comet(?) headed for Jupiter
Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:27 PM
I just am pretty certain that this thing I have been viewing over the past 6 nights is indeed a comet heading for the gas giant, Jupiter. Plus, I want to think there is a slight chance that this object may come into contact with Jupiter's ring! I just hope that I won't be 'cursed' as the only one able to see this happening.
here are my 'drawings' from my 1st night views. Enjoy!
Posted 02 November 2010 - 01:18 AM
Posted 02 November 2010 - 01:51 AM
Posted 02 November 2010 - 04:15 AM
Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:01 AM
Hey, I don't know if you ever got a welcome to Cloudy Nights, so...
WELCOME! We're glad you're here.
I agree with the others; it seems unlikely that all the guys taking pictures of Jupiter every night would have missed this. It's more likely to be something in your optical system.
But, having said that, let me commend you for your careful and detailed observations, and for your computer sketches!
I've got a 60mm refractor (700mm FL) like you, and I would imagine your 20mm EP in a 3x barlow gets you about to your limit (I've got a 9mm with a 2x barlow that gets about the same view). Well done, that's not the easiest magnification to use with those scopes unless your mount is rock solid (mine sure isn't!).
Clear skies, and we look forward to hearing more from you!
Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:44 AM
(it's peanutbutter jelly time!)
But believe me... I have been peering at Jupiter for the past year and a half, and am well aware of random specks of dust or hair that can land on your lens / eye piece that'll obstruct one's views of the night sky.
It must be that I am located in Ventura, Ca - that allows me to see what I have been seeing EVERY night since the 26th.
:: shrugs ::
It is no easy find, but I am shocked no one else has caught at least glimpses of the debris flying through space, directly at Jupiter. I'd be willing to say we have within the week (perhaps more) before this thing strikes.
At first I was pretty alarmed, as you can see with my first 'drawings' I was of the belief that this thing was already on Jupiter's doorstep, but the past couple night's have provided me with views that show this comet still far off in space.
I am confident in calling it a comet now, because after last night's spectacular view...
For most of the night, I viewed through just the eyepiece as this view is the best focus I get. But after growing tired of waiting for this thing to 'pass in front' of Jupiter, I loaded up my 20mm lens (no magnification) and again was able to see Jupiter, a couple moons, and this object flying between them heading towards the gas giant. (I love this binocular setting!) For a time,this view gave me a good look at this thing moving through space & what made last night more spectacular than others... for the most part (past 2-3 nights) I have been viewing this thing approach Jupiter from behind, and this is cool, because it's as if I am in it's wake of debris and what not.
So as this thing got closer, I began seeing coloration changes (I've never gotten any color from my telescope or lenses before) and as I zeroed in behind the comet, I could see a prism start to form around the wake, and as it got further into my view, the prism turned into a full blown rainbow!
Can I ask how many of you see Jupiter's ring system? I tried speaking with the folks at NASA about this find, but they cannot see it either and were nice enough to offer me Anthony Wesley's email, to see if I can pinpoint him to this object flying through space. & in his return email, he is asking me to explain the ring? That most amateurs are unable to find it. is this true?
Since I first realized the bright object moving through the Southern skies was Jupiter, I brought out my telescope and have looked at it on and off for well over a year. Those first views, I was able to toggle my eyepiece/lenses and 'find' the ring system, that runs from pole to pole. I haven't had any trouble with this ever since and by studying the ring system these past couple months, is what allowed me to stumble upon this gem in space!
So if you're able to get the ring into view... i recommend moving your head back an forth and if I'm right, you should be able to see Jupiter (background), ring system (middle ground), and this comet appears as a smudge, that can be on either side (left or right, mostly left) of the ring system.
By moving your head back n forth you should see 'distance' between Jupiter and ring, and 'distance' between ring and comet (smudge).
Every night since discovery, I have first found the ring, and proceed from there to locate the smudge approaching the gas giant.
I hope this helps, but let me assure you all this is no speck of dust on my optics. I truly do see rocks hurling through space at Jupiter.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:11 AM
All I can say is that given the telescope/eyepiece
combination, it is probably internal reflections/ghosting
coupled with chromatic abberation, and also possibly
floaters in your eye.
Can I ask how many of you see Jupiter's ring system?
Jupiter's ring was discovered during the Voyager fly-bys
and as far as I know is not visible with ground based
telescopes, and anyway it is in the equatorial plane, not
pole-to-pole. Are you by chance using a diagonal with
an Amici prism? As for the rest, feh.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:35 AM
Secondly, it doesn't matter where you are when you are looking at Jupiter, the parallax due to different locations on the earth would be negligable for two objects near each other at Jupiter's distance. Most likely, the reason no one else has reported it is because it is only in your telescope or your eye.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:03 PM
It must be that I am located in Ventura, Ca...
Yup, that could have something to do with it...
j/k - but yeah I have to agree with the others. Keep looking at Jupiter though! At this link you will find a tool that will show you where Jupiter's moons are each night (among other things), it will help you identify some of the things you see flying around in that field of view:
Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:18 PM
I am going to guess you are not focused. You mention looking at Jupiter with no magnification, which means you don't have an eyepiece in the focuser. You can see all kinds of weird stuff that way, but it's not space debri. No telescope provides zero magnification with a 20mm eyepiece. Trust me if you can't see the bands on Jupiter at the same focus as whatever it is you are seeing it is just bluring of light. The Ring you describe is an illusion caused by not being in focus. You can't use a telescope without an eyepiece. (well you can but you won't see anything)
Posted 02 November 2010 - 01:16 PM
I truly do appreciate everyone's comments. I don't know what to say... true, I am as amateur as the come, and have trouble describing this. Just the other night did I finally take apart my eyepiece to clean and make sure, this wasn't something on there, and I found out i wasn't looking into a mirror the whole time, but rather a prism of sorts. after cleaning, drying and putting it back in place, I still see these things.
And maybe I'm not viewing the ring ::shrugs:: but something is certainly running from pole to pole, as one night about a month ago, I tried my hardest to focus "behind" Jupiter and catch 'light' reflecting off the rocks in the ring behind Jupiter... and I did it.
What makes me so certain is being able to get these groups of rocks to 'fly across' Jupiter in the background. Now I don't believe problems with my optics would create this movement, and if it were just something 'in my eye' it's in both eyes, and is 'in place' every night for the past 6 nights.
here's my 'drawing' from last night's prism look
I tried my best to give the effect of the light coming off Jupiter, as the wake of this thing effects how the light shines back to Earth.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:03 PM
what are the chances floaters appear in each eye at the exact same location?
Please... keep looking. I promise You All, it is there! getting smaller each night, but it IS there.
as for this ring... so maybe I am perceiving something different, but why does it run perpendicular and in nearly a straight line across Jupiter every night?
I know my telescope is on the lower end, it was given to me for Christmas awhile back, and only last year did I start really using it with how amazing Jupiter, and his moons and ring look. But what is in my signature is really all I know about it. I can't compare it's strength to others, cause I don't know. I know the lenses that came with it, provides better "looks", the higher the numbers get (i.e. HF6mm, HR12.5mm, HR20mm) but I don't know the difference between HF & HR.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:22 PM
Sorry buddy, that is an issue with your telescope, it's not there, I looked at Jupiter last night with a 10" at 144x. I could see the Great Red Spot with a swirl around it and lots of other detail in the clouds and bands. There is no ring that you or any of us can see. Please listen to the folks about optical abberations/ghosting/reflections, cause that's what you have. Trust me, if you could see it with your scope, NASA would be all over it. Why don't you go over to the imaging forum, you can look at pics of Jupiter taken every night.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:42 PM
So you were just using an eyepiece, not a telescope?
That would not form a coherent image. Or do you mean
just the eyepiece w/o a barlow? This is an unclear
sorry about that. I was looking through my telescope, with just it's prism... no lens, or barlow magnification.
[quote]But after growing tired of waiting for this thing to 'pass in front' of Jupiter, I loaded up my 20mm lens (no magnification)[/quote]
[quote]A 20mm eyepiece would not have "no magnification"; given a 700mm f.l. it would be 35x. Or do you mean no additional magnification from a barlow? Another unclear statement.[/quote]
again, no magnification with barlow adapter
[quote]and again was able to see Jupiter, a couple moons, and this object flying between them heading towards the gas giant. (I love this binocular setting!)[/quote]
[quote]What binocular setting? It's a telescope with a single eyepiece (no binoviewer). Yet another unclear statement. [/quote]
I call it a binocular setting, but really I am only comparing what I see in my telescope with a pair of good binoculars. the "setting" is my eyepiece moved all the way in (tight to the telescope) with or without my barlow x3, I get a "binocular view" with my 20mm and 12.5mm when the eyepiece is tucked tight to my telescope.
[quote]For a time, this view gave me a good look at this thing moving through space & what made last night more spectacular than others... for the most part (past 2-3 nights) I have been viewing this thing approach Jupiter from behind, and this is cool, because it's as if I am in it's wake of debris and what not.[/quote]
[quote]You cannot judge perspective at Jupiter's distance, since the parallax would be so small as to be essentially zero. Anyway, a telescope is only a single optical path unlike binoculars.[/quote]
I can judge perspective...
[quote]So as this thing got closer, I began seeing coloration changes (I've never gotten any color from my telescope or lenses before) and as I zeroed in behind the comet, I could see a prism start to form around the wake, and as it got further into my view, the prism turned into a full blown rainbow![/quote]
[quote]Chromatic aberration. Especially since the eyepiece
is almost certainly a Huygens.[/quote]
huh? ummm ok. but last night is the only night this "chromatic aberration" made itself visible.
[quote]By moving your head back n forth you should see
'distance' between Jupiter and ring, and 'distance' between
ring and comet (smudge).[/quote]
[quote]Again, you can't judge perspective in a telescope. The "ring" & the "comet" are almost certainly internal
reflections/ghost images in the eyepiece if they move
when you move your head. A roof prism in the diagonal
would cause a bright "spike" to extend from Jupiter
(or any bright star).[/quote]
that's just it. I suggest moving your head because these 'objects' don't move but rather 'stay' in place as one changes their perspective of Jupiter... Jupiter / ring appears moving in background, while the objects 'stay' in place. Lemme say here, that I have learned to do this, because my optics aren't the greatest. Moving my head back from eyepiece, allows my eyes to focus much better into viewfinder than just moving the eyepiece back and forth. When I have a detail in view, that I would like a better look at, I move my head towards eyepiece focusing on the 'detail' I wish to see better. with a lil practice... viola
Posted 02 November 2010 - 03:06 PM
Thanks for the explanations everyone! sorry to have cause any undue excitement that I have been experiencing since the 26.
May You All be Blessed with clear skies
Posted 02 November 2010 - 03:57 PM
But they are honestly trying to explain what you saw. The main thing is that a comet or meteoroid headed to Jupiter wouldn't look the way you describe it. Many people have seen or photographed reflections and ghosted images; it happens a lot. Also, while Jupiter does have a ring system, there is no way any telescope from Earth can allow us to see it.
But keep observing. Maybe you might want to upgrade your eyepieces, slowly. Post back about your observations; I think many would be interested in reading what you see. And if you are posting here honestly, no worries!
Posted 02 November 2010 - 04:07 PM
Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:30 PM
And I think a mistake I am making is pointing everyone towards Jupiter, and yes... even I dont see anything when looking at Jupiter. I need people to understand that what I'm asking of them is to view an object between Earth, and Jupiter, so the gas giant will most likely be out of focus. I know what I am seeing, and my certainty has only grown over the past 2 nights. Every night prior, I was doubting myself but through out the night(s) I would come across better views of this thing ::shrugs::
again, I am sorry for posting and wasting everyone's time. But I held off, for 3-4 days before becoming 'so certain'.
Either way, thanks again for everyone's help. I'll keep looking up as this won't shake my faith
Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:50 PM
I need people to understand that what I'm asking of them is to view an object between Earth, and Jupiter, so the gas giant will most likely be out of focus.
What you need to understand is that any object from
about a mile away to a billion + light-years is at optical
infinity and will have the same focus in a telescope.
Try this: focus on the moon, then move the scope
to Jupiter. It will also be in focus. The moon is ~240000
miles away, and Jupiter is ~400000000 miles away. They
are both at optical infinity. If you are defocusing
Jupiter, then most likely you are seeing crud on your
eyepiece. No eyepiece is truly clean after more than
about 10 seconds of use, and it is difficult to clean an
eyepiece *truly pristine* without clean-room conditions.