Cloudy nights have been a regular occurrence for me for id say a week or more. Last time Moon was almost full same thing happened. Clouds rolled in and stayed in for days so i didnt get the chance to observe Moon last time it was at this phase. A few days ago Angeleyes 7.5-22.5mm zoom eyepiece came and i didnt had a chance to test it.
7Timer forecast finally started showing a slight improvement in seeing conditions but only when its really cloudy and rainy. My thought was that mother nature is having a joke at my expense.
Tonight it was the same story as i was checking 7Timer earlier in the day but a regular forecasting site showed how after 10pm clouds would disburse and ClearOutside was showing 13% cloud coverage.
Ive decided that i will take my chances, and just test my new zoom eyepiece on the Moon.
Scope was taken out at 7pm for cool down and checked for collimation.
10pm came and passed but clouds were still covering Moon, Jupiter and Saturn which i could see from the window of my room.
Just before 11pm i think i saw a break in clouds so i got out and prepared for some observing.
I must say how strange it felt to look at the bright sky light up by the Moon, with just a few visible stars. I got used to seeing a bunch of them.
Zoom was in the focuser and i started looking at the moon. The concept of a zoom EP is really cool, the quality of the one ive got was not as cool hehe, but you get what you pay for and ive only paid like 16USD for this one plus shipping. Maybe 25% of the center of the image is what you will get before you start noticing chromatic aberration. Also when zoomed in, there is some orange colour on the edge of the FoV.
Maybe i need to get used to it a bit, in regards to the eye relief and such but it was really fun being able to zoom in on a target and zoom out.
Clouds kept rolling in so i was watching over clouds and in between cloud gaps. Those clouds were moving pretty fast but sky looked... i dont know, calm?
I guess seeing was indeed one notch better than it was for the entirety of September.
Then ive decided to take a look at Jupiter even though that was not my initial plan, but Moon, being almost full was too bright and kind of featureless.
Oh how glad i am i did. I am pretty sure this was one of the best if not the best viewing session of Jupiter i have ever had.
GRS was there, at the center of the planet, which i didnt notice straight away. Zoom EP was great way to watch Jupiter thro since it gave me the opportunity to fine tune and dial up or down in magnification, finding the "sweet spot".
I guess this was exactly the time when 7Timer predicted the improvement in seeing. Now GRS was so clearly visible, with its nice dark orange prominent shape and colour. It seemed to me like it was a tad bigger than the last time i have seen it, but that might be due to me not seeing it in good conditions before.
Two barges above NEB were showing up clear as well. How pretty Jupiter looks with all these features facing you. Belt between NEB and SEB was so rich in colour as well. I think i was able to count 7 or 8 bands overall.
And all this was observed thro the occasional gap in between clouds or with light clouds over the planet.
Then really thick and big cloud came by and i had to wait it out until it passed.
Before it covered the planet, i took a few videos in hope of capturing planet in better seeing conditions.
Just below the bottom edge of that cloud Saturn sat. Ive had a few glimpses of it thro zoom EP. Again, its pretty cool how zoom is utilized. Too bad Saturn was quite low at this point.
After cloud passed, it was midnight, just when 7Timer said that seeing will deteriorate to its usual level, and i was disappointed to discover how they were spot on correct in predicting it. Views were pretty bad and the play of the atmosphere was really bad on both Jupiter and the Moon at this point.
Ive figured ill wait a bit longer in hope of things improving, but both Moon and Jupiter were descending, Jupiter being at 26 degrees in altitude, and when i have had the best views of it, it was at 31, so ive decided to pack up and end my session there.
I took accessories and OTA inside but as i was going in, ive looked up and noticed the eastern portion of the sky, which i usually dont look at because of the street light and it being blocked by the house from my observing location, to be significantly darker and full of stars. Pleiades got my attention, but since ive taken the OTA inside, i took off the finder scope and looked up at it.
It was magical. All seven brightest stars were showing up along with so many less bright ones.
Aldebaran was shining bright so ive looked at it as well (not knowing which star it was at that time, i am not that familiar with eastern part of the sky yet, i thought it was Rigel)
Andromeda was spotter thro the finder scope as well, but it was dead ahead so it wasnt comfortable viewing for my neck.
Did not see double cluster since i didnt know where to look for it without Stellarium guiding me. Ive only saw it once before when i was looking at that part of the sky.
This is where my session ended.
Jupiter was the main star of the night and i can say that this was another one of those WOW sessions when i am packing up but i am extremely happy with results and things i have seen.
And it was suppose to be just a test night on a really cloudy night.
Ive made a single albeit poor pic from one of the videos just to show what i saw. Just now i have noticed these white clouds south of the SEB, i did not really see them in the EP rather i didnt look at the poles. Now i know that i need to pay attention to poles as well