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Old 20-12-2020, 09:10 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Successful daylight observation of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction

I managed a successful daylight observation of the conjunction today.

The heavy cloud banks parted at about 4.00 this afternoon. My scope had already been set up for most of the day, ever hopeful that the heavy cloud would clear. At 4.30 I could see Jupiter quite clearly through the thinning cloud. It took another 15 minutes before the sky was clear enough for me to spot Saturn. It was a wonderful sight in the one field of view only 24 hours from the closest approach. Jupiter was sharp with the main bands clearly visible. Saturn and itís rings were also sharp and well defined, but much fainter than Jupiter. No moons visible, of course.

Then the cloud rolled back in and obscured everything.

At around 7.00 the clouds started thinning again, so I sat patiently for a break in the clouds. At 7.35pm I managed a three minute sighting of the pair. With the Sun now much lower in the south west there appeared to be better contrast and the view of the two planets was sharper and quite special.

Vixen NA140SS with LVW13 giving 62X and 63 arc mins FOV. No filters.

I was quite pleased with this result. I had always planned to complete a daylight observation of the conjunction as close as possible to the point of closest approach. The closest approach for this conjunction happens about midday tomorrow. Iíll try then but the cloud forecast is abysmal.
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Old 20-12-2020, 10:27 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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The cloud continued to clear to the south west and since my main scope was stranded on the north eastern side of our house, I set up my portable Zeiss 85T*FL on a Vixen Porta mount on the western side of the house and waited for Jupiter and Saturn to appear in the twilight. I had a grand view of the setting pair in the fading twilight through some gum trees.

At first glance all 4 moons appeared lined up and extending past Saturn. But a quick check in SkySafari confirmed the outer most point of light was the star HD191250, a mag 7 star in Capricornus. Europa commenced a transit across Jupiter at about 9.50pm.
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Old 21-12-2020, 07:19 PM
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The Mekon (John Briggs)
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Very well done Steve! Some creative thinking to have the scope setup for daylight obs and then manage to grab them between the clouds. Things are not so good up here in NSW. Cloudy and rain for the past week means I have not even been able to setup the scope at all. Looks like I will miss this once in a lifetime event.
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Old 21-12-2020, 08:27 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Thanks John.

I was very lucky with the weather here. The cloud cover had been thick and unrelenting all day with the forecast suggesting some thinning of the cloud late evening. It cleared sufficiently for me to do an alignment using the Moon and Formalhaut, then it was a relatively easy slew to Jupiter.

The closer approach for the conjunction was today, but the clouds are wall to wall and will be for the next couple of days.
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