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At Last A Good Night

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Posted by L Madia on February 24, 2002 03:49:58 UTC

I have been waiting to get out for about a week.
Every night has been over cast or rainy. Finally tonight the seeing was good.

I turned my tasco 114mm reflector to the moon for just a little while than turned to Jupiter. I started with the 20mm ep and easily picked up the giant planet. I took a little time to center the planet in my ep so that all I had to do was move one of my micro controls and I could keep it in view. When I get it going like this I like to move up in power just to see how far I can go and still get a good image.

I went to the 12.5mm and all was well. I could make out the two blue belts that cross Jupiter's midsection, and the planet's moons. I than jumped to the 4mm. As I have stated before I can sometimes get a good view with the 4mm. Tonight it was very good. I brought out the 3x barlow and put the 4mm on the end. I know this is supposed to be a bad idea because of the disturstion, but since I had the planet deadon I thought I would give it a try. I had positioned the planet down in the viewing area and quickly inserted the barlow. The ep was blank but at the bottom of the viewing area I noticed a growing briteness. It was Jupiter.

At first the planet was out of focus, but by working the micro control with one hand and the focus knob in the other hand I slowly adjusted the focus till I got a decent view. The planet filled a good 1/5 of the viewing area. I could make out the blue bands with some detail and I noticed a larger buldge in the lower bands left hand section. I watched the planet like this for a good 1/2 hr constantly adjusting the focus trying to get it just a bit better. At times it seemed like the air would settle and for a second or two the planet would come in clear.

Havind my fill with Jupiter I turned to Saturn. Again I worked my way up through the ep's till I came to the 4mm. I picked up Saturn in the 4mm and she was very clear. The rings were clearly visible as was the planet. I tried the barlow, but could not keep Saturn in view long enought to adjust the focus.

I finished my night with a short gaze at the moon. I turned the the section where the dark side meets the light(termination?) and took a bit of time checking out the shadows the craters cast. I than picked up the crater Copernicus and followed the radiant lines the flowed from its center. I used the 4mm for those close ups as well.

I was getting pretty cold by than and finally packed it in. It was a very good night for observing.

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