Jupiter and Saturn during the end of 1999
by Lorenzo Comolli

It was many years that Jupiter and Saturn were not in a so favorable opposition. Besides of beeng prospectically so close, their culmination is very high in the sky, so there are much less problems of bad seeing.
In this page I put in cronological order the observations that I and other friends take.

28 august 1999

It's a big luck to spent my holiday near the private observatory of my friend, Alfredo Zanazzo. But it's also a luck to use his new planetary telescope: a 12,5" f/20 Quadrischiefspiegler, a non obstructed instrument with four mirrors that give the maximum contranst on planets, without abdicating a good diameter. The CCD camera is the Starlight Xpress HX-516, with 7 micron square pixels.

After a month of bad weather, finally a good night: the excitement was so hi that I went to bed at 8 A.M. of the day after. But I take a lot of good images. The seeing was very good even if not perfect.

When I strat to image Jupiter I discovered that there was a transit of the Io shadow. The transit was going to end, but the images show a pretty circle.

Click on the image

The high resolution of the images and the fast rotation of the planet impede to sum some images, obtained at about 1,5 minutes apart. So I realized an animation that show the rotation of the planet and the end of the Io shadow.

>>> CLICK HERE <<<
to download the Jupiter animation of 28 august 1999 (AVI-DivX 50Kb),
35 frames taken at 1,5 minutes intervals, from 2.03 to 2.56 UT.

At the eyepiece Suturn was wonderful, the CCD camera images show many thin bands. The Cassini division is visible at 360°.
In the below image I added an image taken 3 hours after that show the satellites. Note Mimas, near the rings, that is of magnitude 13.

In you want to see what satellites are, click on the following image.

12 november 1999

After seeing the above image, it seems useless to see other images of the same planets, but taken with an older CCD, an ordinary commercial telescope and a mediocre seeing. But that is my instruments and with it I can do observation during the entire year.

My isntruments are an ST4 CCD camera (the first low-price camera, now it's considered very-very old) and an 8" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain (used at 5400mm or 4000mm with a 2x short barlow).

In this night the seeing is mediocre and with my friend Simone Bolzoni I images Jupiter and Saturn.

The first image was taken exactly when the Europa shadow was going away from the Jupiter disc (Europa is visible at right).
The second image is interesting for the bright spot inside the North Equatorial Band.

Click on the image

The image of Saturn clearly show the Cassini division in the rings, but also different bands on the planets.

Click on the image

13 november 1999
The idea to make a movie of the transit of a Jupiter satellite (with his shadow) it's not new. However it's an exciting experience to image a total solar eclipse on a so distant planet! The idea was to take an image at 15 minutes intervals, and then make a movie. The phenomens was predictet from 20.30 to 23.30 UT, but the clouds ended it at 21.30. It was possible only to capture 4 frames, but it's possible to note the fast rotation on the planet.

Click on the image

Jupiter animation
The best way to see the rotation of Jupiter is to make a movie. Here is the result, even if there are only four images. It's visible the entrance of Io.

28 november 1999
The good weather of the end of november made it possible to realize a longer animation of the rotation of Jupiter. The total animation time is 4 hours was limited by the excessive cold that obliged me to stop! The seeing is medium-bad and it get worser during the night.

Click on the image

>>> CLICK HERE <<<
for seeing the Jupiter animation of 28 november 1999 (190 Kb).

For every comment about images, or about my bad english: comolli@libero.it

HTML Editing and Publishing by Lorenzo Comolli. Email me at comolli@libero.it.
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