A busy night on Jupiter

I’d been looking forward to this busy night on Jupiter for over a week and was lucky enough to wake to clear skies and above average seeing. Unfortunately though, I’d only captured 3 runs before blanket cloud put an early end to the session. Very disappointing, as I had a feeling the seeing would’ve improved as Jupiter increased in altitude. I woke again for work at 5am to clear skies, but I’ll tell myself that it only cleared a few minutes earlier. It’s less depressing that way.

In this image, captured on the morning of the 26th May, the GRS + LRS and new red spot have just rotated into view, Europa is casting a shadow near Ganymede which is in transit, and Io is heading back towards Jupiter soon to be eclipsed by Jupiter’s shadow. In the NNTZ, the little red spot has a white oval approaching it that may merge (noted by John Rogers in one of Tomio’s recent images).

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Regarding my imaging, I’ve also solved the problem I was having with lack of light – I washed both mirrors of my 12″ newt on the weekend which had a dramatic effect and allowed me to capture at 30fps with a full histogram (in green especially). Amazing how much of a haze had built up on the mirrors after months of dewey nights. I also took the opportunity to cut a trap-door in the tube down near the mirror, to help me de-fog the mirror when I start losing transparency in future.

Here also is a a simulation showing Ganymede from both the NASA Solar System Simulator and Starry Night Pro. It shows very well correlated albedo features with my image of Ganymede in transit.

Ganymede simulation

A short 3-frame animation of the session can be downloaded here:

Jupiter animation

Thanks for looking. Comments welcome.

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