Jump to content


Photo

Neptune, Uranus, BED, Mars, Jupiter (Sep 17/18)

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:43 AM

Well the forecasts had been good all day for a clear night. So got myself out at 9 p.m. and was presented with a very impressive, tho’ unwelcome, moonlit ‘Mackerel’ Sky! A great east-west swathe along the middle-sky and across every object I had planned for (Nova Del, Neptune, Uranus etc.). It was clearing from the west but how agonizingly slowly it moved. Altair peeking out at times teased me with it’s steadiness.

While standing there in depressed frustration I was minded of Herschel’s oft-quoted description of the Orion Nebula: “Like the breaking of a mackerel sky”. But my mackerel was taking forever; and illogical dark thoughts were entering my mind. Was it different now with such a sky – is climate change now affecting Herschel’s breaking-cloud ‘promise’.

Finally and with the moon close north I got sigma & 58 Aqr with the 2” finder (from easily-seen delta & gamma Cap). Sigma & 58 Aqr my guides (using the 3” finder) to Neptune. These were still within a ragged thin edge of cloud but 58 Aqr looked encouragingly sharp in the 16.3” D-K at x535. So the wait went on until I spotted a faint pair of stars in the 3” (x55) strikingly contrasted orange & blue; the latter being my quarry and presented a well-defined disk in the D-K. The moon, c. 4 deg. N. causing little trouble, but Triton was out of the question. Neptune, however, was pleasingly contrasted (accentuated) in the moon-glowed field of the D-K and was minded to include this in the colour rendition but finally opted for the standard black surround.

Got Uranus then decided to go to bed and get up around 5 a.m. There was now cloud of a different type scattered here and there but it largely stayed out of the way and the seeing was superb with detail on Ganymede initially catching my eye at x365; and got some good detail with x535 & x665. Then thought to get Mars and let the GRS clear the limb before tackling Jupiter. This is the first time this apparition I have managed to get the spot well on the disk and was surprised how dark and almost brick-red it looked: about as striking as I remember it during that period in the 1960s – tho’ smaller! Certainly seemed more prominent near the limb than I judged it on Aug 6 when I got that Callisto shadow drawing.

It’s taken me till this morning to put all this together (and ALPO-J etc reporting) due to a horrendous observing ‘hangover’ yesterday!

Attached Files



#2 stanislas-jean

stanislas-jean

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2063
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2008

Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:18 AM

Hi David,
Nice reports.
You note a brightening on Neptune. Did you check this at different times to see if it moved and variates in brightness?
On an other topic, did you catch the "spot" of Neptune imaged now so many (especially at planet limb)? CM for this feature is around 15-20°.
Interrested by these results as for the last 4-5th the brightening of CM20° was followed visually: nothing on the planet CM area and appearing visually faint near the set limb.
Good hope.
Stanislas-Jean

#3 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:58 AM

Hi Stan.

No I did not get any movement in the time with the light Neptune area as a thin veil of cloud had drifted over it and being moonlit washed out the contrasts and I noted that the orange star now looked somewhat fuzzed. As indicated with my follow-up with better placed Uranus the seeing had obviously degraded somewhat: II here & I-II, at first, with more southerly Neptune.

I may have seen signs of the spot on Sept 8: 21:05 UT as an enhancement near the f. limb and south of the equator. Perplexing enough to go and check the CM (344deg.) with WinJUPOS. If real it was very diffuse (suspected a stellar centre) and could have almost persuaded myself that it had travelled near the CM (18 deg) by 22:30! Unfortunately I felt I had influenced myself too much by giving in to curiosity – bad form – so sadly I have resisted reporting this! :(

Cheers,
David.

#4 Asbytec

Asbytec

    Guy in a furry hat

  • *****
  • Posts: 8425
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2007
  • Loc: La Union, PI

Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:24 AM

David, I am just in awe of your tour de (of the) planets. Ganymede is awesome, more people should try it. Try Io, see if it 'appears' elongated to you. That's a great observation.

Mars is just stunning, much like views I get at it's best. Jupiter, too, though no doubt better (if you had time to include every detail.)

I just do not know what to say about Neptune and Uranus. Awesome observation, I guess says it well enough.

#5 idp

idp

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 454
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2009
  • Loc: New Haven, CT

Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:39 AM

Totally blown away.

#6 frank5817

frank5817

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8543
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:19 AM

David,

Impressive work.

Frank :)

#7 stanislas-jean

stanislas-jean

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2063
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2008

Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

Well noted David.
Try again for this "spot".
It is strange to start a session with the say feature on the meridian with no visible trace and to see something faint appearing near the planet limb.
Unfortunately, It was not possible to check a brigthness when the feature was sufficiently close to the planet limb.
Logically a greater brightness should be noted.
The reports will be on the japan alpo site, soon.
Weather is not enough here at present for the exercise for making again the test.
Stanislas-Jean.

#8 Jef De Wit

Jef De Wit

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2819
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Hove, Belgium

Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:41 AM

Impressive sketches :bow:

#9 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:09 AM

Try Io, see if it 'appears' elongated to you. That's a great observation.


Many thanks Norme.

By Io elongated: do you mean that light mid-section twixt the dark caps? I have never seen that as complete i.e. as Barnard drew when it looked split into two dusky patches when in transit on a zone pretty much the reverse on a belt. I did a drawing, late 60s/early 70s, (10” Newt) and others too, when it looked dumbbell shaped in transit. That is, a faint dusky shading running N-S joining the caps; possibly lack of definition causing the eye to join them?? Much as is shown in the attached drawing, tho’ here outside transit. However some years back (80s/90s? 16.3” D-K) I caught it in transit against the bright backdrop (and nr. GRS) of the faded SEB(S) when it showed a decided comma shape. The S. cap evidently being the more prominent/extensive; causing John Rogers to speculate that features had changed over the years on this active moon. Some while later in the early days of CCD an imager got a similar effect and the curve of the comma was determined as the dark-phase limb!! Some of this is reported in various BAA Journals and also John’s book “The Giant Planet Jupiter”.

Cheers,
David.

Attached Files



#10 niteskystargazer

niteskystargazer

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3180
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2009
  • Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W

Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

David,

Very good sketches of Neptune, Uranus, Mars & Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#11 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:16 AM

Thank you all: I am in the company of some very accomplished artistic talent on this Forum. :bow:

Cheers,
David.

#12 Asbytec

Asbytec

    Guy in a furry hat

  • *****
  • Posts: 8425
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2007
  • Loc: La Union, PI

Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:16 PM

Okay, David, so you've sketched Io. That's a feat. In that case elongating it's 'apparent' diameter is more boring. :)

But, yes, the more apparent 'shapes' it can appear to have is what I meant. The best I have done is simply show it to be ever so slightly elongated when compared to Europa.

It can be done when not over the cloud bands, but can appear more 'dash' like when it is. Never saw any of it's features directly, as you depict, unless the darkening of the poles giving Io an 'apparent' shape counts.

Pickering said it can be done in apertures as small as 5 or 6", I believe him.

#13 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:03 AM

.....It can be done when not over the cloud bands, but can appear more 'dash' like when it is. Never saw any of it's features directly, as you depict, unless the darkening of the poles giving Io an 'apparent' shape counts.

Pickering said it can be done in apertures as small as 5 or 6", I believe him.


Still interesting: I suspect that what you say re. the polar caps may be the answer. That is even against a black sky the eye/brain could be sensing an apparent vertical 'compression'. This coupled with a little irradiation of the brighter band possibly induces an effect of elongation.

Pickering: I saw an article years ago (60s?) in "S&T"; I think by Joseph Ashbrook, detailing P's (10" Rfr?) work in Jamaica where he got some bizarre shapes of Ganymede in particular. Even postulated that the satellite/s were composed of clouds of particles! I respect him as an observer but some of his ideas won him no friends I fear!

Terrible seeing out there this a.m. which is why I am on here so soon!! :mad:

David.

Edit Note: I wear weak reading glasses at the PC and just now sitting back looking at the satellite attachment on the right hand panel. The small version (with dbl star) does at times show (slightly out of focus) Io horizontally elongated as compared to Europa - see if you can get that effect!!?

#14 Heidescoper

Heidescoper

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 331
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Niedersachsen, Germany

Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:32 AM

hi David,

You show us a wonderful trip through the outer solar system.
The visited planets & moons looked very detailed - perfectly!

Bye
Christian

#15 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:39 AM

Most grateful Christian.

I plan drawings of much further afield in due course; but hope to tackle the moon also!

Cheers,
David.

#16 Asbytec

Asbytec

    Guy in a furry hat

  • *****
  • Posts: 8425
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2007
  • Loc: La Union, PI

Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:04 AM

...see if you can get that effect!!?


Already tried, but yes, that's the 'effect.'

#17 Kris.

Kris.

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1763
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Belgium

Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

Wow David those are out-of -this-world sketches (quite literally) :waytogo:

I've been away from this forum for a while, checking in from time to time for a quick peek and also in order not to lose my account!

if these kind of sketches are the new standard here, then ... :bigshock:

no seriously, this is quite an astonishing Mars sketch for a disk @ a mere 4.2". I hope you'll have this kind of seeing around opposition, and a bit of it drifts over to Belgium so I can have a nice view as well :grin:

#18 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

Thanks very much Kris - I like a challenge!

Good wishes,
David.

#19 Tommy5

Tommy5

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2814
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Chicagoland

Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:45 PM

Outstanding sketches at the limits of what is visible to amateur astronomers on Earth.

#20 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 21 September 2013 - 09:28 AM

Much appreciated Tommy.

Cheers,
David.

#21 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7064
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 21 September 2013 - 09:35 AM

David,

Excellent observations and drawings beautifully presented. I admire your skill with Photopaint.

When I read the title of your post I was puzzled by BED--a new spacecraft I wasn't aware of? Then I read your report and the clouds cleared. :grin:

#22 David Gray

David Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 583
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Nr. Scotland.

Posted 21 September 2013 - 09:46 AM

Thanks very much Michael.

BED: comes of being torn between two halves of the night - too often have I sacrificed the the first by going to bed then waking up to cloud :mad:. All-night sessions are great but not when the following daytime committments/plans may suffer!

Cheers,
David.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics