; try looking at Ganymede for a while first, then when you move the Uranus, the disk will seem much bigger. You will also need to be dark adapted, and be prepared to observe for about 15 minutes before anything really becomes visible. Best wishes, -Paul.
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