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Thread: Jupiter nearing its minimum distance from Earth

  1. #1

    Jupiter nearing its minimum distance from Earth

    Since that's the astronomy part of this forum, just a reminder for anyone interested in spending the nights nose-up that these are the days (nights) were Jupiter is most favourably visible from us Earthlings, having reached its opposition (the exact opposite place relative to the Sun from our current position) and being at its brightest in the nights of 08-09 May, and reaching the minimum distance from Earth for 2018 just a day later on the 10th. Still more than 650 millions km away, but a minimum is always a minimum.

    It can easily be spotted as a very bright star rising not much after sunset from the S-SE direction, easy to discern from other stars not only beacuse of its far greater apparent luminosity, but also because it doesn't twinkle as stars do. Also notable in the opposite West direction is planet Venus, that's practically impossible to miss well before twilight, it's so luminous that many usually mistake it for some kind of UFO at this point of the year .

    Back to Jupiter, even a modest binocular kept steady is usually enough to discern it as a tiny yellow disk and spot all its four largest satellites, while practically any kind of telescope (plastic toys aside, maybe) will make the main bands of clouds on it apparent.

    The following has been captured yesterday evening with my tiny 4", under average to bad seeing due to heat waves from city rooftops (tiny dots are Io on the right, Europa on the left, no transits or Red Spot sadly):

    Clear skies everyone!

  2. #2
    Awesome ! 650 million kilometers ? I can almost touch it

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Patrick_68000 View Post (Source)
    I can almost touch it
    *Insert generic pun on the 7th planet from the Sun here*

    This evening would have been a great opportunity for imaging the transit of Io in front of Jupiter, and eventually even making a timelapse of it. It would have been.

    And there goes the evening :D.