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Jupiter paper with amateur images

A recent paper, discussing radio observations to probe Jupiter’s atmosphere below its visible cloud layers, makes use of images obtained in the visible domain by amateurs (among who is Manos Kardasis).
They investigate ammonia gas from ~0.5 to ~10 bar (almost 100 km deep), and how it is distributed in a 3D “map”. Ammonia is driven from deep in the atmosphere to the upper layers and as it cools down it creates icy clouds, while the remaining air sinks down from regions without ammonia. The various radio bright/dark regions correlate well with features visible in the ir (e.g. 5μm hot spots) and visible (e.g. the Great Red Spot, white ovals), providing a link between these features and their driving mechanisms from within the atmosphere.

Imke de Pater, R. J. Sault, Bryan Butler, David DeBoer, Michael H. Wong
“Peering through Jupiter’s clouds with radio spectral imaging”
Science, 2016, 352, 1198
(links: Science, Berkeley News, The Gurdian)

New Paper on Professional-Amateur collaborations: Jupiter and Saturn

The need for Professional-Amateur collaborations in studies of Jupiter and Saturn

Emmanuel Kardasis, John H. Rogers, Glenn Orton, Marc Delcroix, Apostolos Christou, Mike Foulkes, Padma Yanamandra-Fisher, Michel Jacquesson, Grigoris Maravelias

The observation of gaseous giant planets is of high scientific interest. Although they have been the targets of several spacecraft missions, there still remains a need for continuous ground-based observations. As their atmospheres present fast dynamic environments on various time scales, the availability of time at professional telescopes is neither uniform nor of sufficient duration to assess temporal changes. However, numerous amateurs with small telescopes (of 15-40 cm) and modern hardware and software equipment can monitor these changes daily (within the 360-900nm range). Amateurs are able to trace the structure and the evolution of atmospheric features, such as major planetary-scale disturbances, vortices, and storms. Their observations provide a continuous record and it is not uncommon to trigger professional observations in cases of important events, such as sudden onset of global changes, storms and celestial impacts. For example, the continuous amateur monitoring has led to the discovery of fireballs in Jupiter’s atmosphere, providing information not only on Jupiter’s gravitational influence but also on the properties and populations of the impactors. Photometric monitoring of stellar occultations by the planets can reveal spatial/temporal variability in their atmospheric structure. Therefore, co-ordination and communication between professionals and amateurs is important. We present examples of such collaborations that: (i) engage systematic multi-wavelength observations and databases, (ii) examine the variability of cloud features over timescales from days to decades, (iii) provide, by ground-based professional and amateur observations, the necessary spatial and temporal resolution of features that will be studied by the interplanetary mission Juno, (iv) investigate video observations of Jupiter to identify impacts of small objects, (v) carry out stellar-occultation campaigns.

arXiv:1503.07878

Jupiter IR images from Skinakas

I was able to take a series of IR images from Skinakas telescope and Manos Kardasis did all the job with the processing. Here are the results:

Jupiter_20121007_MaraveliasKardasis

Synchronized optical and IR observations of Jupiter.
Manos’ comments: “It is interesting though that even in oneshot – low resolution images – some bright SSTB ovals are visible. Also NNTZ LRS (L2 308, B 40.7) is bright. Another big bright spot a little northern (at NNTBn?) is visible at L2 218, B 39.”

 

Manos’ comments: “There are some white spots visible on NEBs with the H21 filter. GRS and oval BA are bright in all sets (except CO).”

Planetary imaging from Skinakas telescope

In late August 2012 we (me and Manos Kardasis) tested the video capture method for planetary imaging using the 1.29m Skinakas‘ telescope. Although not aware of what problems to expect we finally didn’t encounter any (as Manos had been really working on this with great care and caution) but for the weather and seeing.
So, the test proved successful and all that is needed next time it good seeing.
Below you can see images of the equipment used and the results on Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
(Jupiter observations were also forwarded to Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory / Jupiter section.)

Skinakas' 1.29m equipped for planetary imaging

 

Equipment: DMK/DBK video camera + barlow 2x (if needed) + filter wheel (L,R,G,B,Ch4,IR,UV) + eyepiece with flip mirror