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3rd June 2015 Equipment: NexStar 8SE 18:16 - 19:30: Venus was approximately 30 degrees above the west western horizon. Bright and unmistakable. Through the 13mm TV it was a bright creamy white half phase with a hint of markings along the terminator extending about a third of the way toward the edge. Markings faded out toward the north and south poles. Tried imaging at F10 & F20 using a mono CCD DMK21au618 through IRPass 685nm, Neodymium and UVenus filters to combine as RGB. IR Pass and Nd were bright in both focal lengths but UVenus was very dim had to be pushed to full gain and shuttle slowed down to 1/7 f20 and 1/15th F10. Between 19:30 and approx 21:00 Saturn was only rising, about 45 degrees in the east and was moving behind a large tree in east obstructing view. Add to that that sporadic clouds were moving toward Saturn from north-west so I waited to see what will happen when Saturn rises above the tree blocking the view. Luckily the clouds cleared mostly when Saturn was in prime imaging and viewing position. 21:00-23:00: Saturn was a sight to behold. The seeing was one of, and most likely the best I have ever seen. Using 11mm TV the view was sharp, bright and detailed. 7mm just like with 11mm TV sharp and detailed. 5mm again sharp and detailed. 11mm 2.5X PM sharp and detailed. Sharpest and biggest most detailed view. 5mm 2.5X PM started to go soft but still this was at 1016X mathematically but in reality 700-800x since the 2.5X PM seems to magnify less then the 2X Barlow... Due to length of tube. Color was visible, so were clear cloud bands in the atmosphere along with the details in rings. The Cassini division was crystal clear all the way around the ring, only covered by the globe behind the planet... At times I thought I saw the Encke division at 460x (11mm TV & 2.5X PM) perhaps it was wishful thinking since imaging did not reveal it at F20 or F50, but the view was still and crisp. I spent about 90 minutes+ just staring at Saturn, couldn't pull myself away from the eyepiece. 23:00-23:30: The Moon was the last object observed and imaged. Just past full moon, the side with shadowing was crisp at all powers used from 180X - 406X. It's been a while since the moon got some attention, last time was during the two Saturn Occultations last year. I imaged using f10 and DMK21 through IR Cut... Created a 10 plate mosaic of the contrasty edge. Very cold, couldn't feel my hands by 23:30 when I packed up but was a great night of imaging and viewing. MG
Hello everyone, Hope you all had a great Christmas. I was looking at some Venus Orbiter UV photos (I think also known as Pioneer 12??) from 1978. The thing bothering me, or I'm curious about is that looking at my image cloud pattern compared to the Orbiter images, the cloud structure or shape looks very similar. How could that be, surely the cloud pattern would have changed in the time from 1978 to 2016!! My explanation is that the equatorial region spins faster then the pole and tend to generate a similar pattern regardless how long apart we're observing or imaging the planet. Option 2: A conspiracy, Venus is just a projection and we're not meant to see the cloud structure so the gummement didn't bother updating the "atmosphere", HAHA OK that one was a joke, but does anyone have another explanation? Attached is a image with my pic on the top and the two Orbiter photos I found online with the dark side painted over. Clear Skies, MG
Hi all, Last evening I decided to try and image Venus using the new scope. I rarely used the Astrodon UVenus filter in my C8 since I barely go a 50% histogram through it at 2032mm with max gain!! I guess the reason would be due to the corrector plate blocking a lot of the UV spectrum. There was a thin cloud cover but I was already setup and imaged Venus regardless through the 3X TV Barlow using the DMK21au618, 2500 frames each through the UVenus, Neodymium and IRPass685 filters, stacked best 20% and combined IR Nd UV as RGB. UV was a lot brighter than in C8, but I still had to up the gain. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do it again, but this time through a clear sky and get more cloud detail in the UV wavelength. Clear skies, Mariusz