Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mars and Jupiter and Saturn, Oh My!

With the excitement of Mars' impending opposition, I shouldn't neglect the other bright naked eye planets that are visible in the morning sky, Jupiter and Saturn.

Their brightness in the sky makes it obvious even to the casual observer that there is probably something special about them.

Mars and Jupiter and Saturn, oh my!

Mars? Well,, says it all.😉

Jupiter?  The Galilean moons always put on a show, and are binocular visible if you have steady hands and the moons are sufficiently spaced from Jove's face!  The bands of color and the Great Red Spot need a telescope for viewing.

Saturn?  Of course, it's the rings!  You can't actually see the rings without at least a small telescope, but rings are the first thing that come to mind when you think of Saturn.

While waiting for Mars to rise, I do point the telescope at other objects in the sky and take a peek!

This post is essentially a teaser for an upcoming post, tentatively titled, Waiting for Mars . . . 

For now, here are some images, captured from my driveway, of the two other naked eye morning planets:

Saturn, May 11th, 2018 at 0252

Jupiter is special this month!  It was at opposition on May 10th, making this a fortuitous time to image Jupiter and its moons.

It's always fun to see the Great Red Spot.

Jupiter, Io, and the GRS on April 28th, 2018 at 0330.

I can spend, and have spent, hours watching Jupiter's moons.

Jupiter and the Galilean moons, March 16th 2018 at 0312.

There are many objects to observe under a dark sky while waiting for Mars to rise!


  1. Your image of Jupiter with the four Galileo moons is fantastic. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks. When the moons cast shadows on Jupiter's face, the can put on quite a show.

  2. Love the photo of Saturn.

    1. Thanks. Saturn is always beautiful and usually has good contrast. This apparition, it is near in the sky to Mars so I use Saturn to tune the 'scope's focus before I slew over to peek at Mars.

  3. Slew is such a great word - evocative if you will.


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