May 262017

The PTO is still configured for planetary imaging in support of NASA’s JunoCam project. The air was not very steady last night which shows as the focus shifts in and out during the animation. However, this was the first time I have been able to follow one of the moons as it crosses the planet. The first moon visible is Europa, and it remains visible as it starts to cross in front of Jupiter. The second moon that comes in from the left is Io. Io was going to cast a shadow on Jupiter, unfortunately the planet became obscured by my western tree line before it happened.

There is a 19 minute jump in the animation. My capture software hung saving one of the videos and I had to stop and restart the application. Most of the delay was me not noticing the situation.

 Posted by at 13:39
May 152017

The Jupiter session on May 13 went long enough that I decided to stick around a little longer and see how Saturn was looking. Saturn is 17° lower on the southern horizon than Jupiter. That puts it right in the light dome from Eglin AFB and, on the 13th, only 34° high. The atmosphere wasn’t too bad and the resulting images were acceptable.

 Posted by at 21:55
May 112017

Last night was again clear enough to get some Jupiter footage. However, there were some high clouds that interfered. Luckily, Jupiter was outside of the ice crystal halo surrounding the full Moon which would have significantly reduced the contrast in the images.

Jupiter is just barely visible tucked right up against the western tree line.

Jupiter with this good a focus shows how steady the atmosphere was.

The Jovian moon visible in this video is Io, the innermost of the four Galilean moons. It orbits Jupiter in only 42.5 hours and is the most volcanic body in the solar system.

According to mythology Io was one of the god Jupiter’s mortal romantic conquests. In fact, quite a few of the named moons are named for Jupiter’s human entanglements.

 Posted by at 22:21
May 102017

Wednesday night was a short one due to work the next morning. There was no Great Red Spot (GRS) visible but I was able to get some acceptable imagery that included 3 of Jupiter’s large moons. They are quite blurred due to their quick motion and our atmosphere, but they are definitely visible.

The moon visible on the right of Jupiter is the moon Europa. It disappears behind the planet. The second moon is Ganymede. It appears to the lower left of the planet as it emerges from Jupiter’s shadow. The third moon shows up from the upper left towards the end of the video. That moon is Callisto.

 Posted by at 21:57
May 102017

Last night’s planetary imaging session was better and not. I was able to reduce the time during meridian flip, which was good. But there were high light clouds that did effect the imaging, which was not good.

Additionally, tracking was spotty leading to the planet nearing the edge of the FOV several times. That is evident in the video background. While not effecting the clarity of Jupiter the effect is very distracting.

 Posted by at 17:52