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Jupiter-2/22/13-Tonight (Sketch added)

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#1 Astrodj

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

Hello Jovian observers. I may get a break in the clouds tonight so I checked to see what the Jupiter moon orbits look like for this evening.

At sunset, the GRS is past the meridian in transit, Ganymede's shadow is trailing the GRS to the south, and Europa is closing in for a transit of the planet from the east. Further out to the west is Io and Callisto.

Less than an hour after sunset as Ganymede's shadow nears the SW limb of Jupiter, Europa begins it's transit at the SE limb. To the west of the planet Ganymede and Io are like two ships passing etc., with Io above and behind Ganymede.

Around 7:30 CST Europa transits the meridian. Io is rapidly closing in on Jupiter for an occultation. At about 9pm local Europa completes it's transit at the SW limb, and Europa's shadow begins it's transit at the SE limb nearly simultaneously.

At about 9:30, Io and Europa pass each other just to the west of the planet. Europa's shadow transit is well underway.

A little before 10pm CST Io is occulted and Europa's shadow is nearing the meridian. At 11:30 the shadow transit ends. Just after midnight local Io pops out from behind Jupiter's NE limb in eclipse.

The Io eclipse ends at about 1:30am, with GRS beginning another transit.

I hope I get a chance to see some of the show tonight! I have a new SV80ed recently acquired from a fellow CN'er I want to try out. The seeing here is not forecast to be very good (as usual), so I doubt I will be observing a tremendous amount of planetary detail. The dance of the moons is the attraction for me tonight!

#2 nirvanix

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

Wow, that sounds like a cornucopia of viewing pleasure. Setting the dob out now, thanks! :waytogo:

#3 Astrodj

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:42 PM

You're very welcome. Looking good here so far. Going to be cold tonight. OK, not Canada cold, but pretty cold for St. Louis. I'm looking forward to the refractor views, even though it's only an 80mm ed. It's my first decent refractor ever. I've always been a Newt / Cass guy. Should be fun!

#4 nirvanix

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

Refractors are nice for doubles and open clusters because of the nice pinpoint stars. I've had some decent Jupiter views too with my old 80ed.

#5 Astrodj

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:57 AM

I was finally able to get in some good eyepiece time with the SV80ed tonight. I didn't get started as soon as I would have preferred, so I missed some of the early stuff.

I was very pleased with the views the little 80mm put up. Seeing was 4/10 at best, but still very nice. Since I was kind of testing it out I ran it up to 160x for a while, but settled on 80-100x for best image quality. I think with very good seeing this little scope could handle more than 160x on brighter planets and the moon without a problem.

My favorite view of the night was at about 9:30 CST. Europa and Io were hugging Jupiter's western limb, one above the other, with Ganymede more distant to the west forming a striking, narrow triangle. Europa's shadow was a tiny black dot on the SE quadrant of the planet. Callisto was floating far out to the west of Ganymede.

A very enjoyable evening!

#6 nirvanix

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:32 AM

Glad you enjoyed it DJ. I caught some of the moon show - I loved the way Io came whizzing around the planet. Unfortunately my seeing was about 1/10 and it was all I could do just to make out the moons. An 80ed scope can be pushed pretty high in excellent seeing.

#7 Astrodj

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:09 PM

Wow, 1/10 seeing. That is lousy seeing. I have had it that bad here a few times but usually it isn't THAT bad.

Here is a sketch from last night. As you can tell, I do not sketch much at all and don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to sketching.

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#8 nirvanix

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

That's not a bad sketch at all! I was looking at Jupiter about 9:30 CST last night and that's exactly what I saw except my seeing was so bad I couldn't make out the Europa shadow. Normally my seeing is average and quite often good - last night was a rare bad night. Keep sketching.

#9 Astrodj

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:03 PM

The sketch shows the shadow much better than I actually saw it. It was discernable though, but against the brightness of the planet it was harder to see than the sketch would lead you to believe.

Thanks for the kind words. :o

#10 Dean Norris

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:03 PM

DJ,

Good sketch of Jupiter and it's moons. I enjoy shadow transits and eclipses of Jupiter's moons. It's amazing to see the moons change position so quickly as they revolve around Jupiter.

Dean

#11 Astrodj

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

Hey, thanks Dean. Last night was very interesting. Great fun.

#12 nirvanix

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

I caught another shadow transit last night, did you catch it? It started a little earlier in the evening and I guess it was Io. My seeing improved to about 4/10 so was able to see the actual shadow. What a whirlygig little Io is.

#13 Special Ed

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

DJ,

That's a good observational sketch--keep sketching. :)

#14 Astrodj

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

Ed,
Thanks for the encouragement! I have to keep it pretty simple though, I never could draw for beans.

Nirvanix,
I was out also and looked for Io's shadow last night. I had 3/10 seeing early in the evening, but by the time the shadow transit was happening the seeing was hopeless. It was as if someone was twiddling the focus knob while I was viewing! I spent the rest of my time outside viewing washed out by the moon star clusters and such.

#15 nirvanix

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

It was as if someone was twiddling the focus knob while I was viewing!


That's kind of what the sky is doing as it bubbles between you and the target. Gives me an idea for an automatically adjusting focuser :p

#16 Astrodj

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

Someone once likened it to looking at a coin at the bottom of a swimming pool...and put me down for six of those Automatically Adjusting Focusers.






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