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Jupiter at the Herstmonceux Observatory and Science Centre
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Saturday, 29 October 2011 12:53

This year, I decided to volunteer at the Herstmonceux Observatory and Science Centre.  I figured that this hobby has given me so much enjoyment, it was about time I tried to give something back.  Of course, there is the added bonus of being able to play with some seriously impressive engineering as well!

If you haven't been to the Science Centre, I would urge you to make the trip.  They hold regular open evenings, and we get 4 scopes running - The 30 inch Thompson Reflector, the 13 inch Astrographic Refractor, the 26 Thompson Refractor, and a Meade LX200 16".  I will leave you to join me and compare the views when you come down.  You can find out about open evenings on the website at http://www.the-observatory.org/open-evenings.

Anyway - last week, I was lucky enough to be running the Meade LX200 16" in Dome C.  Jupiter is coming into opposition at the moment, so it was perfectly placed for viewing and imaging.  For once, we were lucky to have clear skies, with only the occasional cloud, and we saw Io and its shadow transit Jupiters disc.  The Great Red Spot also made an appearance. I've only been playing with scopes for 10 years now, and this was a rare treat for me.  I've seen a shadow transit before, but never with such clarity!!  The 12mm Televue Nagler eyepiece I purchased second hand really showed the planet and moons beautifully.

Once the crowds had gone when the centre closed at 23:00, I put my Skynyx 2-1c on the scope.  No barlow, just running the camera at F/10.  I was able to capture the end of the transit.  Here is a short video showing the transit:

 

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