Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

Quick look at Saturn and Jupiter


 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been using my ED120 refractor tonight to observe double stars and the Moon.

Saturn and Jupiter come into view rather late here due to surrounding houses but I've stayed out a bit later than intended to get a view of both.

The seeing conditions were decent but not exceptional. 180x (Pentax XW 5mm) seemed to give the sharpest views of both planets.

Saturn showed it's disk banding rather well with a couple of equatorial belts visible plus the dark northern polar cap. The cassini division and the A & B ring brightness differences stood out well as did the ring shadow on the planet and the planets shadow on the rings. The C or Crepe Ring popped in and out of visiblilty as the seeing fluctuated. 6 Saturnian moons were showing which is a decent tally for the 4.7 inch aperture. Enceladus was pretty challenging being close the the planetary disk and relatively faint. I found that higher magnifications (257x) helped to tease that little world out of the glare of it's host planet.

Jupiter was a little higher in the sky. Quite intricate planetary belt detail was showing with 7 belts detected plus the north and south polar "hoods". The Great Red Spot was nestled into the southern edge of the south equatorial belt and I agree with other recent observations that it looks rather faded in tone this year. It also seemed quite elongated - rather like an eye shape, compared to the more oval form that it has had in the past. The north equatorial belt seemed darker than the other belts and somewhat clumpy. There was what seemed to be a continuous belt running through the equatorial zone although this could have been an impression caused by a number of festoons running into each other - I've seen that before on Jupiter.

3 of the Galilean moons were showing at the time of viewing. The differences in their apparent diameters was fairly easy to see at 180x. It's fun to try and work out which is which from this and then check Stellarium or similar tools to see if you have it right !

An enjoyable 30 minutes or so with these giant worlds. Hopefully longer sessions when they rise a little earlier :icon_biggrin: 

 

Edited by John
  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice report, John. I'm waiting for them to rise a bit earlier myself before I do some serious observing (and imaging). ;) 

 

Cheers,

Reggie

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the seeing was alright once the heat had gone. I matched my 1.4" record on doubles.
And once the moon had set, the sky looked as dark as it ever does here.
My Mak didn't match your 120ED, but I was happy with another look at Jupiter (four cloud belts) and a first look at Saturn (Cassini division, hints of banding, three moons) which was worth staying up for (I also have to dodge the houses).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Festoons and barges? Any good Jupiter observing guides that someone can recommend? After the weekend's observing, I think I'm going to be spending a bit of time on this later in the year!

Edited by Pixies
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Pixies said:

Festoons and barges? Any good Jupiter observing guides that someone can recommend? After the weekend's observing, I think I'm going to be spending a bit of time on this later in the year!

Here is a little info on the main features of Jupiter:

Jupiter_belts.jpg.b982b95cb65706b4186219265c6023bb.jpg

jupiterfeatures.jpg.53afcbb376462bb262d278699eeb2a1d.jpg

 

I also use the Virtual Planet Atlas (freeware), Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel for moon and GRS positions.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree viewing was not the best last night. I held out for an extra ten minutes (school night) and then Jupiter snapped into focus, with the different belts being visible. 
Amazing the affect of the atmosphere…

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Great stuff a man of your age staying up so late John. Inspirational!

 

If only my other half saw it that way ..... :rolleyes2:

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report. Urged on by the many contributors here I dragged myself out of bed at 3am. I wasn't disappointed. Excellent seeing and a wonderful view of the GRS.... 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.