Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Night for the Jupiter

Before going to Ching Yuen, I couldn't wait to go out for the Jupiter for it's high and bright in the night sky.

At about 21:30p, I went out for a football court for a relatively "darker" sky. Spot lights from another football court were shinning within 1km, and so I didn't expect too much. No matter how, the Jupiter can be seen at that moment. I set up the Ranger within two minutes, it looked that the Manfrotto Triminor tripod + Junior Geared Head is so nice and easy to use, except it's a little bit too heavy and lengthy.

I switched on the Celestron Star Pointer and try to cover the Jupiter with the red dot, done! I looked into the 32mm Sirius Plossl and Jupiter was in the view! It's good, I can see three of its satellites, while it's expected since I can see it even in my Pentax 10x50. Jupiter appeared to be a small disc with trace of non-uniform coloring. And that's the view of Jupiter in 15x.

I would want to try the Orion Shorty Barlow out, so I inserted it between the 32mm Sirius Plossl and the diagonal to get 30x. Yes, it worked nicely and I could roughly detect the two darker cloud belts. I later tried the 20mm Tele Vue Plossl with and without the barlow, for 24x and 48x) the view was nice and the disc was getting larger but not much more detail could be detected, for the sky was not so clear.

Finally, I tried the 6.3mm Celestron Plossl with and without the barlow, to get 76x and 152x. As expected under this kind of poor observation condition, except a larger disc, I could not see more detail at all. The satellites could not be fitted in the same field of view and I could notice that the edge performance of the 6.3mm Celestron Plossl is not so good. The target drift out of the field of view easily. I guess I have to get a better high power eyepiece later.

I could not detect the cloud belts in my C90 before, and it was a new and interesting observation to me with the Tele Vue Ranger. I would try to look at the Saturn later when it's higher in the sky, and I would want to look at the Jupiter again in a better observation environment or condition.

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