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Jupiter , then darkness !


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Stunning Jupiter settled to give views from x200. GRS looked very dark, equally the northern belt. Once again a very fine band followed it. Best views in the frac came from my old 6mm Circle T orthos.

Past transit and looking up, the sky sparkled with stars. It actually got dark , wonderfully dark ! Slid around some deep sky , with surprising contrast , especially Messier's of the Summer Triangle.  Cloud rolled in , ending a very exciting night. Scorpius is low in the south here , Graffias looked stunningly bright, under clear skies ! Nick.IMG_5851.thumb.JPG.b457a717428e33fa83b4e660f0c6d884.JPG

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Now this is interesting and has got me thinking.

I've been reading all the wonderful reports of how much detail you've all been seeing on Jupiter, belts, barges, GRS, festoons etc. and yet it is presumably pretty low down near the horizon in the UK, through the thickest part of the atmosphere.

Down here in Oz Jupiter passes almost overhead and is very bright at about -2.2 magnitude, and yet I had a good session a couple of nights ago with the new 12 inch Dob (which is well collimated) under cool clear skies and struggled to see any details at all, even at 150x and with averted vision and squinting with eyes half closed.

I tried my 6mm Baader Classic Ortho to no avail, in fact if anything it was even worse.

I have heard some of you say that hazy high cloud can result in better seeing as it tones down the brightness and allows more detail to be seen.

I'm wondering if this is my problem, Jupiter is just too bright from here at the moment and needs toning down a bit to see more features?

Any thoughts on this?

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Geoff it does seem kind of strange ...... but I guess transparency is the issue, maybe the heat is causing issues. What kind of temperatures are you experiencing and what are other targets delivering such as tight doubles ?

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Great report Nick clear all night here until 11.30 when I was going to set up waiting for the dark looked North clear looked SE where I view and high cloud rolling in, I waited  see which direction it was going coming over me within a matter of minutes could not see Altair.?

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I have just booked a day off work tomorrow ? a trip to the dark site tonight I think, with a list of doubles in my pocket.

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10 minutes ago, Pig said:

What kind of temperatures are you experiencing

Hi Pig, it's winter here and we're 1500 feet up a mountain so pretty cold to be honest, about 5 degrees Celsius at time of obs. Little if any twinkling of stars so about as good seeing as you could wish for really. That was my first light with the Dob, haven't had a chance since to look at doubles etc. but Omega Centauri was wonderful.

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Just now, Geoff Barnes said:

Hi Pig, it's winter here and we're 1500 feet up a mountain so pretty cold to be honest, about 5 degrees Celsius at time of obs. Little if any twinkling of stars so about as good seeing as you could wish for really. That was my first light with the Dob, haven't had a chance since to look at doubles etc. but Omega Centauri was wonderful.

Most strange then Geoff.... I was expecting poorer views of Jupiter here in the UK due to the reasons you pointed out. However, I was quite surprised at how good they are.  I guess all you can do is try again and see if it was due to something on that particular night...maybe an airplane had left some pollutants etc..... 

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More curioser ., my best views were through a con trail !  This gave some contrast , a ND or polarising filter can take the glare off as can aperture masking .

These won't enhance the fineness of the view , but just give it more contrast. Any wobbly wobbly effects of seeing , just set the focus and the views will come. There's very little joy in keep fiddling with the focuser !

From here it's about 22 degrees above the horizon at max ( transit). Not too low and shabby !

Nick.

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I had a similar experience last night - was imaging with star adventurer and trying to catch up on the F1 qualifying last night. I was popping out in the ad breaks with my 15x70s and I’m sure (although this will be refuted by all I imagine ?) that I was catching momentary glimpses of the bands on Jupiter - the sky was just great here, inky black and almost no twinkle - then over the course of about 20 mins it all just disappeared, the cloud just sort of materialised out of nowhere. A real pity, as I was up for a super late one!

btw Nick - I always read your reports and may or may not ? have planned my sessions based entirely on them. But do you actually plan your sessions or just sort of observe off the hoof? I must say a good 75% of your targets are things I’ve not come across before - especially the doubles. Is this is an “accumulated life time of experience” type deals?

niall

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35 minutes ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Hi Pig, it's winter here and we're 1500 feet up a mountain so pretty cold to be honest, about 5 degrees Celsius at time of obs. Little if any twinkling of stars so about as good seeing as you could wish for really. That was my first light with the Dob, haven't had a chance since to look at doubles etc. but Omega Centauri was wonderful.

I find that Jupiter is at it's very best when viewed with some light still in the sky. The contrasts, colours and features seem more distinct then than when the sky is somewhat darker. Against a dark sky my eye has to work harder and get better adjusted to pick out the more subtle details. A thin high layer of cloud to view through can act as a very effective filter as well.

I hate to mention the "C" word but having the scope reasonably accurately collimated will improve the planetary detail that you will be able to see during the moments of very good seeing, which do "come and go" a lot, as has been mentioned already.

Oh, and lots of practice !. The experienced eye can pick out more subtle detail more quickly.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr niall said:

I was popping out in the ad breaks with my 15x70s and I’m sure (although this will be refuted by all I imagine ?) that I was catching momentary glimpses of the bands on Jupiter

I have no idea what the minimum mag is to see the bands but see detail at relatively low mag in a small scope so it may well be possible. I would think the main issue is that it is too bright to pick out the contrast of the bands on such a tiny target. Would be interesting to know if others have achieved the same.

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Nick, I apologise if it seems I hijacked your thread, not my intention at all. I probably should have started a new thread of my own.

I'll keep experimenting and hopefully succeed in seeing as much detail as you obviously have, great work! ?

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I'm saving it up for tonight Nick ? too much wine with dinner last night... I would have seen two Jupiters! 

Great observing notes though... I've still not worked through your last effort 

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3 hours ago, Mr niall said:

btw Nick - I always read your reports and may or may not ? have planned my sessions based entirely on them. But do you actually plan your sessions or just sort of observe off the hoof? I must say a good 75% of your targets are things I’ve not come across before - especially the doubles. Is this is an “accumulated life time of experience” type deals?

Hi Niall,  when time allows , I have a good scour around my info on each constellation and note down what it might be possible to observe. In addition I have a full "Double Stars for small telescopes" by Sissy Haas   https://www.365astronomy.com/Double-Stars-For-Small-Telescopes-by-Sissy-Haas.html and use the Eagle Creek Observatory website in my signature. Some nights I go out with a blank ( mind) page , particularly useful when some sky is cloudy . A notebook is useful for returning at anytime . The minimum of drawing helps relax the eye and you can see more detail. 

The richest source is reading reports on SGL, these are sights actually seen of tried ! For which we must all thank everyone who posts.

They say that failing to plan is planning to fail ! But the most joyous nights are just the Dob, seat and the sky, go wandering ! There is a wealth of lesser knowns detailed by Stephen James O'Meara, most are quite available to town viewin. There is an endless source on Sky Safari Pro, especially from Jim Kaler,

under clear skies ! Nick.

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Hi Nick,

Excellent report , I was out also, it did get unusually dark for this time of year.

You must pop down next chance and look through the 8.5" Nasmyth now it's been reworked (new focuser). It's going away to OO for recoat soon. The views are spot on, and your comment on con trails is also confirmed. softening the glare..does help.

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I cannot wait get out Jupiter is in a bad position for me unless I block it out with the shed means setting up on a slope  but any port in a storm.

Looking forward to getting the 5" frac and giving it a whirl.

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