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JUPITER 2016

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4th May 2016

The last “decent” image of Jupiter for 2016, the lack of good elevation coupled with generally poor seeing (on the few nights where it wasn’t cloudy this year!) meant our Jupiter imaging was curtailed relatively early in the year. L

This image was, however, quite acceptable & shows a lot of detail on the giant planet’s disk: also in the image are the 3 individual channels captured that make up the final colour (r-g-b) image.

This was also the first time that we used the new ASI290MM camera on Jupiter.

Below this image is an animated sequence from the 5th May where we use several “still” images as frames of a moving “animation” – because we have this animation playing continuously, & reverse the frame sequence when it gets to the end this makes it look like some sort of computer “ping-pong” game..! J

The 2 small disks visible are 2 of Jupiter’s major moons, the upper one is Io & the lower is Europa.

You can also see Io’s shadow on Jupiter, following Io: the shadow of Io is to the left of the moon because the Sun is shining on the moons (& Jupiter) from the right-hand side in this image, so Io’s shadow is cast to the left of this moon.

If you look carefully you might notice that the left hand side of Jupiter itself is more “in shadow” because of this fact also…

Another interesting feature on Jupiter is the long “squiggling line” adjacent to The Great Red Spot (remembering this is a b&w image ;) – this is actually a very turbulent weather/cloud pattern, quite likely influenced by its proximity to the GRS.

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25th April 2016

The 5 images below are 2 colour (rgb) images & 3 iR (infrared) images taken on the 25th April 2016.

The first one below is an animation (which reverses upon itself at the end to work back to the start) & consists of a half-hour rotation of this giant planet.

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21st April 2016

An iR (infrared) image of Jupiter with its largest moon Ganymede passing in front of the giant planet.

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The seeing was reasonable without being really good for the colour (rgb) image & animation below where you can see Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, crossing in front of Jupiter.

You can also make out some details on Ganymede, most especially the little bright spot at the bottom of the tiny disk that is this moon – this is the bright impact crater/region named “Osiris.”

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The animation below shows the passage of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, as it moves across the face of Jupiter: we see these event because we are in a direct line of sight view with the moon & planet, giving us these quite spectacular views – they are in fact “mini Solar eclipses” if we could “stand” on Jupiter…here Ganymede would appear to pass across the Sun’s face & create a dark spot on the Sun – remembering also if you try to imagine just what it would look like that the Sun appears much smaller from Jupiter because it is much farther away than it is from here on Earth!

Actually, from here on Earth it is a type of “mini eclipse” of Jupiter where the shadow of Ganymede also passes across Jupiter’s surface – not seen in this recording – similar to how the shadow of the Earth passes across our own Moon when a Lunar eclipse occurs.

You will also notice that as Ganymede moves further onto Jupiter the moon appears to darken: this is actually a “contrast illusion” where Ganymede has the ever-brightening background of Jupiter behind it. (The brightness of Jupiter increases from the edge towards the middle of the disk)

This contrast illusion is best demonstrated in the 2 small images below the animation – the thin strip super-imposed upon the larger rectangle in each image is uniformly grey – but in the left-hand image it appears to get darker  from left to right only because the background gets brighter from left to right…just like Ganymede on Jupiter..! J

The right hand image demonstrates the opposite to the left hand one… J

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25th Mar 2016

The 2 images below were captured on March 25th 2016 – the first being an infrared image…the “iR” images are capable of showing an enormous amount of detail at times as this one reveals: if you look at the rgb (colour) image below it which was taken a little earlier (about 1 hour) the same night you can see quite dramatic differences…this is because infrared picks up cloud details on Jupiter that are invisible in normal colour images, often because it “penetrates” the cloud tops further…

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10th Mar 2016

The first time this year where we have started to feel a bit satisfied with the imaging outcomes: still a long way to go to get the quality of image we know we can achieve, even though Jupiter is still low in the sky in South Australia.

This night was also typical of this Summer down here – as the planet climbed to its highest altitude for the night (just before 1am) when we would expect the best image opportunities, the hole in the clouds through which we were imaging closed up tight & remained as wall-to-wall cloud cover for the rest of the night! L

There’s always a lot of “might-have-beens” or “ones-that-got-away” in this endeavour! J

Underneath the image below is an “animation” of several images from this particular night displaying Jupiter as it rotates…

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Besides the Polar projection maps we create with the WinJUPOS computer software program, there are also “cylindrical projections” – think of these as looking at whatever side of the planet the image displays & “unwrapping” it & laying it out flat like a piece of paper…the image below is what you get & is useful as a 2-dimensional map to plot & record the position of various cloud/weather formations in a different way to how it is done on a disk or globe…

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Here is one of those Polar projection maps that display how the planet looks, as if we were viewing from somewhere above the South Pole in this instance…the Great Red Spot (now orange!) can be seen in the upper section. J

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In the image below you will see Jupiter rotating – we made this “video” or “animation” by using multiple images taken over the time we were imaging that night & joining them together so that they ran in a sequence with small 1/10 second intervals between each frame. (these “frames” are actually all stacks of images in the first place)

Jupiter is such a large planet & it rotates about its axis so fast that it “bulges” at the equator – you can see this bulge by looking at the images & noticing that they are wider from left to right than they are from top to bottom…like a big beach ball someone is sitting on! J

You can watch Jupiter rotate over a small portion of one revolution here…it then quickly reverses upon itself to go back to the start & commence once more.

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4th Feb 2016

The image below is the first that begins to show some of the detail it is possible to achieve on Jupiter on a fairly reasonable night – far from a really good night but beginning to show what is possible with the “King” of the planets.

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Taken on the same night as the image above this mono (black & white) image is actually an infra-red image (iR)using an iR filter…

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Jan 12th 2016

Our first image of Jupiter for the new apparition in 2016: this was the first time that we actually had clear skies & passable imaging/seeing conditions…even though it is Summer in South Australia.

Although some details are present  the seeing was not really good enough to bring out sharp details. (this detail includes the Great Red Spot – which looks decidedly like the Great Orange Spot this time around!)

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