Daily post – 9/20/10 Looking for Jupiter

Posted on September 20, 2010 
Filed under Daily Writing

It was time for amateur stargazers to dig out those telescopes and binoculars.

Jupiter made its closest approach to Earth Monday, only 368 million miles, and my family and I dusted off the ole’ Celestron and headed out to see what was to be seen.

According to the good folks at the Sky and Telescope web site, this was the gas giants’ closest approach since 1963.

1963 – The Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me, Sean Connery stared in the second James Bond movie, From Russia with Love, and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

But I digress…..

A little after 9pm, we struggled the telescope outside, and after some mild frustration (“I can’t even find the Moon to focus!!!), I re-educated myself on the basics of telescope operation, tweaked the finder scope, and there it was.

Jupiter, with 4 of it’s moons strung out like bright little pearls. A little victory for my (very) weak astronomy skills.

Courtesy Shoestring Astronomy

I borrowed this image because although I tried mightily, I was unable to get my Nikon D-40 to give me a clear image.

As I studied closer, I was barely able to discern the cloud patterns in Jupiter’s atmosphere. We also had some help from an app on my iPad called GoSkyWatchP.

Jupiter won’t be that big or bright again until 2022. I should have my degree by then.

Oh yeah, I was lazy and did not post this weekend. My bad.

Till tomorrow…



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