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Europa Shadow transit and GRS 2-25

Started by EdZ, 02/26/2003 05:56AM
Posted 02/26/2003 05:56AM Opening Post
I went out last night to catch a few views around 8:00 EST and it was partly overcast, but with periodic breaks. Didn’t have high hopes. Took a quick look and saw Saturn and 2 moons, very well defined ring divisions. On Jupiter I saw 3 moons, but it started to cloud up. Left the scopes and went in to get warm. Temp was 12° with a little wind. Went back out later. The sky had a thin haze, I would say transparency was only 3/10. Castor and Pollux were easily seen, but some of the other stars in Gem were not. None of cancer was visible. Viewing started just after 10:00 EST.

Using my 5" G5 SCT, when I brought a 7mm ep it into focus I immediately saw the 4th moon had reappeared to the west, maybe only 5” past the disk and following closely behind was its shadow crossing the face of the disk. The shadow was a very dark spot about 5”-10” in from the west limb. As I watched for 10min or so I could see the moon moving away.

Just approaching the central meridian was the GRS, kind of a pale area, but an obvious big oval hole protruding south out of the SEB. The leading edge of the GRS was just a bit darker. The belt south of SEB was not seen complete to limbs. In the NEB following the GRS was a dark mass smaller than GRS, a small part of which protrudes north out of the NEB.

The center of the GRS crossed the CM between 10:30-11:00. By 11:15-11:20 the moon shadow disappeared off the west limb and the dark spot in the NEB was just crossing the CM.

Eyepieces used 7.5mm Tak LE (thanks Shannon), 7.5mm Ultima, 7mm UO ortho, 15mm TV pl in 2.5 powermate. The Tak and UO produced best views. Finished off the night with views of Castor and Algieba, two very similar 4" doubles. Even though transparency was poor, based on diffraction rings, seeing was a IV out of V.

Checked this morning and found GRS crossed CM at 10:40 EST and Europa shadow transit ended at 11:13. This was the first time I’ve ever recorded seeing a moon shadow transit. I've got a nice little sketch in my log book. Those hazy clouds didn’t do much to hamper my night!

Did anyone else get to see this Tues night?