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Jupiter Obs 30 Sept. 2012

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#1 Special Ed

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hello,

I had an opportunity this morning to view Jupiter for an hour and a half. The Great Red Spot (GRS) would be transiting the CM, so I was hoping to get a glimpse of Red Spot Jr, which is currently close to the senior storm. Seeing was only average which ultimately limited what I could see.

When I began the session at 0800 UT, Io was just emerging from a transit across the Jovian disk. It appeared like a little blister on the preceding limb near the South Equatorial Belt (SEB). At the same time, the GRS was well in from the following limb.

In integrated light (IL). the North Equatorial Belt (NEB) and the SEB both appeared brownish-gray while the North Tropical Zone (NTrZ) and the North Temperate Belt (NTB) were a salmon pink color. The GRS was very pale without a well defined edge (sometimes known as the GRS Hollow).

Using Wratten #11 and #80A filters as well as looking in IL, I tried to make out RS Jr (also known as Oval BA) but I could not resolve it as a separate storm. Perhaps if the seeing had allowed higher magnification I might have been successful.

However, the GRS had a very odd appearance--roundish instead of the usual oval shape and more shaded in the southern portion. It took me a little while to understand that the round shape was evidence of Red Spot Jr. which is currently just to the south of the GRS.

Long story short, I can't say that I saw RS JR/Oval BA directly in a recognizable form, but I can say I saw a sign of it. Other notes are with the sketch. Good luck with your own Jupiter observations. :)

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#2 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:02 PM

I have had a couple of similar experiences with the two red spots lately. They are quite pale at the moment, not massively darker than their surroundings (a lot of webcam images force the contrast so they look more pronounced than they really are), I have had trouble separating them when viewing was not ideal and it does make the GRS look circular.

#3 Tommy5

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

Great sketch of the king , very detailed, nice catch of the grs I'll have to catch a look at Jup soon.

#4 E_Look

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

Yes, Michael, several days ago, I took a short peek at Jupiter and noticed that the GRS "looked funny". But it was close to the limb, so it was hard for me to really try to concentrate and figure out "what it looked like". It definitely was kind of faint-looking, in terms of contrast.

#5 azure1961p

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

Mike,

Thanks for the update. Im looking forward to seeing the redspot duo. At this point the thing thatd be wild is seeing the GRS eating it up and swellin g back up to size but i dont think thats going to happen any time soon.

I appreciated your sketch as well as that humbling condition of less than good seeing hemning in your magnification/resolution envelope. Despite that, you delivered.

Pete

#6 Special Ed

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

Thanks, everyone--your comments are appreciated. It's nice to get that odd circular appearance of the GRS confirmed by other observers. It's a case of "knowing" what something is supposed to look like from imagery (the oval shape of the GRS) bumping up against the actual observation. For a while I doubted my own eyes.

#7 frank5817

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:41 PM

Michael,

Very fine Jupiter sketch. Your sketch looks good and is filled with detail. I was disappointed with the look I had in poor seeing last week. If I had a look as good as your sketch indicates I would have gone for it too.
Always nice to see your sketches.

Frank :)

#8 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:18 AM

Excellent observation and sketch. I made similar observations of Jupiter on the morning of the 16th.

Rich (RLTYS)

#9 Special Ed

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:15 AM

Frank, Rich, thanks! :)

#10 Dean Norris

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:32 PM

Michael,

Excellent sketch of Jupiter. No reason to doubt your eyes. I too have noticed that the GRS was very pale. Didn't see Oval BA since the seeing was marginal and GRS was on the limb. Conditions here have been funky with lots of fog. Though today is very hot. Might get lucky tonight with the absence of fog.
Around 2 years ago I remember Oval BA passing the GRS as it's doing now. They were more pronounced and easier to see. I look forward to seeing this again before jr. moves away.
Thanks for posting. Dean

#11 Special Ed

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:13 PM

Thanks, Dean. Hope you get out from under the fog. I remember 2 years ago looking for Oval BA and never confirming a sighting--mostly a function of our seeing here in Appalachia (usually the opposite of laminar flow).

#12 Asbytec

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:30 AM

Michael, another quality observation. You had to mention oval BA. I really want to nail that one, can it be done in a perfectly collimated, cooled 6" with a 30% CO under pristine skies? So far, no luck for me. Speaking of the 6"...gotta dust it off. Rainy season is breaking and the NEB is busting out. And oval BA mocks me. It mocks me, I tell ya...

#13 Andrev

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

Special ED

Beautiful. Really.

I'm glad you see you have the same scope as me.

Andre.

#14 dscarpa

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

Nice! Pretty much as seen in my WO ZS-110 this AM with very good seeing at 240X-250X. I was using my new 8mm LVW in a 2.5X Powermate. I think the LVW's tone which is a little warmer than my XWs is just right for Jupiter. David

#15 Special Ed

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

Norme, Andre, David, thanks for your comments. :) Oval BA is fairly low contrast and has faded much like the GRS has--it is a challenge to detect.

The C14 is a great scope but I still needed better seeing to confirm a sighting of Oval BA.

240-250x is a good magnification for Jupiter--especially with an angular diameter of 43 arcsecs. My 15mm eyepiece gives me 260x--unfortunately the seeing wouldn't support it. :p

#16 Asbytec

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:55 AM

Michael, had to come back to your observation. I managed Oval BA, finally. But, your description and sketch of the GRS are strikingly similar to my own. Oval BA is a bit further, so was better resolved. However, the GRS does appear darker in the south. Not sure why.

#17 george golitzin

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:39 PM

Nice one, Michael--a fine, honest observation and sketch. Good detail without over-embellishment, if you know what I mean. Hoping the weather clears soon so I can get back to observing!

-geo.

#18 Special Ed

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:00 AM

Thanks, George. And glad you and Norme both saw Oval BA. I too would like to spot it again--it's a little easier since it's near that big "landmark"--but I'll have to wait. We're still under Sandy the Super Storm. :p

I'll have to get another look at the southern edge of the GRS, too. Maybe the passage of BA churned up some darker material from the Jovian cloud depths...






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