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Already missing Jupiter and Saturn

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#1 scoale

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 05:47 PM

I enjoyed viewing Jupiter and Saturn this year and I'm a bit saddened as winter approaches here at 36.7 N / -119 E.  Best views are now around dusk and seeing deteriorates quickly.  Already looking forward to opposition next September.

 


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#2 havasman

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 06:04 PM

Yep, nothing else up there.


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#3 Rigel_10

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 09:46 PM

I hear ya...gonna miss them.

On the other hand I like to do a lot of daytime viewing as well, I try to use my scopes everyday.
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#4 scoale

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 11:27 PM

I hear ya...gonna miss them.

On the other hand I like to do a lot of daytime viewing as well, I try to use my scopes everyday.

Wow, impressed that you are using scopes everyday.  I try to view several times a week - which means I'm viewing from my Bortle 8 backyard most of the time.  Fortunately, I got into night vision this year and that has transformed  backyard viewing.



#5 Napp

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 11:34 PM

Enjoyed watching the double shadow transit on Jupiter tonight.  Seeing was poor but both shadows were easily seen in my 127mm refractor.  The GRS was just barely detectable with a Baader Contrast Booster filter and averted vision.  Looking forward to next year's opposition.


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#6 BOSS3128

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 10:59 AM

Seems every post I read about the transit talked about the poor seeing for the dual transit, same for me.  Plus my angle had me viewing right over the top of the house to make matters worse.  Turned to total mush for me by 8 pm EST.

 

Glad I got to see what I did though, only second dual shadow transit for me.



#7 tdfwds

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 02:49 PM

You ought to be more positive and count yourself lucky! ; )

 

Last Monday night was the first time I was able to get around to viewing Jupiter in, oh, I dunno, about a decade.

 

It has only just started to get over the roof again after all these years languishing in Southern constellations.

 

This leaves barely an hour's window to see it clearly without the edge of the roof clipping the image.  The rest of the year previous to know circumstance, cloud, neighbours trying to outcompete Blackpool Illuminations, and just sheer bad luck have transpired against me, and I can't observe anynight I want, so everything has to coincide, including the GRS being kind enough to be doing a (Jovian) Central Meridian Transit.

 

I can never remember if I have "really" seen the GRS.  As others have noted elsewhere on this forum, it doesn't appear readily visible for long.  So I've been trying to go for it this year.

 

On Monday 21st it was due to transit around 18h GMT (based on an assumed current Longitude of around 5 degrees for the GRS) and the viewing window currently is about 17.5h to 19h, if that, with local nautical twilight about 17.5h GMT, Moonrise similar.

 

Which leads me to a question?  What does the thing look like visually?

 

I was using an eight and a bit inch f/6 newt with several magnifications, ~ 70x (Kellner), ~100x and ~180x (orthos) with the latter tricky at times to focus just right as it seems the old rust bucket can't achieve "perfect" collimation anymore except near centre (edges always a bit off).

 

Disc was pure white, in the white bits, so to speak.

 

NEB was evident enough, darkish to medium grey (I rarely see bluish grey on Jupiter, despite full colour vision).  When the sky did things just right as Jupiter was drifting just right across the middle at 180+x it was crisp and I got a hint of a coupla barges appearing almost like eyes, one bigger than t'other, kind of confirmed by a several hours later image on Christopher Go's website.

 

SEB was evident enough, similar to NEB, but thinner.

 

the South Pole looked like a faintly offwhite, maybe buff yellowish but only a hint, all the way up to the STZ (or rather, there was a gap between this pseudo-polarcap and the SEB, in case my memory is playing up on the belt and zone names).

 

Once or twice I got half a hint of a splodge of grey about dead centre, and partially below and overlying SEB, wider than the wider of the two barges, BUT it was as dark as or maybe a bit darker than the two Equatorial Belts, which makes me suspiscious of wishful thinking, seeing as it was where I was biased by knowing where it should be.  Then it was dipping behind the roof, and of course the clouds started turning up four hours earlier than forecast, so the roof was in someway academic.

 

I always thought it should appear brighter, or at least less dark than, the belt, and at least have a hint of a pale "eyebrow" between it and the belt, even based on amateur images that haven't used stacking or lucky imaging frame selection.

 

Mostly not seeing the GRS has been unlucky timing though, perfect night, no light pollution, 'scope at its best, but I'm on the wrong side of Jupiter...  The vast majority of times I've had a chance to look at Mars, even over several days, have been the ones when Syrtis Major was not visible, and although I can usually make out other bits and pieces of shading, and a pole, Syrtis Major presents the far most interesting contrasty view of the disc in my 'scope, yet I've seen it only during a small percentage of Mars viewings (especially as Mars is again too far South for me during the better/closer oppositions).

 

Summary : Eyeballing in a reflector of moderate to small size, is GRS paler, darker, or samish strength of colour as the adjacent belt.  Does it appear as a gap/hole or as a dot?  Is the line/arc twixt spot and belt distinct at moderate magnification in average size 'scopes or averted vision occasional, or the best.

 

Remember, I'm talking low altitude, basic newt, simple eyepieces, no drive, urban skies, albeit good seeing at first, there was bound to be heat haze coming up from the roof, no matter how insulated, and it had had the Sun on it all day.

 

Thanks in advance for any clarification.



#8 Napp

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 03:54 PM

You ought to be more positive and count yourself lucky! ; )

 

Last Monday night was the first time I was able to get around to viewing Jupiter in, oh, I dunno, about a decade.

 

It has only just started to get over the roof again after all these years languishing in Southern constellations.

 

This leaves barely an hour's window to see it clearly without the edge of the roof clipping the image.  The rest of the year previous to know circumstance, cloud, neighbours trying to outcompete Blackpool Illuminations, and just sheer bad luck have transpired against me, and I can't observe anynight I want, so everything has to coincide, including the GRS being kind enough to be doing a (Jovian) Central Meridian Transit.

 

I can never remember if I have "really" seen the GRS.  As others have noted elsewhere on this forum, it doesn't appear readily visible for long.  So I've been trying to go for it this year.

 

On Monday 21st it was due to transit around 18h GMT (based on an assumed current Longitude of around 5 degrees for the GRS) and the viewing window currently is about 17.5h to 19h, if that, with local nautical twilight about 17.5h GMT, Moonrise similar.

 

Which leads me to a question?  What does the thing look like visually?

 

I was using an eight and a bit inch f/6 newt with several magnifications, ~ 70x (Kellner), ~100x and ~180x (orthos) with the latter tricky at times to focus just right as it seems the old rust bucket can't achieve "perfect" collimation anymore except near centre (edges always a bit off).

 

Disc was pure white, in the white bits, so to speak.

 

NEB was evident enough, darkish to medium grey (I rarely see bluish grey on Jupiter, despite full colour vision).  When the sky did things just right as Jupiter was drifting just right across the middle at 180+x it was crisp and I got a hint of a coupla barges appearing almost like eyes, one bigger than t'other, kind of confirmed by a several hours later image on Christopher Go's website.

 

SEB was evident enough, similar to NEB, but thinner.

 

the South Pole looked like a faintly offwhite, maybe buff yellowish but only a hint, all the way up to the STZ (or rather, there was a gap between this pseudo-polarcap and the SEB, in case my memory is playing up on the belt and zone names).

 

Once or twice I got half a hint of a splodge of grey about dead centre, and partially below and overlying SEB, wider than the wider of the two barges, BUT it was as dark as or maybe a bit darker than the two Equatorial Belts, which makes me suspiscious of wishful thinking, seeing as it was where I was biased by knowing where it should be.  Then it was dipping behind the roof, and of course the clouds started turning up four hours earlier than forecast, so the roof was in someway academic.

 

I always thought it should appear brighter, or at least less dark than, the belt, and at least have a hint of a pale "eyebrow" between it and the belt, even based on amateur images that haven't used stacking or lucky imaging frame selection.

 

Mostly not seeing the GRS has been unlucky timing though, perfect night, no light pollution, 'scope at its best, but I'm on the wrong side of Jupiter...  The vast majority of times I've had a chance to look at Mars, even over several days, have been the ones when Syrtis Major was not visible, and although I can usually make out other bits and pieces of shading, and a pole, Syrtis Major presents the far most interesting contrasty view of the disc in my 'scope, yet I've seen it only during a small percentage of Mars viewings (especially as Mars is again too far South for me during the better/closer oppositions).

 

Summary : Eyeballing in a reflector of moderate to small size, is GRS paler, darker, or samish strength of colour as the adjacent belt.  Does it appear as a gap/hole or as a dot?  Is the line/arc twixt spot and belt distinct at moderate magnification in average size 'scopes or averted vision occasional, or the best.

 

Remember, I'm talking low altitude, basic newt, simple eyepieces, no drive, urban skies, albeit good seeing at first, there was bound to be heat haze coming up from the roof, no matter how insulated, and it had had the Sun on it all day.

 

Thanks in advance for any clarification.

The GRS is pale salmon at best.  Very low contrast.  If seeing is not good it’s difficult to impossible.  I was observing the double moon shadow transit Tuesday evening with a 127mm ED refractor.  Seeing was poor.  I barely, intermittently detected the the presence of the GRS between the shadows with averted vision - maybe more averted imagination.  


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#9 BOSS3128

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 04:44 PM

To me the GRS did not stand out very well this past week.  For that matter it never really stood out for me that much for me in the times that I have viewed it this year.

 

For me a fuzzy dot, slightly lighter/brighter in color than the belt, have a hard time making out the eyebrow.  I have never tried averted vision when looking at the GRS, but will give it a shot.  I think Tuesday the one shadow's close proximity to the GRS made it harder to see??  I was able to catch the two dots (sorry, do not know what they are called) above the NEB  Tried to see the Pearls, but could not make out even a hint of them.

 

I have been using my AT102ED on most nights. but Tuesday, I used the Evostar 120ED.  I believe that last October I got my best view of a dual shadow/GRS with the 120 and a Meade 7mm RG Ortho for 128x.  This year I also used a Nagler zoom, and early on I was able to get very good views for a short period of time up to 180x, but that was about it.  I have a very narrow corridor to view Jupiter and Saturn if viewing from my deck.  The house blocks the 3 streetlights out front so I am more inclined to view from the deck, and take what I can get.  So pretty much a lot of my viewing is over the house and a heat pump.

 

The best view, with all dead center of Jupiter, was around 7:45 Tuesday, which was at the point the seeing rapidly started to degrade for me.  Jupiter was about 210 degrees AZ, 34 degrees ALT.  I did up a chart this summer so I can better tell if an object was visible from where I keep my mount at on my deck.  So anything before 125 degrees gets blocked by the trees to the east, after 180 degrees, I start catching the roofline of the house.

 

This Friday should be able to see the GRS, and Sunday will be a shadow transit along with the GRS.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will try and concentrate more on the GRS.  Maybe event move out into the yard.

 

 

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#10 tdfwds

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 05:06 PM

The GRS is pale salmon at best.  Very low contrast.  If seeing is not good it’s difficult to impossible.  I was observing the double moon shadow transit Tuesday evening with a 127mm ED refractor.  Seeing was poor.  I barely, intermittently detected the the presence of the GRS between the shadows with averted vision - maybe more averted imagination.  

Thanks, very much appreciated.

 

It's not as easy as all that then, I'd always wondered as much.  Although I've got nearly twice the aperture as yourself, I think the main point you are making is the low contrast, and it's a long time since I've had skies suited to subtle.  I've managed things like Encke's division/gap at Saturn once or twice, in glimpses, but that's dark on light.  Low contrast differences on planets has never been great, even when skies were much better.

 

Conclusion then :- In all likelihood I've never actually seen the GRS.  In fact now that I think on it deeper, the handful of Galilean Satellite transits I saw in the past were hard work due to subtle contrast.

 

It's weird, some things that are often mentioned or thought of as a doddle I've often failed to see, whilst other things meant to be hard or impossible weren't easy but weren't really much more difficult than your average difficult thing.

 

Must try harder next year, same with Saturn before the rings get too edge on, as I might not be fit enough to cart the 'scope outdoors by the time they open up again!  ; ) or : (

 

To me the GRS did not stand out very well this past week.  For that matter it never really stood out for me that much for me in the times that I have viewed it this year.

 

For me a fuzzy dot, slightly lighter/brighter in color than the belt, have a hard time making out the eyebrow.  I have never tried averted vision when looking at the GRS, but will give it a shot.  I think Tuesday the one shadow's close proximity to the GRS made it harder to see??  I was able to catch the two dots (sorry, do not know what they are called) above the NEB  Tried to see the Pearls, but could not make out even a hint of them.

Thanks to yourself too!  The relative brightness point is useful, as is the point re the difficulty of the eyebrow.

 

For me central meridian transit (the one for the sky, sometimes called "Southing"?) gives me about 23 degrees altitude, and coincides with start of nautical twilight.

 

(Of course, when I was younger I saw far less dots on Jupiter than I see nowadays, as at times the bright disc really highlighted the floaters!  Fortunately they move about, so no false alarms.)  I managed Uranus' disc easily enough last year, and the green colour (never could describe what sort of green, mushy peas if anything).  Neptune was nice and blue and Triton surprisingly easy, but no great hint of Neptune's disc like I've had in the past.  The run of sessions I had with Mars nearly always ended up with me seeing Arcadia, but the pole was more than a dot, despite being reduced.  I find the contrast between pink Mars and white pole not always distinct without averted vision.  It was nice to see crescent Venus again after years, and half Venus for the first time last year, but I think I only ever telescoped Mercury once years and years ago, and indeed eyeballed it for the first time one evening a couple of years ago.  The Moon I haven't touched since the last really good total lunar eclipse here, quite some time ago now, and the first time I'd 'scoped an eclipse with a "proper" sized 'scope, nice range of colours on the eclipse edge that never shows up in photos or images.  Pluto once, long ago, when it was kind enough to appulse a one mag brighter star many years ago, to help me confirm (I star hop, so despite being 100% confident of plotted chart etc, seeing it move over a couple of nights really helps, especially as it was at 'scope magnitude limit... ...I followed Barnard's Star via a similar appulse over a couple of years about the same time, so Pluto must've been in Ophiuchus.  Asteroids, a plenty, but they're kind of academic, although 1620 Geographos was nice once.  But I really want to do a few years on the giant planets, I've been missing them a long time whilst they've been hiding so low down.

 

RE your chart.  That's a nice idea.  I just go by it has to be above about 16 degrees, in practice a few degrees more so rounded to about 20 degrees, when "southing", simply measured against just getting Sirius unobstructed one year (I think) and checking against planetaria software for my latitude.  Anything else below -10 degrees and above the mentioned limit just has to wait until it is South enough for the times I'm likely to observe.  Not too bad though, the North is far worse as that is where the local town centre lives, whereas a mile or two towards the South used to be all fields (wall to wall housing now for an extra couple of miles, though still countryside after that with the next big town a long way off, in UK terms).


Edited by tdfwds, 25 November 2021 - 05:17 PM.

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#11 Rigel_10

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 12:22 PM

Also...I wasn't aware of the double transit was even going on that night? I was viewing Saturn when I zeroed in on Jupiter for a quick look and wow!!

The thing was the seeing was pretty good for a change, it's usually not very well from nw Arkansas so I lucked out for sure.

I used my 5" Mak and 90mm frac...didn't really see GRS but both shadows were showing off pretty good!

Your night vision sounds cool...they say it's like viewing with a much larger scope!
Have to look into that myself.

p.s. I mentioned in other post on here that I view during the day..that meant terrestrial viewing like trees, buildings, power poles, etc.
Later

Edited by Rigel_10, 26 November 2021 - 12:26 PM.


#12 tdfwds

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Posted Today, 07:20 PM

Dug up my old notes of very nearly 30 years ago to check something, when I seem to have been incredibly active for a couple of years, probably both catching up and aware the skies wouldn't be as good for too long due to town expansion, I found that I'm fibbing, I HAD seen the great red spot.  It was grey.

 

Apparently the SEB nearly disappeared about that time and thus the spot was easier to distinguish, as it appeared to get darker at the same time.

 

Don't remember it at all.  Don't remember the transits, eclipses and shadow transits mentioned in the notes either (although I'm certain I didn't get to see any of the mutual satellite events in that half decade).

 

Strangely, I do remember the big black splodges after shoemaker-levy 9 hit it the year after, both for ages after the hit and also showing it to a handful of people as soon as the first hits came into view in a lovely 10" f/10 reflector which always gave contrast (belonged to a group, but we got the loan of the keys, both it and its observatory will be long gone now, probably another housing estate, certainly there are no longer any farms within the town borders, and it was on farmland).  Jupiter's fast rotation was useful that time!  I even tried a sketch or two a couple of times, and I can't draw for toffee!




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