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Where is Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

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#26 hlee

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 10:01 AM

Hi everyone, just an update.

 

I took delivery of a Zhumell Z130 on Tuesday and used it for two nights in a row on Jupiter, Saturn and the moon.  For Jupiter, I could see more banding, especially below the equator (strangely enough, less above the equator).  Since this was a reflector, that meant the top part of the disk that I saw.  On Tuesday night, the GRS was on the other side of the planet but last night, it was in view, according to Stellarium.  I probably saw it, but just couldn't recognize it.  I guess I will see it (and know I saw it) eventually, with more experience.

 

Saturn's disk was much larger than in my Meade scope but I couldn't make out any cloud banding or the Cassini division.  I think I was seeing the Seeliger effect because the rings were kind of blinding.

 

The moon was very impressive during its waning crescent.  The views that I'm getting with my 2.5mm and 4mm eyepieces are amazing.  The shadows really highlight the mountains and craters.  Also, I'm seeing earthshine because I can make out the Marias on the dark side - something that I saw with the Meade but not by this amount.

 

Thanks to everyone for their help in getting me to this point.  I'm sure I'll have more questions as go along.  Clear skies and keep looking up!


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#27 payner

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 08:10 PM

Nice report. Keep observing deliberately and make a sketch of your observations. That will train your eye to pick up low contrast detail. Each session you’ll be improving your skills. 
 

Randy



#28 hlee

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 05:54 PM

I saw a spot at 2:30 this morning but that was from Io's shadow transit of Jupiter.  I saw the moon get closer and closer to Jupiter.  I was expecting it to go behind the planet but then realized it was going in front. The shadow was a tiny black dot in the middle white band so it was easy to see, although I couldn't quite make out Io itself.  I was using the Z130 with a 4mm eyepiece, so about 160x.  At times, I was able to use the 2.5mm for about 250x, and the views weren't too bad.

 

Last Thursday, I was able to see the Cassini division on Saturn's rings, although it looked like (O) instead of a continuous gap - I'm guessing because the division looks narrower in front and so is more difficult to see.  Also using the Z130 and a 4mm.

 

This past week has been very humid and I read elsewhere on Cloudy Nights that this results in very stable seeing conditions, although I don't know if that applies to other locations and not necessarily here.  I had to view during breaks in the clouds and often, that meant not coinciding with the GRS availability.



#29 hlee

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 08:00 AM

I have not tried this, but maybe a blue #82a, very light blue, filter might help tease the spot out.

Some folks use this filter on Jupiter to enhance detail.

You can also try an #8 this is a cheap way to knock back chromatic abberation a bit.

 

These filters should be available for about $10.00 a piece.   I would NOT buy a filter kit as most of the filters

are way to dark for a small scope and do not include these filters.

 

What time are you looking?  View Jupiter when it is at the Meridian (North South line)   Unfortunately that is at 3:30 AM. bawling.gif

 

There are sites where you can lookup "seeing" conditions.  Mid continent, seeing is usually the best with high humidity and a calm wind regime.

 

I think ... that if you are persistent you can get it. 

Finally, the GRS was going to be available again with Jupiter actually being visible.  I started observing this morning at about 1 am after the clouds went away for a while.  Jupiter was in the south 31 degrees above the horizon. (and wasn't going to be any higher than about 33 degrees overnight).  I tried a light blue and light yellow, as well as a linear polarizing filter (rotated for best contrast).  All three resulted in a very slight improvement in detail (at least for me) with the light blue the best, having a little bit of an edge over the light yellow for all the bands.  It was less humid this morning than the other nights this past week and I could only reliably use my 6mm and 4mm for a magnification of about 100x and 160x.  Seeing was much better the previous night when I was able to go up to 260x with my 2.5mm and was able to see Io's shadow transit against a white cloud band.  Naturally, that night, the GRS was on the other side of the planet.

 

The last time that I saw the GRS it didn't look like the what you see in photos at all.  I didn't see any red.  What I saw looked like a bite taken out of a band. But, Stellarium showed me exactly what I'd seen with the exception of the more vibrant colors, so I do know that I saw it.

Since I checked beforehand with Stellarium, I knew where to look.  Your description is accurate.  It looked like a bite taken out of the SEB.  I could not discern an actual spot or colour, however, under this morning's seeing.  Soon after, the clouds rolled back in.  Overall, very happy with the Zhumell Z130.


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#30 nibiru711

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 04:06 PM

I saw the GRS last night from 1 am to 3 am here in the southeast usa although I'm using using to 6 and 8 inch orion dobsonians. It was very obvious in both telescopes but brighter in the 8 inch and I also could spot two festoons near the red spot and two festoons in another lower cloud band. I figure you should at least see cassini division with zhumell but it's also at a lower focal length than either of those two dobsonians. If you can use a higher power eyepiece or get one around a 6mm or higher it might help. You should be able to the GRS with that telescope if it's collimated right and the GRS is in favorable position. Around 1 oclock last night it was more on the side than later on last night at 3 am it was closer to the middle.



#31 E_Look

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 03:54 PM

I saw the GRS last night from 1 am to 3 am here in the southeast usa although I'm using using to 6 and 8 inch orion dobsonians. It was very obvious in both telescopes but brighter in the 8 inch and I also could spot two festoons near the red spot and two festoons in another lower cloud band. I figure you should at least see cassini division with zhumell but it's also at a lower focal length than either of those two dobsonians. If you can use a higher power eyepiece or get one around a 6mm or higher it might help. You should be able to the GRS with that telescope if it's collimated right and the GRS is in favorable position. Around 1 oclock last night it was more on the side than later on last night at 3 am it was closer to the middle.

I had exactly the same experience with a similar telescope, a 8" f/4.9 Orion reflector.  For me, it was essentially invisible though, at 1 AM and by 3 AM it began to leave the limb.  But because of its position, I could only see it a gray, smudgy "disturbance" at the end of the SEB on the side by Io.



#32 E_Look

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 04:08 PM

Well, this is comforting.  Here I was thinking there was something wrong with my vision keeping me from seeing the GRS.  Yep, and the Cassini division is getting tougher too.

Nah, my vision has gotten worse over the years, not that it was so great to begin with, but about fifteen years ago, generally with the same telescopes I still look through, the GRS looked then like a darkish, reddish, maybe deep pink spot, with a very visible "notch" in the SEB it sat in.  Then just a couple of years later, if that, it began to look lighter and smaller, more a salmon color and the notch gradually less and less easily visible, until now in the last few years, it's kind of looked more like a grayish, smudgy "disturbance" on the SEB, with its little seat on the SEB not so easily resolved.  In fact last night, I could easily see the Cassini division on Saturn's rings, and Saturn itself was spectacular, slightly orangy, one band definitely visible, with the progressively shaded regions going to the poles.  I would have stayed longer on it, but a cloud swallowed it up, so I shifted to Jupiter, which was, if I may so say, even a better view.  The detail was fairly breathtaking, with both equatorial bands easily visible, with (to my scope) the slight festooning and rippling visible, twin brown bands, and even slivers of the temperate bands visible.  The moons were in an alignment I've never noticed before, with Io on one side, the limb from which the GRS would later emerge, and Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa grouped together on the opposite side in a small, tight, triangle.  Excellent viewing at 147x-200x (250x was not too good) here last night for these two jewels, Saturn and Jupiter.  And I waited (like a nut) for the GRS to show, and when it just cleared the limb enough so I could be sure that the smudge was the GRS, I packed it in.  (Okay, I took an extra peek at at 40x at the very end and Jupiter looked marvelous against a "zoomed out" backdrop, like a jeweled necklace with a big pendant.)


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#33 erin

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 07:22 AM

Jupiter was spectacular here last night-best view so far and this has been a good year for details in the bands. The GRS has been less obvious this apparition, IME than in the past couple years. I think because its color doesn’t stand out as much from the SEB. Last night, I could discern a dark red “hook” that runs along the SEB from the east and follows the GRS up and over it. The hook was darker red than the GRS, so the contrast helped it pop. I can’t believe the detail I saw last night. 4 bands were distinct and all kinds of color and detail. I started with my 80mm and quickly pulled out the 8”! Saturn was no slouch either!



#34 LouHalikman

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 08:05 AM

Get the Gas Giants app for your cell phone.  It shows the planets in real time as well as going forward so you can plan your observing..  It shows the GRS emerging tonight at around 7 PM and transiting complete at 9:40.  Also shows the position of the moons and moon transits.  Great for Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.  Lou



#35 E_Look

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 10:28 AM

Get the Gas Giants app for your cell phone.  It shows the planets in real time as well as going forward so you can plan your observing..  It shows the GRS emerging tonight at around 7 PM and transiting complete at 9:40.  Also shows the position of the moons and moon transits.  Great for Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.  Lou

Good suggestion.

I might also recommend the apps present on Sky & Telescope's website; they do a good job too.



#36 E_Look

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 10:29 AM

Jupiter was spectacular here last night-best view so far and this has been a good year for details in the bands. The GRS has been less obvious this apparition, IME than in the past couple years. I think because its color doesn’t stand out as much from the SEB. Last night, I could discern a dark red “hook” that runs along the SEB from the east and follows the GRS up and over it. The hook was darker red than the GRS, so the contrast helped it pop. I can’t believe the detail I saw last night. 4 bands were distinct and all kinds of color and detail. I started with my 80mm and quickly pulled out the 8”! Saturn was no slouch either!

Aw, I should have stayed out twenty minutes longer!


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#37 hlee

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 12:34 PM

Jupiter was spectacular here last night-best view so far and this has been a good year for details in the bands. The GRS has been less obvious this apparition, IME than in the past couple years. I think because its color doesn’t stand out as much from the SEB. Last night, I could discern a dark red “hook” that runs along the SEB from the east and follows the GRS up and over it. The hook was darker red than the GRS, so the contrast helped it pop. I can’t believe the detail I saw last night. 4 bands were distinct and all kinds of color and detail. I started with my 80mm and quickly pulled out the 8”! Saturn was no slouch either!

As luck would have it, for me, it was cloudy all last night!


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#38 erin

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 04:09 PM

Sorry you were clouded out undecided.gif



#39 hlee

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Posted 21 August 2021 - 11:16 PM

Mission accomplished!  Saw the GRS at 10 pm tonight, just after cloud had parted for a bit and before more clouds rolled in soon after.  Used a variable polarizing filter at a low setting on my 4mm.  It was orangey and the seeing was great.

 

I was also able to see the Cassini division on Saturn with my 2.5mm and could detect the darker coloring on the outer rings, as well as some cloud bands on the planet.

 

Hopefully there'll be less clouds next Sunday for the double shadow transit of Europa and Ganymede along with an appearance of the GRS.

 

Thanks to everyone for their advice and encouragement!




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