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Jupiter, Fracing Good


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With the very disappointing result with Saturday Obs session with the OOuk14. This washed and soft  out views that were achieved due to the poor " seeing conditions " and certainty not the equipment set up. Then another crack at Jupiter was on the cards.

 

This was a totally different evening and a totally different set up. The Sky's were cloudless and darkness was ever approaching. Jupiter showing brightly in the south. The atmosphere just felt different. Even though the air temperature certainty was not cold. There was a slight chill in the air and the atmosphere just felt that bit different and that it had a bit more density about it. I had encountered conditions like this before, and so I was feeling good about the expected results.

The scope of choice was going to be the Frac this evening. And my reasoning behind this was two fold. Firstly I could move the mount to any position around the garden quickly and easily. This way I could keep it away from any possible heat haze from roofs and also find the best location to get a uninterrupted view of Jupiter. So the AZ4 which is so simple and quick to set up was positioned. The Equinox 120ed was placed onto the mount and left to cool. The eyepiece's of choice were going to be Pentax XW in 5, 7 mm going through a TV diagonal. The kit was set and Jupiter in range.

The Telrad on the scope located Jupiter quickly and the XW 7mm brought into focus. Straight away the seeing conditions were as suspected assisting the views. Jupiter was sharp and showing what I consider book type views of the planet. The numerous bands around Jupiter were clear and showing numerous different colours throughout. Even in the same bands different shades could be picked out with careful obs. With less favorable seeing Jupiter bands can seem soft and parallel line type. But with a quality set up and seeing on your side ,Jupiter bands are parallel type, but not straight lines but irregular across the vast planet. The seeing was so good and cooperating so well that the 5XW was placed in the focuser and a slight focus position change made. This extra magnification certainty was worth while, just confirming the seeing conditions were good. Extra belt details could be picked out more easily, and different colour shading across this massive planet brought out more with the extra magnification. As I use a non tracking mount. My normal practice is to put the planet to the far edge of the fov ,and just let it drift across. There is something magical about this ,it brings alive the vast planet and the realisation the constant moment of what we observe ,and that are own earth is a constantly moving mass. 

So the seeing was good and the Frac certainty took advantage of this ,and produced some great views of the massive gas giant Jupiter. It just show once again ,Seeing conditions can have such a dramatic effect on what you can achieve in an Obs session.

 

 

 

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Nice one Simon ? it sure is great when everything comes together ? I also had a fantastic session at our local dark site last night and Jupiter was definitely playing ball. The Jovian moons were quite spread out which is something I haven’t seen for a while.

Just out of interest what does you Equinox weigh ? I am wondering if my mount will handle one. I used to have the 80mm and it was a very impressive scope.

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Nice report again Simon.

Have you ever had the chance to compare the frac and the 14” side by side under excellent conditions?

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Great report !

I had my ED120 Pro on Jupiter last night and the views were very nice indeed. Loads of detail visible :icon_biggrin:

I've not used my 12" OO dob on the giant planet more than once this year - it's just to low for the dob design to get too and then I'm peering through a rather narrow gap between a house and a large tree !

Fracs are working best this time around.

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Yes, seeing on Jupiter was excellent last night. Only downside was I only had about 10mjns observing before total cloud cover ensued once more. I did manage to get a pretty good image of Jupiter showing some nice detail though with my first of three small imaging files I managed before Jupiter was hidden from view.

AC0C2152-D036-446D-B87A-D46E634477AD.thumb.jpeg.14600b8d5a107a9e140b61c1450923e9.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Pig said:

Nice one Simon ? it sure is great when everything comes together ? I also had a fantastic session at our local dark site last night and Jupiter was definitely playing ball. The Jovian moons were quite spread out which is something I haven’t seen for a while.

Just out of interest what does you Equinox weigh ? I am wondering if my mount will handle one. I used to have the 80mm and it was a very impressive scope.

 

Yes Shaun,  conditions were good last night for us fortunate ones. Planetary really does come alive when the "seeing " is with you. And then quality kit can really stretch it legs?

 

Weight of the Equinox I am not to sure , I think its around the 6 to 7 kg mark? But don't hold me to that, and unfortunately I do not have any scales to pop it on at the moment. The AZ 4 does very well considering the weight and bulk. But it works which is the main thing.

 

4 hours ago, Stu said:

 

Have you ever had the chance to compare the frac and the 14” side by side under excellent conditions?

 

 

Unfortunately Stu. I have never done a true side by side test of the VX14 and ed 120 on the same night under the same conditions. The dob usually lives round the back ,and the frac sits better round the front garden to get between the trees on Jupiter. Both scopes under great seeing conditions really do perform though. And the details you can pick out really do shine if the "seeing" is with you. Most of my sessions are on the spur, and if the time is available to me and Sky's clear ,then kit comes out ?

 

 

 

4 hours ago, John said:

Great report !

I had my ED120 Pro on Jupiter last night and the views were very nice indeed. Loads of detail visible :icon_biggrin:

I've not used my 12" OO dob on the giant planet more than once this year - it's just to low for the dob design to get too and then I'm peering through a rather narrow gap between a house and a large tree !

Fracs are working best this time around.

 

 

I do love the frac on planetary and lunar and doubles. You just seem to get a nicer cleaner life like view through a quality frac. But saying that the 14" reflector is no Slough though on these targets.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Knighty2112 said:

Yes, seeing on Jupiter was excellent last night. Only downside was I only had about 10mjns observing before total cloud cover ensued once more. I did manage to get a pretty good image of Jupiter showing some nice detail though with my first of three small imaging files I managed before Jupiter was hidden from view.

AC0C2152-D036-446D-B87A-D46E634477AD.thumb.jpeg.14600b8d5a107a9e140b61c1450923e9.jpeg

 

Nice picture?

Yes the clouds can role in and out at will.

Luckily the last few nights have been basically cloud free for me. Its the atmosphere "seeing" that has made or broke my obs session.

 

 

 

 

2 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

Neat , I got the thin band between the barges in a 102, very nice views,Nick.IMG_5854.thumb.JPG.b023634081690b0b4b0efbee665e2233.JPG

 

Over the last few weeks we do seem to have some great conditions on certain nights , hopefully a few more. I do like Jupiter and the details that can be shown. But I wish my favorite Saturn was a bit more readily available. Saturn is just such a thing of beauty to observe. After all these years when doing planetary I still remember the fist time I viewed Saturn it was a Woow moment, something magical.?

 

 

 

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Cheers Simon, I think that kind of weight will be fine ? I am sure my mount can take 9 Kg on the primary side. You never know this may be my next scope.

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