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(2014-02-21 20:40)

About this Object

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth of that of the Sun, and is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium. It may also have a rocky core of heavier elements, but like the other gas giants, Jupiter lacks a well-defined solid surface. Because of its rapid rotation, the planet's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it possesses a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. Jupiter was known by astronomers of ancient times, and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures.

About this Image

This is a follow-on image on the 20:19 image of Jupiter on this date, this time using a 2x PowerMate. This too is a really bad image, but it also demonstrates that a fairly large image is possible. I can detect more banding and perhaps the Great Red Spot is redder in this image. Certainly dew was an issue, because it was a really wet evening, and I do not yet own a heater for this telescope. Seeing was not great, so that is a possible source of a problem. I do not yet own a focus mask for this telescope and good focus is difficult to accomplish under less than idea seeing conditions. The image is taken at prime focus + 2x PowerMate (EFL=5600mm) and the full resolution image is scaled at 100%, which means there is a one to one relationship between pixels on the sensor, and pixels in the image. I was surprised again at how large the image is in pixels, and I am hopeful that I can correct the problems that I mentioned and produce a better image.

--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2014-02-21 20:40:00
UTC: 2014-02-22 00:01:40

--- Location ---
The Ashton Observatory at Johnson Farms, Ashton MD
(Latitude N39.15°, Longitude W77.01°, Elevation 510')

--- Conditions ---
Temperature: 35° Dew Point: 25° Humidity: 55% Medium seeing

--- Optics ---
Celestron C11 280mm f/10.00 Reflector with Televue 2x PowerMate

--- Camera ---
Celestron NexImage 5

--- Post-Processing ---
RegiStax, PhotoShop

--- Selected Ephemeris ---
680.8 million miles from Earth and 779.6 million miles from the Sun
Apparent Diameter: 43.26 arcminutes. Magnitude: -2.5
Percent Illuminated: 99.43%. Elongation from Sun: 127.4°

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