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Jupiter and Mars return

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#1 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:51 AM

It's been so cloudy most mornings that it took me a bit by surprise this morning when I spotted Jupiter and Mars peeking over the mountains to the east of me. Nice to see Jupiter back. Always a great target for my backyard-style observing, especially in the cold weather this coming winter.

#2 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:15 PM

It occured to me that even though both are on the other side of the sun, and Jupiter is about twice as far from earth as Mars is right now, it's still dazzlingly bright, while Mars is barely noticeable. Jupiter is so freakin' huge!

#3 Rick Woods

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:19 PM

More like 5 times farther!

#4 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:48 PM

More like 5 times farther!


Just back-of-the envelope figuring here, from memory. Jupiter is about 440 million miles from the sun, we are about 93 million- and currently on the opposite side, so Jupiter is about 530 million miles away from earth right now.

Mars is about 140 million miles from the sun, plus another 93 million from us because it's on the opposite side, too. About 230 million miles from earth.

So unless I've made a gross error, Rick, (always a huge possibility lol) I'm leaning toward Jupiter being roughly twice as far from us as Mars is, at the moment.

#5 brianb11213

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

Just back-of-the envelope figuring here, from memory. Jupiter is about 440 million miles from the sun, we are about 93 million- and currently on the opposite side, so Jupiter is about 530 million miles away from earth right now.

Mars is about 140 million miles from the sun, plus another 93 million from us because it's on the opposite side, too. About 230 million miles from earth.

If you have a planetarium program, no need for guesses or back of the envelope approximations.

(At 0440 UTC on July 19th) distance to Jupiter is 6.063587 AU, to Mars is 2.426620 AU (according to Starry Night Pro v6, and rounded to 6 decimal places). If you insist on the distance being in miles, or kilometers, just multiply the distance in AU by 92955807.3, or 149597870.7, respectively. These figures are for my location & will differ by a few thousand miles/kilometers depending on your location on the earth's surface.

But, however you measure it and wherever on earth you are, Jupiter is almost exactly two and a half times further away than Mars ... at the moment.

#6 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:51 PM

Thanks, I was pretty sure I was close. Not near the computer when I posted, or I would have checked the planetarium program.

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:17 PM

I'm particularly anxious for Mars to return again.

Pete

#8 Rick Woods

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 11:16 PM

OK, I surrender. Two times it is.

#9 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 11:30 PM

Rick, you'd have been about right if earth, Mars, and Jupiter were all on the same side of the sun.

I start work between 4:30 and 5:00 AM, and love to just look at the sky for a few minutes each clear morning before rolling-up my sleeves. If there are any planets visible, in my mind's eye I see the configuration as if looking down on the solar system from high above the sun's north pole. Helps me keep track of where everything is, since I don't spend a lot of time keeping track online or playing with the planetarium programs.

Pete, I agree. Mars can be either sweet, or frustrating. Seems like it comes and goes so fast, and you have to be ready or it's another two years of waiting. Jupiter is almost always there, except for those couple of months when it's behind the sun. Not a long wait.

#10 azure1961p

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:00 AM

Don't surrender just yet Rick, at opposition the five times figure is accurate and the 2.5x is impossible.

Pete

#11 Chuck Hards

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:41 PM

As my wife says, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

At opposition, Mars gives Jupiter a run for it's money, as far as brightness goes.

#12 azure1961p

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:17 PM

Now if Im not mistaken Panstarrs is going to go by Mars - super close actually. Anyone have an update on this?

Pete

#13 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:45 PM

Man, that will be a toughie. By the time Mars is out of the soup, the sky is pretty bright.

#14 azure1961p

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:06 PM

I'm not sure what the date is for the pass by actually. I'm going to guess even if it were in a dark sky the inherent glare around Mars would snuff out Panstarrs light .

Pete

#15 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 11:09 PM

I'm not sure what the date is for the pass by actually. I'm going to guess even if it were in a dark sky the inherent glare around Mars would snuff out Panstarrs light.


Could be, though Mars is still a long way from opposition, it's still much brighter than the comet, which is only going to keep fading.

#16 Asbytec

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:16 AM

So, Panstarrs is only about half the distance to Jupiter and twice the distance form Mars?

#17 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

While you're out there, notice the large "Y" asterism anchored by ElNath, with Capella, Aldebaran, and Jupiter forming the 3 spokes of the "Y". It's remarkably symmetrical visually, though projection distortions won't show it on maps or viewscreens.

#18 altstiff

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

I was veiwing Jupiter early this AM, I thought it was an airplane at first as it was so bright in the pre dawn sky (5:00-5:30AM EDST). During that time only two moons could be seen and the red spot was not there but the cloud bands looked excellent (even more defined with an #80A Blue Filter). X133

Mars was but a red speck (X133). So now comes my question...

When is the best tiome to view Mars? And what can I expect to see? I was really expecting more from Mars to be honest!

#19 Rick Woods

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:48 PM

Mars is just now coming out from the far side of the sun! The only people who will see anything at all for a while yet, are the expert planetary imagers. It won't come to opposition until next April 8th.

With your 6" f/8 reflector, you should be treated to some nice views of the polar caps, the major dark markings, maybe some clouds, and perhaps a canal or two, if everything is right. You'll need more than 133x, though. If you can get a good steady image at 250x - 300x, you should see some serious stuff.

#20 altstiff

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 05:50 AM

Thanks for that explaination Rick.

My 9mm Meade 5000 HD-60 EP gets some pretty good veiws at X266 so I am looking forward to seeings Mars.

I was out again this AM to view the new moon and Jupiter again. Four of Jupiters moons were showing (are only four ever viewable with a scope like mine?).

Still no red spot. Going to check my Starrynight software to see when I can see it....(that software is very addicting)

#21 Blakheaven

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

When you use the 9mm to get 266X mag, i assume your scope is 1200mm and youre using a 2X Barlow right? I have spotted the red dot (look like a pin *BLEEP* in the second band) at 240X once under good seeing skies at day break. So that magnification should be good. Granted I use an 8" so maybe That makes a difference

#22 Rick Woods

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

A pin *BLEEP*??? :D
I love it!

#23 Blakheaven

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:30 PM

Ha posting on the forum using an IPhone has its obvious drawbacks.
I meant to say it looked like a little pin dot.
A distinct pin dot though. Not a bleep one. Weird

#24 PeterR280

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 01:32 PM

I was viewing Jupiter early Sunday morning in a nicely calm atmosphere. The bands were surprisingly dark and prominant. I should have checked but one of the moons was just about at the limb and going either behind or coming out at that point.






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