Depending on the viewing conditions, observing without a filter sometimes proves to be the best strategy. Almost any kind of Jupiter observation requires familiarity with the correct names for the various belts and zones. Here north is up; in an inverting telescope such as a Newtonian reflector, or a refractor, Schmidt-Cassegrain, or Maksutov used without a star diagonal, north will be down and east to the right. Telescopes used with a star diagonal will have north up but east and west reversed.
The planet's rotation causes features to move from east following to west preceding. Of course, even the best telescope fitted with the proper filter is still at the mercy of the churning atmosphere above us. Unless the seeing is better than 5, you will most likely have to wait for another time to do high-power observing.
Jupiter is thrilling to view in just about any telescope. Even a small department-store refractor will reveal several cloud belts and its four brightest moons. Our mobile app JupiterMoons can help you find your way.
It shows the locations of the Great Red Spot and the four largest moons at any day and time, and it also includes a detailed chart of Jupiter's atmospheric bands. Jupiter is one of the most dynamic telescopic sights — you never get the same view twice. This is partly the result of its rapid rotation — gas-giant planets like Jupiter exhibit differential rotation; that is, they rotate more rapidly at the equator than they do at the poles.
Jupiter's observable "surface" has two general systems of rotation that differ by approximately 5 minutes: System I 9 hours If you want to seriously study Jupiter, you should observe it as often as possible; the more time you spend at the eyepiece, the more adept you will become at seeing the planet's most subtle features. Note the series of festoons stretching out into the Equatorial Zone from the southern edge of the North Equatorial Belt.
Click on the image to see the entire sketch. One way to get to know Jupiter is to make full-disk drawings of its ever-changing cloudtops. Usually this involves sketching the entire planet in a single session on a preprinted form. Be sure to note the date and time in Universal Time you began and ended your drawing, as well as the seeing conditions and the type of telescope, magnification, and filters used, if any.
A variation on the disk drawing is the strip sketch. To make a strip sketch you normally concentrate on only one or two belts or zones at a time.
Phase curve (astronomy) - Wikipedia
By focusing attention on a smaller portion of the planet, more detail can be recorded. Because of this, a strip sketch is often more valuable than a full-disk drawing.
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Because of the planet's rapid rotation, full-disk drawings should be completed in 20 minutes or less to ensure that features are accurately plotted with respect to one another. A strip sketch, by contrast, may be continuous, recording features as they cross the planet's central meridian CM , the imaginary north-south line that crosses the center of the planet's disk. How much can you see? Although a filter changes the appearance of the object dramatically—a 25 Red filter, for example, turns everything bright red—the degree of contrast and detail enhancement is usually quite subtle.
Consider transmission percentage when you choose color filters. Some astronomy specialty vendors sell this or a similar selection as a set, often at a significantly lower price versus buying them individually. If you want to start with just one color filter, we think the 80A Medium Blue is the best choice for mid-size or larger scopes. Although it is not necessarily the best choice for any one purpose, it is helpful for many objects, from Luna to Venus to the superior planets.
Unfortunately, the 80A is often a bit too dark for 4. For such scopes, we recommend the 15 Deep Yellow as the best general-purpose filter. The 82A Pale Blue is a jack of all trades, and it would be our second or third choice for any size scope.
Table lists the four filters we consider most generally useful after the basic set. The 47 Violet, although it is too dense for use in small scopes, is probably the best overall choice for viewing the inferior planets, particularly Venus. The similarly dense 25 Red lightens warms colors and darkens cool colors dramatically, and it is the best choice when you need a deep-cutting contrast filter. If you have the Basic and Supplemental sets and still feel the need for more color filters, consider one or more of those listed in Table In general, filters in this group simply fine-tune the effects of the more commonly used filters.
We consider all of these filters highly optional, so much so that we no longer own any of them. Neutral-density ND filters and Polarizing filters, sometimes called moon filters, are used when you need to dim the image, for example, as if you are viewing Luna at low power. ND filters are available in various fixed densities from quite light to very dark, and are simply dyed glass filters with a neutral gray shade. ND filters may be labeled by their percentage transmission e. Polarizing filters are, in effect, variable neutral-density filters.
They comprise two layers of Polarizing material in a mount that allows the layers to be rotated relative to each other. As you change the relative position of the Polarizing layers, the visible neutral density varies from moderate to high. Visual Lunar and Planetary Astronomy is a comprehensive modern treatment of visual lunar and planetary astronomy, showing that even in the age of space telescopes and interplanetary probes it is still possible to contribute scientifically with no more than a moderately-priced commercially made astronomical telescope.
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But by analyzing observations from the past, we can see how accurate visual astronomy really is! Measuring the rotational period of Mars and making accurate lunar charts for American astronauts were all done by eye. The book includes sections on how the human visual system works, how to view an object through an eyepiece, and how to record observations and keep a scientific notebook. The book also looks at how to make an astronomical, rather than an artistic, drawing. Finally, everything here will also be of interest to those imagers who wish to make their images more scientifically applicable by combining the methods and practices of visual astronomy with imaging.
A lifelong amateur astronomer based in Leicester in the UK, Paul Abel earned his degree in Mathematics at the University of Leicester, specializing in general relativity and black holes during his final year His Ph. He has published many articles and contributed to various astronomy books, including Patrick Moore's Yearbook of Astronomy , , published by Macmillan. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews.
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Jupiter: The Ultimate Observing Guide
Overview With the advent of CCDs and webcams, the focus of amateur astronomy has to some extent shifted from science to art. About the Author A lifelong amateur astronomer based in Leicester in the UK, Paul Abel earned his degree in Mathematics at the University of Leicester, specializing in general relativity and black holes during his final year His Ph.
Table of Contents Acknowledgements. Average Review. Write a Review.