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Jupiter and 2 moons 3/1/14


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Just got back to Hampshire after Christmas away  and having looked at the forecast didn't expect to get a sniff before I go to Scotland Monday for work.  But suddenly at 18:30 the skies began to open up.  There were stars up there.   The refractor through the front bedroom window showed craters on the thin sliver of the moon.  So I raced to the back bedroom and again through double glazing looking east I had Jupiter.  I could see two moons both about two diameters of Jupiter away from it.  Through my scope one at 11 and one at 5 oclock - presumably upside down.  

Any thoughts on which they were and should I have been able to see more?  Are there two that are much brighter?  Hunting the internet it seems I shouldn't have expected any to be hiding :rolleyes:  

Working through my EPs the 12mm BST gave two darker bands.  Difficult to see but if I kept nudging eventually I'm guessing - the atmosphere settled and I had a few seconds of the bands.

I then moved outside.  Although in a sheltered patio garden there was wind and I just couldn't get a good focus.  Well the refractor doesn't have too solid a base and it was cold - yeah wimp I know  :sad:  

I've left the scope outside and later will see if I can get the Orion Nebula with either binos or the refracter; and have another crack at Jupiter.

Won't get the refractor set up as haven't got a 90 degree finder yet and all that crouching in a twisted position is killing my back.

Sorry waffling while I wait for Orion to rise higher.  I should really be praying the clouds stay away ;)  Any thoughts on those moons very welcome.

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Now I think I can see a third moon or very small star at 4 oclock but close to Jupiter - less than Jupiter's diameter away.  And the two darker bars run roughly 11 to 5 oclock through the scope.


Does that seem correct or am I imagining this stuff  :laugh:

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At 18.45 this evening Jupiters Moons looked like this:


This is taken from WINJUPOS (freeware) - image is North at the top.  I suspect you saw Io and Callisto as they are in about the right positions - Europa will only just have come out from behind the planet.  So what you are seeing is real - well done and keep looking!

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Well I reckon at that time the two moons you describe were Ganymede (11 o'clock) and Io (5 o'clock).

The other two WERE actually visible but both very close to Jupiter on the same side as Ganymede, so you probably missed them through the double glazing!

I recommend the Sky and Telescope App called Jupiter moons. It shows the positions of the Galilean moons at any time and has lots of other good info.

Can be used on a pc .....http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript/Jupiter  or you can download an app for your phone.



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Thanks Roger and Steve.  So I have my lines/dark bars running the right way inline with the outer moons, more or less.  And one problem I had was thinking my image was upside down but I think it is inverted?  Si while I see 11 and 5 oclock it is by eyeball, if eyeball could see that well, 2 to 8 o'clock.  

I saw posted that it is best to stick with this reverse image as you get used to it but how much easier if it was as is.  But as budget only has enough for a 90 degree finder and a power cable I'll stick with it.

Steve that site is book marked.  Such detail and free.  And it shows that tomorrow at 21:00 all four moons should be away visually from Jupiter so fingers crossed for a break in the clouds and a lot less wind.  Had to give up tonight as the wind led to gittering blobs that are not a lot of fun; and Jupiter and Orion have moved from window view :sad:

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You should also download stellarium as you can view the sky as if you were looking through the eyepiece (after you have entered all the correct parameters).

Remember that some programs will show the moons as they currently are but we see it several minutes later! Stellarium has the option to 'simulate light speed'.


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Michael yup already have Stellarium running under Linux as my Windows  :mad: doesn't support it.  I find it useful for planing and finding things like Jupiter but not too hot on details like Jupiter;s moons.  But a great tool and free.  Not sure where I'd be without it.

As for speed of light it would also have to allow for my set up and navigational skills.  Even the light arrives quicker  :grin:

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