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Archive for the ‘Jupiter photos’ Category

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Above: Waning Crescent Moon at 5:53 AM CDT August 2, 2013 (10:53 UT), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.

Below: Jupiter and its four largest Moons offer an ever-changing space-scape, though in the photo below you can’t see Io, which was transiting Jupiter’s face at the time.
0802030529jupiter25mm2xb
From left to right: Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter, Callisto, 5:29 AM CDT (10:29 UT).

Below: 29 minutes later, the lightening sky helps me photograph Jupiter’s atmospheric cloud belts. 5:58 AM (10:59 UT):
0802030558bjupiter25mm2xb
When the sky is darker, the photometer on my cell phone camera tries to take in as much light as possible, resulting in loss of planetary detail due to overexposure. But the lightening sky floods the camera with light, causing the photometer to kick down the light level, revealing more detail. Just something I’ve learned as a low-budget astrophotographer. :O)

Jupiter photos with 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow. All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

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Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest planets, and these days Jupiter is appearing as a brilliant “morning star” in the east before dawn, whereas Venus is appearing as a bright “evening star” in the west after sunset.

Below: Jupiter and dimmer Mars close together in the predawn sky.0729030523jupitermars7x35
Mars is left center, brighter Jupiter is upper right. 5:23 AM CDT July 29, 2013, 7×35 binoculars.

Beautiful skies like this one keep me getting up before dawn:
0729030551

Below are photos of Mars (currently quite far away), Jupiter, and Venus shown at the same magnification:

0729030534mars25mm Mars at 5:34 AM CDT July 29, 2013 (10:34 UT)
Angular diameter 3.89 arc seconds
97.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 223,525,179 miles (359,728,906 km)
0729030527cjupiter25mm2xb Jupiter and Galilean Moons at 5:27 AM CDT July 29, 2013 (10:27 UT)
Left to right: Jupiter, Europa, Callisto, Io, Ganymede
Jupiter’s angular diameter 32.82 arc seconds
99.8% illumination
Distance from Earth 557,683,749 miles (897,504,995 km)

The following photos are all of Venus. Venus passed around the far side of the Sun (superior conjunction) on March 28, and is now gradually approaching the Earth once again:

0728031915cvenus25mm2xb 7:15 PM CDT July 28, 2013 (00:15 UT July 29, 2013)
Angular diameter 12.37 arc seconds
83.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 125,386,985 miles (201,790,791 km)
12:05 PM CST, November 19, 2012 (18:05 UT)
Angular diameter 12.25 arc seconds
85.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 126,593,857 miles (203,733,064 km)
1:12 PM CDT, October 12, 2012 (18:12 UT)
Angular diameter 14.69 arc seconds
74.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 105,565,517 miles (169,891,262 km)
2:00 PM CDT, September 21, 2012 (19:00 UT)
Angular diameter 16.83 arc seconds
67.3% illumination
Distance from Earth 92,101,088 miles (148,222,333 km)
8:26 AM CDT, September 10, 2012 (13:26 UT)
Angular diameter 18.36 arc seconds
62.7% illumination
Distance from Earth 84,452,528 miles (135,913,169 km)
10:17 AM CDT, September 4, 2012 (15:17 UT)
Angular diameter 19.31 arc seconds
60.1% illumination
Distance from Earth 80,311,754 miles (129,249,240 km)
1:15 PM CDT, August 21, 2012 (18:15 UT)
Angular diameter 22.02 arc seconds
53.5% illumination
Distance from Earth 70,401,199 miles (113,299,747 km)
7:36 AM CDT, August 13 2012 (12:36 UT)
Angular diameter 24.07 arc seconds
49.1% illumination
Distance from Earth 64,429,600 miles (103,689,390 km)
1:39 PM CDT, August 6, 2012 (18:39 UT)
Angular diameter 26.05 arc seconds
45.2% illumination
Distance from Earth 59,516,628 miles (95,782,727 km)
8:52 AM CDT July 30, 2012 (13:52 UT)
Angular diameter 28.56 arc seconds
40.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 54,298,771 miles (87,385,401 km)
5:49 AM CDT July 22, 2012 (10:49 UT)
Angular diameter 31.96 arc seconds
34.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 48,512,519 miles (78,073,332 km)
9:18 AM CDT July 13, 2012 (14:18 UT)
Angular diameter 36.52 arc seconds
27.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 42,450,876 miles (68,318,063 km)
11:56 AM CDT July 3, 2012 (16:56 UT)
Angular diameter 42.79 arc seconds
19.0% illumination
Distance from Earth 36,238,688 miles (58,320,514 km)
11:21 AM CDT June 27, 2012 (16:21 UT)
Angular diameter 47.07 arc seconds
13.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 32,940,927 miles (53,013,283 km)
8:38 AM CDT June 21, 2012 (13:38 UT)
Angular diameter 51.42 arc seconds
7.8% illumination
Distance from Earth 30,154,150 miles (48,528,401 km)
8:57 AM CDT June 12, 2012 (13:57 UT)
Angular diameter 56.46 arc seconds
1.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 27,463,558 miles (44,198,313 km)
7:33 PM CDT June 5, 2012 (00:33 UT June 6, 2012)
Angular diameter 57.78 arc seconds
0.0% illumination, transiting the Sun
Distance from Earth 26,836,379 miles (43,188,966 km)
Projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece

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I haven’t posted much for a few days, so here’s a big “catch-up:”

Above: Venus shines in the predawn sky at 6:46 AM, November 18, 2012. Though you can’t see it in this photo, Saturn, the ringed jewel of the skies, has reappeared from the far side of the Sun and is a bit to the lower left of Venus. Keep watch these next few mornings, as fainter Saturn and brighter Venus will be closer each morning, and on the mornings of November 26 and 27, 2012, the two planets will be in a spectacularly close conjunction. Don’t miss it!

Here’s a Saturn series, similar in format to my Venus phase updates, beginning with this morning and working back through a few of my best Saturn photos. Note how over time Saturn’s rings are “opening up” as viewed from Earth. Unless otherwise noted, these photos are with the 8″ reflector telescope, 17mm eyepiece, and 2x Barlow:

7:01 AM CST November 20, 2012 (13:01 UT)
Angular diameter 15.49 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 992,918,000 miles (1,598,000,000 km)
11:42 PM CDT June 7, 2012 (04:42 UT June 8, 2012)
Angular diameter 18.15 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 847,415,000 miles (1,363,782,000 km)
4:38 AM CDT April 12, 2012 (09:38 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,707,000 miles (1,304,706,000 km)
6:13 AM CST January 8, 2012 (12:13 UT)
Angular diameter 16.82 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 913,348,000 miles (1,471,501,000 km)
25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow, scaled to match the others
3:23 AM CDT April 14, 2011 (08:23 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,570,000 miles (1,304,487,000 km)

One treat of our current predawn sky this November is the Venus-Saturn show in the Southeast counterbalanced with bright Jupiter in the Northeast. Here’s Jupiter, gleaming far beyond the wires in my backyard, at 6:50 AM, November 18, 2012:

And here are the giant planet and the four Galilean moons. From upper left to lower right: Europa, Io, Ganymede, Jupiter, Callisto:

6:57 AM CST November 18, 2012 (12:57 UT). 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow.

Speaking of Venus, it’s now heading towards the far side of the Sun from us, though it still is a bright, resplendent sight before dawn:

12:05 PM CST, November 19, 2012 (18:05 UT)
Angular diameter 12.25 arc seconds
85.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 126,593,857 miles (203,733,064 km)
1:12 PM CDT, October 12, 2012 (18:12 UT)
Angular diameter 14.69 arc seconds
74.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 105,565,517 miles (169,891,262 km)
2:00 PM CDT, September 21, 2012 (19:00 UT)
Angular diameter 16.83 arc seconds
67.3% illumination
Distance from Earth 92,101,088 miles (148,222,333 km)
8:26 AM CDT, September 10, 2012 (13:26 UT)
Angular diameter 18.36 arc seconds
62.7% illumination
Distance from Earth 84,452,528 miles (135,913,169 km)
10:17 AM CDT, September 4, 2012 (15:17 UT)
Angular diameter 19.31 arc seconds
60.1% illumination
Distance from Earth 80,311,754 miles (129,249,240 km)
1:15 PM CDT, August 21, 2012 (18:15 UT)
Angular diameter 22.02 arc seconds
53.5% illumination
Distance from Earth 70,401,199 miles (113,299,747 km)
7:36 AM CDT, August 13 2012 (12:36 UT)
Angular diameter 24.07 arc seconds
49.1% illumination
Distance from Earth 64,429,600 miles (103,689,390 km)
1:39 PM CDT, August 6, 2012 (18:39 UT)
Angular diameter 26.05 arc seconds
45.2% illumination
Distance from Earth 59,516,628 miles (95,782,727 km)
8:52 AM CDT July 30, 2012 (13:52 UT)
Angular diameter 28.56 arc seconds
40.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 54,298,771 miles (87,385,401 km)
5:49 AM CDT July 22, 2012 (10:49 UT)
Angular diameter 31.96 arc seconds
34.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 48,512,519 miles (78,073,332 km)
9:18 AM CDT July 13, 2012 (14:18 UT)
Angular diameter 36.52 arc seconds
27.9% illumination
Distance from Earth 42,450,876 miles (68,318,063 km)
11:56 AM CDT July 3, 2012 (16:56 UT)
Angular diameter 42.79 arc seconds
19.0% illumination
Distance from Earth 36,238,688 miles (58,320,514 km)
11:21 AM CDT June 27, 2012 (16:21 UT)
Angular diameter 47.07 arc seconds
13.4% illumination
Distance from Earth 32,940,927 miles (53,013,283 km)
8:38 AM CDT June 21, 2012 (13:38 UT)
Angular diameter 51.42 arc seconds
7.8% illumination
Distance from Earth 30,154,150 miles (48,528,401 km)
8:57 AM CDT June 12, 2012 (13:57 UT)
Angular diameter 56.46 arc seconds
1.6% illumination
Distance from Earth 27,463,558 miles (44,198,313 km)
7:33 PM CDT June 5, 2012 (00:33 UT June 6, 2012)
Angular diameter 57.78 arc seconds
0.0% illumination, transiting the Sun
Distance from Earth 26,836,379 miles (43,188,966 km)
Projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece

Not to be outdone, here’s the waxing crescent Moon at 6:38 PM CST November 18, 2012 (00:38 UT November 19, 2012), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece. Note that once again the Sun has risen on Mickey Mouse:

All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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6:45 AM, looking east-southeastward toward Venus.

There was a special treat in the predawn sky this morning, as Venus came only two-tenths of a degree (by line of sight) from the star Regulus, forming a striking sight to the naked eye. Furthermore, these three photos were taken at the same magnification that I usually use for photos of the whole Moon:

6:37 AM CDT October 3, 2012 (11:37 UT).


6:55 AM (11:55 UT).


7:04 AM.
To us Venus seems much brighter, but that’s just because it’s so close, as of today a mere 100 million miles. Regulus is 77.5 light-years away and about 3.5 times the Sun’s mass.

Below: Not to be outdone, Jupiter and the Galilean Moons were lined up in a nice “family portrait” fashion. From left to right: Callisto, Europa, Io, Jupiter, Ganymede. 7:01 AM CDT 10-3-12 (12:01 UT), 25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow.


The waning gibbous Moon at 7:17 AM CDT 10-3-12 (12:17 UT).
Below: 7:18 AM, the Moon shines through pinkish clouds five minutes before sunrise.

All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Telescopic photos with 8″ homebuilt reflector telescope. Click to enlarge.

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Watch for a dazzling planet-star conjunction tomorrow morning, as Venus and the star Regulus will appear only 0.2 degrees from each other on the early morning of October 3, as viewed from North America. Already this morning they were close enough together to appear within one view at 28x magnification. Here they are at 7:13 this morning (12:13 UT), with 60mm refractor telescope and 25mm eyepiece, brilliant, gibbous Venus at the upper left:


To give you an idea how close this is, here’s the Moon at the same magnification at 7:27 AM, using the same equipment:

Once again the Moon is waning, my favorite time of the lunation, as I do most of my astronomy before dawn. The splendor of the starry and “planety” night giving way to the bright dawn is something I never grow tired of, and the cheerfully chirping birds agree. It’s like being in on a secret.


Above: The still-fullish gibbous Moon beginning to wane at 6:32 AM CDT 9-30-12 (11:32 UT).
Below: 7:24 AM CDT 10-2-12 (12:24 UT). Both with 8″ reflector telescope and 25mm eyepiece.

Before dawn on Sunday, Europa and Callisto appeared to be hugging close to Jupiter:


6:52 AM 9-30-12 (11:52 UT). Left to Right: Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter, Callisto, Io.
8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow.
All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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When the Moon passes close (in our sky) to a bright “landmark” such as a planet or bright star, it makes it easier to see that it moves about one lunar diameter per hour eastward in its orbit, so you’ll see in this series of photos that it starts to the lower right of Jupiter, and ends up to the lower left:


5:22 AM CDT September 8, 2012 (10:22 UT). You’ll see that light balance is a challenge to my low-budget cell phone astrophotography when the sky is dark and the Moon is illuminated 50% or less, but the balance improves as the sky lightens, and lunar detail appears.


The Moon at 5:35 AM.


5:39 AM.


5:52 AM.


6:17 AM.


6:26 AM.


A closeup of Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons during the conjunction, at 6:29 AM CDT (11:29 UT). From left to right: Europa, Ganymede, Io, Jupiter, Callisto. 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow.


6:35 AM.


6:36 AM.


6:53 AM.


7:02 AM.

Jupiter/Moon photos with 60mm refractor telescope and 25mm eyepiece. Moon photos with 8″ reflector telescope and 25mm eyepiece. All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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I was able to take quite a few photos of this morning’s close conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, including closeups of the Moon and the Jupiter system. I’ll compose a detailed post later. In the meantime, above you may see that they just fit into the same view at 7:02 AM CDT September 8, 2012 (12:02 UT) with 60mm refractor telescope, 25mm eyepiece, and LG VX8360 cell phone camera. click to enlarge.

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