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Jupiter in small refractor telescopes

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#1 Niklo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:24 AM

Hello,
the time for watching Jupiter gets better and after a discussion with Alexander about watching Jupiter in small refractor telescopes (e.g. 3 " or 4") I would like to discuss and collect your observation experience. Which details are you able to see? Are you able to see the oval BA? How is the colour seeing of the bands and the Great Red Spot or oval BA?
I had only once the chance to see Jupiter about 4 weeks ago in my 4" 1100 mm achromat. The bands looked rather greyish maybe with a little brown touch and I could imagine that there was a hint of orange in the Great Red Spot and a little bit structure in the two main bands in the short periods of good seeing.
Here a photo taken with the ASI 120 MC and with diagonal mirror (south is at the bottom and west is right) at October 3rd at 6:08 am in Germany.
http://www.cloudynig...rn2_stretch.jpg
or with brightened moons
http://www.cloudynig...php?photo=28589

Clear skies,
Roland

#2 Sasa

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:45 AM

Here are some of my sketches through 80mm with oval BA from last opposition:

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121119...
http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121201...

And here is the similar region through 4" refractor (ED100):

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121109...

Concerning of what I can see through 80mm, this sketch was made during quite good conditions (Antoniady II):

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121216...

And here is a sketch through 100mm in favorable conditions:

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121105...

Even 63mm is not hopeless:

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20130303...
http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20121011...

Concerning the colors, as we discussed with Roland, I can't see too much of color on Jupiter. Even in my former larger 250mm Newtonian I only saw reddish tint of GRS only once. With 80mm I had an interesting experience when I was using white LED for sketching instead of my usual red LED. When I looked into the eyepiece the GRS looked quite reddish, also the main surfaces was yellowish. In few seconds the colors were gone before. I guess my brain is quite effective of removing colors...

Cheers,

Alexander

#3 Astrojensen

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:04 AM

My observations agree with yours, Alexander, though I haven't drawn Jupiter much and am not an expert at drawing planets. I can't recall having seen oval BA, but I do think I've seen it with my 80mm f/15 Vixen. GRS I've seen with even my 50mm Zeiss.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#4 Niklo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

Hi Thomas hello Alexander,
the oval BA moved to the other side of Jupiter this year but I'll try it with my Vixen 80L f/15, too.
Thomas have you seen a little bit orange in the Great Red Spot with your Vixen 80 or with your Zeiss 85 f/18?
Clear skies,
Roland

#5 PeterR280

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:18 AM

Has anyone noticed contrast variations based on seeing conditions? I recall a few months ago with very good seeing at 5AM, the bands were a much darker brown with a 4" than I am used to.

#6 David E

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:29 AM

Since we are looking at cloud tops, not terrain, Jupiter is constantly changing and although many features like the EB's and GRS never really go away, they can change in size, color, appearance, and visibility. The SEB all but disappeared in small refractors a year or two ago, and I've seen richer colors than Jupiter has been presenting now. But basically, over the years through a 3" refractor I've seen moon and shadow transits, 6-8 zones and bands other than the NEB and SEB, some cloud detail in the SEB, NEB and EZ, and the GRS of course. It helps to boost your visual performance with a warming filter (I usually use an 85A or FL-D filter) and also with binoviewers. I've done a lot of observing over the years both mono- and bino- and I almost always pick out more detail through binoviewers. Jupiter is one of those targets you often have to really be patient with. BTW, if you can find it, you can see Jupiter in broad daylight through a 3" refractor. :cool:

#7 Astrojensen

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:43 AM

Thomas have you seen a little bit orange in the Great Red Spot with your Vixen 80 or with your Zeiss 85 f/18?



Yes, but it's very pale, almost a very light brown. It doesn't stand out massively, as it does in a large telescope. Contrast on Jupiter in a small telescope is very slight and it takes great patience to see the details.

In a 30", it's like a painter's palette! So many different colors and hues.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#8 Niklo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:01 AM

Thomas have you seen a little bit orange in the Great Red Spot with your Vixen 80 or with your Zeiss 85 f/18?



Yes, but it's very pale, almost a very light brown. It doesn't stand out massively, as it does in a large telescope. Contrast on Jupiter in a small telescope is very slight and it takes great patience to see the details.

In a 30", it's like a painter's palette! So many different colors and hues.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Thank you Thomas,
I'll try it with my Vixen 80L the next time. ;)

I had a similar experience last time I watched with my 4". I had the impression of a little light orange to light brown, too but I was not sure. The colour impression wasn't stable.
Only the little blue of the colour fringe around Jupiter was stable in the 4" ;)
Clear skies,
Roland

#9 Niklo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:03 AM

Has anyone noticed contrast variations based on seeing conditions? I recall a few months ago with very good seeing at 5AM, the bands were a much darker brown with a 4" than I am used to.

Hi Peter,
yes, I had a similar experience with my 4" f/11. With bad seeing the bands are just grey. What 4" do you use?
Cheers,
Roland

#10 Asbytec

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:13 AM

The GRS appears to have more saturation than last year. Other than the GRS and other main features, seeing color has a lot to do with time at the eyepeice IME. For me, seeing color began with recognizing white. Once you see whitye, then light grey and pale yellow becomes more distinct. On closer inspection, darker hues begin to resolve from the reddish hue of the EQ belts. I'm not sure what aperture makes the festoons easier to see as bluish, but if they show at all maybe color might be discerned.

The key seems to be Jupiter's colors are low contrast. Realizing that may help to begin seeing more color. Again, once you can discern white other colors stand out easier. At least for me, that was how I began to really see Jupiter in color. Once it happens to you, the amount of detail visible improves dramatically. Of course aperture helps, but so does actually learning to recognise color. If its elusive, keep at it. It will come. Try to find white and see whatever the aperture will deliver.

#11 ManuelJ

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:56 PM

One thing that helps in seeing color is ruin your dark adaptation. I mean, shine a flashlight for some seconds.

You will be amazed how easy are Jupiter colors after that. And remember: low power!

#12 Sasa

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:09 PM

Hi Manuel,

this is probably what I experienced one time when I was sketching Jupiter with white LED.

Cheers,

Alexander

#13 PeterR280

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

I was testing the Celestron C102GT alongside an 80mm ED triplet. They both showed amazingly dark brown bands.

#14 Niklo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:41 PM

Hello Peter,
you probably learned to see colors. That makes me hopeful. ;)

The C102GT should be similar to my 102/1100 achromat. The triplet 80 ED has probably less CA than my Vixen 80L but the Vixen 80L has is quite good (with little CA), too. So I'll try to look at colours at the next observation and I'll try to use a flashlight to do some experimentes, too.

Clear skies,
Roland

#15 Astrojensen

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:16 PM

I enjoyed the discussion on astrotreff.de, BTW. Your recollection of my observations of the Jovian moons with the 85/1600mm Zeiss is correct, but I can also see the size differences with my 80/1200 Vixen. In my 63mm Zeiss at 140x, or better at 210x, I can see that Ganymede is bigger than the other three and that Callisto is much dimmer at high magnification (meaning I can resolve its surface, but it gets so dim, my eye won't allow me to see a clear disk). Io and Europa appear identical in size and brightness in the 63mm, but their colors differ subtly, with Io being a very subtle reddish or yellow or even pink, while Europa is icy white. Ganymede is a beautiful golden yellow and Callisto dark brownish grey. All of this is much easier in my 150/1200 stopped down to 112mm and here the different moons have obvious size differences and colors. In this scope I can always identify them with 100% accuracy in good seeing, even without knowing their positions in advance.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

PS. Must travel to Sweden tomorrow, so can't continue the discussion until friday at the earliest.

#16 youngamateur42

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 07:57 PM

To the Op:

The short answer is a lot. You can see a lot on Jupiter. On quick sessions I use my 70mm F/10 Achro and it still surprises me how good it is. I have regularly seen the Red Spot and many different dark areas light areas. Color if the bands is like a sort of light brown. One thing that tremendously helps is filtering. One of the best is 80A blue. Another is 15 or 12 yellow. I use these regularly, and they're pretty cheap to get I the Classifieds. I have often heard that a green is good too but I haven't used one before.

#17 PeterR280

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:39 PM

Niklo

I did not learn to see color. Most viewings, the bands are gray. This particular day when seeing was excellent, the bands appeared darker and I could see brown.

#18 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:47 PM

Great thread guys! Some beautiful pictures!

Here is one of Jupiter I took through my smaller Vixen 70mm F/13 (AL-70 F refractor) and a cheapo webcam. Not as good as others here, but I thought I would post it.

Posted Image

#19 KJL

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:02 AM

Here is one of Jupiter I took through my smaller Vixen 70mm F/13 (AL-70 F refractor) and a cheapo webcam. Not as good as others here, but I thought I would post it.

Posted Image


This is what I usually see in my 80mm f/6 and 90mm f/7 triplets. I guess I need better skies, given the significantly better views higher up in this thread!

#20 Sasa

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:50 AM

KJ, my experience is that with time spent behind eyepiece you will note many more features on Jupiter. Sketching helps enormously to gain more experience. Take for example my first Jupiter sketch (in fact from similar 80mm f/6 triplet as yours):

http://www-hep2.fzu....ter_20100916...

#21 Niklo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:22 AM

This is what I usually see in my 80mm f/6 and 90mm f/7 triplets. I guess I need better skies, given the significantly better views higher up in this thread!


Hi KJL,
good seeing is important. I remember that looking with the Vixen 80L I saw some fine structures in the two main bands and the Great Red Spot. The problem was that the periods with good seeing were very short.
I think Alexander is right. Trying to do sketches helps to improve us to see and recognize more details. I love to make photos but I think both might be interesting drawing and then taking a video and afterwards try to compare the sketch with the photo.

Back to the seeing problem. Last summer I watched Saturn from my flat and the seeing was quite bad. So for about 20 minutes I wasn't able to see the Cassini division. Then suddenly I saw a black line between the A and B ring for a moment afterwards is was swimming again.
At a day with good seeing I saw the Cassini Division on end of June this year almost permanent. Then I took two photos
http://www.cloudynig...68&password=...
and
http://www.cloudynig...66&password=...

So both is important, good seeing and having learned to be patience and to see fine and weak details.

Clear skies,
Roland

#22 Ed Whitney

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:47 AM

Jupiter in an 8in EdgeHD and 8in newt only reveeled whites and pale greys. But, with an XT10i pale pinks and mauves were nice to see, but the red spot was still not really red. And the moons were discs, with Io definitely orange!

From this, I'm nearly certain you need large aperture to see colors in Jupiter.

#23 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:53 AM

I found another Jupiter I did with my 70mm Vixen F/13. I am not sure why it is so small, I think it is because I did it much higher speed, but it has a bit more detail..Can even see a moon shadow..This was 35 frames per second max and stacked with registax. Not bad for a 70mm refractor. My Vixen AL70F and AL80F are my two favorite telescopes.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#24 Sasa

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:54 AM

Yesterday, I took out AS80/1200. I spent almost two hours observing Moon. Despite visible haze, the seeing was exceptional and I never saw such jaws dropping views in 80mm telescope before. Most of the time, I was using ATC 8E eyepiece (150x) and the image did not move at all!

At the end of the session I checked quickly Jupiter. It was still low with not the best seeing but I started to see some hints of equatorial festoons. I was paying particular attention to the colors. I was using CZJ O-10 (120x) and O-12.5 (96x) eyepieces. I noticed subtle differences in colors of Jupiter's moons (but I did not put down the details into my logbook). The Jupiter globe was of yellowish cast but bands were looking grey, may be, if would loose my imagination with a hint of dark brown.

#25 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:06 AM


I can see light tan colored bands visually through my 70mm, but then when I install a yellow filter I can see them even better. Seeing and atmosphere probably has a lot to do with it.






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