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GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-03, 04:54 PM
I live in singapore, on the equator, and i find it virtually impossible to find sky maps for my location.

well the other night i was viewing what i thought was jupiter and its four moons in my 4.25" newtonian reflector. well everything was fine untill i noticed what appeared to be a ring-system surrounding the planet.
(it confused me too thats why i'm here. next i thought maybe it's saturn and i'd been mixed up but there were four moons two either side of the planet, and the rings were still there.

i've searched for skymaps for my location to see what should be there, but to no avail. i plan to take another peak tomorrow, but i'm almost positive i saw rings(boy am i gonna feel like an idiot if they aren't there tomorrow!!).

but in the mean time does anyone have any suggestions?

about the only information i can give about position is it sat in a south-west-west direction at about 45-50 degree angle from the horizontal. around 10 pm, local time.

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-03, 05:16 PM
one quick note for amateur's that are even more amateure than I, jupiter does have rings they just can not be seen in any backyard telescope, and are very difficult to see in even the largest obeservatory telescope.

(sorry BA edit function didn't work this time)

Hale_Bopp
2002-Jan-03, 05:33 PM
Well, just a guess, but Jupiter is very bright and you could be seeing a diffraction spike. It's a common phenomena around very bright objects that could resemble a ring.

Just out of curiosity...what was the orientation? Was it lined up with Jupiter's moons, lined up with the poles (perpindicular to the equitorial bands) or something in between?

Rob

amstrad
2002-Jan-03, 06:10 PM
On 2002-01-03 11:54, GENIUS'02 wrote:
I live in singapore, on the equator, and i find it virtually impossible to find sky maps for my location.

well the other night i was viewing what i thought was jupiter and its four moons in my 4.25" newtonian reflector. well everything was fine untill i noticed what appeared to be a ring-system surrounding the planet.
(it confused me too thats why i'm here. next i thought maybe it's saturn and i'd been mixed up but there were four moons two either side of the planet, and the rings were still there.

i've searched for skymaps for my location to see what should be there, but to no avail. i plan to take another peak tomorrow, but i'm almost positive i saw rings(boy am i gonna feel like an idiot if they aren't there tomorrow!!).

but in the mean time does anyone have any suggestions?

about the only information i can give about position is it sat in a south-west-west direction at about 45-50 degree angle from the horizontal. around 10 pm, local time.


Use Heavens-Above (http://www.heavens-above.com) for quick and dirty maps tailored to your specific location. Here is a link for Singapore (http://www.heavens-above.com/main.asp?Loc=Singapore&Lat=1.293&Lng=103.856&TZ=MALST). Select the option "Whole Sky Chart" where you can adjust time and date for a custom chart of the sky.

Currently, Saturn is close (about 4 degrees) to a bright, slightly red star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus.

Jupiter is in Gemini and about 15 degrees from the twin stars Pollux and Castor.

Edit: Oh and just the other side of Saturn from Aldebaran is The Pleiades (http://www.ras.ucalgary.ca/~gibson/pleiades/), a beautiful open cluster. Use a very low power or even just binoculars.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: amstrad on 2002-01-03 13:15 ]</font>

Gsquare
2002-Jan-03, 06:40 PM
Could be an optical effect as pointed out by Hale Bopp; but most probably a visual illusion.

Sometimes when luminous objects are aligned on a dark background the brain interprets them as connected and fills in the space between , making it 'appear' to have a line between them.
This is similar to the infamous astronomer Lowell's continuous (and mistaken) sightings of canals for years on the Martian surface. Boy, did that cause problems.

Well, there's only one way to find out for sure- Send another Galileo spacecraft!

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-03, 07:26 PM
On 2002-01-03 11:54, GENIUS'02 wrote:
but in the mean time does anyone have any suggestions?

about the only information i can give about position is it sat in a south-west-west direction at about 45-50 degree angle from the horizontal. around 10 pm, local time.

Hmmm. That can't be Jupiter or Saturn. Saturn is pretty much high in the sky about that time, Jupiter is in the NE--whoa! disorientation! The skies look different down there! (I used SkyMap (http://www.skymap.com), it's a free download trial, with a lot of capability to try it out.) Which day were you observing? Are you sure of the direction and angle?

Russ
2002-Jan-03, 07:43 PM
well the other night i was viewing what i thought was jupiter and its four moons in my 4.25" newtonian reflector.


As you claim to have a Newtonian scope, I've got 5 bucks says you were looking at a diffraction ring as Hale_Bop speculates. This occures to a greater or lesser degree when a Newt is slightly out of focus one side or another. It is caused by the spider (gizmo that holds the secondary mirror in a Newt)affecting the light wave-front as it enters your scope.

When you look at Jupiter again and see this ring, try adjusting the focus until it dissapears. If it does not dissapear then you may have made an important astronomical discovery worth millions of dollars and you wont need my paltry 5 bucks. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

aurorae
2002-Jan-03, 07:46 PM
One other possibility. Did the rings extend away from the disk of the planet?

The reason I ask is that I have had people look at Jupiter's bands for the first time and think that they were rings.

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-04, 06:29 AM
On 2002-01-03 14:26, GrapesOfWrath wrote:

Hmmm. That can't be Jupiter or Saturn. Saturn is pretty much high in the sky about that time, Jupiter is in the NE--whoa! disorientation! The skies look different down there! (I used SkyMap (http://www.skymap.com), it's a free download trial, with a lot of capability to try it out.) Which day were you observing? Are you sure of the direction and angle?



My mistake, am hugely sorry, angle is correct, but direction is opposite, its NE to NNE. sorry for that, never been good at navigation.

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-04, 06:36 AM
On 2002-01-03 14:46, aurorae wrote:
One other possibility. Did the rings extend away from the disk of the planet?

The reason I ask is that I have had people look at Jupiter's bands for the first time and think that they were rings.




well not that i think off. i saw the planet and the four moons and then there was a tiny gap betweenthe planet and two bright points on either side of the planetthat looked like something was bending around the planet.

o o .0. o o

o=moon
0=planet
.=bright spots(but they were around the equator not at the bottom)

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-04, 10:26 AM
On Dec. 26, 7:30pm, from Singapore, there were a couple stars close to Jupiter that could have "faked" moons, while Io and Europa were very close to Jupiter. The two moons were symmetically arranged, one on either side, less than a radius away. No, that's not it. Jupiter was only 5 degrees in the sky.

How about Jan 1, at nearly midnight? Except then it was Io and Ganymede? No, Jupiter would have been higher than 60 degrees.

Aha! It was Io and Europa, on Jan. 2, at 9:30pm. Jupiter was about 45 degrees up. That fits your observing time, too, I see now.

What day were you observing?

<font size=-1>[Fixed time]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-01-04 05:59 ]</font>

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-04, 11:03 AM
2nd of jan.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-04, 11:30 AM
Bingo.

Check out that SkyMap trial. Even the trial version will show you the moons of Jupiter, but the mag. only goes up to 7.5 or so.

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-04, 02:45 PM
you're right, it still looked like rings though, and i thought i was gonna be absolutly famous. shucks. oh well sorry for the grief that i may have caused you all.

aurorae
2002-Jan-04, 04:43 PM
On 2002-01-04 09:45, GENIUS'02 wrote:
you're right, it still looked like rings though, and i thought i was gonna be absolutly famous. shucks. oh well sorry for the grief that i may have caused you all.


Now find Saturn. Then you will see REAL rings! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Hale_Bopp
2002-Jan-04, 05:53 PM
Or you could wait until summer and find the Ring Nebula...then you would also see a real ring.

Okay, let's play the "How many different rings can we see in our telescope?" game /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob

aurorae
2002-Jan-04, 08:39 PM
On 2002-01-04 12:53, Hale_Bopp wrote:
Or you could wait until summer and find the Ring Nebula...then you would also see a real ring.

Okay, let's play the "How many different rings can we see in our telescope?" game /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob


The Veil Nebula makes a really big ring, although parts of it are not visible.

I should point out that you need a nebula filter to see it well.

What else looks like a ring? I think there is an open cluster called the fairy ring, but I cannot remember which constellation it is in.

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-05, 11:20 AM
Ther is also a ring-like planetary nebula in an open cluster. Sorry, can't remember which just off hand.