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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
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Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend
      #5632695 - 01/20/13 07:21 AM

I would have to say has been one of the best weekends ever for planetary observing. In Northern Calif, the conditions were showing 5/5 for seeing and transparency and down around 30 degrees for the low. There was no issues with dew because it was so cold and dry, and not even a hint of breeze.
Fortunately, the CSC was actually accurate.

I took out my C14 about 1pm, and keep it in the shade so it would acclimate itself to the outside conditions for the next GRS transit.

There's been so much talk about how much one scope is better at planetary performance in these forums, including by myself also, I wanted to see how my largest scope would perform under ideal conditions.
I compared both my 2" Naglers to my Denkmeier binoviewer with 1.25" Naglers on Jupiter.
In every situation, the Denkmeier views were more detailed, had "much more contras" and were much more comfortable to study the huge display of surface details on Jupiter Ive never seen like this before. Once the planet got high in the sky, the most spectacular views Ive ever seen so far, came with a pair of 16mm Naglers in the Denkmeiers. At ~240x, the planet was large enough to make out tiny details on the surface and was so full of color and details, unlike Ive seen in even photos.
I hope everyone had a chance to get out and see the excellent show jupiter was putting on this weekend, regardless of the cold temperatures.

...Ralph


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Asbytec
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5632900 - 01/20/13 10:22 AM

I did. Yea, Jupiter seemed to come alive in the past weeks since I last saw it. The EZ was alive with bold features, including one bombastic festoon preceding the GRS. The NEB looked ragged with (small) rifts and darker areas. Quite impressive, really. What a show this year.

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Eddgie
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5633031 - 01/20/13 11:35 AM

Four things..

#1: Clear aperture for me has been the most consistent method of judging how a telescope will compare on planets. The more clear aperture, the more detailed views I have received. For planetary viewing, in my opinion, there is no real substitute for lots of clear aperture. Scope quality is important, but design is not as long as you are comparing clear aperture.

#2: Binoviewers... Make far more difference to me than the type of eyepecie used. I found that eyepeice differences were often so sublte as to make it difficult to see something in one eyepeice that was not visible in another. But Binoviewers make a meaningful difference. I feel as if the eye does indeed resolve details more easily and without as much strain.

#3: It does't take a lot of magnification to see a lot of detail.. In fact I think I get my best views between 200x and 300x. My most used power is 260x. Even when I use 300x, I feel like the lowest contrast detail starts to fade. Using lower powers makes these subtle wisps like festoons simply stand out more.

#4: Great seeing makes it easy... But even on nights when seeing is not great (oh, you can't really use the extra aperture because of seeing dude!) I routinely see difficult detail. It takes a lot of patience (the binoviewers make it easier and detail tends to flash into view more frequently because both eyes can focus on it more quickly I think), but I almost always see more datail using my C14 than using my 6" APO. People that say that there is no point in having a larger telescope for planetary observing because of seeing perhaps lack the patience for it, or perhaps some other factor is at play, but I find that if seeing is even moderatly good, I get my best views using a bigger scope than a smaller scope, and if seeing is poor, no scope does a good job.

Enjoyed your report.


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jg3
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Reged: 05/27/07

Loc: near Auburn, CA
Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5633382 - 01/20/13 02:57 PM

Ralph - Up the hill just past Auburn was fabulous too. Sharp, bold views of Jupiter on my 12.5. Kept out in the cold garage, it was good from the get-go, starting with sharp detail on the moon before Jupiter cleared the trees. Consistently good seeing let me experiment and compare eyepieces, filters, etc. as well as simply enjoy the view. Impressive emergence of the GRS. - John

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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5633794 - 01/20/13 07:04 PM

Quote:

Four things..

#1: Clear aperture for me has been the most consistent method of judging how a telescope will compare on planets. The more clear aperture, the more detailed views I have received. For planetary viewing, in my opinion, there is no real substitute for lots of clear aperture. Scope quality is important, but design is not as long as you are comparing clear aperture.

#2: Binoviewers... Make far more difference to me than the type of eyepecie used. I found that eyepeice differences were often so sublte as to make it difficult to see something in one eyepeice that was not visible in another. But Binoviewers make a meaningful difference. I feel as if the eye does indeed resolve details more easily and without as much strain.

#3: It does't take a lot of magnification to see a lot of detail.. In fact I think I get my best views between 200x and 300x. My most used power is 260x. Even when I use 300x, I feel like the lowest contrast detail starts to fade. Using lower powers makes these subtle wisps like festoons simply stand out more.

#4: Great seeing makes it easy... But even on nights when seeing is not great (oh, you can't really use the extra aperture because of seeing dude!) I routinely see difficult detail. It takes a lot of patience (the binoviewers make it easier and detail tends to flash into view more frequently because both eyes can focus on it more quickly I think), but I almost always see more datail using my C14 than using my 6" APO. People that say that there is no point in having a larger telescope for planetary observing because of seeing perhaps lack the patience for it, or perhaps some other factor is at play, but I find that if seeing is even moderatly good, I get my best views using a bigger scope than a smaller scope, and if seeing is poor, no scope does a good job.

Enjoyed your report.




Ive looked through two 16" Meade SCT's and neither of them were good at all for showing details on Jupiter. even after long cool downs and the collimation was right on. Still to this day I don't get that since beside my C14, Jupiter was incredible.
When the seeing is excellent, I cant believe how increadible my C14 is on planetary viewing. Even my C11 puts out excellent views on planets, that even the 6" APO's cant show. On less than ideal seeing conditions where the atomosphere liimits the planetary performance, smaller scopes like a 6" or 7" refractor do pretty good, but just don't have the contras larger scopes do.

It was a pretty fun weekend with the rare excellent seeing and transparancy.


.... Ralph


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Special Ed
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5634538 - 01/21/13 09:15 AM

Ralph,

Thanks for the report--glad you were able to take advantage of such excellent conditions. To balance out the universe, we've had clear weather here but very poor seeing. I looked at Jupiter at 98x (my lowest magnification) with my big Cat on the 19th and could barely see the two main belts.

My experience is pretty much in line with yours and Eddgie's. I see detail (and color) with my well-collimated C14 even when the seeing is only average. Patience is a must--experience helps. I seldom go above 260x--that seems to be the sweet spot of magnification for Jupiter.


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Eddgie
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5634580 - 01/21/13 09:40 AM

Jupiter has been superb lately. My seeing has not been great in a month or so, but last night it was "decent." With patience, I was able to see a lot of detial, but the bland side was facing me.

Also, are you seeing much blue in the root flair of Equitorial belt Festoons?


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Asbytec
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Reged: 08/08/07

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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5634592 - 01/21/13 09:47 AM

Quote:

Also, are you seeing much blue in the root flair of Equatorial belt Festoons?



Eddgie, I did tonight. In fact, it seems the blue is returning. It was pretty prominent in the festoons themselves early in our dry season beginning in late October. Then blue seemed difficult through December, seen only faintly in the festoons away from the NEB. It was again pretty prominent tonight. In fact, I got the impression a good portion of the southern NEB was striped in blue (system I ~99 degrees.) Gotta check some images to see if I am seeing things. Anyway, yes, more blue seems evident in the roots, IME.

Edi: In fact, here's an two day old image by Kozawa Tokujiro (third one down) at ALPO Japan showing a dark NEBs with lots of blue.
http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/kk13/j130119z.htm

Edited by Asbytec (01/21/13 09:52 AM)


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Eddgie
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5635336 - 01/21/13 04:53 PM

Good to hear.

I had reported seeing the blue some time back, but others had not seen it, and even the images people were taking was not showing it, but there is a thread on the Imageing forum where someone captured it there.

Good to know that I wasn't seeing things. LOL.


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CelestronDaddy
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/22/09

Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5635610 - 01/21/13 07:42 PM

Nice view tonight too!

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dscarpa
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5638818 - 01/23/13 12:20 PM

Same here! Ditto for the Moon! David

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gf293guy
newbie


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5645162 - 01/26/13 09:34 PM

Unfortunately I can't say the same, then again it could be my lack of experience. I've had my 8SE (stock setup) for 2 weeks, third time out tonight. It's been cloudy in western NY... very cloudy.

Second time out viewing through an x-cel 9mm (225x), I was surprised how fuzzy Jupiter was. The moon look very clear under the same mag. I suppose the atmosphere will distort the colors and fine detail in Jupiter, where the full moon didn't have as much detail to begin with??? The clouds plentiful and moving fast that night, being patient for gaps in the clouds in 7degF temps was a challenge. I believe seeing condition were bad, even though the stars were bright and not fuzzy to the naked eye.

I used my 7mm (289x) tonight, but cloud cover was 90%.

I find the scope difficult to focus, shakes a lot. I think I had it focused properly, but not happy with the results.

So there's a lot of room for improvement in seeing condition and operator skill, regardless it was great to get out. I open to suggestions/comments.


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ke4kso
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Reged: 07/18/10

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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: gf293guy]
      #5645349 - 01/27/13 01:08 AM

On most nights I get the best views of Jupiter using a 12.5 mm eyepiece about 162 power very rare when I can go much over 200 on Jupiter, Saturn takes high power very well as does the moon. Also I rarely use the tripod at home, I have a very heavy concrete patio table in the back yard that I just set the telescope on. It helps t rest my arm on the table while focusing. My last telescope was a Celestar 8 that had a JMI motofocus. I sure miss the motorized focusing. But the table helps alot. Just stick with and you will be rewarded with he views you expect. David

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azure1961p
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: ke4kso]
      #5645630 - 01/27/13 08:51 AM

The blue in the festooning was particularly evident with my Mars Filter. The festoons have truly morphed into complexes of jets and rifts that break away from the typical simple sweeping branches we so often see. What really interesting here is that it wasn't that long ago the EZ was a white frothy mess with only fragments of festoons.

I love the unpredictability of this planet.

Pere


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gf293guy
newbie


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5645684 - 01/27/13 09:38 AM

Thanks for the tips ke4kso. My 12 mm EP finally shipped, looking forward to trying less mag.

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Asbytec
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Re: Increadible views of Jupiter this weekend new [Re: gf293guy]
      #5645707 - 01/27/13 09:56 AM

Jupiter has put on quite a show this fly by, especially since late October when our tropical skies finally opened up.

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