Jupiter on 04-18-2016

Jove the Gas Giant Planet!
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.
It is a giant planet with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined.
Basically you can fit all the planets into Jupiter at the same time with lots of room to spare.

Jupiter rotates every 9 hours &  56 minutes, that is roughly a 10 hours day compared to our 24 hour day here on Earth.
It takes Jupiter 11.86 years to orbit the Sun once, compared to 365 days it takes Earth to orbit our Sun once.
Currently it is 442.8 million miles from Earth…this changes constantly as both Earth and Jupiter orbit the Sun.

Jupiter’s Atmosphere is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System.
It is mostly made up of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly solar proportions; other chemical compounds are present only in small amounts and include methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water.

You can find Jupiter with just your eyes nearly straight over head around 10:00pm, it will be the brightest thing straight over head, so go out and take a look tonight, you can even see its clouds bands & 4 Galilean moons with a pair of Binoculars or small telescope held steady or placed on a tripod.

I captured this image of Jupiter on 04-18-2016 centered on (17th 10:26pm EST)  02:26 U.T., We finally got a good night of stable seeing 7/10 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio. I was able to crank the magnification up a bit, by using the 3x barlow.  I used my 8 inch diameter(old Orange tube C8) SCT telescope, 3x Cemax Barlow & and a QHY5IIL Mono CCD camera, Astronomik RGB Filters, IFW Filter wheel, Registax6 2400 RGB frames stacked & wavelets, MaximDL for RGB Alignment, Adobe CS 2015 final processing.

I’m happy with the cloud top details…considering we don’t get the greatest seeing here in the Midwest!
I did notice that the Great Red Spot is not so Red anymore, more like Salmon colored Spot…but it still was cool to see some detail within the GRS & cloud top details!

To learn more about Jupiter’s Atmosphere take a read about here…

Best Regards,
John Chumack


Martian Opposition 2016 is coming!


30 Days from Now Mars Reaches Opposition on Sunday May 22, 2016 at 07:10 EDT, or 11:10 UTC, and it will be at its largest (18.4”) across for this Opposition.

Here is my best Mars shot so far this opposition,

I captured it on the Early Morning of 04-18-2016 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton. We finally had above average seeing.

Every 26 Months Mars gets close to Earth and provides Awesome views of its surface through small telescopes.

This is why I love to view and image Mars, it is the only planet that you can see the surface details in a telescope.

All other planets you would be looking at cloud tops,
except Mercury, no clouds, but is a real challenge as it never gets far from the Sun or high enough above the horizon to get decent surface details from small telescopes on Earth.

At the top or North end you see a large darker area this is Utopia Planitia, and the Little dark island just south of it is Utopia Rupes.

Mars current Axis tilt in relationship to Earth is barely showing the Martian Northern Ice Cap as I little white spot at the top.

To the far right is a small patch of clouds over Elysium Mons, one of the Martian Volcanoes. Clouds tend to gather around these high volcanoes.

Near Center are Libya Montes & Nepenthes Mensea.

On the South end Syrtis Major Planum is clearly visible and as the largest dark feature on the bottom left.

Bottom middle & right are Tyrrhena Terra, & Hesperia Planum.

The Southern Pole & Ice cap at the bottom is shrouded in clouds as well.

Captured on 04-18-2016 @ 08:34 U.T. or 04:34am EST from my Backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio.
C8 (2000mm) Telescope & QHY5IIL CCD camera, 3x Barlow, 900 frames RGB, Stacked in Astrostackert, Registax6, Maxim DL, & Adobe CS2015.

Best Regards,
John Chumack