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Jupiter in Exceptional Seeing

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#1 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:54 AM

Greetings all!

Attached is an observation made of Jupiter and its satellites on 2013 January 3rd. I have to say, it was the most remarkable evening I have ever experinced in my observing career! We had a sudden clearing at 2150UT, and the sky became very transparent. Not only that, the seeing was exceptional- indeed I don't think I've seen conditions as steady as this, Jupiter was without any distortion or quiver for many many minutes at a time.

I made two drawings of Jupiter. Interestingly, the GRS no longer seems to be touching the StropB which now appears as a very dark brown. The spot just near to the GRS also appears to be apart of the belt. Oval BA seemed to contain more orange colour than the GRS. The region fol the GRS in the SEB showed a mass of delicate white regions spearated by fine grey lines. A number of festoons present in the EZ, and what looks like a dark barge was present in the NEBn by the time of the second drawing.

Perhaps the most interesting was the satellites. I examined both Io and Ganymede at x400. Io remained featureless throughout the observation, but I was stunned to see some very subtle shading on Ganymede, what appeared to be a brighter region at the top, and a darker region at the bottom. No structure, just subtle shadings.

I had hoped to do some filter work- in particular I wanted to examine the planet and satellites in W#25A and W#80A but the clouds came up again rapidly at 2316UT and I was unable to continue further. Oh for another night like that!

Best wishes,
-Paul.

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#2 Ed D

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Paul, it's really impressive to me that you were able to observe features on Ganymede. Nice going.

Ed D

#3 Asbytec

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

Paul, sure. Your Ganymede sketch looks a lot like my own. It's obvious you had great seeing, the wealth of detail is stunning. Congratulations.

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#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

:bow:

#5 Andrev

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Paul.

I'm impressed. So detailed and Ganymede looks very nice.

Very good sketch of Ganymede Norme. Impressive too.

Andre.

#6 frank5817

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Paul,

Great sketching.

Frank :)

#7 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

Thanks everyone- I can only hope we get more nights like that! @Asbytec, I am both delighted and staggered you managed to see detail with a 150mm- that is very impressive! Keep up the good work!

#8 Heidescoper

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:16 PM

hi Paul,

congratulations to this observing session!
What You wrote I had experienced three times in this period.
At two nights it came cold air from north and the seeing would stable from one minute to the other.

Bye
Christian

#9 Asbytec

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Keep up the good work!


And you, sir. Again, if you take an hour's worth of observing and compress everything that pops or fades into view, that's what Jupiter would look like. Well done.

On Ganymede as in life, nothing is easy. :)

#10 azure1961p

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:49 AM

Paul, sure. Your Ganymede sketch looks a lot like my own. It's obvious you had great seeing, the wealth of detail is stunning. Congratulations.


Actually you got more detail Norme. You over performer you! Io is interesting here .

Pete




#11 Asbytec

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:14 AM

Yea, wanted to mention Io, too. But, it's not that easy. I am sure he would have noticed it with a little prodding. I never did until prodded to do so.

#12 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

I have to say I did examine Io, but I wasn't certain enough of the vague patches to record them. I could not convince myself that they were real so I recorded Io as featureless. Since Io is reddish, perhaps a W#80A filter (light blue)might help in future investigations.

#13 Asbytec

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

Well, if you nab surface features I will fly to England and treat you to a pint. :) Actually, we were talking around the "apparent" elongation Io exhibits due to it's brighter equator and darker poles. It's very slight and it helps to have Europa nearby for a reference. In a 6", it's simply slightly elongated in appearance (even though we all know it's circular.) At some point with larger apertures, it seems possible to resolve the polar regions, much like the dark parch on Ganymede. Give it a shot. There was a monster thread on it a month ago.

#14 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Indeed, I am familiar with the elongation of Io! In fact I have seen Barnard's observations of an elongated Io his observations, or rather a paper with his original drawings were at the Lowell observatory Library when I had it for a few nights.

The patches that were visible on Io were fleeting, and I cannot convince myself they were real. I have not observed the satellite as elongated either wit my 8" reflector or the University of Leicester's 20" DK. That said, it maybe the effect only occurs at a certainly CM longitude (or range of longitudes) for Io which were not visible when I was observing it.

When I used the Lowell telescope, I did seem dark and light patches on Ganymede, perhaps it is worth observing the satellites more often.

#15 Asbytec

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:54 AM

...perhaps it is worth observing the satellites more often.


Yes, that's the point. More folks should try it. It does require pretty good seeing or some longer periods of steady seeing, at least. Give it another look, see what you think.

Reading Pikering's account of it was exciting. Barnard's sketches were interesting, too, but maybe way out of my ability.

#16 cpl43uk

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Great set of images Paul. What eyepieces are you using? Sadly here in Bristol it has been pretty much wall to wall cloud for a while now and so no chance to play with new toys...

#17 Rutilus

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Paul - Great Jupiter sketch and well done with capturing detail on Ganymede. Yes, the seeing conitions on that evening were simply
staggering, and it does not surprise me at all that you captured markings on the Jovian moon.

I spent the evening observing Sirius and the Pup. It was the first time in over 40 years that I observed Sirius
without any abberations in the eyepiece. Seeing the Pup,in near perfect conditions at only 18 degress
altitude was simply awesome. Hope I don't have to go another 40 years,for a repeat of those seeing conditions.

#18 astronz59

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

Luvely Jubbley! :refractor::rollgrin: :waytogo:

#19 JeanB

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

Terrific work, Paul!

Jean

#20 niteskystargazer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

Paul,

Very good drawings of Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom






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