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 Post subject: Jupiter-Mars Conjunction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:09 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Nice view this morning, now that the gloom-blanket has finally lifted.

Observed Jupiter and Mars side by side in the same field of view at 65x in the 14" inch Dob. With all of Jupiter's moons in a row on the Marsward side of the planet.

What a start to the day! :D

Happy observing, Nigel

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:42 am 
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
These are the kind of views that stay with you. Must have been a bit nippy! Kind thoughts, Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Cheers, Bob, yes, I agree!

I'm out again tonight around 9 o'clock to look at some of the winter constellations (Orion & co.). I'm also hoping to spot Comet C/2016 R2 Panstarrs, now very well placed near Gamma Tauri, but small.

Best wishes,

Nigel

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:03 am 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Jupiter & Mars Conjunction Report
Sunday Morning 7th January 2018: 0430 + 0625- 0825: Sky finally clear. At the earlier time , managed to catch the two planets, Jupiter and Mars, just above the southern rooftops through the bedroom window and using an old 8x40 Swift binocular. Later was able to follow them from the garden and again using the binoculars, saw Jupiter and Mars making a neat parallelogram with the two stars 21 (nu) and 22 Librae. The stars were a simiar distance apart as Jupiter and Mars, although of course much fainter. I then managed to capture the pair just using just my Canon PowerShot SX50 HS at 0625 - 0628. The results, when zoomed up, clearly showed the striking difference in the colours of Jupiter and Mars. I then set up 50mm Endurance spotting scope on a tripod in the garden to follow as long as possible and into daylight. In this all 4 Jovian Moons also visible, Io + Europa on the left side and Ganymede and Callisto on the right. I checked every 5 minutes or so, following Jupiter and Mars. Sunrise time was 0802 and I managed to track both planets in the scope until 0825 when annoying bits of cloud finally beat me and I went in to complete this report. That's what I call Skywatching...wow! regards maf


Last edited by mike a feist on Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:34 am 
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Good to read about some observations of the conjunction. I had some clear conditions to observe this morning. There were patches of cloud sweeping across, but these cleared quickly. I observed for about 30 minutes, from 5:15am, using an 8x40 binocular. By that time the pair had cleared the neighbouring rooftops enough to be able to observe. The outside temperature was showing just under one degree Celsius, and the grass was white over with a very heavy dusting of frost. The waning gibbous Moon looked especially impressive.

Mars was easily visible immediately below Jupiter. I made a quick sketch of the field of view. The point of light to the immediate upper right of Jupiter would have been a combination of Ganymede and Callisto, and was very easy to spot in my 8x40. The magnitude +6.4 star below Nu Librae was just on the edge of visibility, for me, and was clearer to see when using averted vision.

Delighted to have seen the view - conjunctions are a fascinating sight. The forecast for tomorrow looks good, so hopefully I'll get a chance to make another observation then, and see the difference 24 hours as made to their respective positions.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Hello Jeff. I liked your sketch, just as I saw the parallelogram of Mars, Jupiter, Nu and your HIP73953 (my 22 Librae). regards mike


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Thanks Mike. Yes, 22 Librae was really on my visual limit at that time, with my 8x40. Am I right in thinking 22 is the Flamsteed number for the star?

I'd originally planned to observe around 7:30am, as I would have liked to have caught it as the skies were beginning to brighten, but I was up and about just after 5:00am, and I could see the pair were visible, so I thought I'd grab a view while I could.

It has made my day getting to see the conjunction - and as you say, a neat parallelogram effect formed with the other stars in Libra.

The forecast for tomorrow looks good, so I will attempt another observation. There have been such beautiful skies throughout the day today, as well. I caught sight of a particularly strong Belt of Venus effect, just after sunset, which showed a really beautiful pink band sitting above the darker blue band beneath. I went to try and photograph it, but it had faded considerably by the time I had got organised. Lovely to see though.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Hello Jeff: Yes the fainter star is labeled as Flamsteed 22 in Uranometria, and nu is also labeled as Flamsteed 21. Flamsteed 22 is unlabeled in Interstellarum. regards maf


Last edited by mike a feist on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:38 pm 
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Location: Gt.Notley, Essex
Yes, I saw it as well, lovely sight from here in North Essex.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:52 pm 
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I didn't see the conjuction but at 17.03UT today the sky was exceptionally clear with a pink horizon at least just above the houses. This is unusual.
There was no smog and no haze.
The photos look good.

Probably because of easterly 20 knot winds. Clouds going in the wrong direction to normal.
5C 1026 hPa. Sky clear.

At 15.06 UT the low Sun was very bright and I photographed my very long shadow with the Sun's elevation at 6 degrees.

Regards,
David


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:27 pm 
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
Really nicely tinted sketch Jeff. Just right subject for 8x40s. Kind thoughts, Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:10 am 
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Many thanks, Bob. I've been fortunate enough to be able to make another observation this morning, at 6:15am, and record the noticeable difference in the positions of Mars and Jupiter. The apparent separation between Jupiter and 21 (Nu) Librae seems to be a few arc minutes less than yesterday, too. Lovely to have two clear mornings in succession.

Using the Starry Night software, to check the configuration of the Galilean moons, the apparent point of light I was seeing to the immediate upper right of Jupiter was the combination of Ganymede, Io and Callisto.

I noticed Porrima was less than a degree to the south of the waning Moon - not quite at last quarter I think.

The forecast doesn't look promising for the rest of the week, but maybe it will change and offer a brief opportunity to observe.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:48 am 
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Nice sketch, Jeff.

Good that so many of us saw it. I had another look on Sunday morning. That with the treat of two superb, although colds, evenings.

I agree about conjunctions being a wonderful sight. Seeing Mars and Jupiter so close together never fails to send me mentally journeying out there, my mind riding the relative distances.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:45 am 
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Nothing to report for Monday morning here on the southcoast...now grey and gloomy. regards maf


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Nigel - agreed, the realisation of looking out across the solar system is very thought provoking, and the two planets in close proximity really does bring that into focus for me. The scale of Jupiter, still being so bright at somewhere in the region of 545 million miles away, is mind boggling.

Mike - that's unfortunate that you didn't get to observe this morning. I was grateful for clear skies. However, I suspect that my luck with the weather has come to an end as far as the rest of the week is concerned.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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