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Three planets: Jupiter, Saturn and Venus!!


Paul G. Abel
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Greetings all, and happy new year!

Well, the weather finally cleared up last night and this morning and I was able to make drawings of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. I also observed some wonderful earthshine on the Moon and watched the ISS pass over- quite a busy night!

Here's Jupiter (08/01/11):

Jupiter_080111_PAbel.jpg

The SEB is now really rather noticeable and this is the first time during the apparition that I was able to detect colour in both the north and south components.

Here's Saturn:

Saturn_090111_PAbel.jpg

Alas, I have to yet to see the vast white storm raging in Saturn's NTropZ, still it is always wonderful to see the ringed planet, and some lovely subtle colours were present in the north.

Here's Venus:

Venus_090111_PAbel.jpg

Finally, Venus! The planet was due to be 50% illuminated and appear as a 'half moon', this is called dichotomy, but due to the Schroter effect (the scattering of night by the planet's thick atmosphere) the observed phase is always less than the predicted phase.

I went to bed at 0715UT knackered but very satisfied!

Clear skies to you all for 2011,

-Paul.

Edited by Paul G. Abel
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Those are fantastic drawings Paul. I am impressed with the amount of the Cassini division you could see on Saturn. I am also very interested in your observations of Venus. It just happens that I was imaging Venus at that time and although I haven't yet processed it, had the distinct impression that it was still slightly crescent. When Venus was in on the other side of the Sun at 50% phase it did look like 50%.

I will get back to you when I have processed my image.

Dave

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Good stuff Paul. Always a pleasure to view your drawings and hear what you have seen. From your sketch and other reports I've heard the SEB on Jupiter is really coming back to prominence now. Been quite an apparition for Jupiter watching, that's for sure!

Also - really good to get some detail on Venus. I have observed it only once this apparition when it was in a fairly thin crescent phase, but even then I was able to pull a bit of dark / light shading out from the disk. Venus IMO is an underrated visual object

Dave - also good to see your Venus image in comparision for the phase. I would agree that it looks < 50%

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