Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Shoemaker/Levy-9

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 345
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:05 AM

I was just wondering if any of you saw the impacts of Shoemaker/Levy-9 on Jupiter? I didn't own a telescope then. In fact I wasn't into observing then. I know I wasted the once-in-a-lifetime-chance to see the impact. But you never do know if it'll happen again.

 



#2 mdbradshaw

mdbradshaw

    Vendor - Axis Squared LLC

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 203
  • Joined: 05 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Houston, TX

Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:26 AM

I had my Questar set up outside the Adler Planetarium in downtown Chicago.  They had advertised "public viewing" but then they discouraged amateurs from putting up scopes.  A few of us moved down the street a bit, and ended up being mobbed, because we knew what we were doing, while Adler, who had several scopes out, made interns and such run them, and they were having lots of logistical problems.

 

The best part of the night was helping a 9-ish year old girl with severe vision problems see Jupiter.  The Questar had such a large focal range, I was able to get Jupiter focused (or at least close enough) for her.  She had never seen any astronomical objects, she could barely make out things around her.  She was, well, kinda happy about seeing Jupiter...


  • payner, Jaimo!, jeffmac and 4 others like this

#3 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 345
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:42 AM

I had my Questar set up outside the Adler Planetarium in downtown Chicago.  They had advertised "public viewing" but then they discouraged amateurs from putting up scopes.  A few of us moved down the street a bit, and ended up being mobbed, because we knew what we were doing, while Adler, who had several scopes out, made interns and such run them, and they were having lots of logistical problems.

 

The best part of the night was helping a 9-ish year old girl with severe vision problems see Jupiter.  The Questar had such a large focal range, I was able to get Jupiter focused (or at least close enough) for her.  She had never seen any astronomical objects, she could barely make out things around her.  She was, well, kinda happy about seeing Jupiter...

That's great!!! I love hearing stories like that. The first comet my youngest daughter saw was comet Hale-Bopp. Her first object ever !! She said "That's nice" and went back to bed. I realized right then and there that I failed as a parent. My oldest likes astronomy like I do. There were many a night that we laid on a blanket or in her convertible to watch a meteor shower.



#4 jimr2

jimr2

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 825
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Sparks, NV

Posted 28 May 2020 - 02:52 AM

Yeah, I caught  a couple of the larger impacts back then through my old Cave 8" f/8 "Astrola", from our back yard here in Sparks, NV. Light pollution here pretty bad--more so now than then--but was able to make out the dark impact zones ok on whatever night that was.

 

-jim-

 

P.S. And of course my eyes were much better then than now too....!



#5 Rutilus

Rutilus

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,583
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2010

Posted 28 May 2020 - 05:35 AM

SL-9 was a great event. I remember the television interviews with astronomers prior to the impacts. At the time it

was not certain that we would be able to see any of the impact marks. Then I was watching reports coming in

on Ceefax, saying that astronomers in Spain were reporting seeing impact marks on the planet.

Two hours later, I turned my 102mm f/10 refractor onto the planet and could easily see the impact zones.

Both my parents also saw the impacts zones  with my telescope. 



#6 Cotts

Cotts

    Just Wondering

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 10,364
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Madoc, Ontario

Posted 28 May 2020 - 10:53 AM

On the only clear night for me  during the event   it was very low in the western sky - so much so that I had to remove my scope and mount from the observatory to see it at all...  But I saw the bigger smudges clearly with the 6" achro refractor....

 

Dave



#7 sunnyday

sunnyday

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,938
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Ottawa,Canada

Posted 28 May 2020 - 11:12 AM

in this thread there are several stories of what you are trying to know.

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...n-in-astronomy/



#8 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 91,259
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:50 PM

Quite a few ASH members observed the planet from the Naylor Observatory when the first impacts occurred.  At that time, nothing was seen. 

When the impact scars became visible, a long stretch of bad weather took place and I was only able to observe Jupiter once or twice.  I took the following rather poor film photograph of the planet through the observatory's 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain using eyepiece projection and a Pentax K1000 SLR camera.  Two of the impact sites can be seen if you look closely at the bottom of this monochrome version of the shot.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jupiter SL-9 Impact Sites Reprocessed Rotated Resized 450 CN.jpg

  • stargazer32864 likes this

#9 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 345
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 28 May 2020 - 07:21 PM

Quite a few ASH members observed the planet from the Naylor Observatory when the first impacts occurred.  At that time, nothing was seen. 

When the impact scars became visible, a long stretch of bad weather took place and I was only able to observe Jupiter once or twice.  I took the following rather poor film photograph of the planet through the observatory's 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain using eyepiece projection and a Pentax K1000 SLR camera.  Two of the impact sites can be seen if you look closely at the bottom of this monochrome version of the shot.

Wow!! I can see the impact sights. You are very lucky. You were probably able to see the impact as it happened.



#10 Steve Cox

Steve Cox

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,730
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2017

Posted 28 May 2020 - 07:57 PM

That was one year when the entire week had clear skies, and my nights were free so I got to watch the entire event over the course of several nights with my Coulter Odyssey 8.  I spent a lot of time timing the transits of the clouds, and working to discern as much details as I could from them.  And it was interesting viewing the changes to the clouds at that latitude over time after the event.  The only thing I could never directly see were the actual impacts themselves as they were just over the Jovian horizon from our point of view.  To date, Shoemaker-Levy 9 is tied with Comet West as one of the two best astronomical events I've been able to witness.


  • sunnyday likes this

#11 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Baltic Birch Dob Bases

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 6,904
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:32 AM

Here's my long, sad story about SL-9.

 

The University of Minnesota ran a short-lived program called REX (Research Exploration for Teachers) that chose applicants to work as lab assistants for several weeks during summer vacation.  Selected teachers got a small stipend and some grad credits.  I'm an Earth & Space Science teacher.  I applied and was selected as the one teacher to work at the infrared astronomy lab because the astro world was getting ready for the impacts.

 

I spent several weeks commuting daily the 100 miles to the Twin Cities helping to prepare the 30-inch infrared scope.  We were readying the scope to make unique temp measurements of the fireballs that were predicted.  Observatories around the world were coordinating their efforts to maximize the discoveries that could be made.  Our unique contribution would be precise and rapid timing of the four fireballs we were predicted to see over the week.  My first job was buying a WWV receiver with the correct output that we could plug directly into the scope controller.  The clock needed to be on the exact correct time.  My other job was helping to build the circuit board that made the camera blink and take infrared measurements every 10th of a second.  This would allow precise modelling of the fireballs and would help stitch together observations from other observatories.

 

If you're still reading this, you might be wondering where the sad part comes in.  We got everything working right including the short-wave receiver and its antenna and the camera blinker.  On the night of our first impact that would be visible from Minnesota, we were clouded out by thunderstorms.  The next night we were clouded out again.  The third night clouds again.  The fourth night was completely clear and the particle was a fizzle- no fireball at all.  We went 0-4 and I was crushed.  I settled for watching national news stories and early, dial-up internet stories.  I never took a scope out to look at all, mainly out of spite.  I know that makes no sense...


  • sunnyday likes this

#12 MikeBOKC

MikeBOKC

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,621
  • Joined: 10 May 2010
  • Loc: Oklahoma City, OK

Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:56 AM

Watched through my Meade 826 reflector from my front yard, popping into the house now and then to catch some of the live TV coverage.



#13 epee

epee

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,852
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Suh-van-nuh, Jaw-juh

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:37 AM

It's one of my major astro-regrets that I did not even attempt to watch this event. I owned a C8, but at the time, had cooled to astronomy and didn't feel like going to the trouble,



#14 sunnyday

sunnyday

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,938
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Ottawa,Canada

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:41 AM

I watch this with an astro-physic star 12.
wow looked incredibly beautiful.

beautiful memories .


  • Gray likes this

#15 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 91,259
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:31 AM

Wow!! I can see the impact sights. You are very lucky. You were probably able to see the impact as it happened.

Actually, the impacts that happened that night occurred on the far side of the planet.

A number of Berks County Astronomical Society members, some of whom I know, actually noticed that Io brightened during the impacts, however.

https://www.mcall.co...0655-story.html


  • stargazer32864 likes this

#16 jeffmac

jeffmac

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 898
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Triad area, NC

Posted 29 May 2020 - 11:40 AM

I was just wondering if any of you saw the impacts of Shoemaker/Levy-9 on Jupiter? I didn't own a telescope then. In fact I wasn't into observing then. I know I wasted the once-in-a-lifetime-chance to see the impact. But you never do know if it'll happen again.

It did happen again, some years later on a much smaller scale. I remember observing what was named the "Wesley impact scar", after the last name of the man who discovered the impact.


  • Dave Mitsky and stargazer32864 like this

#17 Sketcher

Sketcher

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,334
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Under Earth's Sky

Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:12 PM

At that point in time I was using a 10-inch Newtonian in my (low-walled) roll-off-roof observatory -- at my current location smile.gif

 

I made a series of observations/sketches. some in the daytime, but I think most were made during various stages of evening twilight.  A few years ago we had to evacuate due to a large forest fire that was coming our way.  All of my old sketches got packed up and came with us.  They've yet to get unpacked; but that day may be approaching.

 

And yes, there have been subsequent events of much smaller scale.  I "caught" one of those as well; but it bore no comparison to the SL-9 event.

 

If I recall correctly, the first SL-9 impact was predicted to occur during daylight hours for my location.  So that's when I started looking.  Of course, I had to wait for the impact "scars" to rotate onto the earth-facing hemisphere before I was able to see anything.  And then it was: "Oh my!"

 

Fortunately I had several clear opportunities after the impacts to observe and document the changing face of Jupiter.

 

The impacts served as a major wake-up call concerning what could happen to our own planet, and signaled the beginning of the end of comet-hunting as we once knew it frown.gif



#18 chrysalis

chrysalis

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,248
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2013
  • Loc: North Central NC

Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:06 PM

I was just wondering if any of you saw the impacts of Shoemaker/Levy-9 on Jupiter? I didn't own a telescope then. In fact I wasn't into observing then. I know I wasted the once-in-a-lifetime-chance to see the impact. But you never do know if it'll happen again.

I did. I didn't think I'd see anything. It was terribly hot and muggy in SE PA in July 1994 (IIRC) that night, and I had only a 6" f/8 reflector. But when i turned to Jupiter, I distinctly saw two black pinholes on Jupiter!!

 

As a bonus - the fireflies were going so crazy that night it was like a psychedelic light show!!


Edited by chrysalis, 30 May 2020 - 02:48 AM.

  • stargazer32864 likes this

#19 bobhen

bobhen

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,129
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:54 PM

I got to see the impacts using my old Astro-Physics 152mm F-9 triplet apo refractor. The big refractor was mounted on a metallic blue Losmandy GM100 mount.

 

The impacts were easy to see. In decent seeing, the AP 152 always delivered the goods on Jupiter.

 

Bob



#20 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 345
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:17 PM

I'm hoping that when I get my scope and good eyepieces and have good seeing that I will see a few details on Jupiter. I hope I'm not asking too much of the astronomy gods.



#21 chrysalis

chrysalis

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,248
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2013
  • Loc: North Central NC

Posted 30 May 2020 - 02:56 AM

A 6" reflector is capable of showing you lots of detail on Jupiter, as well as on Mars (opposition this October ;) ), Saturn and it's rings, as well as a whole host of deep-sky objects, double stars, etc.

 

Here's a link to light pollution near you:

 

https://www.cleardar...rObKYkey.html?1


  • payner likes this

#22 stargazer32864

stargazer32864

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 345
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Owensboro, KY

Posted 30 May 2020 - 06:49 PM

A 6" reflector is capable of showing you lots of detail on Jupiter, as well as on Mars (opposition this October wink.gif ), Saturn and it's rings, as well as a whole host of deep-sky objects, double stars, etc.

 

Here's a link to light pollution near you:

 

https://www.cleardar...rObKYkey.html?1

LOL. I already have a link to the clear sky chart on my computer. I had an 8" dob but I couldn't see any details on Jupiter. Of course having cheap two eyepieces didn't help.
 



#23 luxo II

luxo II

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,015
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 31 May 2020 - 06:28 AM

I was just wondering if any of you saw the impacts of Shoemaker/Levy-9 on Jupiter? I didn't own a telescope then. In fact I wasn't into observing then. I know I wasted the once-in-a-lifetime-chance to see the impact. But you never do know if it'll happen again.

Yes, two of the impacts occurred early evening on separate evenings here, and we were blessed with clear weather and good seeing. Several had the chance to watch with 12" f/5, 14" f/7 and 16" f/7 dobs, we were timing the impacts down to the second, and had a fine view of the impacts as they rotated into view. 

 

Yes I think it was the most memorable thing I've ever seen. After Luis and Walter Alvarez publicised their theory based on geological evidence it wasn't fully accepted as the fate of the dinosaurs for several years but the SL9 impact:

 

- made it quite clear this would have been an extinction event on earth;

- finally nailed all arguments about what happened to the dinosaurs.

 

SL9 was found on a previous orbit in 1993 and was somewhat unremarkable, though the elements in the IAU circular indicated it would make a very close approach to Jupiter the next orbit. It wasn't until it was recovered in 1994 that Brian Marsden issued another circular with some excitement announcing it was going to be a head-on impact.

 

In this respect my generation were incredibly lucky to have the scientific tools and evidence to assemble "Big History", the astronomical and computing resources to have spotted SL9 previously, then recover it and determine the orbit so accurately not just to know it would impact, but the impact time for each fragment down to the second, and also so many amateurs able to see the impact sites for themselves.

 

Quite likely we will know well in advance of another - objects the size of SL9 are easily within reach of the professional oservatories and for each object known the professionals do determine its orbit to check for future collisions.


Edited by luxo II, 31 May 2020 - 06:56 AM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics