Observing Jupiter

by Stephen Hobley on September 26, 2010

Meade LXD-75 SN 10? reflector

Tonight I got to see a real live planet [Well, as live the the time it takes for the light to reach the Earth – Ed]. If you did not know, Jupiter is extremely bright and quite close to us at the moment. So much so, that it’s actually difficult to miss. If you look outside during a clear night you’ll almost certainly spot it.

Look for the one star that is as bright as the moon.

Tonight was an especially good night as it was cool, clear and the moon was hidden at around 9:30.

The following picture really does not do it justice, as my astrophotography skills are a bit on the rusty side (I also need to find a way to increase magnification when attaching my camera). The view through the eyepiece was very impressive however, the “bands” on Jupiter’s surface were clearly visible, although I never seem to be able to time it right to see the big spot.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Hawkins September 27, 2010 at 7:09 am

What sort of telescope are you using there Steve? I have an old reflector (of the cheap and nasty type!) tucked at the back of my shed somewhere…. I should dig it out and have a look.

Stephen Hobley September 27, 2010 at 7:13 am

Gary : It’s a Meade LXD-75 SN 10″ reflector. I bought to do astrophotography with, but never got round to setting up the optics to do it correctly. Jupiter is pretty easy to spot, but you’d probably want a 26mm eyepiece or something with higher magnification.

John | English Wilderness September 28, 2010 at 4:27 am

How many of the moons could you pick out through the scope? I can manage 4 with binoculars 🙂

Stephen Hobley September 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

The night before we could see 4 – for a while I thought the extra bright points were some kind of optical defect.

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