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Jupiter fly-by?

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#1 vennard


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Posted 04 October 2009 - 07:38 AM

Hi all
Sometime back someone in this forum asked if any science could be gleaned from or by sketching. There were answers of finding comets, observing and recording sunspots with the rotation of the sun and many other types of phenomena. About the same time I think it was Mark Seybold was asking about using astronomy sketching in education. In the same vein as these threads I submit the following. First though, I must mention that I personally will have to leave the big science to those more talented and dedicated than I, but I might offer this answer at the self science level and a project that could be expanded into a more meaningful endeavor.

Back on the 16th of September I had the 60mm spotting scope, with an eye piece giving me 25x, set up and took a look at Jupiter and its moons, and thought to sketch the locations of the group in a note book at hand, and I did this for several nights. In my sketches I inadvertently included a star, mostly ‘cause it was there, and although I did not conclude anything from observing the moons I did notice the progression of Jupiter. Now, like everyone else, I have seen Jupiter move across the heavens, but over months and years, not days. But this particular episode did bring up an excitement of sorts to see it zoom by a single star in only a week, rather than just being over there in September and be someplace else in November. (I have also noted to myself that the 60mm at 25x is about what Galileo had back in 1610 and in a way I might have recreated and old science experiment.)

Below is a scan of the note pages showing the Jovian system and the 4.5 magnitude star Iota Capricorni (arrows) .I wasn’t intending on showing the sketches, but to demonstrate even rudimentary drawing can produce something, here they are: #2 pencil on ‘write in the rain’ blue lined note book paper, scanned and stitched together as one image.-Mike

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#2 kraterkid



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Posted 05 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

Mike, I think that is a very cool way to see the revolution of Jupiter about the Sun over the course of several weeks. I would imagine that you could do the same with the other Planets as well although Neptune and Uranus would move much slower against the starry background. Great idea! :waytogo:

#3 Tommy5



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Posted 05 October 2009 - 06:34 PM

Very nice record of jup and the background star, thanks for posting.

#4 vennard


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Posted 06 October 2009 - 07:48 AM

Thanks for looking everyone, and Rich, I noticed on my astro-program that Neptune is approaching Iota Cap and, although the progression, as you noted, will be much slower might be a candidate for a set of repeat observations in the near future.

#5 perfessor


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Posted 06 October 2009 - 10:44 AM

I love the idea of recording these close fly-bys. Thanks for doing the science, and for sharing it with us!

Although my records no longer exist, I remember observing Neptune, some twenty years ago. Its motion relative to the background stars was perceptible after just one night.

#6 frank5817



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Posted 06 October 2009 - 10:59 AM


You are correct. Very nicely done.

Frank :)

#7 CarlosEH


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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:22 PM


An excellent set of observations of Jupiter and it's satellites moving with respect to Iota Capricorni. Your observations remind me of the classic observations of Jupiter made by Galileo Galilei in 1610 in which he also recorded field stars (as well as Neptune!). Thank you for sharing them with us all.



#8 vennard


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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:08 AM

Again, everone, thanks for looking, and the kind words. I at least hope it gives others encouragement to submit their sketches no matter what they think the quality is. Even a scribble sometimes can bring enjoyment and knowledge.

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