Date Time: May 18, 2017 2200-2420hrs
Weather: Breezy to slight breeze to no wind, some clouds to mostly cloudy, fog, humid, 10C. Flashing from the north indicated possible lightening in that direction.
Attendance: David McCashion
Equipment: 8" Meade LX200 telescope with 13, and 32mm eyepieces. Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.
Objective: To observe a double shadow transit of Jupiter which was due to occur between 2445-0120hrs. Also to view and image Comet Johnson which was due to be near a bright star in Bootes.
- Was close to 2230hrs before sky got completely dark. Shortly after this a shooting star swarm was seen, in the East, high above. Some were faint, others were of moderate brightness.
- Easily found Comet Johnson in 32mm eyepiece. It was diffuse, brighter towards the center, had a thick, faint tail and was slightly greenish. Was also very big. Comet was much fainter than last time. Took a much longer exposure this time to get the Comet to show up.
- Set telescope up around 1800hrs to give it a chance to acclimatize, so that a better view of Jupiter could be had to see the shadows cast on its surface during the double shadow transit. Viewed the gas giant intently with high magnification given with 13.8mm eyepiece and at lower magnification. Storm clouds could easily be seen along with 3 of its Moons. One of its Moons was right along the planets limbs. After watching carefully for some time, could not see any hint of the shadows. Even though, these are the two smallest of the observable moons, I must conclude that these shadow transits are difficult to observe.
Note: I want to thank Ed O'Reilly for frequently mentioning my blog on his Thursday afternoon at 3pm radio show The Sky Above, with Edward O'Reilly His show is played again on Sundays at Noon and can be found at Local University Radio, 107.3FM. He often talks about astronomy related topics along with his signiture topic the weather. Great show! I try to tune in every week!