Jupiter & Moons

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Jupiter & Moons
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By John Wiley

On a whim, we went out about 10:30 Monday night and looked low in the Southwest. A very bright "star" was there, so having read online that Jupiter's so close now you can see its larger moons with binoculars we went and grabbed an 8x set. We weren't sure if it was Jupiter or there was a very dim "star" just to the left of it, so I got camera & tripod. With a 600mm zoom and 1/8@f4, iso6400 I managed to snap this first pic (cropped and tweaked) possibly showing Jupiter and three moons, along with some of the brighter nearby stars. The second pic is reduced to 1/5@f4, iso320 in an attempt to reduce atmospheric and/or lens haze and that eliminated the star field. Will any astronomers send Ed tracking long-exposure telescope pix in color, and tell us whether this really is Jupiter? Will the air be clearer or Jupiter higher off the horizon sometime tomorrow night? Is it true that it's closest on Wednesday?

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John Wiley Jun 13, 2019 12:46 AM
Jupiter & Moons

Thanks for all the helpful comments. Glad it will be higher and still visible for a while, so we can try to get better shots on a clear night. I imagined that an Edhatter with a tracking telescope would send in a good long-exposure color pic, but of course there are some great pix out on the web so maybe folks will add a comment here with their favorite. For example, some nice views at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/06/jupiter-opposition-planet-and-its-moons-visible-binoculars/1366972001/

macpuzl Jun 13, 2019 02:31 PM
Jupiter & Moons

Good information at Sky & Telescope, and any photos by Damian Peach or Christopher Go. ====================================================================== https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/jupiter-is-outstanding-at-opposition/ ====================================================================== http://www.damianpeach.com ====================================================================== http://astro.christone.net

FondofSB Jun 12, 2019 07:50 PM
Jupiter & Moons

To John : The "closeness" to earth will last for a while. Jupiter will be "viewable" that well for quite a few day. As Macpuzl says : it'll raise (as do all celestial objects) about 4 minutes earlier each day : so you can figure out how long it'll take until it gets "out of view" .

a-1561572501 Jun 12, 2019 12:20 PM
Jupiter & Moons

Have you consulted the President on all this "news?" He'll certainly have his official opinion on it like the Moon last week.

macpuzl Jun 12, 2019 11:03 AM
Jupiter & Moons

For anyone wanting telescopic views of Jupiter, the SBAU will have telescopes set up for the public at Carpinteria State Beach tonight (Wednesday), Bacara Resort on Thursday, and Refugio State Beach on Friday. 9 PM to 10 PM will be the sweet spot in time for these events. Jupiter will be visible all summer, and Saturn will be up next month, so just check the calendar at SBAU.org to find out where and when to come look through our scopes.

macpuzl Jun 12, 2019 10:57 AM
Jupiter & Moons

For some of your other questions - Jupiter was at opposition on Monday, but was closest to Earth last night at 8 PM PDT (Tuesday, June 11 here, but June 12 at 0300 in UTC). Opposition and closest approach do not exactly coincide because both orbits are slightly elliptical. Jupiter will be getting higher in the sky later at night, and rise earlier by about 4 minutes each night. The higher it is, the better it will look, since you'll be looking through less air.

macpuzl Jun 12, 2019 10:30 AM
Jupiter & Moons

That's Jupiter, for sure. The media really hyped up this Jupiter opposition. It's only marginally closer than normal oppositions, and the four Galilean moons are nearly always visible in good binoculars held steady. One clickbait article yesterday even trumpeted that all 79 of Jupiter's moons would be visible in binoculars, which is patent nonsense. The moons you were imaging, from left to right, were Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto on the other side of Jupiter. Io was passing behind Jupiter. The moons appear in a line because the planes of their orbits are nearly edge-on to the Earth.

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