Short Session Ending with Jupiter
Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:59 PM
Last night was my first night viewing in a long time. Not that I ever was good at starhopping, particularly in our skies here where it's more like star-broad-jumping, but I was REALLY out of touch. My GEM controls, both the manual knobs and the RA motor control buttons, all seemed like they were on a new, or someone else's scope. Needless to say, looking for objects was an exercise in clumsiness.
I knew where to look for Neptune; I didn't find it. By the time I think I was able to zero in on it, it was either grazing or just above a neighbor's rooftop. There apparently were roof thermals, enough even to distort stars.
Well, at least Jupiter is easy, or so I thought. I tried to slew the OTA to it and it banged against the tripod legs preventing me from getting to that planet until I swung it around the other way, reversing almost its position with respect to the counterweights...
... but ah, there it was, Jupiter! I was initially very disappointed even though the seeing settled down every very many seconds and I was treated to sharp views for a fraction of a second, because I missed Neptune. I didn't even try for Uranus, deciding to call it quits after Jupiter.
And in those all too brief moments of still clarity, Jupiter was rich in texture and detail. The NEB appeared irregularly wavy, and the GRS, though extremely faint and light-colored, was fascinating. To the west, right next to the GRS was some disturbance, smaller than the GRS, and the GRS itself was kind of faint, light and small, making it hard to lock onto visually with the seeing. But as far as I could make out, it was in its pocket in the SEB, and the SEB broke just a little before and after this pocket. I could not see any festooning, but was able to make out a broken NTB and STB. The polar zones were hard to see last night, for me.
What I saw, despite the brevity of each clear moment, supported the sketches of Jupiter posted here in the last several days. I must compliment the artists who were observing Jupiter in rendering such detailed images.
Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:50 PM
Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:49 PM
The smaller disturbance close to the GRS is probably oval BA. The GRS is faint, a bit darker along the southern edge. The festoons were more prominent earlier, but seem to have calmed down a bit.
Okay, so now that the travails have cleared for the season, I hope you find the time to observe more.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:13 AM
Its good to read your post Ed. Like you I passed on other targets.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:54 AM
But as to Jupiter, Norme, I think you are right. It most likely was Oval BA that was southwest of the GRS. Too bad the seeing wasn't stable enough for me to really get a good look at it. The last time, a couple of years back, when Oval BA was prominent, I wasn't able to catch it. Now I can see it, but it was hard to visually resolve. I appreciate all you guys' drawings being posted here!
Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:33 PM
Ed I'm sorry about your difficulties.
Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:41 PM
Thanks for posting your observation--it sounds like you saw a lot of the main features visible on the King right now.
We've all been there when we're rusty and/or equipment gets cranky. Just hang in.
Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:57 PM
You had a good view of Jupiter during those steady moments. GRS and Oval BA is a great catch. This hobby has its highs and lows just like the weather! Fortunately we have enough good nights to spur us on. Hoping we get some clear weather for the opposition.