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

2020 Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction Classic Observing Plans and Reports

  • Please log in to reply
202 replies to this topic

#51 RichA

RichA

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,851
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 17 December 2020 - 05:26 PM

Gotta love 2020. It's typically clear in the winter here in Charlotte. It clouded up and rained yesterday, no chance at the conjunction with the moon. And now the forecast is looking rather poor...

Last transitory event I saw was an eclipse.  The temp was -2 F. 


  • steve t and CltFlyboy like this

#52 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,592
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 17 December 2020 - 06:23 PM

Tiny Tak saved my... ears.  West wind tonight, so no shelter for Ol' Bomber Bob...  My FC-50 was stunning sharp as usual at all powers, but 50x with an RKE 8mm was glorious -- perfect little planets with no false color in a deep blue sky.  A quick peek -- NWS says calm Friday night...


  • steve t, oldmanastro, Defenderslideguitar and 1 other like this

#53 photiost

photiost

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,963
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Montreal, Canada

Posted 17 December 2020 - 07:30 PM

 Another clear night but getting .....coldday.gif

 

Amazing how much they moved closer in 2 days

.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • aIMG_8422 crop.jpg

  • davidmcgo, steve t, Paul Morow and 12 others like this

#54 Defenderslideguitar

Defenderslideguitar

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,819
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 17 December 2020 - 07:51 PM

Yes Frank          I was thinking the same thing...….tonight it was clear  and the snow last night and this morning was reasonable as   we received just a bit less than the foot that was predicted .

 

I was happy to see them pulling together tonight as I have been a doubting Thomas type over the last four days thinking they cannot possibly come together by 12-21-20   but tonight I am a believer. While aperture and designs do make some differences, I am happy the conjunction looks good in just about everything I try now......


  • photiost, steve t, Terra Nova and 4 others like this

#55 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,392
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 17 December 2020 - 10:29 PM

After the snowstorm, spent most of the day shoveling out, including the observatory. We had about 10", but a lot of drifting. Then it cleared just before sunset. 

 

They are now close enough to fit in the same view with the 6" f9 and a 20mm 100* eyepiece, and in the C14 with a 41mm Panoptic. Here's a bad phone photo from the C14:

 

Conjunction - 1.jpeg

 

It was 21 degrees with a good SE breeze, there were alto cumulus passing through, dimming the view, and the frontal passage made both planets look like shimmering blobs. But Titan, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa were all visible. Io was just merging with the limb of the planet, and barely discernible during a few moments. 

 

Chip W. 


  • Pete W, steve t, mdowns and 11 others like this

#56 steve t

steve t

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 18 December 2020 - 07:39 AM

I was able to catch this on my cell phone yesterday. The date for the nearest conjunction is around the corner now.

Cool picture


  • oldmanastro likes this

#57 Senex Bibax

Senex Bibax

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 654
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Ottawa, ON

Posted 18 December 2020 - 08:26 AM

 Another clear night but getting .....coldday.gif

 

Amazing how much they moved closer in 2 days

.

Same 170 km west of you, in Ottawa. I set up my Sears 6339-A on my driveway yesterday, where the view is similar to your photo. It was clear but COLD (-10 C), and the seeing was surprisingly mediocre. I was able to get both planets in the same field of view with my Meade 15mm 1.25" Ortho, but I could not get a sharp focus. I could resolve the planets to disks (and Mars too) but all were fuzzy, and I could barely make out two of the Jovian satellites. I even had difficulty bringing the crescent Moon into sharp focus.

 

When I went back inside with numb fingers after 15 minutes, frost formed on the telescope tube.


  • photiost, steve t, Piggyback and 3 others like this

#58 Piggyback

Piggyback

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,161
  • Joined: 14 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 18 December 2020 - 02:20 PM

IMG_4784.JPG

IMG_4778.JPG

 

Hard for me to realize that today I actually succeeded to witness the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Seems I am stuck with lousy observing conditions in my neck of the woods at this time of the year. With a high pressure system prevailing and temps around freezing, I drove 20 miles to reach a fog-free zone at a mountainous elevation. I was duly rewarded with a great visual of the conjunction. Utilizing my old trusty ETX 90, I could see Saturn, Jupiter and 3 Jovian moons all crammed in the field of my 20mm Celestron Plössl eyepiece. What an epic sight. Breathtaking!

 

 


Edited by Piggyback, 18 December 2020 - 05:22 PM.

  • steve t, AllanDystrup, Bomber Bob and 4 others like this

#59 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,771
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: Cincinnati Metro Area

Posted 18 December 2020 - 03:19 PM

So far, so good! Nice bright sun! We just might make it tonight! :jump:


  • steve t, Piggyback, oldmanastro and 1 other like this

#60 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,771
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: Cincinnati Metro Area

Posted 18 December 2020 - 07:19 PM

All I san say is oh well. It didn’t work out clouds thickened through the afternoon as a warm front moved in. Cirrus and cirrostratus lowered tho altostratus which formed a thick sheet of gauze. I could make of the crescent moon and the associated Earthshine on the dark portion but lower down to the west, nada! Maybe Monday night? It’s going to be quite cloudy until Monday but another brief period of clearing is forecast. I’m happy that I could at least see it in a single wide telescopic field a week ago. This is generally a very cloudy month for us along with January. frown.gif
 

Average Cloudiness near my location (CVG):

Attached Thumbnails

  • CFAEDA65-5C34-4198-8352-1041B0E6837E.jpeg

Edited by Terra Nova, 18 December 2020 - 07:24 PM.

  • steve t, oldmanastro, Defenderslideguitar and 1 other like this

#61 *skyguy*

*skyguy*

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,967
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Western New York

Posted 18 December 2020 - 07:53 PM

After days of cloudy weather, the skies cleared up and I had a chance tonight to check out the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction with my ETX-125. I used a 16mm Nagler eyepiece with a magnification of 119X and a FOV of 41 arc-minutes which nicely framed both planets which showed almost a 20' separation. Although low in the sky, Jupiter showed a couple of bands and the 4 major moons. The ring of Saturn was very easy to see along with its moon, Triton.

 

It looks like it will be cloudy the next few days so I probably will miss when the two planets will be the closest .... but, I'm happy!

 

ETX-125.jpg


  • steve t, Piggyback, Defenderslideguitar and 1 other like this

#62 CltFlyboy

CltFlyboy

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 320
  • Joined: 06 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC

Posted 18 December 2020 - 07:55 PM

Same here Terra. There was a thin layer of cirrostratus that descended over the area, and the worst offending location was due west of course. I stuck with it an got a clear view once or twice. It was amazing to see both those gas giants in a single FOV with a 40mm kellner (it's what I had). I am hoping beyond hope that Monday is better!!!


  • steve t and Terra Nova like this

#63 Defenderslideguitar

Defenderslideguitar

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,819
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 18 December 2020 - 09:43 PM

Catch as catch can       Got lucky tonight and had a good time observing from my front yard. Shoveled a small path and clearing to the set up spot.  I was able to move down en seriatim

starting with the Delite 18.2, Nagler 16 type 5,Nagler type 6's in 11,9,right down to 7 mm

All gave very nice pairing in the same field of view  of the two planets...   Bands on Jupiter 3 of the 4 moons, Saturn and the rings  I could not find Titan and  no detail to speak of       I was pleased that the Nag 7mm framed them nicely  The Meade 8.8 uwa impressed me as well..

 

Imagine if they were somehow lined up like this in July  at opposition? Instead of so far past that and sinking like rocks in the pond in the murky western  atmosphere. But alas  we take what we can get and....

"this is the business we have chosen" Finally, I moved my viewing to the back yard as the planets found the trees    I found a hole in the branches to continue for another 10 minutes or so.....

Attached Thumbnails

  • JUPITER.SATURN BELLEIMG_1865.jpg
  • Jupiter..saturn12-18-20IMG_1868.jpg
  • Jupiter.Saturn 12-18-20 xmas LightasIMG_1885.jpg

Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 18 December 2020 - 09:46 PM.

  • Pete W, steve t, Terra Nova and 8 others like this

#64 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,392
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 18 December 2020 - 10:06 PM

Woohoo! Eleven moons in one view! 

 

Started in shortly after sunset, and Io was just a bump on the limb of Jupiter farthest from Saturn, but it was still high enough to be in more stable air, and I could make out the transit shadow it was casting and the red spot, in the 6"f9. It was giving significantly better views of the planets than the C14. Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto were between the two planets. At that point, the rings were clear, and Cassini stood out. Titan was also quite visible. 

 

By about 5PM, after my wife had been out to take a look, Rhea, a little less than half way from Saturn to Titan was growing distinct in the C14. The planets were becoming wavering blobs, but as the sky darkened, additional moons began to pop in and out of view. Dione was easy with averted vision, about half way between Rhea and the rings, and just above the line connecting them. Tethys was a little harder, but distinctly visible, a little less than the ring's width away from the rings, on the far side from Titan, Rhea, and Dione. Mimas was just above the rings, aligned with the limb of the planet on the Tethys side, and was hard to pick out because of the glare of the planet, but was definitely there. Enceladus was a tiny bit easier. It was directly opposite Mimas, below the rings, but a bit farther. 

 

I was so wrapped up in pulling the moons closest to the rings out of the brightness, that I forgot about Iapetus until the planets were into a bare tree, and the C14 was dipping below the lip of the dome shutter. But there was nice mag 7.5 star in the view, and Sky Safari helped me identify where to look between it and the planet, and there it was - faint with averted vision, but present. 

 

Tomorrow night is forecast to be about 70% sky cover, which probably means 100% near the horizon.  Sunday is snow showers, with some clearing Monday, but still about 50% cover, so maybe a little bit of hope to see the closest approach. 

 

Chip W.


  • Pete W, steve t, Bomber Bob and 8 others like this

#65 skygazer66WA

skygazer66WA

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Oregon Territory

Posted 18 December 2020 - 10:07 PM

I was able to briefly see the two planets last evening (12/17) at around 5:30 pm, before the clouds came in. Both Jupiter and Saturn were visible in the same field at 80x using a 7mm Nagler eyepiece through the 80mm F/7 scope. Simply amazing to see the belts of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, 4 Jovian satellites and Titan, all in ONE field of view! Clouds and rain are predicted in the Portland, OR area for the next week or so, but I hope I can get a few more looks at this conjunction.


  • steve t, Terra Nova, Bomber Bob and 5 others like this

#66 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 18 December 2020 - 11:05 PM

Catch as catch can       Got lucky tonight and had a good time observing from my front yard. Shoveled a small path and clearing to the set up spot.  I was able to move down en seriatim

starting with the Delite 18.2, Nagler 16 type 5,Nagler type 6's in 11,9,right down to 7 mm

All gave very nice pairing in the same field of view  of the two planets...   Bands on Jupiter 3 of the 4 moons, Saturn and the rings  I could not find Titan and  no detail to speak of       I was pleased that the Nag 7mm framed them nicely  The Meade 8.8 uwa impressed me as well..

 

Imagine if they were somehow lined up like this in July  at opposition? Instead of so far past that and sinking like rocks in the pond in the murky western  atmosphere. But alas  we take what we can get and....

"this is the business we have chosen" Finally, I moved my viewing to the back yard as the planets found the trees    I found a hole in the branches to continue for another 10 minutes or so.....

Gah between This and Tak maybe I should've taken out the vixen!

 

Yesterday I got lucky and there was an hour gap of clear skies, so I put on the tak FC60NZ and asahi 60/800 as comparo. Used a 6mm radian on tak (83x) vs a 9mm circle V ortho on asahi (86x).

The fov is way tighter in asahi but I like the view better as it's sharper! what a scope. Finger crossed tonight would be clear enough to take another peek!


  • steve t, Bomber Bob, Piggyback and 4 others like this

#67 steve t

steve t

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 19 December 2020 - 07:52 AM

Yesterday we had okay skies and did some solar observing, but by to sunset, high clouds had rolled infrown.gif


  • Terra Nova and Defenderslideguitar like this

#68 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,771
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: Cincinnati Metro Area

Posted 19 December 2020 - 09:51 AM

Catch as catch can       Got lucky tonight and had a good time observing from my front yard. Shoveled a small path and clearing to the set up spot.  I was able to move down en seriatim

starting with the Delite 18.2, Nagler 16 type 5,Nagler type 6's in 11,9,right down to 7 mm

All gave very nice pairing in the same field of view  of the two planets...   Bands on Jupiter 3 of the 4 moons, Saturn and the rings  I could not find Titan and  no detail to speak of       I was pleased that the Nag 7mm framed them nicely  The Meade 8.8 uwa impressed me as well..

 

Imagine if they were somehow lined up like this in July  at opposition? Instead of so far past that and sinking like rocks in the pond in the murky western  atmosphere. But alas  we take what we can get and....

"this is the business we have chosen" Finally, I moved my viewing to the back yard as the planets found the trees    I found a hole in the branches to continue for another 10 minutes or so.....

We have no snow here. We did get a light dusting two days ago, however we are still plagued with high and midlevel clouds producing murky, continuous overcast and a ragged sun (and diffuse moon). This coming Monday night was forecast to be 24% cloud-cover is now supposed to be completely cloudy. We might get a break Tuesday evening but I won’t be available. Given that, it will no doubt be crystal clear! The next clear night here is now ordained to be January 2nd. Such is astronomy in winter in the upper Ohio Valley.


  • steve t, Defenderslideguitar and CltFlyboy like this

#69 shaesavage

shaesavage

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 221
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 19 December 2020 - 10:14 AM

I was out last night with my Tasco 152. Views were great...although a little chilly at -28 C with the wind. I was able to make out the NEB and Jupiter, but that was the only detail I was able to get on either planet. They are getting too low to able to see much detail. 


  • steve t, Terra Nova, Bomber Bob and 2 others like this

#70 Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 372
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Heidelberg, Germany

Posted 19 December 2020 - 01:34 PM

Out last night with the Vixen 80L. The seeing was much better, and the planets were noticably closer.

Then I moved on to the moon, and finished with Mars, which showed significant details.

Tonight I tried to see Jupiter and Saturn again. It was a tight race against the clouds, and the clouds won. It is now supposed to be cloudy for a few days. ☹️
  • steve t, Bomber Bob, Defenderslideguitar and 1 other like this

#71 Defenderslideguitar

Defenderslideguitar

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,819
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 19 December 2020 - 01:55 PM

"We might get a break Tuesday evening but I won’t be available. Given that, it will no doubt be crystal clear! The next clear night here is now ordained to be January 2nd. Such is astronomy in winter in the upper Ohio Valley."

 

 

Terra

  We feel for you......it is truly catch as catch can in these matters...….

But this is the hobby we have chosen...………………………………….


  • steve t, Paul Sweeney and CltFlyboy like this

#72 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,592
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 19 December 2020 - 02:15 PM

One thing I've noticed with this J+S Conjunction & Scope Apertures:  50mm Tak F8 or 90mm Taiwan F11, watery Jupiter still shows 2 EQ belts & its Galileans are still distinct Airy Disks; and, The Rings are still a beautiful Wonder (yeah, that's what I think of them), and the tiny disk is still distinctly Saturn versus Jupiter.  Yet... both are LOW on the horizon.  In fact, at their current rate, they may be below the roof line of one of our 2 skyscrapers by the 21st...

 

With luck, I'll get a peek tonight with my Dakin 4 -- twice the Tak's aperture, and MUCH sharper than the 390.  The Question:  Will the atmosphere affect it more than the smaller fracs?  

 

-----  TONIGHT  -----

 

At 110x (OR9), both J&S in the same field in the Dakin 4.  All 4 Galileans on the Saturn side, and 4 belts on the wishy-washy disk, while the clear seam stayed open...  Cirrus rushing in from W to E, and we're supposed to have heavy rain after midnight...

 

Less than an hour after sunset, The Swamp was overcast.  Usually, it's the reverse:  Just as I'm getting ready to set up, the clear skies go overcast.

 

First time with the new Tak 1.25" prism in the Dakin.  It's at least as good as the Baader -- can't wait to test both prisms on Mars before it gets too much smaller.

 

BIF:  The ultra-sharp 4" F10 overcame worse seeing than the 2 previous nights.  I wasn't surprised.  That's why the Dakin is a Keeper.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 19 December 2020 - 11:00 PM.

  • steve t, Defenderslideguitar, Paul Sweeney and 1 other like this

#73 Kasmos

Kasmos

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,427
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2015
  • Loc: So Cal

Posted 19 December 2020 - 04:06 PM

Thursday the weather played a trick on us. It was cloudy all day with what looked like rain, but a peek outside in the early evening revealed a completely clear sky. I was caught off gaurd and since there wasn't much viewing time left, I didn't want to rush to set up.

 

Yesterday was a different story. Better than our last viewing on Wed. Completely clear and pleasant all day into the evening. This time I set up the Mizar SP-68R (68/100mm) and stayed with the .0965" format. We used 30mm, 25mm,18mm Celestron Kelleners, the Mizar 20mm Kellner and a 12mm Celestron Ortho. My wife and I both preferred the views using the 18mm and 20mm. She leaned towards the 20mm, and me the 18mm. She commented that they were better than the views in the SP-C80 from Wed. night. I'm thinking it was because of less CA. They'll need to go head to head sometime.

 

The images at 50 and 55x held up pretty well until some boiling took hold as they became lower in the sky.

 

Mizar-Jupiter-Saturn.jpg

Before dusk I was set up on one side of the patio cover to view the Moon,

but to view the planets a gap beneath it provided some good protection from the glare of street lights.

I only had to move it back once to keep it in view.

 

The 68/100mm Mizar is such a nice size scope to use. It's much easier to move around the yard than the SP-C80.


Edited by Kasmos, 19 December 2020 - 04:08 PM.

  • Pete W, steve t, Bomber Bob and 5 others like this

#74 steve t

steve t

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 19 December 2020 - 04:40 PM

Kasmos - Very nice. In SW Ohio we may get a chance tomorrow nightfingerscrossed.gif


  • Kasmos and Defenderslideguitar like this

#75 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 19 December 2020 - 05:23 PM

We had a run and it was a success! The first after the 'rona. We're having distancing as well as hand sanitizers and wipes around.

As expected when I came to the field, the usual boring dobs and newts are there. Surprisingly there were some cats too.

 

dobsonian and newtonians
 
More scopes arrived, when setting up I was eyeing on this scope. I thought it was something, the mount looks like a vixen SP from far. But turns out it was a Towa! the guy bought it in the 90s for 100 bucks. It was bargain cheap, and still a workhorse!
1970s? towa
 
But the show stealer was the old J.H Steward scope. Not sure when it's made, maybe 1930s? It was an F12, I remembered I seeing the inscription around the OTA flange-but I forgot to take more detailed photos as the public arrived quickly (and starting to demand visible moon at dusk while the planets are not even visible yet..). The tube was painted white, it was all brass. The sun was shining in orange sunset and the scope just glitter with all the shiny brass!The gentleman also has all the set of the brass eyepieces. He told me how he'd just round up old binos from junkshops. "Maybe they're smashed up, and still have one two lens"..and he turned them up to eyepieces! Some of them has a really wide field.
 
J H steward refractor
 

And finally I set up with my FC60NZ-I thought I was going to bring just a really light setup-paired with a 6mm nagler the size is perfect at 83x magnification. Pretty low, but you can already some features-some jupiter bands.

And it's quite neat when you bump it into 142x to see mars, a nice little disk with mottled red hues. There were quite a lot of people, so didn't really have time to look around other scopes. Was lucky to take a peek through the brass but it was just for the moon when earlier while we were setting up.

 

FC60NZ

 

Looking at this I wonder if I should bring asahi with easier AZ control-but this one's been effective as well.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 19 December 2020 - 09:46 PM.

  • Pete W, steve t, Bomber Bob and 7 others like this


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