I was observing planets tonight (11/07) and when I got to Jupiter, I had to use my SkySafari app to check to see if the GRS was indeed on the visible side.
This was because it was kind of tough to perceive. It has gotten much smaller than when I last saw it over a couple of years ago, and the color has faded to gray, it seems... well, at least to be the same color as the SEB, and none of the bands showed me any color tonight except gray. I recall first seeing it as a darker pink, and in later seasons, it became a light salmon. Seeing may have something to do with the bands apparent color, though I recall in the past being able to see the red-brown of the bands even in fairly turbulent air.
Anyway, on the GRS, it took a while, waiting out the wavering atmosphere to get glimpses of it lasting a couple to several seconds. In the best moments, I could see it still had that rounded oval shape, though it looked like it sort of merged with the SEB. I wasn't sure, but I thought at moments I also saw a slightly differently shaded core, which was quite small. Even in those moments, the GRS and the bands showed no red or brown.
The seeing wasn't good enough for me to see any texture at the edges of the bands.
Alas, too bad! I used to look forward to catching the Great Red Spot. Here's hoping that it will become more prominent again soon.
I had thought to start with Jupiter, but as I was bringing my gear out to my backyard (I then make my way to the front, which for me provides better views in general), there was Mars shining bright in the eastern sky. I have a GEM Newtonian, so it requires at least several minutes to disassemble at home, lug out, and reassemble which includes rough polar alignment, rough tube balancing and a bit to guessing plus trial and error to get the focuser to be at the right angle for me to sit down and view. But Mars looked so good to the naked eye that I just popped the OTA onto the mount without doing anything else and just pointed it at Mars. And my haste was justified- I got a glorious view of Mars, got to see Syrtis Major, and the Mare, Tyrhennum and Serpentis, off on its wings. The image remained satisfactorily sharp up to 250x, which is unusual. Normally, even under better skies, I can get 200x, max. I went back to Mars several hours later, and it was still a very nice view, but nothing like it was earlier this evening. After getting tired of viewing standing up, I detached the tube, and carried all the equipment to my driveway and set up there, where I restarted but this time with Jupiter. That's when I made my GRS observations. At low powers, Jupiter was breathtaking as it was flanked on each side by the Galilean moons; when focused sharply, it looks like jewels on a necklace.
Then I went to Saturn. I wasn't able to spend as much total time with it as with the other planets, because at that time, some neighbors, separately and at different times, walked by, and of course I offered them a view and there was conversation. Saturn is always a treat for people taking a first look. One man really enjoyed it so much that during our conversation, he looked at it repeatedly and made sure he got one last look before leaving a short while later. Well, the delay was not a problem tonight- only the planet itself was mainly visible. Yeah, Titan showed, as it always does, Hyperion was visible intially and then a while later, I couldn't see it again. Rhea continually blinked in and out. The other moons, even ones I normally can glimpse, as Dione and Tethys, didn't show. So, never mind Mimas and Enceladus then; they were definitely not visible. Iapetus might have been visible, but it might have been out of the field of view; I didn't check for it either.
And then, Neptune. I love it's mysterious, deep blue color. The other reason why I always go for it is to see if I can catch Triton. Not tonight. It needs a little stiller air, and maybe a night when somehow, it could be just slightly darker. But Neptune was focusable up to 460x. On good nights, by that magnification, I should be able to begin to get averted glimpses of Triton, but the viewing conditions tonight, again were just a tad better than stinky. After that I returned to Mars as I mentioned, and as mentioned, it was still pretty nice to look at, though not as nice as hours earlier.
I tried for Uranus, but couldn't find it. This season, Uranus seems to be in a region of sky devoid of easily picked up stars or asterisms... which is my excuse, but it being also in a region of sky that made pointing my scope at it very awkward, making it hard to concentrate on searching for it. Admittedly, again, if there were more (any) landmarks, it might have been more doable. (I'll try again the next clear night out!) My scope isn't capable of showing its moons, but I like catching it because also of its unique color. And, it seems to my eye to have different colors at different powers and sky conditions. I've seen it yellowish, lime green, and sort of teal more toward the blue end. Yeah, I'll try this one again.