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Thread: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

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    Default Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?



    I am somewhat new to planets and would like to see Jupiter's Great Red Spot. How do I do that in 4.5"? Is it possible?Are there any other visible features to shoot for besides bands?

    Does lp or the moon affect this?

    Kinda cool was only able to see 2 moons last night!
    Last edited by andro-mike-eda; 01-12-2014 at 03:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

    Could be tough Mike. Technically with good eyes, a perfect seeing night and maxed magnification you might be able to make it out. I have never had any luck with my 4.5", and lord knows I have tried for years. My first view of it came with my first 8" SCT.

    If you were to run a webcam directly to a laptop, you would definitely be able to see it with the 4.5".
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    Default Re: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

    Interesting, a friend and I were discussing this the other night. It may be possible to see the red spot with a 4 inch telescope with good seeing conditions and good optics that are collimated. You will need over 100x and a sharp image. It is more easily seen with a 6 inch telescope. With my 4 inch f/10 SCT, I have seen the red spot of Jupiter, the Cassini Division on Saturn's rings, gross surface details and the ice caps of Mars, etc. Our discussion was about why I haven't been able to see the red spot with my 4 inch scope recently. We came to three possible reasons. a. lack of contrast; the red spot is harder to see now because it really isn't near as dark as it can be, b. aging eyes, or c. a combination of a+b. Also, don't forget that the red spot is not visible half the time as it rotates with the planet.
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    Default Re: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

    The Red Spot is hard to see in my 6". It varies in colour, being pale at the moment, but sometimes it gets darker and presumably more obvious. Apparently it was twice as big a hundred years ago.

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    Default Re: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

    Quote Originally Posted by andro-mike-eda View Post
    I am somewhat new to planets and would like to see Jupiter's Great Red Spot. How do I do that in 4.5"? Is it possible?Are there any other visible features to shoot for besides bands?

    Does lp or the moon affect this?

    Kinda cool was only able to see 2 moons last night!
    Short answer... yes, you can see it with a 4.5". Last night with my StarBlast @ 75x I could detect it, though to be sure I've seen it before and knew what to look for. At 112x it was much more discernible. And this was with a waning gibbous moon very nearby and bright. I could also easily see 4 bands and shading in both polar regions. About two weeks ago @ 164x with no moon I had probably my best view of the GRS ever. It clearly stood out. It was a dramatic view. The seeing that night no doubt was good.

    LP and the moon don't affect the planets like they do DSO's. Planets are bright and relatively big compared to DSO's.

    Mind you the StarBlast is a fast scope, f4, which isn't exactly ideal for planetary viewing. But it works fine for me. I've seen a few shadow transits of the moons as well. A 4.5" f8 scope will probably provide nice views of Jupiter.

    Clear Skies!
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    Default Re: Seeing Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

    Here's my observing report on seeing the GRS, Jupiter GRS put on a great show tonight 12/22/2013
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