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Jupiter Observing

Started by HowardP, 05/28/2004 09:35PM
Posted 05/28/2004 09:35PM Opening Post
What can I do to bring out more visual resolution/contrast in my 6" refractor. I am viewing at 175-250x without any filters. I do not see any of the detail people show in drawings. I'm in the NE with light pollution.

thanks howard
Posted 05/28/2004 11:38PM #1

It sounds as if you are already starting with a very good instrument to observe the planets with (assuming diffraction limited optics). Your magnification range sounds about right as well (30-40x aperture). I can speculate that your local seeing conditions may not be allowing you to note fine detail over Jupiter. Although you may have an excellent instrument to observe the planets it takes a great deal of training the eye to detect faint detail. You must also realize that images enhance certain details over a planet (e.g. belt or zone) which the eye may note as subtle. Please be patient and you will begin to see some of the detail that more experienced observers record. The best of luck in your observations of Jupiter.

Posted 05/29/2004 11:24AM #2
Hi Howard. I believe that "seeing" conditions limit the details you can see on bright objects (planets and moon)at high magnification. If you are under the jetstream or there is a front moving thru or if there is moving, multi-temperature air overhead, seeing conditions will be for the worse, even in very dark skies. In S. La. seeing is usually average to good with ocassional nights of fantastic atmospheric steadiness that provide excellent views and details of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars (last year).

On the other hand I was in the Catskills in upstate N.Y. a couple of years ago with the 16" and while the skies were as dark or darker than skies any skies I've ever seen, including Okie-Tex on a great night, I couldn't go above 100x. If I try higher magnification the views looked like I was looking thru a pot of boiling water.

Check the clearsky clock for predicted "seeing" conditions and compare the views thru your scope with views thru other scopes that you know give good images.