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Eye in the sky

by Pierre Le Fur last modified Jul 12, 2012 04:53 PM
During all this autumn, the planet Jupiter is very easily visible in sky: it rises on east at the beginning of the night, culminates at 60° over horizon in the south direction at about 10:30 pm (local time) and sets on the west direction at the end of the night.

It’s the “opposition”, Jupiter and Sun are in opposite directions each from other. The brightness of the planet Jupiter strikes the observer,” the magnitude reaches -2,9” says the astronomer. So the light of Jupiter can cross the clouds when they are not too thick: in France we said that “Jupiter eats the clouds”. All the night, Jupiter is the god of the sky… Or the eye of gods ?

With little telescope (even with a magnification about 10) you can observe the four Galilean moons of Jupiter; and hour after hour you observe the circular movements of them around the big Planet .

Nowadays, the observers can use electronic cameras (like web cams) to take easily pictures of the Jovian system [1]. This observing method uses computer and software like Registax 6.0 (free on web) to obtain a picture with the video taken by the web cam and telescope. Amateurs with small telescopes can produce detailed imagery. But the finest amateur pictures approach that taken by the world’s largest professional observatory! For example look at the web site: , where the English people, Damian Peach, shows their world best pictures of the giant planet. He uses a 300 mm diameter telescope !
Try to take pictures of Jupiter [2] and you will discover that Jupiter is a “Cyclop” [3]: A big orange spot (two Earths wide) looks at you!

[1] 4/12/2010 20H50 Universal Time/ from right to left: Io, Jupiter, Europe, Ganymède (the most luminous : the biggest with icy surface), Callisto (weak because it surface is composed with dirty ice) Telescope 300 mm Meade LX 90 F=1,50m. web cam ToUcam Philips.


[2] 30/10/2011 23H 08min U T/ from right to left: Jupiter, Callisto (weak and up) , Io, (yellow light) Telescope 300 mm Meade LX 90 F=7,50m. Imaging Source cam DBK31 color.

[3] 6/10/2011 00H 31min U T/ from right to left: Jupiter, Callisto (weak and down) Telescope 300 mm Meade LX 90 F=7,50m. Imaging Source cam DBK31 color.

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