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Amateur support to Venus research

2020-07-03

The Parker Solar Probe (NASA) and BepiColombo (ESA) missions will flyby Venus on July 11th and October 15th. Both missions will obtain observations of Venus coordinated with the Akatsuki mission (JAXA), currently in a long eliptic orbit around the planet.

Researchers on Venus atmosphere are using this opportunity to launch a large ground-based support campaign of these missions and the participation of amateur observers can be fundamental to provide enough data of the Venus atmosphere with context observations in July, August and October.

We have launched a campaign to provide amateur support to these flybys and we are actively requesting Venus observations.

See the Venus amateur campaign at: http://pvol2.ehu.eus/bc/Venus/

All Venus observations submitted to PVOL will be used for this campaign.

Jupiter Storm in the South Temperate Belt

2020-05-31

Jupiter_storm_alert Clyde Foster from South Africa reports on the apparation of a bright storm in Jupiter in the South Temperate Belt. The storm suddenly appeared as a bright compact spot South East of Jupiter's Great Red Spot on images acquired on 31 May 2020 at around 00:34 UT. While the storm is observable in most wavelengths, it is particularly well contrasted when using filters in the methane band at 890 nm where high clouds appear bright. As other convective storms its location is in a cyclonic region. Andy Casely from Australia obtained methane maps of the area one Jupiter rotation earlier confirming the sudden apparition of the storm.

Fast observations of Jupiter are requested to follow the evolution of this storm that could grow into a larger disturbance similar to the South Temperate Belt Disturbance developed in February 2018.

The storm is located at longitude 24º (System III) and planetographic latitude -33º. Juno will observe this specific area in 2 days but ground-based images in this period can help to measure the intensity of the convection in this storm. Previous similar storms have developed with different convective cores activating very closely on different days over the first 3-4 days of activity.

Storm Activity on Saturn's North Polar Region

2020-03-31

Saturn_polar_storm_alert Andy Casely from Australia reports on the apparition of a well-defined bright spot at high latitude on Saturn at L3 224deg/+71deg first observed on 30 March 2020. This could be a revival of the system of storms observed over most of 2018, which also produced several features observed over 2019. Previous observations by Clyde Foster in South Africa and Trevor Barry in Australia allow to calculate a preliminar set of ephemeris to help with new observations of this storm.

Fast observations of Saturn are requested to investigate the dynamics of this possible storm and the general state of Saturn's polar atmosphere.

The image on the right has been edited for visualization purposes. You can see Andy's original observation on his Google photos webpage.

New impact in Jupiter

2019-08-07

GRS_Alert

An amateur astronomer: Ethan Chappel from Cibolo, Texas, US observed a bolide impact with Jupiter. The approximate time of the impact was 2019-08-07 04:07 UTC. Ethan captured his video on the red channel with a C8, Chroma Red filter and ASI 290MM. The image on the right was produced by the DeTecT software that uses differential photometry images of a video to look for possible impacts in the planet.

Congratulations to Ethan on this discovery.

Observers from the American continent observing the planet at the same time may have got also a video observation of the same impact. If anyone has a second detection it would help to constrain the size and mass of the object, specially if the second detection was made with a different filter. The flash seems too small at present to have caused an impact scar. The flash was recorded at approximate coordinates: 10.0º (System III) and -19.0 (Pg). This is about 60 deg west of Jupiter's GRS. A search on images acquired over the next minutes/hours of the same region might be worthy. An impact scar is unlikely though.

Jupiter's GRS Alert

2019-05-22

GRS_Alert Observations over the last couple of years have shown discrete events of red material flowing apart from the GRS. This activity has increased over 2019 and recent observations obtained by several amateurs including notable images by A. Wesley and C. Foster show "flakes" outside of the GRS and a distorted shape.

Observations on May 22 show a very distorted GRS in blue and methane band filters that indicate an intensification of this recent activity. The images on the right were obtained by Anthony Wesley.

Observations are requested to monitor this activity. Red, Blue and methane band filters are required to investigate the nature of the behavior of the GRS. Frequent observations are needed as the activity is evolving on a daily basis. Ephemeris of the GRS transits on the Central Meridian of the planet can be found here

Jovian impacts detection software updated

2019-05-14

Marc Delcroix has released a new version of the DeTeCt software to find look for impacts in video observations of Jupiter and Saturn. The new software can be downloaded from its github page or from the jovian impacts section in PVOL.

Uranus bright feature

2018-10-28

Recent observations by Blake Estes acquired on 22 October 2018 using the 60'' Mount Wilson telescope show a bright cloud feature at the border of the bright polar hood. This storm has now been observed by other amateur astronomers and is visible in some observations obtained with large telescopes.

Marc Delcroix has studied the amateur images and has provided the ephemeris bellow. Note that this is the first storm observed in Uranus by amateurs since 2014 and that the professional community would highly wellcome new observations of this feature. Observations with non narrow IR filters like the 610, 685 and 742 nm are recommended.
WinJUPOS 10.3.11 (Uranus), C.M. transit times, 2018/11/14  10:06
Object longitude: L = 270,0° - 24,7470°/d * (T - 2018 Oct 09,5)
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Nov 01   12:48 (  60°)
2018 Nov 02   05:14 (  43°)   21:39 (  26°)
2018 Nov 03   14:05 (   9°)
2018 Nov 04   06:31 ( 352°)   22:57 ( 335°)
2018 Nov 05   15:22 ( 318°)
2018 Nov 06   07:48 ( 301°)
2018 Nov 07   00:14 ( 285°)   16:40 ( 268°)
2018 Nov 08   09:05 ( 250°)
2018 Nov 09   01:31 ( 234°)   17:57 ( 217°)
2018 Nov 10   10:23 ( 200°)
2018 Nov 11   19:14 ( 166°)
2018 Nov 12   11:40 ( 149°)
2018 Nov 13   04:06 ( 132°)   20:32 ( 115°)
2018 Nov 14   12:57 (  98°)
2018 Nov 15   05:23 (  81°)   21:49 (  64°)
2018 Nov 16   14:15 (  47°)
2018 Nov 17   23:06 (  13°)
2018 Nov 18   15:32 ( 356°)
2018 Nov 19   07:58 ( 340°)
2018 Nov 20   00:24 ( 323°)   16:49 ( 306°)
2018 Nov 21   09:15 ( 289°)
2018 Nov 22   01:41 ( 272°)   18:07 ( 255°)
2018 Nov 23   10:33 ( 238°)
2018 Nov 24   02:58 ( 221°)   19:24 ( 204°)
2018 Nov 25   11:50 ( 187°)
2018 Nov 26   04:16 ( 170°)
2018 Nov 27   13:07 ( 136°)
2018 Nov 28   05:33 ( 119°)   21:59 ( 102°)
2018 Nov 29   14:25 (  86°)
2018 Nov 30   06:50 (  68°)   23:16 (  51°)
2018 Dec 01   15:42 (  35°)
2018 Dec 02   08:08 (  18°)
2018 Dec 03   00:34 (   1°)   16:59 ( 344°)
2018 Dec 04   09:25 ( 327°)
2018 Dec 05   01:51 ( 310°)   18:17 ( 293°)
2018 Dec 06   10:43 ( 276°)
2018 Dec 07   03:08 ( 259°)   19:34 ( 242°)
2018 Dec 08   12:00 ( 225°)
2018 Dec 09   04:26 ( 208°)   20:52 ( 191°)
2018 Dec 10   13:17 ( 174°)
2018 Dec 11   05:43 ( 157°)   22:09 ( 140°)
2018 Dec 12   14:35 ( 124°)
2018 Dec 13   07:01 ( 107°)
2018 Dec 14   15:52 (  73°)
2018 Dec 15   08:18 (  56°)
2018 Dec 16   00:44 (  39°)   17:10 (  22°)
2018 Dec 17   09:36 (   5°)
2018 Dec 18   02:01 ( 348°)   18:27 ( 331°)
2018 Dec 19   10:53 ( 314°)
2018 Dec 20   03:19 ( 297°)   19:45 ( 280°)
2018 Dec 21   12:10 ( 263°)
2018 Dec 22   04:36 ( 246°)   21:02 ( 229°)
2018 Dec 23   13:28 ( 213°)
2018 Dec 24   05:54 ( 196°)   22:19 ( 178°)
2018 Dec 25   14:45 ( 162°)
2018 Dec 26   07:11 ( 145°)   23:37 ( 128°)
2018 Dec 27   16:03 ( 111°)
2018 Dec 29   00:54 (  77°)   17:20 (  60°)
2018 Dec 30   09:46 (  43°)
2018 Dec 31   02:12 (  26°)   18:38 (   9°)
2019 Jan 01   11:03 ( 352°)
2019 Jan 02   03:29 ( 335°)   19:55 ( 318°)
2019 Jan 03   12:21 ( 301°)
2019 Jan 04   04:47 ( 285°)
2019 Jan 05   13:38 ( 250°)
2019 Jan 06   06:04 ( 234°)   22:30 ( 217°)
2019 Jan 07   14:56 ( 200°)
2019 Jan 08   07:22 ( 183°)   23:47 ( 166°)
2019 Jan 09   16:13 ( 149°)
2019 Jan 10   08:39 ( 132°)
2019 Jan 11   01:05 ( 115°)   17:31 (  98°)
2019 Jan 12   09:56 (  81°)
2019 Jan 13   02:22 (  64°)   18:48 (  47°)
2019 Jan 14   11:14 (  30°)
2019 Jan 15   03:40 (  13°)
2019 Jan 16   12:31 ( 339°)
2019 Jan 17   04:57 ( 323°)   21:23 ( 306°)
2019 Jan 18   13:49 ( 289°)
2019 Jan 19   06:15 ( 272°)   22:40 ( 255°)
2019 Jan 20   15:06 ( 238°)
2019 Jan 21   07:32 ( 221°)   23:58 ( 204°)
2019 Jan 22   16:24 ( 187°)
2019 Jan 23   08:49 ( 170°)
2019 Jan 24   01:15 ( 153°)   17:41 ( 136°)
2019 Jan 25   10:07 ( 119°)
2019 Jan 26   02:33 ( 102°)
2019 Jan 27   11:24 (  68°)
2019 Jan 28   03:50 (  51°)   20:16 (  35°)
2019 Jan 29   12:42 (  18°)
2019 Jan 30   05:08 (   1°)   21:33 ( 344°)
2019 Jan 31   13:59 ( 327°)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Links:

Mars global storm

2018-06-08

Mars storm Mars is getting closer to its opposition in July just at the right time in its dusty season. After several detections of regional dust storms in the planet a global storm in Mars is on its development stage. Images by J. Rueck, D. Milika and P. Nicholas and D. Peach among other observers show the onset of this new large-scale storm. Orbiters around Mars are following the extension and growth of the current storm. A report from the MARCI instrument on the MRO mission is available here.

The image on the right compiled by Agustin Sanchez Lavega shows a comparison of amateur observations with data from the MARCI instrument on Mars Recoinnassance Orbiter.

We encourage all observers to image this Mars dust storm. The five most recent planetary storms detected in Mars occurred in 1977, 1982, 1994, 2001 and 2007. Typical global storms on Mars can develop and lasts over time-scales of a month or longer.

Saturn's Equatorial Storm

2018-04-22

Saturn continues to display interesting atmospheric activity to the reach of amateur equipment. An equatorial bright storm with two sides and located at planetographic latitude +6.0 has been observed by several observers since February and notably over April. The feature is probably the same equatorial bright feature observed since 2014 and has been object of recent scientific research(Sanchez-Lavega et al., Nature Communications, 2016).

Here are ephemeris of its transits over Saturn's CM using System I. Note that besides the prominent Equatorial and polar storms some other repeated features are observed also in the planet at latitudes +20 to +60.

WinJUPOS 10.2.2 (Saturn), C.M. transit times, 2018/05/16  16:41
Object longitude: L1 = 348,4° -  3,8516°/d * (T - 2018 Apr 01,5)
Time interval: 2018 Apr 01,0 ... 2018 Jun 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Apr 01   02:58 ( 350°)   13:10 ( 348°)   23:21 ( 347°)
2018 Apr 02   09:32 ( 345°)   19:43 ( 343°)
2018 Apr 03   05:54 ( 342°)   16:05 ( 340°)
2018 Apr 04   02:17 ( 339°)   12:28 ( 337°)   22:39 ( 335°)
2018 Apr 05   08:50 ( 333°)   19:01 ( 332°)
2018 Apr 06   05:12 ( 330°)   15:24 ( 329°)
2018 Apr 07   01:35 ( 327°)   11:46 ( 325°)   21:57 ( 324°)
2018 Apr 08   08:08 ( 322°)   18:19 ( 320°)
2018 Apr 09   04:31 ( 319°)   14:42 ( 317°)
2018 Apr 10   00:53 ( 316°)   11:04 ( 314°)   21:15 ( 312°)
2018 Apr 11   07:26 ( 310°)   17:38 ( 309°)
2018 Apr 12   03:49 ( 308°)   14:00 ( 306°)
2018 Apr 13   00:11 ( 304°)   10:22 ( 302°)   20:33 ( 301°)
2018 Apr 14   06:45 ( 299°)   16:56 ( 298°)
2018 Apr 15   03:07 ( 296°)   13:18 ( 294°)   23:29 ( 293°)
2018 Apr 16   09:40 ( 291°)   19:51 ( 289°)
2018 Apr 17   06:03 ( 288°)   16:14 ( 286°)
2018 Apr 18   02:25 ( 284°)   12:36 ( 283°)   22:47 ( 281°)
2018 Apr 19   08:58 ( 279°)   19:10 ( 278°)
2018 Apr 20   05:21 ( 276°)   15:32 ( 275°)
2018 Apr 21   01:43 ( 273°)   11:54 ( 271°)   22:05 ( 270°)
2018 Apr 22   08:16 ( 268°)   18:28 ( 267°)
2018 Apr 23   04:39 ( 265°)   14:50 ( 263°)
2018 Apr 24   01:01 ( 262°)   11:12 ( 260°)   21:23 ( 258°)
2018 Apr 25   07:35 ( 257°)   17:46 ( 255°)
2018 Apr 26   03:57 ( 253°)   14:08 ( 252°)
2018 Apr 27   00:19 ( 250°)   10:30 ( 248°)   20:41 ( 247°)
2018 Apr 28   06:53 ( 245°)   17:04 ( 244°)
2018 Apr 29   03:15 ( 242°)   13:26 ( 240°)   23:37 ( 239°)
2018 Apr 30   09:48 ( 237°)   19:59 ( 235°)
2018 May 01   06:11 ( 234°)   16:22 ( 232°)
2018 May 02   02:33 ( 231°)   12:44 ( 229°)   22:55 ( 227°)
2018 May 03   09:06 ( 225°)   19:17 ( 224°)
2018 May 04   05:29 ( 223°)   15:40 ( 221°)
2018 May 05   01:51 ( 219°)   12:02 ( 217°)   22:13 ( 216°)
2018 May 06   08:24 ( 214°)   18:35 ( 212°)
2018 May 07   04:47 ( 211°)   14:58 ( 209°)
2018 May 08   01:09 ( 208°)   11:20 ( 206°)   21:31 ( 204°)
2018 May 09   07:42 ( 203°)   17:53 ( 201°)
2018 May 10   04:05 ( 200°)   14:16 ( 198°)
2018 May 11   00:27 ( 196°)   10:38 ( 195°)   20:49 ( 193°)
2018 May 12   07:00 ( 191°)   17:11 ( 189°)
2018 May 13   03:23 ( 188°)   13:34 ( 187°)   23:45 ( 185°)
2018 May 14   09:56 ( 183°)   20:07 ( 181°)
2018 May 15   06:18 ( 180°)   16:29 ( 178°)
2018 May 16   02:41 ( 177°)   12:52 ( 175°)   23:03 ( 173°)
2018 May 17   09:14 ( 172°)   19:25 ( 170°)
2018 May 18   05:36 ( 168°)   15:47 ( 167°)
2018 May 19   01:58 ( 165°)   12:10 ( 164°)   22:21 ( 162°)
2018 May 20   08:32 ( 160°)   18:43 ( 159°)
2018 May 21   04:54 ( 157°)   15:05 ( 155°)
2018 May 22   01:16 ( 153°)   11:28 ( 152°)   21:39 ( 151°)
2018 May 23   07:50 ( 149°)   18:01 ( 147°)
2018 May 24   04:12 ( 145°)   14:23 ( 144°)
2018 May 25   00:34 ( 142°)   10:46 ( 141°)   20:57 ( 139°)
2018 May 26   07:08 ( 137°)   17:19 ( 136°)
2018 May 27   03:30 ( 134°)   13:41 ( 132°)   23:52 ( 131°)
2018 May 28   10:03 ( 129°)   20:15 ( 128°)
2018 May 29   06:26 ( 126°)   16:37 ( 124°)
2018 May 30   02:48 ( 123°)   12:59 ( 121°)   23:10 ( 119°)
2018 May 31   09:21 ( 117°)   19:33 ( 116°)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

URGENT: Saturn polar storm

2018-03-31

Maciel Bassani Sparrengerger has imaged a bright spot on Saturn CM on March 29 at 08:16:05 UT that has later been confirmed by several observers.

http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/kk18/s180329z.htm

Updated ephemeris of this feature based on images from 29 March to 22 April are given below as calculated by Marc Delcroix. Urgent observations are required at all longitudes to follow the storm evolution, and search for other possible spots.

WinJUPOS 10.3.9 (Saturn), C.M. transit times, 2018/04/22  00:32
Object longitude: L3 = 181,8° - 11,7054°/d * (T - 2018 Apr 10,5)
Time interval: 2018 Mar 25,0 ... 2018 Jun 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Mar 29   08:16 ( 324°)   18:46 ( 319°)
2018 Mar 30   05:16 ( 314°)   15:46 ( 308°)
2018 Mar 31   02:17 ( 304°)   12:47 ( 299°)   23:17 ( 293°)
2018 Apr 01   09:47 ( 288°)   20:18 ( 283°)
2018 Apr 02   06:48 ( 278°)   17:18 ( 273°)
2018 Apr 03   03:48 ( 268°)   14:19 ( 263°)
2018 Apr 04   00:49 ( 258°)   11:19 ( 252°)   21:49 ( 247°)
2018 Apr 05   08:19 ( 242°)   18:50 ( 237°)
2018 Apr 06   05:20 ( 232°)   15:50 ( 227°)
2018 Apr 07   02:20 ( 221°)   12:51 ( 217°)   23:21 ( 211°)
2018 Apr 08   09:51 ( 206°)   20:21 ( 201°)
2018 Apr 09   06:52 ( 196°)   17:22 ( 191°)
2018 Apr 10   03:52 ( 186°)   14:22 ( 181°)
2018 Apr 11   00:52 ( 175°)   11:23 ( 171°)   21:53 ( 165°)
2018 Apr 12   08:23 ( 160°)   18:53 ( 155°)
2018 Apr 13   05:24 ( 150°)   15:54 ( 145°)
2018 Apr 14   02:24 ( 140°)   12:54 ( 134°)   23:24 ( 129°)
2018 Apr 15   09:55 ( 124°)   20:25 ( 119°)
2018 Apr 16   06:55 ( 114°)   17:25 ( 109°)
2018 Apr 17   03:56 ( 104°)   14:26 (  99°)
2018 Apr 18   00:56 (  94°)   11:26 (  88°)   21:56 (  83°)
2018 Apr 19   08:27 (  78°)   18:57 (  73°)
2018 Apr 20   05:27 (  68°)   15:57 (  63°)
2018 Apr 21   02:27 (  57°)   12:58 (  53°)   23:28 (  48°)
2018 Apr 22   09:58 (  42°)   20:28 (  37°)
2018 Apr 23   06:59 (  32°)   17:29 (  27°)
2018 Apr 24   03:59 (  22°)   14:29 (  17°)
2018 Apr 25   00:59 (  11°)   11:30 (   7°)   22:00 (   1°)
2018 Apr 26   08:30 ( 356°)   19:00 ( 351°)
2018 Apr 27   05:30 ( 346°)   16:01 ( 341°)
2018 Apr 28   02:31 ( 336°)   13:01 ( 331°)   23:31 ( 325°)
2018 Apr 29   10:01 ( 320°)   20:32 ( 315°)
2018 Apr 30   07:02 ( 310°)   17:32 ( 305°)
2018 May 01   04:02 ( 300°)   14:33 ( 295°)
2018 May 02   01:03 ( 290°)   11:33 ( 285°)   22:03 ( 279°)
2018 May 03   08:33 ( 274°)   19:04 ( 269°)
2018 May 04   05:34 ( 264°)   16:04 ( 259°)
2018 May 05   02:34 ( 254°)   13:04 ( 248°)   23:35 ( 244°)
2018 May 06   10:05 ( 239°)   20:35 ( 233°)
2018 May 07   07:05 ( 228°)   17:35 ( 223°)
2018 May 08   04:06 ( 218°)   14:36 ( 213°)
2018 May 09   01:06 ( 208°)   11:36 ( 202°)   22:06 ( 197°)
2018 May 10   08:37 ( 193°)   19:07 ( 187°)
2018 May 11   05:37 ( 182°)   16:07 ( 177°)
2018 May 12   02:37 ( 172°)   13:08 ( 167°)   23:38 ( 162°)
2018 May 13   10:08 ( 156°)   20:38 ( 151°)
2018 May 14   07:08 ( 146°)   17:39 ( 141°)
2018 May 15   04:09 ( 136°)   14:39 ( 131°)
2018 May 16   01:09 ( 126°)   11:39 ( 120°)   22:10 ( 116°)
2018 May 17   08:40 ( 110°)   19:10 ( 105°)
2018 May 18   05:40 ( 100°)   16:10 (  95°)
2018 May 19   02:41 (  90°)   13:11 (  85°)   23:41 (  80°)
2018 May 20   10:11 (  74°)   20:41 (  69°)
2018 May 21   07:11 (  64°)   17:42 (  59°)
2018 May 22   04:12 (  54°)   14:42 (  49°)
2018 May 23   01:12 (  44°)   11:42 (  38°)   22:13 (  34°)
2018 May 24   08:43 (  28°)   19:13 (  23°)
2018 May 25   05:43 (  18°)   16:13 (  13°)
2018 May 26   02:44 (   8°)   13:14 (   3°)   23:44 ( 358°)
2018 May 27   10:14 ( 352°)   20:44 ( 347°)
2018 May 28   07:15 ( 342°)   17:45 ( 337°)
2018 May 29   04:15 ( 332°)   14:45 ( 327°)
2018 May 30   01:15 ( 322°)   11:46 ( 317°)   22:16 ( 312°)
2018 May 31   08:46 ( 306°)   19:16 ( 301°)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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