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1st views of Jupiter with xt10

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#1 jeff heck

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 10:38 AM

I set the alarm for 3am and went out to see Jupiter with my new xt10 and 8mm,21mm stratus ep's.It was very low in the sky but bright as a landing 747.My seeing and transparency were average to good.There was a 10 mph wind with no clouds.I was out earlier to see Saturn with the new ep's and I was not dissapointed.However,Jupiter was big but I could only see faint cloud bands but no great detail.I went from low to barlowed power but the view never gave me more detail.I used the helical adapter which worked great on Saturn earlier.I have seen pictures that of course show much better detail than what I saw.Will colored filters help or maybe because Jupiter was so low to the horizon?I am just curios what other xt10 owners see with similar conditions.

#2 BRCincy

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 10:56 AM

Saturn was absolutely spectacular with the 10mm Sirius Plossl that came with the XT10 two nights ago, in moderately dark skyies with average seeing. I could see 5 of Saturn's moons, the Cassini Division, and banding on the globe of Saturn, as well as see a color distrinction between the globe of Saturn (yellow/tan) and the rings of Saturn (white. This was when Saturn was high in the sky, almost directly overhead at 10:30 PM EDT.

This gives me high expectations for Jupiter when it is directly overhead in the same conditions. I have not yet viewed Jupiter through my XT10 though. I have through my 5" Mak, and could see more than what you are reporting.

I think that Jupiter being low in the sky, looking through more air, and more turbulence in the air, made for poor seeing conditions for you, even though it was clear.

Wait until Jupiter is over 45 degrees above the horizon, then it should improve.

#3 SaberScorpX

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:39 PM

Hi Jeff-

Jupiter still has alot more to offer in 2006.
Currently at mag -2.2 and 39", the gas giant will brighten to -2.5 and grow to 44.6" by opposition on May 4th, also providing much more detail as it climbs higher above the horizon.


Stephen Saber
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http://www.geocities...corpx/home.html

#4 go_ahead_ed

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:48 PM

Wait until Jupiter is over 45 degrees above the horizon, then it should improve.


Unfortunately, this year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, Jupiter won't get much higher than 45 deg. above the horizon :bawling:

Saturn, on the other hand, gets up around 75 deg.

Still, your advice is good, wait until Jupiter is as high as it's going to get to obtain the best views...

#5 erik

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:23 PM

yeah, that sounds like the reason detail wasn't standing out so much. right now, i'd try viewing it just before it begins to get light out in the morning...

#6 DeepSpaceTour

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:26 PM

I set the alarm for 3am and went out to see Jupiter with my new xt10 and 8mm,21mm stratus ep's.It was very low in the sky but bright as a landing 747.My seeing and transparency were average to good.There was a 10 mph wind with no clouds.I was out earlier to see Saturn with the new ep's and I was not dissapointed.However,Jupiter was big but I could only see faint cloud bands but no great detail.I went from low to barlowed power but the view never gave me more detail.I used the helical adapter which worked great on Saturn earlier.I have seen pictures that of course show much better detail than what I saw.Will colored filters help or maybe because Jupiter was so low to the horizon?I am just curios what other xt10 owners see with similar conditions.


Filters do help,once your eyes get dark adapted,you will see the swirling clouds along the bands,last year with my 10-inch sky mentor,my daughter and I were out looking at Jupiter,with a coloured filter,we could easily see the great red spot and the stormy clouds around it,and the shadow of one of the moons passing in front of the gas giant.When I told my daughter what to look for,she was impressed,with words like,OH I see it,WOW is that ever neat......come to think of it,I said the exact same thing,when I started picking out the details on Jupiter.Now that I have the 12-inch Antares I am looking forward to some spectacular views of this awesome planet and it's moons(I am just waiting for it to climb higher in the sky,and become visible at a reasonable hour) Clear skies.

#7 erik

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:29 PM

for jupiter, a variable polarizing filter is very useful on scopes 6" and larger...

#8 jeff heck

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:31 PM

Thanks for the info.I like the sirius plossi 10mm and 25mm that came with the scope.I guess the better ep's show DSO's better.I am heading to a dark site today or tomorrow,can't wait.

#9 DeepSpaceTour

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 02:04 PM

yeah, that sounds like the reason detail wasn't standing out so much. right now, i'd try viewing it just before it begins to get light out in the morning...



Yes Erik I found the same thing last year.I left my scope outside and covered up(I think it went down to -17 or -20 C,around this time of year)I set the alarm for just before sunrise,I got up dressed really warm,and uncovered the scope and started observing jupiter,and as the sky started to brighten ever so slightly the view improved with more contrasty detail and the view stayed that way even when the sky was turning that nice baby blue,I observed until the sun turned the sky to bright and the image started to degrade and jupiter was getting to low in the sky anyway(trees and buildings getting in the way),I was kind of surprised to say the least.I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience :question: Clear skies.

#10 snorkler

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 02:09 PM

Jeff,

It's possible your seeing wasn't too good, in addition to the atmospheric effects from the planet being at low altitude. Yesterday morning I was able to see the Great Red Spot in Jupiter's south equatorial band at 171X at 3:00 a.m. PST, but it rotated out of view by dawn, when I could see a dark festoon pointed southwards from its north equatorial band.

Keep looking, and when the seeing gets better, I'm sure you'll see much more detail in Jupiter.

#11 werewolf6977

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:09 PM

OUt of curiosity, what color filters were you using? What magnification? I haven't seen the GRS visually in over 30 years!!

#12 DeepSpaceTour

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:48 PM

High Pete,you know I should keep a journal on my viewing,but I don't.I believe(and I checked with my daughter on this)and to the best of both our recollections(she is 10 years old by the way :grin:)we think we were using the Meade series 4000 # 21 Orange,and I know the eyepiece(pieces) we were using were either the Nagler 5 MM T-6 or the 7 MM T-6 or both and possibly either my 2x big barlow or 2-inch Antares 1.6x barlow,I can't remember,one thing I do remember for sure is that the seeing was very good,try this combination out,it worked well for us,clear skies.

#13 go_ahead_ed

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 04:46 PM

[quote...as the sky started to brighten ever so slightly the view improved with more contrasty detail and the view stayed that way even when the sky was turning that nice baby blue,I observed until the sun turned the sky to bright and the image started to degrade and jupiter was getting to low in the sky anyway(trees and buildings getting in the way),I was kind of surprised to say the least.I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience :question: Clear skies. [/quote]

I've noticed that effect in years past just after sunset. Jupiter is so bright it seems to benefit from a brighter sky background. Also, I've noticed that a thin cloud layer helps to increase contrast on Jupe too...

#14 DeepSpaceTour

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 05:07 PM

That is interesting that you mention thin cloud cover,because I noticed that this can improve Saturns image as well.I noticed this on a couple of nights that thin whispy clouds were passing by,all of a sudden the division in the rings would stand out even more and colours on the glob as well as the shadows around the globe where the rings pass in front and behind.But the clouds were very,very thin I thought it was an interesting observation,almost as if the clouds were acting as a natural filter.

#15 erik

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 10:25 PM

i believe that part of the reason thin clouds and a brightening sky can often help on jupiter, is because it reduces the glare that's normally present at night (especially through a large scope!). it's difficult to see lots of detail on a super-bright jupiter- the glare blinds you from picking out faint detail, and often washes out the disc a bit. that's why a polarizing filter works so well on jupiter. you get the resolution benefits of a large scope without the glare that's typically visible. the VPF just turns down the brightness, and details jump out...


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