VENUS STARGAZE EVENT DÉJÀ VU OBSERVING REPORT – HANS HEYNAU


Last month I reported and showed the main features that I had captured at this year’s Stargaze Event.
But, while I was there in Venus I also heard about and observed some other objects. This experience
encouraged me to try to capture, or re-capture, some things during the past month when the
opportunity presented itself. This report is to share these items so that maybe you’ll get a taste of 2016
Venus Stargaze Déjà Vu as well.  An item that I don’t believe I had personally
observed before was the Owl Nebula (M97). At Venus, our host, George De Barros, let several of
us gaze through his scope as we wandered by
across the observing field. My eyesight is not
what it was in my younger years, but I believe I
saw it. In April, on another outing on my own, I
managed to capture it for myself (Fig. 1). Thanks
for the inspiration George!
Similarly at Venus, Quin Travers, who was set up
near me commented on the features he was
seeing in M81 and M 82. Although I didn’t see
them personally in Venus, that spurred me on to
give them a try during my April capture efforts
and the resulting spiral galaxy (Bode’s Nebula
M81 and Cigar Galaxy (Bode’s Nebula) M 82 is
presented in Figure 2. Additional detail may be
seen if the two items are expanded/cropped from
the single picture, but it was kind of neat to
capture the two of them in the same capture
frames.
My final Déjà Vu exercise was to try to capture Jupiter and its Great Red Spot (GRS) before they shrink
in size too much more beyond opposition. Steve Schiff and others got some glimpses of Jupiter in Venus
but conditions were less than ideal. Also, it always seems as though I’m not looking at the right time as
I’m not sure how far off from the magazine predicted times for GRS to pass Jupiter’s central meridian
might be (since the magazine is published far in advance and I rarely track down what the crossing time
actually might be for the candidate observing night. On Wednesday April 27th I got a clear night in my
back yard at somewhere near what the predicted GRS crossing time might be, so I decided to give it a
shot. Figure 3 illustrates my Registax processed .avi movie result for a time about 20 minutes after the
May issue of Sky and Telescope predicted crossing time. This seems to be the present shift in time of
crossing if you want to give it a shot for yourself.

Although the photo is not as good as one of world class planetary imager Christopher Go’s results with
a 12” scope, it certainly shows how colorful the GRS currently seems to be displaying for us. (Not bad
for a $20 web cam – Grin). I captured several time lapse sequenced video segments with the hope of
maybe creating an animated .GIF of the GRS moving across part of Jupiter’s face, but that is a whole
other processing exercise…
Hope many of you get a chance to see or capture the GRS while Jupiter is in our neighborhood!

See May club newsletter for Photos!