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19th December 16:25 hrs: Jupiter & Saturn 1/4 degree apart


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No luck here. I suspect I missed a brief glimpse but was busy finishing off the bathroom before Christmas!! Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Will put the Tak out I think on the Gitzo for maximum flexibility and ability to move around.

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Managed to catch this tonight 19-12-2020 @ 16:28UT, clouds parted long enough a few stills, and a couple of videos, not holding out much hope on those but at least it is something. SW 200P and Ca

I had packed the little Carton 60mm in the car ready to drive up a nearby lane for a view.. ..I was cooking supper and took some peelings to the compost bin at the end of our (slightly sloping) g

I took quite a few pics using my DSLR last night, and this was probably the best of them. Tricky to catch the moons in the bright sky, but they are there just about, including Io just creeping out fro

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We have a few clouds rolling in. Another cold front predicted for Sunday, then clearing up (hopefully) by Moday evening.

I'm scheduled to work the next three days and go in early, so that means early to bed.

After yesterday evenings success, I'm really looking forward for this evening and Monday evening.

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I trawled Google maps this morning to find a spot with a low horizon in the right place and watched the weather all day.

I had a set up all packed and ready to go.

It cleared up well in the afternoon and was looking good. I took the ED102R, Skytee 2 and a little bag of bits round to a nearby field and set up.

A lady walking her dog asked me "are you doing some photography?"

I said "no, I'm hoping to see Jupiter and Saturn, they are really close together.".

She said "where are they?".

I looked back and had to say "err, right there behind that big bank of cloud."

She said "oh".

That was the end of that. I had a hamlet moment watching the cloud thicken and then it started to drizzle.

ūüėÜ

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7 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

That was just bad luck Chris, sorry for the laugh, but your Hamlet recollection hit my funny bone!ūüėĀ

Dave

You do have to laugh. I've got the same plan ready to roll tomorrow, who dares wins... sometimes. :)

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Interesting successful and less successful encounters, the moon was looking lovely as I approached walking towards and onto Newcastle Town Moor, binoculars and monopod. Then lo and behold, bang on cue blanket cloud swept in from the west. Part two / take two, tomorrow, yeah who dares wins...sometimes.

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Went up to Penistone Hill again and thought I'd go up to the triangulation point (1030 feet above sea level) rather than lower down the hill, so as to extend the brief window of visibility for us northern dwellers before the planets set.

In hindsight, certainly not the best call I've ever made!  It had been sunny most of the day, up to leaving home at 3pm.  Arrived at 3.10pm and there were some ominous clouds around. Carried my gear up the hill to the top - clouds even more ominous, and the wind was very strong. Then it started to rain, just as I had set the SW 72ED on the AZ5.  Put a cover on to protect it.

Then a very strong gust blew the whole thing over.  The finder foot snapped of the scope still attached to the bracket - the finder flew out the bracket.  I just about recovered my composure when I was attacked by three large dogs who wanted to play with me and my equipment.  Luckily the owner appeared and managed,  with some difficulty,  to drag them off me. The rain became heavier.

I grabbed my gear together and sort sanctuary further down the hill close to where my car was parked.  Sat in the car in heavy rain and winds that rocked the car at times - for nearly two hours.

At just gone 5, still raining but lighter, a small patch of thinner cloud developed, heading toward where the planets should be.  Out the car and a few mts later picked up Jupiter only a few degrees above my horizon, no Saturn visible, in my 10×50 binocs. Rushed to set the scope, now light rain.  Luckily ( as I had broken the finder off the scope) Jupiter was very low down and close to a telephone pole, so centred it easily in the 72ED by off setting from the telephone pole.

EUREKA, my day had just got a whole lot better as there was Jupiter and Saturn nicely framed at about x50 in my Baader zoom. Fabulous, could see three of Jupiters satellites and  Saturn and its rings above and to the right.  Viewed them for about 5 minutes before Jupitet set leaving two of its satellites pointing the way to Saturn above it at just under 15' distant.  I think I'd earned the view I had!

Just a typical observing session, and I'll be back tomorrow to do it all over again ūüôā.¬†

Screen grab using SkySafari using my phone just before Jupiter set.

1195606451_Screenshot_20201219-173702_SkySafari6Pro.thumb.jpg.26728c32c84b20b83649328e18edc5d1.jpg

 

 

Edited by paulastro
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Some more great reports - thanks for posting them :icon_biggrin:

The planets actually looked quite attractive through my little 30mm RACI finder as well. Even when they dipped behind the branches of the chestnut tree and I was playing hide and seek with them.

We had a reasonably clear evening up until about 40 minutes ago. I can still see some stars out there but they are competing with a patchy cloud layer now so I've bought the scope in.

How many of us will get another shot at this pairing tomorrow and beyond that I wonder ?. Hopefully, lots :smiley:

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2 minutes ago, paulastro said:

Went up to Penistone Hill again and thought I'd go up to the triangulation point (1030 feet above sea level) rather than lower down the hill, so as to extend the brief window of visibility for us northern dwellers before the planets set.

In hindsight, certainly not the best call I've ever made!  It had been sunny most of the day, up to leaving home at 3pm.  Arrived at 3.10pm and there were some ominous clouds around. Carried my gear up the hill to the top - clouds even more ominous, and the wind was very strong. Then it started to rain, just as I had set the SW 72ED on the AZ5.  Put a cover on to protect it.

Then a very strong gust blew the whole thing over.  The finder foot snapped of the scope still attached to the bracket - the finder flew out the bracket.  I just about recovered my composure when I was attacked by three large dogs who wanted to play with me and my equipment.  Luckily the owner appeared and managed,  with some difficulty,  The rain became heavier.

I grabbed my gear together and sort sanctuary further down the hill close to where my car was parked.  Sat in the car in heavy rain and winds that rocked the car at times - for nearly two hours.

At just gone 5, still raining but lighter, a small patch of thinner cloud developed, heading toward where the planets should be.  Out the car and a few mts later picked up Jupiter only a few degrees above my horizon, no Saturn visible, in my 10×50 binocs. Rushed to set the scope, now light rain.  Luckily ( as I had broken the finder off the scope) Jupiter was very low down and close to a telephone pole, so centred it easily in the 72ED by off setting from the telephone pole.

EUREKA, my day had just got a whole lot better as there was Jupiter and Saturn nicely framed at about x50 in my Baader zoom. Fabulous, could see three of Jupiters satellites and  Saturn and its rings above and to the right.  Viewed them for about 5 minutes before Jupitet set leaving two of its satellites pointing the way to Saturn above it at just under 15' distant.  I think I'd earned the view I had!

Just a typical observing session, and I'll be back tomorrow to do it all over again ūüôā.¬†

Screen grab using SkySafari using my phone just before Jupiter set.

1195606451_Screenshot_20201219-173702_SkySafari6Pro.thumb.jpg.26728c32c84b20b83649328e18edc5d1.jpg

 

 

You worked hard for those views by the sound of it Paul. Really glad that you were rewarded :thumbright:

The things we astronomers to see some blobs of light a long, long way away :rolleyes2:

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They were spectacular as the Sun set yesterday. It was so clear I feel guilty reading your reports of clouds!ūüôĄ

No matter what I tried, with the two giants so low, the best I could manage in my single images was a single equatorial band on Jupiter.

The past week SWMBO stayed at my youngest daughters to baby sit, being they were in school.

This week they are out, and staying with us. Both got to view the planets and the moon with me before the mosquitos ran them in.

My oldest, who is ten immediately said, I can see the four moons!

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1 hour ago, maw lod qan said:

They were spectacular as the Sun set yesterday. It was so clear I feel guilty reading your reports of clouds!ūüôĄ

No matter what I tried, with the two giants so low, the best I could manage in my single images was a single equatorial band on Jupiter.

The past week SWMBO stayed at my youngest daughters to baby sit, being they were in school.

This week they are out, and staying with us. Both got to view the planets and the moon with me before the mosquitos ran them in.

My oldest, who is ten immediately said, I can see the four moons!

Nice report !

While seeing them together is great, this is not a good time to see fine detail on either planet is it ?

Young eyes do seem to do well though - sometimes seeing stuff that our older eyes and brains overlook or don't register :rolleyes2:

Mosquitos is a problem that we don't seem to have here - unless @paulastro ran into some hardy Yorkshire ones to add to his other challenges last night !

 

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I recommend a fast telescope as the only way to see the conjunction properly.  It needs to be up, cool and focussed in less than two minutes between sunset and cloud gaps.

John

Edited by westmarch
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I had the foresight to get my C5 outside on the balcony before I went out for the final food shop of the year in the vague hope that a) I would get back in time and b) it would still be clear. 

Despite the landlord's best efforts to delay us leaving I did manage to get back in time and it was, remarkably, still clear. I got set up upstairs on the shared roof terrace with my pre-cooled gear, and fit in a solid 20 mins of reasonable viewing, and maybe another 10 of not so good viewing. 

Still, both Jupiter and Saturn looked great even at 71x  in my Morpheus 17.5mm, and I was able to easily pick out the Galilean moons and Titan. Switching up to the Meade HD60 9mm started to really push limits of the seeing so I ended up spending most of the time with the Morpheus. I'm surprised just how much detail I could pick out at 71x but the Morpheus continues to delight and it does seem to occupy the go-to EP sweet spot at the moment. 

I am lucky to have access to a roof terrace in a capital city, but the skyline is still pretty hectic on all compass points except NE, so it doesn't take long before the atmospheric interference from all the buildings ruins the view for such a low lying target, sadly, but I'm happy to have got a decent chance now in case it's not possible tomorrow. 

 

Good luck to everyone else! 

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I was hoping to get a glimpse of them tonight at 9 arc minutes separation. The scope and mount are ready but the sky is currently heavy with dark clouds and rain is falling :rolleyes2:

I'm all ready to leap into action if things clear in the next 45 minutes or so though (ever the optimist !) :smiley:

 

Edited by John
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Got them. Nice clear sky right now over Mancland. Lovely view. Tried with the phone for a shot. Was worth a go. Happy I’ve seen it. Not holding any hopes for tomorrow. Rounds off the year I guess. Hope everyone gets the chance of a look. 
John 27FC5BF9-0B19-4E08-A1F2-FD534E44629F.thumb.jpeg.daa08ef822abeae8638c855fb9e7d228.jpeg

 

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I can see them, kinda

image.thumb.png.8da5f9d0a2e9d01ae9709b8f181915ab.png

sadly thru 3 sets of trees from my garden. Shot just now with a 300mmAPO & x2 TC. Defo getting closer together, that gap would fit in my little fingernail and I've relatively small hands.

Edited by DaveL59
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Miraculous cloud and rain clearance here leading to excellent views of the pair with my Tak FC100-DL and barlowed zoom. Crisp and bright at 100x, not so crisp and bright but still both planets in the field of view at 281x. I thought it would be a washout this evening so pleased to have made the effort. Just got to wipe the Tak tube down - still lots of rain drops coming off the trees, none near the optics though.

The pair were very nice with the 11x70 binoculars and even with the 6x30 finder.

Even if I don't get a view tomorrow (closest approach) I feel I've observed this great conjunction quite well now :smiley:

Excellent to read the other reports coming in as too - thanks for posting them :thumbright:

 

Edited by John
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