The Seeing Is Planetary Quality in Monterey

by Peter Natscher

I've setup the 10" Mak-Cass on my backyard deck to watch the Europa transit on Jupiter tonight. The seeing is very sharp right now in spite of the jet stream roaring past overhead. There are some gusts but the air flow is undisturbed here. The Galilean moons are all sharp tiny disks. Jupiter is exhibiting a lot of belt and zone detail in my bino and 10mm ortho's at 400x. Europa is only a few diameters to the east of Jupe, and coming in fast. The GRS will transit in a few hours, also. It's cold outside, though. Winter has come back, again.

I've been able to get my first view of the Sirius "Pup" 1/2 hour ago--it's so steady here right now. I'm binoviewing Sirius at 1080x and the "Pup" is sitting just outside the third diffraction ring of Sirius at 120 degrees.

No luck with Encke Gap on Saturn but Saturn none-the-less is stunning overhead at 400x bino with the A-ring minima very pronounced and lot's of globe detail south of the broad equatorial band.

Europa is half the way over Jupe right now and still looking very dark and noticeable. It's small black shadow is very sharp and velvet black with the bino at 400x. I can see detail way smaller than Europa's shadow on Jupiter. Lots of ovals and belts. The GRS is showing lot's of swirling detail within its pink oval shape. Ganymede at 720x is showing mottling across the equator of its 2 arc-sec disk and it's poles are brighter. WoW! What a steady night!