Astronomy Log: 2019005

Date/Time: 2019/06/08 00:07 EST
Location: Barrie, Ont, CA
Temp: 11°C
Seeing: 3/5
Conditions: Clear
Telescope: Meade 2080 LX6 Premier
Eyepieces: Tele Vue 20mm Plössl, Tele Vue 11mm Plössl

Prolog

It was a nice clear night with a light breeze and my son Aaron and I had just finished watching a basketball game (our Toronto Raptors are in the NBA finals!), so I decided to bring out my 8” SCT to have a look at Jupiter which was situated in the south east over the neighbouring houses.

Target: Jupiter | Sol V

Unfortunately, with it being recently after sunset, the roofs of all the nearby houses were still cooling off and this disturbed the view quite a lot. Additionally, my telescope wasn’t properly acclimated and the views of Jupiter this night were pretty soft.

I could easily make out Io to one side of Jupiter and to the other was stacked Europa and Ganymede with Callisto a much further distance out. With the 20mm eyepiece (100x), I could get the whole scene in the field of view. Because this was a rather impromptu session, I didn’t even bring out my power pack for the telescope so it was completely manually driven on this occasion. It was an interesting reminder of how quickly our planet turns! When I switched to the 11mm eyepiece (182x), the scene zoomed in nicely. Callisto was no longer visible, but the other 3 moons were tight against Jupiter so they remained. Jupiter quickly drifted out of my 50° field of view, but a gentle turn of the RA knob brought it right back.

On Jupiter itself, there wasn’t a lot of detail to be had. I could make out the North and South Equatorial Belts, as well as the GRS which was transiting right at the time I happened to be observing (how lucky!). There was some coloration (brownish) near both poles but it was very subtle. Unfortunately, the view didn’t give up crisp details like ovals or festoons, and I was reasonably sure that a transit was not in progress at this time.

Epilog

I stayed with the view for a while (perhaps 20 minutes?) before packing it in, as the skies weren’t giving up any more secrets (at least at Jupiter!). Aaron and I will likely observe again tomorrow night as it is supposed to be clear - and we’ll likely relocate to a more favourable viewing site. Here’s hoping for some good seeing and many more targets.