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Newb - first time seeing Jupiter and moons w / binocs


SacRiker
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Last night I finally stayed outside long enough to get some night vision going -- I looked up at Jupiter with my 8 x 56 binocs and after staring for a while (propping myself up against the house as I don't have a tripod) I was able to see what appeared to be the moons of Jupiter.  This was pretty damn cool.  I didn't believe that I could actually be seeing the moons, so after a while I ran inside and got on stellerium.  Sure enough the moons were lined up exactly where I saw them. 

Boring to most on here I'm sure, but damn it was cool for a newbie to see this stuff. 

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Never boring. It's the one thing our beautiful solar system and universe never is!

So congrats on seeing the Jovian moons! To see such things eh? I count myself endlessly luckyluckylucky ('....here, Jonesy....')

What's the one thing we all need as stargazers?

Enthusiasm! And a sense of wonder....er, what's the TWO things we all need as stargazers - enthusiasm, sense of wonder, and patience..... er... What's the ( repeat in ascending series til your eyepiece fogs up) :)

Edited by ghostdance
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Jupiter is a good thing to look at with binoculars. The gutter of a car is just about the right height to use as a support if there's no tripod available.

If you're lucky you can catch the phases of Venus, Mercury, comet Lovejoy (at the moment) and some great views of larger/brighter objects like Andromeda, M42, the Pliades and a scan of the terminator of the moon is a wonderful sight.

Enjoy!

AndyG

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw Jupiter's moons Io, Europa/Ganymede and Callisto for the first time on Friday 6th Feb with my Pentax 10x50 bins. At the time in the evening I looked, Ganymede was occulting Europa [or perhaps the other way around?], so I could see three points in a line from Jupiter.

It was a nice surprise. I didn't expect to see Jupiter's moons with bins. What would have been their magnitudes at the time of observation? 

Alex

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Hi Sac.

Funny thing, same, and i mean exactly the same happened to me a few months ago, i was like 'wow, bright star so early in the morning' - wasn't a star :)

Binoculars was one of the best purchases i made, i guess its the most used item i posess :)

Regards, Graem

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I also managed to see Jupiter and a moon last night using cheap Olympus 10x50 binos. Unfortunately I'm currently on a ship working 300Km of Brazil so not able to get a stable platform but could definitely make out one if not two of the moons. Also had a look at the Orion nebula, just need to convince the captain to turn off all the lights and get all the other installations nearby to do the same!! 

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Same experience here last weekend. It just takes some binoculars and suddenly you realize that you are floating in space with other suns and planets around you. 

Studying the cosmos changes a lot of perception.  Just walking down the street catching a glimpse of the moon and picturing us flying through space hurtling toward the sun. 

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If you would enjoy adding a nice & free software program that shows you where Jupiter's Moons are - and which one is which - from anytime from NOW to Anytime that you set, download "Jupiter 2" and give it a try:

http://www.astrosurf.com/rondi/jupiter/index.htm

As stated, it's free. It's in French, and can be set for English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portugese.

Clear Skies & Cool Moons,

Dave

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Tonight I managed to see all 4 of Jupiter's moons! I think last time I could only discern 3 of them. This time I adjusted my bins and squeezed a little extra clarity out of them. So cool. Europa!

Nice one.

The most likely reason you saw 4 this time would be that the positioning was more favourable. They constantly orbit around Jupiter with different frequencies, sometimes 4 are visible other times fewer.

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If you had a telescope of a few inches of aperture, you would be able to see a Moon transit across Jupiter. I find the coolest thing about this is seeing the shadow of the Moon going across the planet. It looks like a little black spot on the tops of the Jovian clouds. The total blackness of the spot against the lighter colour of the cloud-bands never fails to cause my jaw to drop!

Clear Skies & Black Spots,

Dave

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Gas giants is a great app for the moons of Jupiter,next you want to see the Great Red Spot on jupiter or a transit of a moon.

If you have an astro society near you they would love to show you this kind of object .

You will be amazed how a small step up in aperture will show you some fantastic sights on jupiter.

Keep at it its sounds like your getting the bug!

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