Trying to take advantage of the run of decent seeing we've had lately, I headed out again this morning--this time to look at Jupiter. With Luna out of the picture, I had planned to look at some deep sky stuff, but the smoke from the wildfires out west has arrived here and put the transparency in the tank.
Anyway, I did a little previewing and saw that the Great Red Spot would be transiting at 5:14 local. I have only caught glimpses of the GRS on the limb so far this apparition and was curious to see it so I planned accordingly.
I wasn't disappointed. It's not as dark red as it used to be but was still plenty noticeable as it rotated in from the limb around 3:30 am local time. It seems a little bigger than it was last apparition--anyone else notice that?
As it rotated closer to the central meridian, I could see lots of activity preceding and following the giant storm. The seeing was good--my sketch doesn't do justice to all the detail visible.
I saw festoons extending into the Equatorial Zone from the south edge of the NEB for the first time this apparition. They've been there but hard to see against the changes in the appearance of the EZ. They were best seen with the W11 (yellow-green) filter. That big bright spot just following the GRS really stood out, too. Other notes are with the sketch.
It's hard for me to do a color sketch with so much detail and Jupiter rotating so fast so I stuck with graphite--2B and HB pencils and a stump. I did the sketch at the eyepiece from 0848 to 0908 UT (4:48-5:08 local) and cleaned it up later at the house.
It was quiet at the observatory this morning--no sign of any critters except for the barred owls carrying on in the woods--just the way I like it.