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 Jovian Moons and Magnifications

 

At the end of June I have achieved seventy seven sessions so far in 2022. Altogether I had twelve sessions last month as opposed to ten outings the previous June. Half of these were with the ‘Titchy Sixty’ (Altair 60 EDF). Four early morning dedicated planetary sessions were realised using the 102mm SkyMax. The remaining two were with the 72ED DS Pro. The 102mm Mak’ has been out often in the past six months and has been used thirteen times. Which is exactly half the amount of outings for the 72mm Evostar doublet, currently in first place. The diminutive 60 EDF has had just ten outings so far in 2022, essentially putting it into third place overall. My other scopes haven’t been so busy.

 

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The month started off well with a good ‘Titchy’ session on the first day of June culminating with observing a Ganymede occultation. I didn’t get a scope out until exactly a week later when I got to test my new Tele Vue adapter in the 60 EDF. 

 

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I also got a glimpse of an early morning Mars at 163x with a TV 11mm Plossl combined with a 5x TV Powermate. On the thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth and twentieth I took the 102mm Maksutov out for a run of early morning planetary sessions. Although my general intention was to get a better view of Mars with the four inch catadioptric. 

 

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I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with this considering Mars was only 6.7 arc seconds in diameter and 1.39 astronomical units distant. The Mak’ had a good two hours cooldown before Mars was visible to me. I could distinctly see the phase and a white albedo feature covering a considerable amount of the northern polar region. 

 

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I assumed that this was the northern polar hood. Some darker albedo features were situated around the equatorial area, which may have been the Terra Sirenum. They weren’t particularly distinct but they did have some shape and form. I could definitely see a bright point of white in the southern polar region, which may very well be the polar cap itself. On the sixteenth I witnessed an Io eclipse. The entire moon darkened in a matter of minutes until finally appearing to blink out of existence. 

 

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Now you see it …

 

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… now you don’t!

 

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The remaining five June sessions were all conducted with the Titchy Sixty. Technically I had two on the twentieth; early morning with the SkyMax and late evening with the 60mm doublet. The Star Maiden, Omega, Trifid and Lagoon nebulae are all now high enough for me to observe. As are the Summer Beehive, Tweedledee, Tweedledum and Wild Duck clusters among others. The Sagittarius Star Cloud was another bonus. 

 

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The end of the month saw me experimenting with threading the element from SvBony 2x and 3x Barlows directly into the 6mm Vixen SLV. This enables me to vary magnifications while still maintaining a lightweight set-up with just two eyepieces and a 2x Barlow.  Unfortunately the TV Barlow element threads aren't compatible with the SLV, or the 19mm Panoptic!

 

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The last session of the month was on Tuesday the twenty eighth when I viewed a Europa transit. 
 

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Edited by Nightspore
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