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Knight of Clear Skies

Thoughts on Observing Jupiter for the First Time

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About three years ago now, I had a chance to look at Jupiter through a modest refractor. In one sense, the image was underwhelming - we have been rather spoiled by the fantastic images taken by spacecraft parked right on its porch. However, I was not disappointed; after all, I was looking at another world entirely. What really struck me were the four moons, each just a point of light. They were strung out in a line which passed close to Jupiter's equator, a simple thing I hadn't realised until then. I was looking at evidence the moons had accreted around Jupiter as it was forming.

This is part of the appeal of astronomy to me. Not just to look at fantastic and otherworldly images, but to gain some understanding of the processes at work, as far as I am able.

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Yes, couldn't agree more, we observe with our eyes and our mind. At my clubs public events, I try to convey that to viewers through my scope, just a bit of background to whatever object is on view is enough (hopefully) to do the trick.

How big, how far, and minimal facts do that.

I try to speak to each group or family as they queue up, rather than to each individual.

Regards, Ed.

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Looking up at the sky does put your mind into overdrive, the image is so appealing but it is much more to think about which is what I like about this hobby.

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Just been outside and although most of the session was spent observing the Moon, I can never pass up the opportunity to Jupiter. Mrs Twotter was with me and we both like to see the changing dance of Jupiter's moons :)

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I was out viewing juoiter myself with a Orion optics Omc 200 f20 one of the best views i have ever seen great planet to observe

TOM.

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we observe with our eyes and our mind

Regards, Ed.

Never a truer word spoken! For all things in life.

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I agree, stargazing must be about not just vision but also imagination and inspiration - the eyes and the mind together, thats what makes it interesting and exciting.

I'm very new to astronomy and only got my first scope two weeks ago so have been finding the cloud since then very frustrating, but after rushing home from work having seen a forecast of broken cloud I got a fantastic view of Jupiter and four moons this evening (for 20 minutes) and could make out great detail in spite of the misty sky and light pollution.

It's made my day :)

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I agree, stargazing must be about not just vision but also imagination and inspiration - the eyes and the mind together, thats what makes it interesting and exciting.

I'm very new to astronomy and only got my first scope two weeks ago so have been finding the cloud since then very frustrating, but after rushing home from work having seen a forecast of broken cloud I got a fantastic view of Jupiter and four moons this evening (for 20 minutes) and could make out great detail in spite of the misty sky and light pollution.

It's made my day :)

I had the same pleasurable experience tonight, plus I ticked off M43.:)

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Jupiter...actually, it was the first object I looked at when having gotten my telescope. No, it wasn't like the colourful photos I've seen of the planet in various books, documentaries, and online. However, I didn't find it underwhelming at all. Sure, people had told me not to expect such views as satelites have taken, but already before I was told that I knew that any scope I could have would never show such details, and I wasn't in the least bothered about that. I found the sight of it and four of its moons marvellous. And after watching it for some time, changing eyepieces in order to get closer and closer (in the end almost immediately losing it from my view while doing this, due to the large magnification the eyepiece gave and the fact that the planet and out own Earth move, I also could make out the bands on it.If I calculated the magnification correctly I viewed it in 6 1/3, using a 20mm eyepiece with a barlow (Talx3). Don't know what magnification that is. I have a Skywatcher Heritage 130p f/5 Anyway, I won't forget the sight of it, especially after having watched it a while and the bands became visible. =) As Knight of the Skies said, it's another world and yes, the more you know about it the more fascinating it becomes. NGC1502 also couldn't be more right in saying that we observe with both our mind and eyes...and the same goes for nederman stating that the mind goes into overdrive when looking at the starry skies.

The Universe is a source of wonder and amazing sights, and well somewhere out there there ought to be life, and given the size and possibilities in it, it wouldn't surprise me if somewhere out there, someone was indeed looking our way, and thinking the same things as we do.

Anyway, personally, I can't help locating Jupiter when looking up at the sky.

/Tobias

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