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Jupiter December 28th

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#1 kenrenard

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:06 PM


Hello all,

The temperatures had warmed into the mid 40s during the day and most of the snow had melted. After dinner cleanup I went out to survey the conditions. There was a slight haze in the air seeing seemed steady. I used my normal starting magnification and was shocked how bad it looked, a blurry and boiling mess. I went down to 133x and it was beautifully clear with much to see. I also tried with my small refractor and did do much better. Each time I bumped the magnification my view deteriorated. I stayed with 133x used the apodizer a bit, but not much. I also did not employ any filters. I used about 15 minutes of survey and around 15 minutes to sketch. Some interesting features even at the low magnification. The GRS showed with a wake with some sawtooth features trailing. A darker hued spot on the SEB preceding the GRS. On the NEB I could notice two bulges with darkening and some faint festoons. Not much in other areas at the low magnification, conditions began to worsen and I called it a night,

Sketch made at 00:30 UT
203mm reflector @133x
w/wo apodizer.


Ken

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#2 Tamas Bognar

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:09 PM

Wow, I got so the plastic of clouds. It is very good.

#3 dweller25

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:38 PM

Ken, your drawings are rapidly showing more detail - I found that by drawing the planets it forced you to look harder....

#4 Chopin

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:59 PM

Ken, beautiful work for 133x. I've been there for sure. When the skies get rough, drop the mag and grab what you can.

I'm happy to see you grabbed the eye liner north of the GRS. Good catch on the dark area in the NEB as well. Interesting sawtooth formation in the southern border of the SEB trailing the GRS. That's an area I haven't seen yet. I keep missing the whole region immediately after the GRS.

Great observation all around given your challenging seeing conditions. I agree with David, your details are improving in your sketches.

#5 kenrenard

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:50 PM

Thank you all,

I just looked at this image thread over in the planetary image section which I was happy to see I wasn't imagining the festoon bulges.
http://www.cloudynig...6276964/page...

I did need to look really hard last night to get what I got. Thanks David and Jason.

Jason,
I always seem to see a sawtooth formation of the wake from the GRS. When I look at the images I see it is a bit more complex than I was seeing last night but it does have some hues which led me to sketching the sawtooth.


All rain here today and tonight so I am in for the night.

Hope you all get some clear skies.


Ken

#6 Asbytec

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:09 PM

Ken, well, you still didn't do all that shabby for the conditions. The GRS, the wake, a darker concentration in the SEB, so bulging in the NEB, and festoons. That's just about everything that is there, anyway, it's just a matter of clarity not substance. Especially for 15 minute survey.

Thinking out loud and making conversation, did those bulges in the NEB every sharpen up when you were observing? I've been using much higher magnification lately and it seems to amplify even our modest seeing a bit. But, if I wait, those bulges in the NEB sharpen up and I can really grab some detail when the seeing permits. Of course, the worse seeing is, the more impossible it becomes. But, there are some lucky snapshots when seeing is at least descent. Heck, even in the legendary tropical seeing, the limb is pretty much rock solid but the softest detail can and does roll in and out with the slightest change in seeing. So, even in good seeing, and maybe even especially in good seeing, waiting for it pays off. That becomes less true in Ant III and below, however.

Jason had me thinking about contrast and magnification last night. I found closer to 100x was great contrast. One monster festoon was easily seen and very blue, but the image was pretty small and the arc under it was pretty difficult. I had the same eye popping problem with oval BA at lower power. It was just so hard to see well being small.

Yea, you do have to adjust the view toward what you like to see, as Jason said. Drop the power and grab what you can. There's a balance somewhere between seeing, image scale, and contrast. You just have to find it relative to the amount of time you want to wait for the finest stuff visible that night to pop.

I'll generally sacrifice a little low power contrast to more easily see finer detail even if that means amplifying the seeing and having to work a little harder in the process. Sure, the image is very pleasing at 100x or so, but it lacks more easily seen detail at slightly higher magnification. So, I'll give into the slightly degraded seeing at higher power and wait for those moments of clarity. That just takes time, up to an hour sometimes.

Sorry, your experience rekindled some thoughts from last night. What is that best combination for observing Jupiter? It is low power and crisp images where detail is hard to see, or is it higher power with lesser sharpness more often with easier detail and loss of faint contrast requiring more work to record? I dunno.

Ken, it does appear you did relatively well given the conditions. That's definitely Jupiter. Keep em coming. I'm laying money one night when the seeing cooperates and you find the right magnification for that night, you're jaw will drop from your face. I'd hate for you to miss that night. :)

#7 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:46 AM

I like the eddy trails near the GRS.

#8 kenrenard

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:57 AM

Thanks Norme and Uwe,

Norme,
I never did get them bulges to sharpen too much. I have a single speed focuser which I think sometimes can hurt in poor seeing. I have to really play around to get the focus right. I tried my normal sketching power of about 170x and it showed more just very fuzzy.

I also tried another trick I read by putting a rug under the dob to prevent the cooling of the driveway. The grass was still covered with some melting snow.

I would have liked to stay with it for a while longer to see what may change but, my wife called from the house it was bath and bedtime for the kids. So I cleaned up and got the little ones ready for bed. By the time they were asleep I looked out and conditions were much worse.


Ken

#9 Ed D

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:47 AM

Ken, nice sketch. I really like how you caught the GRS and trailing disturbances, as well as those two monstrous festoons.

Ed D

#10 kenrenard

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:26 AM

Thanks Ed,
I was well pleased to get the turbulence. I think the festoons are really going wild. Norme, caught a beautiful grouping.


Happy New Year.

Ken

#11 niteskystargazer

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:44 PM

Ken,

Nice sketch of Dec. 28th Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#12 Dean Norris

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:17 PM

Ken,

Great sketch of Jupiter. I too have some nights where I can't get higher than 140x. At this similar mag you can make the large to medium features but the small stuff is hard. Even though as you showed in your sketch many details are present. The GRS with the dark color below it with the following turbulence is seen. The NEB has festoon bases with festoons arching up into the EQZ. And it's interesting that the NEB bulges on the north border below the festoons and bases.

Happy New Year. Dean

#13 kenrenard

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:48 PM

Thanks Tom and Dean,

Dean,
I think it's a good bit of practice at the lower magnifications. I wouldn't have seen the detail before sketching. I really believe that sketching has made the most difference in my observing skills. Over equipment, eyepieces, etc.


Hope you have a Happy New Year


Ken

#14 Chopin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:04 PM

Ken, wiser words were never spoken. Sketching is, IMHO, the most important tool I've used to learn how to see more. Glad to be part of your progress. :waytogo:

#15 kenrenard

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

Jason,
I think some of the other things that help along with the sketching is seeing some of the wonderful skills sketchers here in this forum. I can verify what I saw and see things in the sketches with a view of someone who tries to draw the object. I am finally starting to see more and more detail even when seeing isn't great. I can always pick up some things that make a sketch interesting,

Ken

#16 frank5817

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:33 PM

Ken,

Looks great :waytogo:

Frank :)

#17 Asbytec

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:46 PM

Ken, that very thing just happened to me with Dean's sketch. He noted some bright spots in the southern NTrZ. I see them occasionally and cannot explain them. Yet, he sees them too.

Oh yes, sketching is a great observing tool, the best as Jason said. You WILL see more and more. If what you see now is good, just wait. Equipment and conditions are important, but the one thing you have control over is observing and learning to see more than you do now. It's inevitable with time, regardless.

I believe sketching drives us to achieve. That's what we need to switch from casual observing and broader detail to more critical observing and finer detail. We squeeze everything from Jupiter's disc that we can possibly see. Comparing our views with others builds confidence and, with confidence, you will trust your eyes and record even fainter detail.

//Caution, Ramble ahead

Hey, my 29th sketch was not as easy as I remember sketching at lower power. So, my own confidence was not quite up there. Yet, it turned out to be quite close. So, that was a huge boost to sketching and observing confidence. I am going to need to rely on that confidence posting my next, more difficult observation from last night.

Okay, ramble well underway...:lol: Yea, with last night's observation, I feel I am putting it on the line. It was pretty tough and, again, my own confidence is waning a bit.

The whole point is to observe and record, get it as right as possible while being true to the observation (write or wrong), and build your confidence. Even if we're wrong, and we sometimes are, we can all understand the difficulty involved in locking down detail. So, lay it out there and interpret what you see.

I'm happy you're doing all that. You'll look back and marvel at your progress. Seriously.

//End ramble

#18 kenrenard

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 08:18 AM

Thanks Frank and Norme,

I really enjoy the whole sketching and observing process it is just so relaxing, I lose track of time, my wife always supports me sitting out in the cold on a clear night and she is always amazed at what I see and draw. My kids even like to look at the other sketches here and enjoy the scope as well.

I don't mind the rambles just shows the amount of time and effort we all put into this. I can't tell you any show that is on tv but I have seen many sights in the night sky,


Happy New Year to all

Ken






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