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Jupiter 2012 11 23

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#1 Chopin

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law about atmospheric seeing yesterday. He's a big meteorological nut. So I whipped out my Droid and showed him my "Clear Sky Droid" ap. To my ever delighted surprise it was showing dark blue in the seeing line past 8:PM for our area. I think we all know where this is going. :lol:

So I spent approximately 3 hours at the eyepiece last night, starting around 7:30PM local time. My 9 year old daughter spent the first 40 minutes with me, viewing Jupiter and scanning the surface of the Moon. Although seeing was initially closer to Antoniadi IV, there were moments of calm that promised quality views. Even my daughter was seeing more than two bands on the Jovian surface with a scattering of random details like dark spots. After discussing human evolution, and sending her to slumberville, I returned to Jupiter with pencil and paper in hand. At about 8:30 the seeing was solidly Antoniadi III. Things were certainly improving. Details were visible in the SEB, NEB and NTB...and there were even some subtle shadings noted outside of the polar regions. The 40 minute session ended with the unexpected arrival of the GRS just around the following limb. After finishing the sketch I returned inside to warm up (it was about 40°F) and get some coffee and pumpkin pie.

Once satisfied I returned to the scope. Seeing had clearly improved further, not to mention that Jupiter had risen into higher elevations. So I worked on one more sketch to pull in the new details that would follow the now fully visible GRS. Drawing at this point clearly tested my observing abilities, as the seeing was now holding at A-II...unbelievable! Remember, this is not Florida, and not the Philippines...it's New England. Attempting to catch the accurate placement of surface details before rotational movement was flat out intimidating for these novice eyes. It made me think of how scary it will be if I get nights of A-I once my 10" is completed.

A note regarding the sketches: Again I am in the early stages of developing a repeatable technique that I am happy with. After spending over an hour with layers and brushes in Photoshop with the first sketch, I was utterly disappointed with the finished result. Then I figured, "What the heck!?!", and I simply placed the original at-the-eyepiece pencil sketch in my Jupiter disk template. What do you know, i actually liked the result. The sketch isn't clean, as it's wrought with visible swirls, hatchings, and various accidental tip marks. The shade variation from feature to feature is not scaled to accuracy. But what it does provide is an honest interpretation of what I saw at the moment. Thus, I'll see how long I can stick with this method of presentation. As for features captured, I was dedicated with my approach to only record features if I noted them repeatedly. That is, if I could see "something", and return to it two additional times with verification I would mark it in the sketch. I'm pretty satisfied with how the features repeated themselves from the first sketch to the second. Although I am admittedly baffled as to what happened in the NEB between sketches. Either the aggressive bulging and dipping in the first sketch was hampered by average seeing, or the lack of such aggressive bulging in the second sketch was a product of my fatiguing eyes. :lol:

Additional notes regarding technique: I used a white flashlight to do my sketch work. I have always used red light out of habit. After reading some posts on the sketching forum I decided to try a pupil destroying white, and I was very happy with the results. I felt that I could more readily translate the subtleties of the lower contrast features to paper. Also, it was cold, and sketching with Glacier Gloves was challenging. But with Saturn in the winter's future it's probably a good idea to master my dexterity with Michelin Man Hands.


Sketch #1:

•8:20-9:00PM local time
•Seeing Antoniadi III, Transparency average with gibbous moon
•110mm Newtonian reflector, 86x, 129x, 150x and 180x

Posted Image




Sketch #2:

•9:35-10:10PM local time
•Seeing Antoniadi II, Transparency average with gibbous moon
•110mm Newtonian reflector, 129x, 150x, 180x and 200x; only color during this session in GRS noted as a slight "rosy" hue

Posted Image

#2 Ed D

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

Wow, and with a 110mm Newt to boot! Well done.

I like the way you noted "Remember, this is not Florida, and not the Philippines...it's New England." I'm amazed how many people don't realize how much of a difference there is from one observing location to another.

"..only color during this session in GRS noted as a slight "rosy" hue..." It's funny, I saw it like a fried egg from down here.

Anyway, glad you also had a good observing night. (BTW, I edited my post with a picture of the sketch. It looks much better.)

Ed D

#3 Chopin

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

Thanks, Ed. I think the seeing made details easy to pickup. Unfortunately I'm still learning how to "grab" those details quickly. My Newt is fortunate to have two very high quality mirrors. This was the first time I've taken the scope out in seeing this good. At first I thought I might be out of my mind spending money to have the old Bushnell 4½" primary refigured, and spending additional money on a Protostar quartz secondary. Last night put my concerns to rest. To be honest, I had the scope up to 300x toward the end of my second sketch, and the image was dead sharp in moments of calm. I didn't use the magnification because such a small exit pupil hid all of the lower contrast surface features, making it useless for all but testing how well a 1/10 ptv primary and 1/23 ptv secondary can hold up with such limited aperture.

As for the hue of the GRS, I may have overstated how much color was noted. I'm guessing that because it was the only notable color it stood out for me. Of course, I was also not dark adapted due to my "white flashlight" approach, which could have effected my color sensitivity.

#4 Asbytec

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

Oh, yes! Your nailed it, Jason! Antionadi II rules! :)

You have as many lines as I have on mine, but yours are better organised. :)

Man, am I pleased you were treated to some good seeing and a killer view. Lemme finish reading your account...

Well, done, sir...I mean it.

I think your technique is pretty good. In fact, I'd love to emulate you limb shading and ability to sketch real time. (My horrid sketch is attached, and one reason it never get's posted.) For me, taking the time to get the pencil shading right real time is just not workable. For me, anyway. So, hen scratching and notes prevail.

Yea, sometimes when you see those maybe features, maybe imagination, trying to re-observe them is great. Sometimes, though, depending on how confident I felt, I'll include them and note them as maybe features. Sometimes you get lucky and it was a real feature. That's a great feeling.

White flashlights seem to be the ticket.

Again, Jason, I am tickled pink you had a great night and posted it.

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#5 frank5817

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

Jason,

That is some very nice Jupiter sketching.
You are able to capture a fine amount of detail with your scope and better yet get it recorded on paper.
I always use much white light sketching the planets and Moon.


Frank :)

#6 Ed D

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:48 PM

"My Newt is fortunate to have two very high quality mirrors. This was the first time I've taken the scope out in seeing this good. At first I thought I might be out of my mind spending money to have the old Bushnell 4½" primary refigured, and spending additional money on a Protostar quartz secondary. Last night put my concerns to rest."

Jason, I replaced the Chino mirrors on my 6" Dob with Discovery mirrors - Pyrex with enhanced coatings. I also questioned my sanity at first, not only about the mirrors, but all the other things I did to it, such as flocking. Now, I just sit back and enjoy it with a big smile on my face.

Ed D

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

Nice work especially for 101mm aperture obstructed. Lots of details to be sure. I am in CT and had good observing conditions too. If yours were like mine though you'll have sharper nights of 9/10 Pickering seeing particularly in those balmy heat waves that keep a lot of folks indoors.

You have continuity and flow in your lines. Just remember there IS color even in my 70mm. Its shades of grey and tan with hints of red brown but its there. You'll see more color in your ten but your four is not monochrome.

I enjoyed your work here. I now have three finished color sketches but I've got to go out and get my Canon. The Android came is an insult to careful work and the photo editing software is atrocious.

I'm probably going out again tonight if it stays clear. The seeing is refreshing. New England can have seemingly month long bouts of soft seeing.

Pete

#8 azure1961p

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

Oh my at-the-scope sketches are atrocious aesthetically. I've got notes and arrows and parenthesis and astericks and paragraphs and.......

I always keep it rough I'm too into seeing to fine blend but inside I prepare a smoothed finished rendering. Bare in mind this is the first time I've sketched at the eyepiece in four years not counting my computer art fumbling. At anyrate my MO is get the info quick dirty but accurately placed and notate. Usually the finished piece is within 24 hours.

Pete

#9 niteskystargazer

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

Jason,

Very good sketch of Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#10 Special Ed

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

Hi Jason,

A great story and a great pair of observational sketches to go with it. :) *Very* well done--your scope must be a dandy.

We also had unusually good seeing conditions here Thanksgiving night. I made an observation not long after yours so we can compare. Will post in a minute.

#11 Asbytec

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:32 PM

Ed, Jason, there is debate raging on that very subject. So, you notice a difference after having your mirrors re-figured? It's not surprising.

#12 Heidescoper

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:23 AM

chopin,
great sketches -> chapeau !

110mm You walked at the limit :cool:.
The BA is not seperated but
You draw it as a hangig cloud over the SEB.

Bye Christian

#13 stray1

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:55 AM

Hi Jason,

Beautiful sketches! (are you trying to drive me to despair?)

:grin:

-stray-

#14 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:36 AM

Oh, yes! Your nailed it, Jason! Antionadi II rules! :)

You have as many lines as I have on mine, but yours are better organised. :)

Man, am I pleased you were treated to some good seeing and a killer view. Lemme finish reading your account...

Well, done, sir...I mean it.

I think your technique is pretty good. In fact, I'd love to emulate you limb shading and ability to sketch real time. (My horrid sketch is attached, and one reason it never get's posted.) For me, taking the time to get the pencil shading right real time is just not workable. For me, anyway. So, hen scratching and notes prevail.

Yea, sometimes when you see those maybe features, maybe imagination, trying to re-observe them is great. Sometimes, though, depending on how confident I felt, I'll include them and note them as maybe features. Sometimes you get lucky and it was a real feature. That's a great feeling.

White flashlights seem to be the ticket.

Again, Jason, I am tickled pink you had a great night and posted it.


Thank you for all the kind words, Norme. It was a dose of unexpected fortune to have a moderate temporary high pressure system hanging over us.

I'm not displeased with my sketching skills, per se. I may look into picking up some additional pencils, though. A softer graphite would certainly disguise the sketching lines a bit more. Who knows?!? Maybe those lines are just a product of my style... :lol:

As for the limb shading, it comes from a layer I have in my Photoshop "finish" template. Although I might be able to come close with a pencil I admittedly don't have the patience to do that by hand. :grin:

#15 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

Jason,

That is some very nice Jupiter sketching.
You are able to capture a fine amount of detail with your scope and better yet get it recorded on paper.
I always use much white light sketching the planets and Moon.


Frank :)


Thanks, Frank. I do find the white light to be a better solution. Maybe for galaxies, not so much. But for Jove it was the bees knees. :cool:

#16 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

"My Newt is fortunate to have two very high quality mirrors. This was the first time I've taken the scope out in seeing this good. At first I thought I might be out of my mind spending money to have the old Bushnell 4½" primary refigured, and spending additional money on a Protostar quartz secondary. Last night put my concerns to rest."

Jason, I replaced the Chino mirrors on my 6" Dob with Discovery mirrors - Pyrex with enhanced coatings. I also questioned my sanity at first, not only about the mirrors, but all the other things I did to it, such as flocking. Now, I just sit back and enjoy it with a big smile on my face.

Ed D


Very nice. I thought of purchasing a Discovery 6" ƒ7 dob a few years back, but I ended up grabbing a couple Naglers instead. :grin:

I think I've been far too much of a casual observer to note the quality differences in primary optics over the years. If I would take the scope out I would try to see as many objects as time would allow. In that vain, a sort of shotgun viewing session so to speak, I would often miss the subtle details of objects. Or, more importantly, the nuances of my instrument. I definitely felt like I was taking a gamble sending my mirror to Cary at Optic Wave Labs. Not because I was concerned with his skills, but because I wondered if I'd really ever get more out of a 4½" objective. The original figure was mildly astigmatic and polished to 1/2 wave. The finished product was a perfect figure accompanied by 1/10 wave surface. I've often felt the star points were significantly tighter, even at low powers. But this was my first foray into calm skies. All I can say is, "Wow!"

#17 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

Nice work especially for 101mm aperture obstructed. Lots of details to be sure. I am in CT and had good observing conditions too. If yours were like mine though you'll have sharper nights of 9/10 Pickering seeing particularly in those balmy heat waves that keep a lot of folks indoors.

You have continuity and flow in your lines. Just remember there IS color even in my 70mm. Its shades of grey and tan with hints of red brown but its there. You'll see more color in your ten but your four is not monochrome.

I enjoyed your work here. I now have three finished color sketches but I've got to go out and get my Canon. The Android came is an insult to careful work and the photo editing software is atrocious.

I'm probably going out again tonight if it stays clear. The seeing is refreshing. New England can have seemingly month long bouts of soft seeing.

Pete


Yup, I'm in CT as well. I agree that hot and hazy summer nights are the times I wait for. Maybe it's my inattention, but I swear we lacked as many of those calm, high pressure evenings this past year as we usually see.

At any rate, thanks for the compliment. I'm making my first ever concerted effort to get out on a regular basis.

#18 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:59 AM

Jason,

Very good sketch of Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom


Thanks, Tom.

#19 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

Hi Jason,

A great story and a great pair of observational sketches to go with it. :) *Very* well done--your scope must be a dandy.

We also had unusually good seeing conditions here Thanksgiving night. I made an observation not long after yours so we can compare. Will post in a minute.


Thank you very much, Michael. I'm looking forward to comparing to your observation. I'll have to meander over... :)

#20 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:08 AM

chopin,
great sketches -> chapeau !

110mm You walked at the limit :cool:.
The BA is not seperated but
You draw it as a hangig cloud over the SEB.

Bye Christian


Cristian, you're good to note my struggle with the BA! That was what I saw, a faint impression of shading. I tried very hard not to study other people's recent images so that I wouldn't corrupt my imagination. After returning to the computer and referencing the BA to be in that spot I was pleased to see that I actually picked something up in that region. There is no doubt that my working exit pupil hampered me, as did the seeing. Maybe in A-I with a slightly lower power I could have seen the oval. It gives me things to think about next time out. ;)

#21 Chopin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

Hi Jason,

Beautiful sketches! (are you trying to drive me to despair?)

:grin:

-stray-


An extremely kind compliment, Stray. :grin: If I've inspired you, then great. You're work does the same for me, so call it payback. :lol:

#22 Dean Norris

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Jason,

Excellent sketches of Jupiter. I especially like the way you draw the waviness to the belts. It makes the view seem wind swept. The belts cloud appearance make for a dynamic scene.

Dean

#23 Chopin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:46 PM

Thanks, Dean.






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