Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jupiter and Moon Occultation 2012-08-12

After a few months of inactivity in astronomy, I was notified of the upcoming Jupiter occultation that will occur during the sleepy hours of half past 2 in the morning of August 12, 2012. These past few nights, the sky was regularly covered in a blanket of nimbus. Since it will occur not on a weekday, I decided to give it a try anyway and get up in the middle of the night.

Initially, the sky was almost 90% covered. So I waited a few minutes with my scope and camera already set-up and roughly aligned to where I think the North star is. Slowly, the moon started revealing itself. I quickly center the target and snap some shots.

Before I could adjust and fix my alignment, clouds rolled in again. Fortunately, the the moon revealed itself a few seconds before it occulted Jupiter. I took a video clip to avoid missing the much awaited event.

During the time I waited for Jupiter to come out of the other side, light rain prompted me to move my setup a few meters to a covered area. After the rain stopped, I move my setup again to my previous location but then my alignment is gone. I waited for the moon to show itself again, quickly center my target and attach the camera. Before I can center the target in high magnification, I noticed that Jupiter is already coming out. Instead of wasting time doing alignment, I simply switched to a low power eyepiece and snap some quick handheld shots. I wasn't able to get a high magnification shot, but I didn't miss the event either.

When Jupiter is completely out, I realigned the target in high magnification and captured it.

After I captured a video clip, I retreated and went back to bed with a smile on my face.