Do you recall the largest planet of all?
Jupiter’s prime viewing season in 2017 has long past, but it should still be visible a little after sunset if you want to get a final glimpse of it this year in the evening sky.
Back in June, when Jupiter was high in the sky, I embarked to sketch the planet a few times, intermingled with on different nights opposite my digital photography of it. Sketching at the telescope is an art for which I am barely a novice, but I am taking steps to improve my drawing skills in hopes of better future drawings for Jupiter, the Moon, and Mars.
I did mentioned in an earlier blog post or comment that I would post my sketches. So better late than never, for better or worse, here they are, further below. Note that I list the eyepiece filters used. An objective I had this year was to determine which filters are best for seeing Jupiter’s details. In my final sessions, as I was getting more comfortable making out the planet’s finer details, I decided to test each of my filters so that knew for years to come which filters will help my observations.
It is entirely possible that my filter opinions are just that, and yours may be different. But if you are inclined to observe Jupiter someday at the telescope, here is my little guide on which filters I prefer. The numbers, in case you are unfamiliar, as the standard Wratten numbers to denote filter color or type.
- #12 Yellow – Very good, great band contrast
- #23 Orange – Very good, can see band contrast
- #25 Red – Bad, can only see the primary bands a little
- #58 Green – Good-to-ok for band contrast
- #80A Blue – N/A, filter was dirty, needed to clean
- #80A Medium Blue – So-so (maybe results would have been better if Jupiter was higher in the sky?)
- #96 Neutral – Very good, a little less bright but can see bands easily
- Mars filter – Good, nice contrast and, in particular, the Great Red Spot really popped out
So I recommend #12 Yellow, #23 Orange, #96 Neutral, and Mars. I have to recheck my #80A Blue filters next year.
And now, onto the Jupiter sketches…
(See the first sketch at the top, used as the post’s header card.)