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Telescopic
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Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter?
      #6333567 - 01/24/14 08:10 PM

I was a kid when this happened, and not all that interested in astronomy. But based on the views of Jupiter through my 8" dob I'm certain some of that event, or the aftermath would have been visible. What a sight it would have been.

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MikeBOKC
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6333602 - 01/24/14 08:37 PM

Yes there were some quite visible smudges. I observed it through my Meade 826 reflector. One of the high points of my time in this hobby for sure.

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Rick Woods
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6333635 - 01/24/14 09:01 PM

I didn't see it hit, but I sure saw the huge, spooky dark spots Mike mentions (also through a Meade 826). Like nothing I've ever seen before or since.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6333676 - 01/24/14 09:33 PM

Quote:

Yes there were some quite visible smudges. I observed it through my Meade 826 reflector. One of the high points of my time in this hobby for sure.




Fascinating! I also observed it with my 826! I distinctly remember the black splotches rotating into view.

I am so lucky that it hit in July of that year as in August I went away to be a freshman at college and would have been without my scope!


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Telescopic
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6333735 - 01/24/14 10:07 PM

Quote:

I distinctly remember the black splotches rotating into view.





That must have been incredible to see!


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Michael Rapp
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6333886 - 01/24/14 11:42 PM

It was and I am exceptionally lucky and happy to have seen it. I do deeply regret not looking at it as often as I could, but that summer was crazily busy for me, with all of the expected distractions of transitioning from high school to college.

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BrooksObs
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6333929 - 01/25/14 12:14 AM

Indeed, I glimpsed the comets themselves on one night about a month or two before impact using my 20" scope. After they had impacted I followed the scars they left in Jupiter's atmosphere for many weeks thereafter, noting them in apertures as small as just a 60mm refractor. Quite an event.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (01/25/14 12:16 AM)


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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #6333988 - 01/25/14 01:06 AM

Yes I saw it Ive several nights through much summer haze - steady but filtered down by the humid sky's. I was true believer this was all going to be a flop. That the anticipation was all hype to sell whatever to whomever and basically at the root if it all - the inability for the humans calculating this to truly take in how huge Jupiter would swallow these whole without so much as a hiccup.

I was floored. First night - centered in the CM these two dark ovular eyes looking back at me clearer than any red spot had ever shown . Obvious at 70x. Not black per se, but an ashen grey of strong contrast.

I completely underestimated what would happen. This was one for the books and probably the most rarefied phenomena ill ever see telescopically.

Pete


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star dropModerator
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6334191 - 01/25/14 06:17 AM

I also saw the impact marks through a 25" telescope. Initially they gave me the impression that their centers were deeper down into Jupiter's atmosphere, somewhat like seeing fuzzy dark floating doughnuts. Looking again after a few days had passed the three dimensional appearance was gone.

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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6334217 - 01/25/14 06:48 AM

I saw a number of brownish markings of Jupiter with my friends 8" Schmidt Cas. They were most impressive looking.

Rich (RLTYS)


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Rick Woods
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6334471 - 01/25/14 10:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes there were some quite visible smudges. I observed it through my Meade 826 reflector. One of the high points of my time in this hobby for sure.




Fascinating! I also observed it with my 826! I distinctly remember the black splotches rotating into view.

I am so lucky that it hit in July of that year as in August I went away to be a freshman at college and would have been without my scope!




The Meade 826 was the workhorse of the day, and a fabulous telescope. I still have mine, and it's still in pretty new condition. I believe it's the best of all my telescopes.


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David Gray
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6334580 - 01/25/14 11:19 AM

I arranged a week off work with hopes for this: and got a good run of clear albeit slightly hazy evenings!

Jupiter was then well to the west and close to disappearing behind the rooftops (altitude ~15º) and I knew that the sun would be close to setting time. So as Jupiter was close to 90º from the sun I applied an old-time trick of using a polariser which dramatically darkens the sky relative to the planet at that particular elongation (+/- c.25º). On the run up to the event I mentioned my trials with this to John Rogers who admitted that this was a then largely forgotten practice! Also I found that a W#8 yellow filter was an additional help; and of course used the 16.3” D-K x262 & x348.

My first catch (July 17) was the rather elusive ‘C’ fragment scar on the SPR – this left me a little pessimistic. Then next night it was the ‘G’ fragment scar: this stunned me; and ran in the house to phone David Graham. He at first seemed to think I had got Ganymede or it’s shadow: I said no this is much bigger and must be at least Earth-size and in any case at that time those transits were across the NPR. He phoned me back after looking and I could detect the tremble in his voice….!

After that it was just one wow after another – if only it had been nearer midnight with Jupiter at an altitude such as currently!

Edited by David Gray (01/25/14 11:32 AM)


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Rutilus
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: David Gray]
      #6334668 - 01/25/14 12:01 PM

I did not actually see any of the fragments hit Jupiter, but I sure did see the aftermath of dark markings.
I was using a Vixen 102mm f/10 Achromat refractor, it was a great event.


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ROBERT FREE
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #6334964 - 01/25/14 02:06 PM

I saw them with my 12 1/2 f-8 relector that I had way back then.

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Dean Norris
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: ROBERT FREE]
      #6335182 - 01/25/14 04:12 PM

I drove over to San Jose to view this amazing event. Santa Cruz was fogged out which happens often in the summer. I observed the event not far Lick Observatory but in the valley not far from the road that takes you to Lick. The seeing that night was great and the view was spectacular. This is right up with the time when rings of Saturn occulted some stars which twinkled as they passed through the rings.

Dean


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Gil V
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Dean Norris]
      #6335207 - 01/25/14 04:25 PM

Saw the dark impact spots in my 4" SCT. Hated that scope. Bought my Meade shortly after.

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Telescopic
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Gil V]
      #6335317 - 01/25/14 05:23 PM

I'm so jealous. I hope something like this happens again but it is unlikely.

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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6335836 - 01/26/14 12:06 AM

Grossly unlikely but there's other things too and it wasn't that long ago a CN member actually imaged an impact on Jupiter reminiscent of shoemaker-Levy but on a fraction of .the scale .

David - if it had good altitude like now - the structure seen would have been phenomenal. Even in Pickering 5. The filtration from summer haze at that altitude blotted out everything into the most basic smoothed forms for me. Still night after night it was astonishing. The best night several nights later had a veritable chain of pact scars of varying shapes. Ill never forget it.

I DID sketch the impacts but they disappeared when my logs were thrown out.

Pete


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Rick Woods
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6335857 - 01/26/14 12:30 AM

Quote:

I DID sketch the impacts but they disappeared when my logs were thrown out.




Your WHAT!!?????


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David Gray
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6335964 - 01/26/14 02:29 AM

Quote:

I DID sketch the impacts but they disappeared when my logs were thrown out.

Pete





Oh no now you’ve done it Pete - drawings: not seen mine for years and I have recently been searching my shambolic files for other things and not caught sight …….
I think John Rogers has the originals and he used some in his BAA Journal report.

Come to think of it he passed some on to the authors of “The Great Comet Crash” – Spencer/Mitton. Not so much those I miss as the ones I got after conjunction showing the aftermath. It was a mid-December morning and had just finished nightshift when I spotted Jupiter in an observable position. Clouds were building in the distance and had a hectic bike ride home (3 miles mostly uphill) and just got there in time to open up and grab that first post-impact drawing.

I don’t think that drawing found its way into the Journal but it is in the book which I have not seen for some years. I think/hope my sister still has it – borrowed to show her friends.

As the drawings went to the authors via John and not directly from me, by the time it came out it was very much out of mind. Then one day we were in a bookshop with our two sons (Stuart & Alan); when Stuart rushed over and said “Look dad some of your drawings are in here”. Upon which Alan dashed over to his mother shouting “Mam, dad’s drawings are in a book! So while we were looking the shop-lady came up and snatched the book. After my wife explained she said “Oh terribly sorry I thought he said his dad was drawing in a book”. To make amends we got the book at a generous discount!

Dave


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Telescopic
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6336025 - 01/26/14 04:34 AM

Quote:

Grossly unlikely but there's other things too and it wasn't that long ago a CN member actually imaged an impact on Jupiter reminiscent of shoemaker-Levy but on a fraction of .the scale .





I just looked it up and there were at least two in the last few years!


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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6336355 - 01/26/14 10:42 AM

David,

That's a very humorous account -and satisfying that your work was preserved in being published like that. The clerks misinterpretation was funny though ! It would make sense yours was a morning object and mine an evening thing. A particular bother I didn't appreciate was nosy passerbys as I could not see this part of the horizon from my home so I was out and about town in the country. One priest brought train of altar boys that ended up taking so long to look that best night view was a few minutes for me. Another person wanted to kno my life story and ended with in no uncertain terms "well OK - Im just checking you out" and there was no flirtatious manner or levity in her voice. It was still dusk out so the guy with the long white tube telescope drew attention. It was worth it but I realized I am no sidewalk astronomer at all! If ever you find the pics Id love to see it Dave .

Tel, yes I was surprised to learn they do occur on Jupiter . I wonder if prior to Shoemaker-Levy9 the transient spots of cometary (or other) impacts was just written off as a barge or anonymous storm spot.

Pete


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aa6ww
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6340715 - 01/28/14 11:15 AM

I watched it religiously with a AP 6" F12 Super Planetary over and over and over. Its what got me hooked on owning an APO because of all the details that particular scope was showing, which others could not.

..Ralph


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David Gray
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6341382 - 01/28/14 04:16 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

If ever you find the pics Id love to see it Dave .




Pete:

Finally found the book after searches at my sister's and her two daughter's respective housholds!

Attached is a compilation of some croppped/re-arranged scans.

Cheers,
Dave.


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SabiaJD
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: David Gray]
      #6341865 - 01/28/14 08:54 PM

Was fortunate to have some clear skies to view the "L" and "G" impact scars on Jupiter with the 9.5" f/15 Clark refractor scope.

Started viewing in twilight skies on July 17, 1994 UT. My drawings show a dark spot and bow shape of both "L" and "G".

This was also seen by other observer with me that night. Very good seeing conditions.

I setup to image Jupiter with my Nikon F2 using eyepiece projection on color slide film. Does not do justice to the view in the eyepiece.


http://lackawannaastronomicalsociety.org/LAS/wp-content/gallery/john-sabia/jd...

After reviewing my log and photo log books, I discovered this photo date is WRONG. This was taken on July 20, 1994 UT.
Timing of "L"
Preceeding 0:37
Middle 0:51
Following 1:15

John D Sabia

Edited by SabiaJD (01/29/14 09:46 PM)


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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: SabiaJD]
      #6342106 - 01/28/14 11:29 PM

David,

Thanks for finding and posting - I had no idea the darkness from the impacts lasted as long as it had! Back then my backyard was horrible for ecliptic views and sessions were a lot fewer and farther between and only very high in that path (like Gemini) offered partial if brief views from that locale .

Thanks for the posting - very well recorded!

Pete


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ADW
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6342958 - 01/29/14 12:05 PM

Quote:

The Meade 826 was the workhorse of the day, and a fabulous telescope. I still have mine, and it's still in pretty new condition. I believe it's the best of all my telescopes.




Yes, my Meade 826 is still in use and is a better quality scope than my 16-inch Meade.

To answer the original question: Yes, I saw one of the impact fireballs rise up from the impact site which was just behind the limb.

Like the rest of you, I had been marveling at the impact scars for several days, eventually seeing prominent black oval G, brown H, brown K, black L, black E, and Q1.

I also knew that fortuitously-placed Australian observers had seen the fireball from huge fragment G.

North Americans were poorly placed, but those of us in the west had a chance at seeing the fireball from mid-sized fragment R on the evening of July 20, 1994. At longitude 123W I was better-placed than most. But because of my latitude of 54N Jupiter was poorly-placed, only at an altitude of 15 degrees in the southwest at sunset.

I saw Jupiter easily with the unaided eye at 2127 PDT, two minutes before sunset. Sky transparency was excellent immediately behind a cold front, but the seeing was very poor for the same reason.

I used the 8-inch on its Dob mount at 116x with a light blue filter. The seeing was atrocious at Jupiter's low altitude, sometimes with "flames" running around the edge of the disk. I thought that the fireball would have to be long-lived to positively identify it. The brown spot from the impact of fragment K was obvious, and I got one glimpse of Europa's shadow.

From my logbook: "Forecast impact times for fragment R were 2241 PDT (July S&T), 2259 (Aug S&T), 2226 (Skyline three days ago), 2236 (Skyline two days ago), and finally 2217 (Skyline today). Started observing carefully at 2207; got clouded out at 2216 when an altocumulus cloud grew in place to four times the area, decided against moving as it was a high and distant cloud; and remained clouded out until 2229; thought that I might have seen a flare of light at the correct spot, the southeastern limb, at 2231, but the seeing was so bad and the flare so brief (about 2 seconds) that I would have to learn that the impact was actually at 2231 to think that I might have seen it; and watched from then until 2255, battling hordes of mosquitoes."

Months later I read in Sky&Telescope that the impact of Fragment R had been seen from Hawaii (under far better observing conditions) at the same time that I saw it (within the accuracy of my timing because I did not look at my watch immediately).

It was a strange observation, because it wasn't until months later that I actually knew that I had really seen the impact fireball!

Surely many of you also the 2009 impact scar discovered by Australian Anthony Wesley on July 19, 2009. I was in China for the total eclipse at that time, but the impact scar was still visible after I returned, on August 9th, as an elongated (E-W) darker smudge in the SPR, again with my venerable 8-inch.

Best,

Alan Whitman


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: ADW]
      #6343396 - 01/29/14 03:25 PM

I videotaped the impact scars on several nights with an old, huge VHS video camera attached to a 10" Dob, guiding by hand. The impacts are very obvious in the video. I've grabbed some frames but the raster lines make the single frames much less sharp than the video. One of these days I'll convert it to a digital file.

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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6344296 - 01/29/14 11:20 PM

Alan how'd the fireball look? Did it seem starlike in brightness or the intensity of jupiter itself. That's one for the books. I enjoyed the impact scars but to have seen the fireball - wow. How long did the one you see last?

Pete


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ADW
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6344482 - 01/30/14 02:37 AM

Quote:

Alan how'd the fireball look? Did it seem starlike in brightness or the intensity of jupiter itself. That's one for the books. I enjoyed the impact scars but to have seen the fireball - wow. How long did the one you see last?

Pete




Hi Pete,

The fireball from Fragment R only lasted about two seconds in visible light. The professionals saw a longer event in infrared light (as I recall -- it would take me a long time to find the relevant issue of S&T to look at the record.)

As I said, the seeing was very poor. The fireball from mid-sized Fragment R was probably comparable to the brightness of Europa when it is right on Jupiter's limb. But I <think> that it was a warmer colour than Europa.

When I went to Australia seven years later I got the impression from talking to amateurs there that the fireball from big Fragment G that they saw rise up above the limb (from the impact site behind the limb) was much brighter and more impressive than the one that I saw.

Best,

Alan


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John Brooks
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: ADW]
      #6345991 - 01/30/14 08:44 PM

I watched the fragments impact "live" via Dance of the Planets software on my old 486DX PC.
When it got dark I was out with my 10" SCT looking at the scars.
Fascinating.

John


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Bakes
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #6346141 - 01/30/14 10:01 PM

I too had a Celestron C102 that easily displayed the impact scars on Jupiter for a few weeks. The actual impacts occurred on the far side of Jupiter. So we did not get to witness the actual collisions.

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stevecoe
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Bakes]
      #6346275 - 01/30/14 11:11 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Howdy all;

Yet another viewer of the comet crash with a Meade 826 from a friend's backyard. Lots of see, it was amazing and still to this day provided the most obvious marking on any planet at any time.

Drawing below at 200X with G spot centered. There is a chapter in my book "Touching the Universe" about the entire viewing experience. It is about my favorite 20 nights with a telescope and this was certainly one of those.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe


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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: stevecoe]
      #6346661 - 01/31/14 08:13 AM

Steve, Ive got to check out your books. Sounds impressive!


Pete


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paul m schofield
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6347104 - 01/31/14 12:08 PM

I was living in South Florida at the time and our club, the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association, held multiple public events at Fox Observatory in Markham Park on the western edge of Fort Lauderdale, located near the start of the Everglades. We couldn't see the actual impact because of the turn of the planet but we saw the incoming comet on previous nights like a string of pearls as it closed in on Jupiter. The night after the impact we had 50 to a 100 telescopes set up from small refractors to a 20" Dob. Over 1200 people from the city came out that night. The road into the park was clogged with cars and people were parking on the edge of the highway. I had my 6" Newtonian on a Starfinder mount tracking the planet. The night was clear, the seeing was excellent, and my scope was giving refractor-like images. The bigger Dobs and SCT's were showing even more. Every one of us had 20 to 30 people lined up to view this awesome event. It was an incredible happening and I'll never forget the oohs and aahs of the visiting public, most of whom had never looked through a telescope before. It was a great time and I was privileged to be there.

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SteveInNZ
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: paul m schofield]
      #6347378 - 01/31/14 02:53 PM

That was an "I was there" event for me too.
I didn't see any impact flashes but I can still see the view as the scar of the first impact rotated around the limb like it was yesterday. That was a "Holy <bleep> !!" moment.
Very homemade 10" Newt and push driven eq mount.


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siriusandthepup
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: SteveInNZ]
      #6349659 - 02/01/14 05:44 PM

I was one of the lucky ones.

I viewed Jupiter in clear and fairly steady skies every night that week. Using a Jaegers 4" f/15 achro lens in a definitely homemade plywood Dob mount, powers of 165 and 200x were utilized. 165x was the preferred mag. Jupiter was well placed in the western skies at that time - not too low.

The show was stunning. Every night the preceding nights' spots morphed their shapes as the explosion damage spread. New spots appeared as the comet remnants successively impacted Jupiter's cloud tops that week. The spots were large in general - much bigger than transit shadows.

What image do I remember most? That is an easy answer: One night a fresh impactor (a large one) left a spot ringed 180 degrees by an expanding shock wave. That wave was on the order of 3+ earth diameters across - impressive!!


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Tommy5
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: siriusandthepup]
      #6350289 - 02/01/14 11:42 PM

I also saw the impact dark areas with my 80mm F-15 Sears refractor at 133x, the night was warm , muggy and full of aggressive mosquitos , the areas were the darkest spots on the planet very easy to see.

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DocFinance
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Tommy5]
      #6358475 - 02/05/14 08:18 PM

I didn't see the Hammer fall, any of them, but I had my orange C5 on an ultra-heavy Manfrotto photo tripod with a slow-mo control block, and I went out to see the scars for several days. It was quite the topic of conversation around the office, and I was the only one anyone knew with a telescope. There were great outside parties at the local kids' museum and other public parks.

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Chuck Hards
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: DocFinance]
      #6365317 - 02/09/14 01:40 AM

My daughter was still a toddler then, and my (ex) wife was working nights. I put the kid to bed and watched SL-9 impact scars on Jupiter for a few weeks in the backyard, with the crib monitor running at my side!

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Bomber Bob
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6365612 - 02/09/14 09:00 AM

I observed & videotaped it through my D&G 5" refractor. My daughter was 5 at the time, and she thought the impacts looked like bruises.

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Rick Woods
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Bomber Bob]
      #6367022 - 02/09/14 07:54 PM

Your daughter is very perceptive.

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Bomber Bob
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6367291 - 02/09/14 10:14 PM

"Your daughter is very perceptive."

Thank you. I could never get her hooked on this hobby, though...


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cwilson
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6420324 - 03/22/14 12:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes there were some quite visible smudges. I observed it through my Meade 826 reflector. One of the high points of my time in this hobby for sure.




Fascinating! I also observed it with my 826! I distinctly remember the black splotches rotating into view.

I am so lucky that it hit in July of that year as in August I went away to be a freshman at college and would have been without my scope!




Interesting! I also observed it with a Meade 826C! Everyone must have had one!


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azure1961p
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: cwilson]
      #6421860 - 03/22/14 09:56 AM

A lot of people happily have or have had the 826C and I darned near bought myself one too . It sounds like a successful classic design on top of its game. Kinda sad they stopped making em.

Pete


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Paul Morow
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Telescopic]
      #6424642 - 03/23/14 01:29 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

I received a new AstroPhysics 155 f/9 EDT refractor in April of 1994, just three months before the Comet SL9 impacts on Jupiter. I had the refractor setup to observe Jupiter every opportunity I got weather permitting that summer. Lots of good memories sharing views with friends, family and other likeminded amateur astronomers at public events. I was a pretty popular guy that summer with a new APO.

I remember the build up to the event was fun trying to predict if there was going to be anything visible from Earth. I was one who did not believe there was going to be anything to see from amateur sized telescopes, but I was sure wrong. If someone would throw a brick into Lake Michigan could a person on the opposite shore see the splash with a telescope, I thought not. The pure physics of the event in energy released was indeed incredible, and yes it did leave a mark, actually several of them.

I made several sketches’ of the SL9 event that summer, I think most did or tried, but they are pretty poor overall compared to the images burned into my brain. The following sketch I performed on July 17, 1994 with a 6 mm Clave Plossl (230x). My notes state: First impact spot sighted. Impact area appears dark gray with a lighter gray outside area observed.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Paul Morow]
      #6424808 - 03/23/14 02:50 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Unfortunately, the weather after the cometary impacts was pretty dismal in my neck of the woods but I was able to observe and photograph some of the impact scars.

This shot of two of the impact sites (close to the leading and trailing limbs at the top of the image) resulting from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's collision with Jupiter was taken in July of 1994 from the ASH Naylor Observatory with a 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain and a Pentax K1000 SLR camera using eyepiece projection and was processed to monochrome with Photoshop.

Dave Mitsky


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Rick Woods
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6424898 - 03/23/14 03:39 PM

Whoo! That brings it back!

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Paul Morow
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6425178 - 03/23/14 06:41 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

This G spot photo was taken using eyepiece projection through a 6 mm Clave Plossl with a Canon AE-1 camera and Kodak Ektachrome Elite 400 film with my AP155EDT. The amount of detail visible in the eyepiece that night was stunning, but to capture those tiny details on film was not feasible back in the day.

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StarStuff1
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Paul Morow]
      #6430862 - 03/26/14 06:17 PM

My club at home in East Tennessee had a public outreach session planned. But I had to go to USAR Annual Training at the University of Southern Mississippi. Like others have said it did not seem feasible for this event to be witnessed in smaller scopes. Still, I took my C80/f and a lightweight mount.

It was the night of the unit party and nearly everyone had gathered around the pool. Then a couple of guys who were inside watching TV came out and described what was happening on Jupiter. I went inside and watched for a few minutes before sneaking out to set up the refractor in a nearby area shaded from the lights. I was amazed to see the big "bruises". I got a couple of buds to take a look and soon there was a line behind my scope.

Of course after returning home I (and several club members) watched the planet for many days with larger scopes until the marks faded away.

One word description: "WOW"


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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #6432121 - 03/27/14 11:22 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

This is one subject that brings back many fond memories for me. It is amazing that it has been nearly twenty years since that memorable week in the middle of July, 1994! Ever since the discovery of this "squashed comet" (as described by co-discoverer Carolyn Shoemaker) on March 25, 1993 by the team of Eugene Shoemaker, Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy astronomers (both amateur and professional) around the world were all excited about what would take place over the southern hemisphere of the king of the planets the following year over a period of several days in July, 1994. No one had ever recorded a impact over a planetary body prior to this event (although some earlier observations of Jupiter hint at the possibility) and there were many theories as to what would be visible over the atmosphere of Jupiter during and after the impact of the twenty one fragments of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL-9). The predictions ranged from a whimper (no event visible at all from the Earth or the Galileo spacecraft) to a huge fireball visible above the limb of Jupiter. Many astronomers fearing the ghost of Comet Kohoutek (false predictions of the greatness of this comet in 1973) hedged on the side of minimal, if any, phenomena visible form the Earth. We are all happy now that most were proven wrong.

I along with fellow Association of Lunar and Planetary Astronomers (ALPO) astronomers Donald C. Parker (well known planetary imager), Jeffrey D. Beish (astronomer formerly of the US Naval Observatory), and Phillip W. Budine (former Jupiter Section Recorder of ALPO) started to prepare for the event since the comet was discovered in March, 1993. I even wrote a handbook for ALPO (later sold by the Planetary Society) on the event and what was expected to occur titled "A.L.P.O's Periodic Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Observer's Guide", that is no longer in print, that was well received by the professional planetary community and amateur astronomers around the world. Jeff Beish a I began practicing for the event many months before the impacts in early 1994. The first fragment of SL-9 to impact Jupiter was fragment A (#21; the fragments were numbered in reverse from the lettering) was predicted to occur on July 16, 1994 at 20h11m U.T. (or 3:11 PM EDT), in the daytime sky for us in South Florida. We practiced finding Jupiter in the daytime to make sure that we would not have any problem doing so on the date of the impact. I can state that it is not fun looking for an "invisible" object on a hot summer day in South Florida with giant mosquitoes flying around you! We had set up Jeff's excellent 16-inch (40.6-cm) F/6.9 Newtonian reflector (diffraction-limited optics) early the afternoon of the 16th and hoped for the best. The day had been a hot one but luckily few clouds were visible over the sky. Jeff had been observing Jupiter shortly after 4 PM EDT when he thought he and noted a "faint dark smudge" over the South-following limb of Jupiter at 21:30 U.T. (04:30 PM EDT) but was not certain of its nature due to the turbulence of the afternoon sky. By 7:35 PM EDT the atmosphere had steadied significantly (8/10) and Jeff was able to verify that he was observing the impact site of fragment A (21) on the central meridian (confirmed first by his daughter Natalie K. Beish and soon afterwards by myself). In order to reach the eyepiece on this long-focus Newtonian Jeff used an elevated wooden scaffold that I nearly fell off as I was so excited to see the impact site! Jeff then notified our friend Donald C. Parker (Coral Gables, Florida) who imaged it and Brian Marsden of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) of the discovery. Brian informed Jeff that he was the first person on Earth to visually observe and report the A impact site! A German/Spanish team at the Calar Alto Observatory (3.5 meter telescope) in southern Spain (led by Canadian Tom Herbst) had imaged (in infrared at 2.3 microns) the plume and impact site earlier 20:17:30 UT an announced it through the SL9 e-mail exploder. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) also imaged the plume and impact site earlier but did not transmit its images until after Jeff contacted CBAT. I have attached images of Jeff and Tippy D'Auria (Winter Star Party founder) standing next to Jeff's excellent 16" F/6.9 Newtonian (note the scaffold to the left!).


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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #6432133 - 03/27/14 11:32 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

The discovery (visual) observations of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 A (21) impact site by Jeffrey D. Beish ( top image at 23:35 UT; L1 57.5º, L2 132.1º, L3 210.9º) and my own (bottom image at 23:40; L1 60.6º, L2 135.7º, and L3 204.9º) using Jeff's 16-inch 41-cm) F/6.9 Newtonian reflector (382x, S: 8/10, T: 6/6 (Clear skies)).

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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #6432141 - 03/27/14 11:39 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

A set of comparison observations of Jupiter showing the pre-impact view of the South Polar Region (SPR) of Jupiter two days before the impact (July 14, 1994 at 03:00 UT using my 8-inch (20-cm) F/7.5 Newtonian reflector (191x) and on the date of the impact (July 16, 1994 at 23:40 UT using Jeff's 16-inch (41-cm) F/6.9 Newtonian reflector (382x).

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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #6432161 - 03/27/14 11:53 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

Jeff and I continued to observe Jupiter the night of the 16th and we believed we witnessed the B (20) impact around midnight (although officially classified as a non-event (dud)). We were were were very fortunate to experience excellent weather during the impact week (July 16-22, 1994) and observed all of the reported impact sites. The most impressive impact site (also the largest site) was the G (15) impact site. It was so exciting to watch the impact scars over the southern hemisphere of Jupiter rotate around the planet over time and witness the evolution of the sites as the impact material was dispersed by the strong jovian winds. I have attached below a montage of three Jupiter observations that I made on the dates of July 19, July 31, and August 31 showing the evolution of the different impact sites. I continued to monitor Jupiter until September 18, 1994.

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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #6433834 - 03/28/14 08:05 AM

WOW!!!!!!!! Beautiful sketches, thanks for the views.

Rich (RLTYS)


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REC
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6434004 - 03/28/14 10:01 AM

Yep, in my C8 in NH. It was pretty amazing for me that I could see it. I had not seen many moon transits at the time, so it was all new to me.

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Chilihead
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: REC]
      #6434628 - 03/28/14 03:25 PM

I purchased my first scope (Meade 8" Starfinder Dob) just to watch this. The initial views were amazing to me and a few friends that came over. I've used that thing for the last 20 years. Only recently adding a SCT to try my hand at imaging.

It does bring back some fond memories.


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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Chilihead]
      #6435396 - 03/28/14 11:48 PM

Rich,

Thank you for the compliment on my Shoemaker-Levy 9 observations. It was exciting to make those observations nearly two decades ago.

I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful accounts and observations of the SL-9 impact sites over Jupiter in 1994.

Regards,
Carlos


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Tommy5
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #6435413 - 03/29/14 12:03 AM

They were easily visible in my 80mm F-15 sears refractor from my backyard in Illinois, lots of mosquitoes attacked me as I watched the black blotches drift across Jup.

Edited by Tommy5 (03/30/14 11:23 AM)


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t.r.
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: Tommy5]
      #6436539 - 03/29/14 05:37 PM

I watched the impact scars rotate into view in my one year old TV Genesis, one after the other that summer night. I couldn't believe it was visible in a 4" refractor! I didn't think anything would be visible...how wrong. Probably the best event I've witnessed!

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CarlosEH
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Re: Did anyone see Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6436779 - 03/29/14 07:44 PM

Tim and Tommy,

Thank you for your stories on observing the SL-9 impacts.

Tim- thank you for your insights on the eyepiece forum.

Regards,
Carlos


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