Jupiter - Neptune Conjunction - DEC 24, 2009

| 2 Comments
Digital Illustration: Jupiter-Neptune Conjunction

Digital Illustration: Jupiter-Neptune Conjunction

Move mouse over sketch above to view labels.
Click for larger version.

Observation Notes:

Jupiter and Neptune have spent the last several days passing within a degree of each other. I finally got out to observe the pair tonight when they were separated by about 48 arc minutes. Through the 32 mm eyepiece, Jupiter and its moons were dazzling of course. In comparison, Neptune was seriously outclassed. I hadn't brought a chart with me, and I was worried at first that I might confuse it with one of several nearby 8th magnitude stars. But giving my eye a few seconds to just let things register allowed me to see the blue green color and know that was it. Examining it at 120X with the Pentax XW10 made the color appear richer and brought out the slightly soft, non-stellar appearance of its 2 arc second disc.

Although Neptune's faint presentation kept it from being a spectacular conjunction, the view was colorful. Neptune's blue-green met the bright cream color of Jupiter, the yellow of Ganymede, and the yellow-orange of Io. Realizing that Neptune is nearly five times further away than Jupiter, but both were sharing the same space in the sky made for an enjoyable observation.

I made a graphite sketch at the eyepiece, detailing color, equatorial cloud belts, flaring and diffraction spikes around Jupiter. I scanned the drawing and used Photoshop to clean up the stars, Neptune, and Jupiter's moons. Jupiter is redrawn completely and flare/diffraction spikes added using digital tools. I had a little trouble deciding the best way to present the view, so I've included two images. The second one below zooms in a little closer, and clicking for the large version may show details a little better.

The pair is widening now, and in a couple days they will be more than a degree apart. So be sure to get a look right away if you want to see them in the same telescopic field of view.

Digital Illustration: Jupiter-Neptune Conjunction

Digital Illustration: Jupiter-Neptune Conjunction

Click for larger version.

SubjectJupiter-Neptune Conjuction
ClassificationPlanet
Position*Jupiter: Capricornus [RA: 21 49 50.6 / Dec: -14 07 30]
Neptune: Capricornus [RA: 21 46 47.2 / Dec: -13 49 58]
Angular Size*Jupiter: 35"
Neptune: 2.2"
Brightness*Jupiter: -2.1
Neptune: 7.9
Date/TimeDEC 24, 2009 - 6:25 PM
(DEC 25, 2009 - 01:25 UT)
Observing Loc.Flagstaff, Arizona, USA - Home
InstrumentOrion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian (203 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag.32 mm Sirius Plössl (37.5 X)
ConditionsClear, cold
Seeing4/10
TransparencyTwilight - Mag 4 NELM
*SourcesStarry Night Pro Plus 5.8

2 Comments

Hello Mr. Perez,

Nice work on this conjunction, good color on Neptune - I like the mouse-over.

Doug Z

Thank you Doug! It's was a view I didn't want to pass up. I'm looking forward to a very close conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus on June 7, 2010, and then a naked eye conjunction of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn from mid July to mid August, 2010. It should be a great show, especially when a slim crescent moon graces the scene on July 15 and August 12.

For anyone who hasn't visited the TWAN website, Doug Zubenel is one of the talented photographers who contribute to the site. Check out his gallery here: TWAN - Doug Zubenel.

Jeremy

Leave a comment

You do not need to sign in or register to leave a comment.


The Cerulean Arc

My weblog for
everything else non-astronomy

Pin at will!


(Thanks for maintaining
return links.)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jeremy Perez published on December 25, 2009 12:29 AM.

Drawn to the UniverseJAN 2010 - The Winter Milky Way was the previous entry in this blog.

Mars - CM 265 Deg.DEC 14, 2009 - 11:30 UT is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en