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Spot/Festoon on Jupiter


George Jones
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Last night, I watched a dark feature rotate across Jupiter for more than an hour. The feature was in the southern part of North Equatorial Belt, possibly extending into the northern part of the Equatorial Zone. It looked quite similar to the dark feature (labeled as a blue festoon) in the right image at the top of

Observation of planet JUPITER

though I didn't see any colour.

The feature was best viewed between 9pm and 11pm ADT (0am and 2am GMT).

Did anyone else see this?

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Someone on Cloudy Nights saw it as well. See

Telescope Reviews: Very strange and huge clound on Jupiter?

and, for my Cloudy Nights thread,

Telescope Reviews: Spot/Festoon on Jupiter

For me, it was best viewed at 156x (8" SCT). I could see it using 254x, but the seeing wasn't great, and it looked better at 156x.

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George - you're not in the UK? It's been very cloudy here for the last few years (actually last few days but sometimes it seems like years:()

I know the feeling. I live on the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada. In the summer, warm air over the cold Bay creates fog, fog, and more fog. We're one of the most overcast places in Canada in the summer. In the winter, we're one of the clearest places in Canada, but the temperature on a clear January night is typically in the -15C ( 5F) to -25C (-13F) range.

hopefully it will still be there if/when the cloud clears:)

Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got a friend to carry my 8se outside tonight and we looked at Jupiter together.

Me...actually managing to do some observing...?

You could have knocked me down with a feather!

The light pollution made it all a bit fuzzy and the wind made it a bit wobbly, but it still put a grin on my face.

Huzzar! :rolleyes:

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I got a friend to carry my 8se outside tonight and we looked at Jupiter together.

I hope this good Samaritan was rewarded with something like a nice cup of tea or glass of red.

Me...actually managing to do some observing...?

You could have knocked me down with a feather!

After dreaming for more than thirty years about owning a good scope, a got my first scope, an 8se, two months ago today. I can't describe how I feel when I look through it.

The light pollution made it all a bit fuzzy and the wind made it a bit wobbly,

I think that one one of the nice things about Jupiter is that light pollution doesn't affect it. I do my viewing from an area of three to four-story apartment buildings in the centre of a small city. I don't drive, and our small daughter makes it hard for my wife to chauffeur (Don't tell her that I used that word!:rolleyes:) me, so I'm stuck with light pollution most of time. Tonight, the forecast is for clear skies, and I'm thinking of getting my wife to drive to an area of higher light pollution, the parking lot of the biggest mall in town. Wife and daughter can tour the mall while I do some outreach with Jupiter (both local club and Canada are recording outreach numbers for IYA).

Air turbulence can make a big difference in Jupiter's image. I went out twice last week. The first time, the seeing was terrible, and Jupiter was very blurry. The second time, the seeing was much better, and, with effort, I could see curves in the belts. I also saw Io move between Earth and Jupiter, so that I saw Io move onto Jupiter's disk. I tried, without success, to see this twice before.

There are so many different Jupiter and moons things for which one can watch, but, even without looking for anything specific, I love looking at Jupiter.

but it still put a grin on my face.

Huzzar! :)

:eek:

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Whilst I was home I only got a handful of opportunities to take the scope out, but I was very pleased to see what an improvement the Plossls have made to the clarity of observations. The bands of Jupiter and the 4 moons are so much sharper. The 3x Barlow is next to be replaced I recon. I was able to show my pal Jupiter, he'd never looked at it through a scope before, and he was astounded!

I do hope we have some clear nights from mid December, when I'm home again.

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Hi George,

There are a few dark festoons in that region. I've attached a drawing which shows approximately the same region that was on view that night during the time you were observing. As you can see there is a dark festoon in the EZ, I don't know if it matches up with what you saw however.

Hope this helps,

-Paul.

Drawing made on 12-13th September, 2009 with a 203mm Reflector at 200x. Seeing around AIII-IV though some good steady moments occured. Io has emerged from transit and the shadow is on the disk.

Jupiter-121009-Abel001.jpg

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