Friday, July 13, 2018

Mars, Lost in the Clouds

Observing last night and this morning was challenging.

Banks of clouds continued to roll over the sky in the directions that I had the telescope pointed.  It seemed that Mars was especially afflicted with being obscured by clouds.

It was a dark and moonless sky so I didn't want to waste it.  I stayed out with the telescope and took advantage of the clear patches as much as I could.

One such target of opportunity was the planet Jupiter.  I originally did not plan to image it, but after taking a peek through the eyepiece, I changed my mind.  Jupiter was gorgeous! Take a look at these images and you'll see what I mean!


Jupiter seemed to have extra spots.
Jupiter, July 13th at 0200 UTC
At the lower middle right edge, you can see the Great Red Spot, just rotating out of view. In the middle of the upper red band are three black smudges.  I'll be doing some Googling to learn more about them!


Jupiter's Galilean moons were in an interesting configuration.
Jupiter with three of its Galilean moons
To the right of Jupiter, from Earth's perspective, in a triangle configuration, are three of the Galilean moons.  Left-most of the three is Io.  To the upper right of Io is Europa.  Below Europa is Ganymede.

Callisto is out of the frame, far to the left of Jupiter.  I removed the barlow to increase the telescope's field of view and captured this image.
Jupiter with all four of its Galilean moons including Callisto

Most interesting to me is that I managed to capture these moons exhibiting a hint different textures and colors.

Jupiter Fun

The only time that I've had more fun with Jupiter is when I saw and captured moon shadows crossing its face.  I'm sure that'll be subject of a future post as I continue to watch for the opportunity to see more moon events!


  1. Replies
    1. The excitement of seeing the extra spots kept me fueled for a couple of hours. No coffee needed.


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