Bad Jupiter Images.

Well, I did manage to get some images of the triple moon transits on Jupiter.  However, the seeing was so unbelievably unsteady that they are all really fuzzy.

I will try to clean them up some more and see if I can draw some more detail out of them.  In the mean time, you can see what it was supposed to look like from the Hubble image above.

I do consider this a successful outing because I am probably the worst planetary imager of all time.  This is actually the first time that I have gotten  images of Jupiter this good.  I experimented the day before with my setup, but found that I couldn’t use the planetary camera I purchased because I couldn’t get Jupiter on the chip.  It’s a size thing.  Being used to large format imaging chips has spoiled me because they are a lot more forgiving.

I have yet to capture the giant red spot, but I should hurry as it is shrinking away at about 580 miles per year.  That means I only have a few decades to get a good image.  Provided that it doesn’t suddenly start growing again.

But with this success, I learned a lot and I am determined to get some good images of as many planets as I can this year.  Just like making it to Carnegie Hall, all it takes is practice.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Friday’s Triple Moon Transit Over Jupiter.

If you are in the Riverside area tomorrow night, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a triple moon transit of Jupiter.

The Physics and Astronomy Department at UCR will have a free public telescope observation of a rare event on Friday 23 from 8:30 to 10 PM.

Three moons of Jupiter will cast their shadows onto the gaseous planet and eclipse themselves. This is the last time we will be able to see the phenomenon from Earth until the year 2032.

There will be special telescopes to see the event. Information at the event will be available in English, Spanish and Farsi.
– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Wake Up!

The ESA’s Rosetta comet probe has woken up to make its rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta’s mission will take 10 years to complete.

During its trip Rosetta passed by two asteroids, Lutetia and Steins.  The image above shows landslide that happened on Lutetia.

When Rosetta reaches the comet, it will deploy a 220-pound (100 kilogram) lander called Philae.

Once on the comet’s surface the pair of craft will accompany the comet on its journey through the inner solar system, observing at close range how the comet changes as the Sun’s heat transforms the cold surface to a boiling gaseous mass.

Rosetta is about 500 million miles (about 800 million km) from Earth near Jupiter’s orbit.  At that distance radio transmissions take 45 minutes to reach Earth and vice versa.  What is fascinating is that, due to gravity, the radio signals don’t travel in a straight line back and forth.

Once Rosetta’s on-board alarm clock went off it took seven hours to warm up its star trackers,  fire thrusters to slow its spin, turn on its transmitter and send a message back to Earth.  And with all the advances in science the drumming monkey clock was the best we could do (just kidding, atomic clocks were used, although the monkey clock would be fabulously hilarious).

There are a lot of firsts for Rosetta, but the images from the comet as it starts out-gassing should be spectacular.  I just hope Philae doesn’t land on one of the explosive vents that many comets have.  We will know later this year as the comet passes by the Sun.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Great Balls of Fire

Although not as Spectacular as Shoemaker-Levy 9, it seems that Jupiter is impacted by objects quite a bit more frequently than previously thought.

Of course we have known for a long time that the Solar System is crowded with a lot of debris from its formation about 5 billion years ago.  But it is only recently that we found out how many of these small objects impact our largest planet.

Thankfully, with all the budget cuts in science world-wide, amateur astronomers have stepped in to fill some of the void.  Using video cameras and other imaging devices, amateur astronomers observing Jupiter have captured three of collisions in the last 3 years.  Using data from these observations, Ricardo Hueso (University of the Basque Country, Spain) reported this week:  “Our analysis shows that Jupiter could be impacted by objects around 10 meters across between 12 and 60 times per year,” Hueso says. “That is around 100 times more often than the Earth.”

The study also includes detailed simulations of objects entering Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrating at temperatures above 10,000 °C and observations from telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope or the Very Large Telescope of the impact area taken only tens of hours after the impact. Despite observing the planet soon after the impact, Hubble and the VLT saw no signature of the disintegrated objects, showing that such impacts are very brief events.

Because the glow of these impacts is so short-lived, and they happen at unpredictable times, major observatories like Hubble and the VLT cannot reliably observe them due to mission scheduling.  Amateur astronomers, who can dedicate night after night to observing a planet, have a far better chance of spotting these impacts, even if their equipment is far more rudimentary.

The first of these collisions was observed by A. Wesley from Australia and C. Go from Philippines on June, 3 2010. The second object was observed by three Japanese amateur observers (M. Tachikawa, K. Aoki and M. Ichimaru) on August, 20 that year and a third collision was observed by G. Hall from USA on September, 10 2012 after a report of a visual observation from D. Petersen from USA. Credit: Hueso/Wesley/Go/Tachikawa/Aoki/Ichimaru/Petersen

The first of these collisions was observed by A. Wesley from Australia and C. Go from Philippines on June, 3 2010. The second object was observed by three Japanese amateur observers (M. Tachikawa, K. Aoki and M. Ichimaru) on August, 20 that year and a third collision was observed by G. Hall from USA on September, 10 2012 after a report of a visual observation from D. Petersen from USA. Credit: Hueso/Wesley/Go/Tachikawa/Aoki/Ichimaru/Petersen

Yet another way that citizen scientists are expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge.  And as soon as I can remotely control and automate my observatory, I intend to help (of course I want to hunt for planets, but that’s beside the point).

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

No Telescope Needed.

Heads up.  You can see a very close Moon/Jupiter conjunction on January 21.  For everyone in North America, this is easily visible even from brightly lit cities.  A waxing gibbous moon, 78-percent illuminated, will pass within less than a degree to the south of Jupiter (your closed fist held out at arm’s length covers 10 degrees of the sky).


The two brightest objects in the sky that night (Venus is brighter than Jupiter) will make their closest approach high in the evening sky.  This will be the closest moon-Jupiter conjunction until the year 2026!  You should be able to take pictures of the event with any camera.  Send me links to the pictures you take of the conjunction!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

 

An Explosion on Jupiter

Early last week, two amateur astronomers observing Jupiter reported a flash of light in the planet’s atmosphere.  Dan Peterson in Wisconsin was doing some early morning visual observations of Jupiter when he saw a flash of white light in Jupiter’s atmosphere.  Visual observations are nice, but luckily George Hall in Dallas caught the same flash on video.  Together, these two observations indicate that an explosion had happened on Jupiter.  We are actually lucky that Jupiter is located where it is in our solar system.  Jupiter is like a giant gravity vacuum, sucking up a lot of the stray debris that roams the solar system before it can have any adverse affects on our planet.

Currently, no one knows what actually impacted Jupiter; current speculation is that it was a small asteroid, probably about 10 meters (about 30 feet) in diameter, releasing energy equal to about 10 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

Using a modern, easily affordable telescope, you can observer Jupiter and other nearby planets and especially the moon and observe small meteors impacting the surface.  A group at the Marshall Space Flight Center that has observed over 260 impacts since 2005 using 10”- 14” telescopes on the lunar surface.

You can see the video of the Jupiter impact here.

If you have invented a new camera or photo development method and need help to patent or copyright your idea, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +