Jupiter Saturday Night, 08/22/97
By Michelle Stone


I had my Pronto out Thursday night. Imagine my suprise when, with my first look, I saw the GRS transiting. It was frustrating though because the seeing was not steady and there were only fractions of a second when I could see hints of detail. I came in to check the charts to make sure it was a transit time (just to be sure... and it was the real thing). I have found my Pronto to be a great scope to keep set up and use in the yard. It's best on Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon, but that's about all you can see from my yard anyway. M42 is okay in the winter.

Last night, after the Van Meter event, I arrived home and took out the Pronto for some more viewing. It was pretty quiet last night in the neighborhood... with the exception of some critter rustling about in my lemon tree. I watched Jupiter, over to Saturn, and back to Jupiter, and then back to Saturn again. Saturn was quite nice late in the early morning hours as the seeing improved. I could see some detail in the rings and the shadow on the planet.

Right before I went in, I spent about 15 minutes on the Moon with a map to try and start learning the features. As a last thought, I put in a 32mm Plossl for a wide field view. The Moon was striking against the black sky... and then clouds began moving in very quickly. They were not thick clouds... the Moon was fully visible with all its features showing clearly. But the clouds did their grey-green dance as they wisped around the partial sphere. My eyeball was stuck to the lense for several minutes while this went on. Indeed this spectacular show was the highlight of the evening.

And then, I took my little scope in and went to bed... only to wake up to a cloudy sky... boo hoo. I hope it starts clearing soon for the FP event tonight!