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Special K

Mars & Jupiter nearing conjunction

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Conjunction is just three days away and these are about 2 degrees apart.  High winds and the spitter spatter of rain is keeping the scopes inside, but the view in my bins is looking great. To make things more interesting Zuben Elgenubi (α1 and α2 Libri) are very close forming a sharp triangle with Mars. Add a few Jovian satellites for a stunning experience!!  All seen from my second floor “observatory” behind velux window ;) 

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24 minutes ago, Special K said:

Conjunction is just three days away and these are about 2 degrees apart.  High winds and the spitter spatter of rain is keeping the scopes inside, but the view in my bins is looking great. To make things more interesting Zuben Elgenubi (α1 and α2 Libri) are very close forming a sharp triangle with Mars. Add a few Jovian satellites for a stunning experience!!  All seen from my second floor “observatory” behind velux window ;) 

They are getting close now, just braved the weather for quick peak. very very windy here, no chance of getting the scope out!

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Wind speed similar to Jupiter's  here in the North.   No obs or images this morning.    

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With Sat or Sun the best mornings to see them at their closest, the local weather forecast gives Sun as the best chance.

If conditions allow, Mars should be nice because with 4.8 arcsec diameter now, and Syrtis Major well placed, we may be lucky and start to see some detail!

Chris

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Thanks for the heads up in this, I wasn't aware they were going to get so close! Fingers crossed for some decent weather, clear and calm!

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An article with some more info about what to look out for over the next few days as the planets get close is available here.

Jeremy

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Thanks Jeremy

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7 hours ago, Special K said:

second floor “observatory” behind velux window

I got one of them too :) Southerly facing to boot. Great for early morning planets!

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3 hours ago, parallaxerr said:

I got one of them too :) Southerly facing to boot. Great for early morning planets!

Great for staying warm and dry!!  I thought the double glazing was causing an apparition with α Libri. Then I opened the window and also checked the charts!  

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Thanks for all this great information.  I can't help but bring all this newbie enthusiasm and excitement about seeing all this for the first time.  I remember once camping out and just laying on the ground looking at the sky all night, watching the milky way rotate from one side to the other.  It was amazing to watch, and also all the contemplation of the wonders of the universe.  But now, I am seeing it through new eyes (through the eyepiece of a telescope) and seeing wonders that are new to me.

I went out Tuesday morning early and spotted it right away.  It was cold, like 16(F), but I bundled up and first looked at Jupiter and saw three tiny moons all lined up.  I had to look them up on Stellarius and discovered that Io was there also but hidden behind Jupiter at the moment.  I couldn't take my eyes off it for a long time.  I realized my fingers had gone completely numb when I tried to sight in on Mars.  Not quite as impressive, but the color was stunning.  I have a real beginner telescope, a 114mm reflector on an EQ1 mount, but it is certainly enough to whet my interest.  Already saving the pennies for some serious upgrades at some point in the future.  Anyway, I watched both until it got to light to see, and then went inside and wrote it all down.

The same for yesterday and today, but this morning it was down to 2 degrees F and I just couldn't quite do it.  I grabbed my binoculars for "just a quick look", which was actually pretty good, but then decided to set up the scope inside and try looking through my dining room window :-)  Not too shabby, just a little harder to focus through the glass.  Good suggestion :-)  Once more, just couldn't step away, it was so amazing to think about actually seeing this wonderful, huge planet and 4 of its moons from my dining room window.

I have a new Orion 6mm edge-on planetary eyepiece (and I have a 2x Barlow already) and some planetary filters on the way, so I hope that increases the resolution of the planets a little more.  Any other suggestions for enhancements like that are most appreciated as well.

This is so great!  I can't believe I'm actually watching as Mars gets noticeably closer to Jupiter every morning.  Thanks to all of you for sharing all your knowledge with those of us just learning.  It is just fantastic!

 

Edited by Jay F
misspelled word
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Wanted to try it out today, but weather didn't allow. I wanted so much to test my new mount.

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The planets will be closest on Sunday morning and then we get a bonus of the crescent moon, Mars and Jupiter being within 4° of one another on the morning of Thursday 11th Jan, which should be a fine sight. 

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Spectacular report @Jay F!!  Really nice to read of your enthusiasm :) 

What I find amazing when they near conjunction is how quickly they do it in the final stages.  They seem to hang there for months and then start truckin’!  I looked out this morning but was clouded out so am hoping for the weekend and for bringing the bigger guns into play!

There is also a nice configuration of moons into two pairs on Sunday morning:  

C1C51F43-1102-4CEB-8741-93B44C6C6719.thumb.png.194215f8b5ddf5f327a30be218c6308c.png

Edited by Special K
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Thanks, Special K, and for posting the moon configuration for Sunday.  Looking forward to it, although there's a possibility of snow and clouds overnight Saturday, so I hope I get a chance to look at it :-)  If you get any good photos, make sure you post them!

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You must get some excellent skies in San Luis @Jay F being next to the National Forest. I lived in Grand Junction when I was about 9 and what I wouldn’t give to have those views again!!!  My older brother used to make comments about the Milky Way which I didn’t really understand at the time. 

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Lovely Epiphany view of the pair this morning - especially in binoculars. Jupiter, Mars and the double alpha lib.

 

andrew

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This morning it's quite spectacular, very close in the same field of view with 25x100 bins.  I hadn't followed this up to now except I noticed something unusual there as I put the kettle on in my kitchen so I thought I'd get the binoculars out and have a look. It's a nice view from the top bedroom window.  It would make a great photo.

graeme

 

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Had a quick view through broken cloud just now, looking very close through the 8x42s. As Andrew says, the Alpha Lib double looks great too.

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Got up for the dog at 06:30 and forgot to look. Remembered at 07:30, had a look through small bins and looks nice. Getting too light now to bother getting scope out and trying for an image, doh!  

Got bigger bins out and very nice, wish I'd remembered earlier. 

Edited by Peco4321

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Got up at 7am cet. A rare cloudfree sky. Jupiter, Mars and moon gave some lovely naked eye views.

With the 8"dob and Docter 12.5mm (96x) the two planets were easily within the same fov.

As expected very poor seeing, With Jupiters 2 main belts barely revealed.

Edit : Mars was a cyan,yellow, green and red small dot. Plenty of atmospheric CA  :happy11:

Rune

Edited by Pondus
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Another view of Mercury around 7.30, just above the tree tops. A pale yellowy glow but still quite bright topped off a lovely dawn morning.

 

andrew

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Forecast good for tonight so going to do some stuff tonight, leave gear easily accessible for the morning as they will still be close. Hopefully get some images. 

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5 minutes ago, Peco4321 said:

Forecast good for tonight so going to do some stuff tonight, leave gear easily accessible for the morning as they will still be close. Hopefully get some images. 

They will be closer still tomorrow morning. Forecast looking a bit better for me so will put the scope out and give it a try.

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