Jupiter: A Viewing Focus This Year?

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by DE Shaver, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Dear Fellow Amateur Astronomers,

    This year hasn't been particular kind to me for astronomical viewing. However, Jupiter is supposed to be the best viewing positing in years and will be in conjunction with Uranus. The planet is nearing the brightest and best opposition of its entire 11.8-year orbit and it's angular size is going to be 49".9, which is not shabby at all.

    It already has been interesting year for Jupiter. As as some of you may know, Jupiter has lost a great belt and the Great Spot is being shadowed by a smaller but large spot. So, anyone planning to make Jupiter a special viewing focus these year?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  2. I'm just getting back on the horse, too. Sounds great--I've always wanted to give Uranus a shot with the telescope.
  3. I'm going to resist the "cunjunction with Uranus" jokes, but*:

    I haven't used my telescope in years. It's a very heavy 8" SC on a stand that I hate. Plus the light pollution in my area is horrible.

    In the past, I used to get very good views of Jupiter and Saturn. This time I might try it again. I've never seen Uranus before. How close (from a viewing perspective) will it get to Jupiter and when will be the best times to view it?

    Jeff in Boston

    *pun intended
  4. Luckily, light pollution isn't as much as a factor for bright planetary objects as Jupiter. Dust off the old SCT and get a good look a Jupiter. Uranus is about 2 degrees away from Jupiter, so while Jupiter is up so is Uranus. It rises at around 10pm currently.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  5. There should be a chart at Skyandtelescope.com that has moon and red spot transit times. Watching a moon's shadow crossing Jupiter is awesome.
  6. I really enjoy watching moon transits over Jupiter. We had a perfect night last year and were able to get x450 view of Jupiter as a moon was transiting it.
  7. This is a nice coincidence, as I have been thinking how much I'd like to get a telescope and get into astronomy with my kids.

    Forgive me if this counts as thread hijacking, but it seems silly to start another thread with this question when all the astronomers are paying attention to this one.

    So, last night at around 8 p.m. here (north of NYC), we saw a bright "star" relatively low in the western sky. Is there a good chance it was Venus?

  8. Very good chance. Check it out with binoculars. You might be able to tell that it's different than surrounding stars.
  9. I have several light buckets that I use. For light gathering and viewing of dim objectic a have a Celestron C-11. For planetary, I have a Takahashi TOA-130 refractor. Both of these units get mounted on a Astro-physics Mach 1 GTO mount, portable but those powerful Maxim motors are really good. However, I do want to get a Dobson mounted telescope but my friend Charles keeps talking me out of it. BTW, what GEM and Maksutov are you using?

    I also have a C-8, William Optics 90mm and several smaller refractors that are either mounted on my other telescopes, my CG-5GT or used for autoguiding. However, despite my collection of telescopes, this year has been a relative bust for viewing and my light pollution is probably as bad as yours. Weather had been even more uncooperative. Nonetheless, I did get a few peeks at Jupiter so far this year.
  10. Yes, as Vlad has said, that was Venus you saw.
  11. :drool: Celestron SCT's are my dream scopes.
  12. The new EdgerHD versions are very nice and are capable of excellent images. The good news is that the introduction of the EdgeHD design has dramatically driven down the price of the older but still superb Celestron SCT models.
  13. I don't do imaging (I'm poor), and I don't even like computerized scopes. It's the hunt for the faint fuzzies that I enjoy. So finding an old 'out-of-date' SCT would be perfect for me.
  14. Thanks.
  15. Sounds like a good setup. I know Meade can be very difficult to obtain customer support from so kudos to you in making it work. Personally, I really like the GM-8, as I value portability a great deal. It's better to move to a dark sky than stay put with a heavy mount that you are reluctant to move or use. It it wasn't for the fact I have an inside track at AP, I would have probably bought the Losmandy GM-8 or maybe even the GM-11 mount instead.

    Clear skies!
  16. To the amateur astronomers here ... How bright will Jupiter get ?
    I`m sure I read Jupiter`s Perihelion is March 2011 (Nearest approach to the sun)

    Just asking, as there is a very bright star in the night sky, I have been seeing for months now, and I mean very bright ! .... I was under the impression it was Jupiter, but Vlad says it is Venus ?

    Now confused :001_huh:
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  17. Wanna by my 8" G-8 (basically a C-8, but in black, with an Osmandy base (which I hate).


  18. Jupiter will get quite bright, about magnitude –2.8. Venus is brighter still, about magnitude -4.3. To tell the difference simply understand that Venus is currently trailing the Sun in the sky. So, the very bright star setting in the west just after the Sun sets is actually Venus. Soon thereafter (approximately 10pm, Jupiter will rise in the east and will be the brightest object in the eastern sky, aside from the Moon. I hope this helps a little.
  19. No money! :blush:
  20. TheVez2

    TheVez2 Contributor

    I've just started with Astronomy. I have a pair of Orion 10X50 Binoculars. Just trying to learn my way around the night sky right now. The other night I was out and saw Jupiter and was able to make out 3 moons with the binos. I was very surprised. I also was able to locate and see M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) for the first time with my binoculars. That was a very good night.

    My favorite object to look at through the binoculars is M45 (Pleiades). Just amazing.

    I have my eye on an Orion 8" Dob, but that purchase is quite a way down the road.

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