By popular demand!
Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system is what is known as a gas giant.
Meaning, most of what we see consists of gas and not really terra firma.
It's mass is larger than all of the planets combined and it is about ten times the diameter of earth.
Jupiter is around 5.2 astronomical units from the Sun or around 5.2 times the Earth distance.
It's pretty far out there.
One astronomical unit is around 93 million miles.
Jupiter presently has 63 known satellites or moons, four of which are known as the Galilean Moons:
The four moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto were so named for they were first observed by Galileo.
Jupiter rises fairly late here, so it was sort of low on the horizon, not much higher than forty five degrees so the images are not very good.
Here's the four moons with some lines pointing to them:
I'm afraid the images aren't going to get any better than that considering the primitive methods I'm using.
Still, we should be able to identify the moons using a plotter like one found here.
These images were taken on Sept. 3, 08:00 UTC.
Oh, and don't forget the image is reversed. I'll remember to flip them next time.
Once Jupiter rises higher up in sky and gets in cleaner air, I'll try for some better images.
Through the scope, I can see one equatorial band, the northern one I think, and using a yellow filter it is very visible.
Sorry, just didn't work for the camera.
You'll just have to take my word for it.
Jupiter and the Galilean Moons are easy to see and track using any device offering magnification such as eight to ten power binoculars.
I'll be coming back to Jupiter over the next few weeks so we can see the moons and see their orbits. I'll also be giving you, the reader, some Jupiter factoids.
Seeing Jupiter hang there in space only serves to remind us that we here on Earth are just travelers on another planet in a solar system in a really really big universe.
Spaceship Earth, I like to think of it.
Check it out.
Jupiter, I mean.
Again, the images were taken through a 70mm refractor at approximately 37X.