Giove luglio 2007 Celestron C11
Hubble heritage images
JUPITER is my favorite planet I'm always thrilled when it is possible to observe the king and take images. Its diameter is one-tenth of that of the sun so even if it is further than the sun it is still remarkable and becomes an easy target in a telescope.  Jupiter's mutating aspect is dued to its metereology, it rotates on its axis in less than ten hours (9.9) and beeing gasseous there's no's atmosphere thicks going down in the deep and gets hotter because of pressure reaching a huge liquid hydrogen ocean...deeper metallic hydrogen and still deeper a probable helium ocean till a dense, hot and small, very hot core at about 70.000 Celsius....Jupiter is gassous like a small missed resembles a small brown dwarf.
Though, it has a remarkable shape, Jupiter doesn't stand high powers, its features are many and they change fast because it is fast... rotation, winds, clouds, moons... everything goes spinning there.. 'cause it is BIG and big is massive.
Without experience you could look at it through an excellent telescope in a rather good seeing condition and be deluded, but if you are used to it and know what to see you will noticeno a lot of many that it would be hard to to put sketch on paper. Its moons are a mutitude 63 at present day...four are always visible (its enough a binocular to spot them) but when they are in eclipse. Who of you have seen
Pitch Black probably remembers the scene in which the giant ringed planet eclipses, in conjunction with the star, its moon provoking a deep dark sudden night...well this happens every few hours on the most internal  Jupiter's moons.
This is Mars south pole in october 2003, melting of the ices is increasing because of summer proximity, the pole is slowly Vesta Pro and Registax software - Mak zen 8". The planet has been masked to create more contrast.
Clicking on the image on the right the link will take you to the planet page in which you will find a description of the universe in "scale".
It's stimulating to navigate through so many possibilities but... the budget is that one of a family man with all the "voices" on the list.
This set of telescopes that I own is fruit of an almost twenty year constant effort, and many  occasions. I began in 1994 with the
Celestron C11 used O.T.A. later flanked by a used Losmandy G11. I've been wishing to have a Celestron since I was a kid so my expectation were high,  optics had a good in and out-focus image.  In the past I already had a good 8" F6 Newtonian with a perfect  Marcon mirror and a sturdy mount...I sold it when I was 25 -I still regret this - , anyway I was disappointed by the Celestron. First light was delusive...I didn't take care of the large mirror impact on seeing worstening, but I should.  C11 is a formidable instrument but it must be very well acclimatated and collimated an 11" optics are much more demanding than an 8"...Rome is polluted and often seeing sucks.  So I took it 100 kilometers from Rome to abruzzo in a very dark place on the Sirente (2.300 mt. high mountain) my Celestron became spectacular and that night it gained a lot of respect. My  5" refractor Meade ED Apo is a lucky member of a discussed serie (many complaint came from costumers to Meade because of misaligned lens in the cell) image is sharp and colour is rather good. Celestron C5+ this is a classic, maybe the most portable telescope ever, its optics are "out-standing".
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2005 here is a transit of the International Space Station (ISS)  ...a lucky "catch" with the webcam (Vesta Pro) on my 8" Maksutov. I could try to do this ten thousand times without any possibility to repeat the experience. Just a hundred meters from the location I chose of the telescope mount and this event wouldn't happen.. I will never win a lottery, but "my" astronomy indeed gave this gift to me
A big star is the "perfect" engine from which everything that exists  in simple or complex form..(excluding hydrogen and helium generated in the Big-Bang) has found its birth... everything visible has been then gradually transformed...but, each element constituting the base of every molecule, has been forged in a star. GRAVITY was the inscindible component of space and time. This "strenght" allows us to develop our muscles, gives us seasons,...orbits a natural satellite around this planet...and gives us a starry sky.
Because of gravity, huge masses of gas collapse on themselves, inside nebulas, forming stars, sometime this process comes to a premature end if another star, already formed in the proximity, blows away with its radiation part of the cocoon in which a protostar is forming, aborting the process what is left is a body looking more to a hot giant planet that we define as "brown dwarf" or in case the small protostar has gained enough mass to ignite fusion of hydrogen in the core a"red dwarf" that is a true star but of lower mass.
Let's talk about the big..the huge ones, those who have a very fast life because their mass is so big that in the core such "weight" compresses the atoms to such a pressure that the heat rises the fusion to super-fast level...transforming atoms of a kind in always the next more complex element...this happens in many layers at the same time with concentration of the heavier toward the center, in the core.  This are the stars that seeded the early universe and still are seeding the universe...with their last minute of life.
Let's compare our sun to a candle burning on the table...this star becomes the engine of the Saturn the rocket which propelled the astronauts of the Apollo to the moon. Immense quantity of hydrogen is fused into helium, helium (in its layer) fuses into carbon, the layer of carbon fuses into on with forming neon, magnesium, silicon this for a short period compared to our sun's life (a million of years or less...only depends on how massive is the star) and finally IRON... Iron condemns the star to a sudden stop, it absorbs energy stopping the nuclear activity in the core, but everything is above...all the layers with all their "weight" crash onto it sinking on a shrinking iron nucleus that wins the weak and strong nuclear forces crashing the atoms in a degeneration...due to gravity, the nucleus is now made of neutrons.
Bang! The neutron core resists provoking the rebound of everything is above and the sudden explosion of the star in a supernova.
This is the very moment of creation, everything else that wasn't there, platinum, uranius...and silver, plutonium etc. each one finds its birth in the parossistic explosive compression that fuses atoms of every elements of every kind none ocean of neutrinos flows everywhere blasting what is left of the projenitor star, spreading at high speed, dusts, metals and gasses in every direction enriching the universe of precious elements which start to cool generating compoundsand in new nebulas that will nurse new generation of stars
Last update 02/11/2010
Today we have a very sophisticated array of possibilities concerning software and instruments. Amateur astronomy has often flanked professionals in discovering new bodies around the sun, supernova and nova events...the list is long. We have pointing devices and remote systems, rare glasses optics... and digital imaging possibilities, this has been the real revolution...the CCD technology allows us to limit the problem of bad seeing and make real-time survey possible. Let's forget about traditional photography, today darkrooms are Photoshop and alikes, that do more and sometime too much.