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Friday, August 28th, 2009
 Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) transitted last night beginning at about 11:00pm.   I was able to catch fleeting glimpses of it, but mostly the seeing was poor to terrible.   Using my son's 6" f/8 Dob, it showed up in the eyepiece (at 120x) as a light oval, outlined by the darker cloud belt......quite clearly, but only for an instant here and there.   For the most part it was difficult to see.   Increasing the magnification to 200x did not help.
 
My attempts to get some video clips of the transit were basically unsuccessful.   The image below is the best of a very bad lot.   This is an unbarlowed image, the best 1,100 frames of 1,550.    I tried to use a 2x barlow, but I ended up with little more than a fuzzy indistinct image......a far cry from the other night when the seeing was crisp and steady.
 
 
* the GRS is visible below and to the right of center.   The moons left to right, are Io, Europa, and Ganymede.   Callisto is further out to the right, out of the frame.
 
**ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO PLANETARY IMAGING?   Just reading Sky & Telescope about a guy on the east coast who has been doing so for 40 years.    The article features his images of Mercury.  He uses a modestly priced video camera (DMK) on a Celestron C11 and Registax to process the videos........BUT......he hand selects roughly 300 of the very best frames to stack, out of maybe 10,000 frames captured.   How long do you suppose it would take to manually review 10,000 images?   Amazing!!   Sure it's funnnnn.  LOL    


Image Gallery For This Session
GRS 11 48pm PDT 8 27 09
   

GRS_11_48pm_PDT_8_27_09.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
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