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This is not a detailed write up of my session last night, but got to see the two planets that have been on my astronomy bucket list since starting this hobby at the start of the year. Didn’t hold out much hope for last night as the weather & clear skies apps both predicted cloud cover by midnight. I had put my Mak127 in the garage to cool at 8pm & kept my fingers crossed! Some clouds started to roll in at 10pm, so was not hopeful. By 11pm there was a clear spot, so setup the tripod & scope & took a look at the moon. Even with a moon filter it was extremely bright, showing good crater detail on it’s shadowy edge. Jupiter had also risen & took a look for the 1st time. I was amazed, a bright disc & 4 moons visible. 1st views were with my 8mm BST star guider at 187x. Placed in my 15mm BST to give me 100x & the view was bettered due to the conditions & height of the planet. Tried several different filters (green, yellow, red, etc) & finally got the best views with a light pollution filter showing 2 bands on Jupiter. With the sky holding out I decided to wait for Saturn to rise as wouldn’t be to far behind. At 12.30 a small bright light rose above the distant tree line in the SE. Moved the scope & to my amazement my 1st every view of Saturn! I could clearly make out the planet & its discs. At 1am I am lucky the the street lights turn off in the north of the Isle of Man, turning my Bortle 4 into a 1 or 2. But the brightness of the moon lit the sky. Had to drag my self to bed at 2am. Great night trying out my new equipment ( Mak127, dielectric diagonal & Giaz mount ) which performed brilliant & seeing Saturn & Jupiter topped it off. Hopefully many more clear skies as there hasn’t been many lately!
If you ever come to Sweden there is an interesting model of our solar system here, it covers the whole country. They started to build this model in late 1990s and my teacher in astronomy prof Gösta Gahm was one of them who started this project.
In May 2019 I was invited by Gösta to participate of the installation of Jupiter version 2 at Sky City in Stockholm. I took som photos and did a report from that event. If you find it interesting to read you find it here:
There are of course a lot of other interesting things to visit and see in Sweden!
By Cosmic Geoff
First good results with newly purchased ASI224MC camera. Using: CPC800, ASI224MC (USB3), ZWO IR cut filter, ZWO ADC.
Conditions: planets low (15 deg or lower), near full moon, some haze. Time : around 04.40 BST.
A few hours earlier I tried Mars but the results were poor asides for demonstrating the higher frame rate available with the new camera.
In case you are wondering (as I was) what the difference is between an ASI224MC and an ASI120MC, the former does not appear to be any more sensitive so far as I could see (exposures no shorter) but the potential frame rate even with USB2 is higher. And the ASI224 has a deeper body for some reason. And this set of Saturn images is clearly my best ever.