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Jupiter, now I get it.


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So I am new to telescope ownership but wanted to post a realization I had this past week when observing Jupiter. Before owning a telescope I simply did not understand the magnificence that was to be found in looking at our closer neighbors. I had convinced myself that nebulae and other deep sky objects were where I belonged. This all changed in the past week though.

For a new observer Jupiter is the perfect target; it's big, bright, and great for most viewing locations. For this reason I decided it was worth taking a look. On my first night observing the planet I was quickly able to find the planet and to my amazement I saw two of the moons (may have over looked the other 2 large moons in my haste). After a moment I also began seeing a darker band on the planet in myu 10mm (65x) eyepeice.

A few days later I revisited Jupiter and spent a little more time with it. I discovered the moons had moved significantly since the previous viewing, and I could see all four (visible) moons. I was also able to make out 2 darker bands this time. Needless to say, I was amazed.

Moving forward, I am hoping to improve my viewing as I spend more time with Jupiter with maybe a tad more magnification and possibly some filter options to reduce the brightness and enhance the contrast. I welcome any advice on the filtering and magnification you veterans may have. Thanks for listening.

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Great stuff! There is nothing quite like your first view of Jupiter.

You are dead right. Time at the eyepiece really does bring results. A more magnification will show more but don't go too crazy as as very often it is the atmosphere that limits the detail rather than raw magnification. However, there are rare nights where it will take everything that you can throw at it. They are few and far between.

I use a very cheap light blue filter which makes a very subtle difference. The best filter is a very thin layer of cloud which can knock the top off the glare.

Downloading the "Jupiter's Moons" app by Sky & Telescope is a must. It will show the possitions of the moons. Great Red Spot transit times and moon shadow transit times etc.

Bet you can't wait for Saturn!

Paul

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Hi Evax,

Wonderful post :) Glad to see Jupiter has got it's claws in you! Seeing the Great Red Spot for the first time (try for x100 on nights of good seeing) is a wow moment. There is a 'rare' triple transit of Jupiter's moons this month so your enthusiasm couldn't be better placed.

I generally observe Jupiter without filters but in larger apertures I find a light blue (82A) or the Baader Neodymium can help to bring out the temperate belts. If you ever continue into Planetary for a while and have the resources then I highly recommend a binoviewer - better than any filter ;)

Regards

Dannae

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Great post, Jupiter was one of the first objects I observed when I first had my scope and I was hooked right away.

Can recommend Sky and Telescope Jupiter app(and Saturn's), there are some great moon events coming up over the next few weeks, don't miss them!!!

As Paul says don't go overboard with the mag. x100- x150 will do you fine and spend time at the eyepiece. Best if you can sit comfortably at the eyepiece, I was amazed the first time I sat instead of standing with my eye hovering over the eyepiece.

Good luck.

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Thanks guys. A good chair is something I will need to find because keeping eyes on the planet is, as you point out, really hard to do from standing.

Also thanks for the info about the Jupiter app. I used it to help me label the moons in my journal. Also I am looking at some additional eyepieces to give me a little more zoom, I will heed the warning about not overdoing the zoom though.

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Great report. I really want to observe this great planet again after reading your post.

8 months since I observed Jupiter. Finally the weather report looks promising for my part of the world.

With my Heritage (650 FL) I usually ended up with 100-130x observing Jupiter, I`ve had (very) brief moments with 240x with Orion XT8i.

Rune

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Rune, glad I could inspire you. Really taking the time to look at Jupiter was, as I am sure many beginners feel, awe inspiring. I can only imagine the subtle nuances that will be more apparent as I keep observing.

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Jupiter and the Galilean Moons are stunning, an absolutely incredible sight! The longer you observe, the more detail starts to appear. Jupiter's bands are mesmerizing, and watching the Galilean Moons move around is amazing! I use a light blue filter sometimes to bring out the contrast of the bands.

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Yep. Saturn is indeed beautiful but Jupiter is my favourite planet to spend time with.

Tot

Oh yeah, it is a fantastic view! The first time I saw the Great Read Spot and watched a moon transit are still great memories. And those moments when the seeing is good and the whole thing drifts into perfect focus, even if just for a couple of seconds, are amazing. It is amazing how you can see something that is so far away, in such detail.

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