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Jupiter Rising December 20, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Astronomy, Science.
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jupiter-in-binoculars

I’ve swiped the image below from this blog here because it’s almost precisely what I saw yesterday morning through binoculars of Jupiter and attendant Galilean moons, albeit the four moons visible were ranged left, as it were, of the planet. I’d noticed the planet in the early morning sky, around 7.30, and wondered what it was. The disk was visible through the binoculars and then I saw the moons. It looked almost structural, but a moments googling revealed its identity. As the author of the blog linked to above notes…

On one hand, you’re not going to see any detail on the planet. And the four Galilean moons will just be little sparks.

On the other hand–the hand you should be concentrating on–you went to the closet, knocked the dust off whatever binoculars you already had, pointed them at that bright star over there, and now you can see that it is visibly a planet (despite being almost half a billion miles away) and, oh yeah, those little sparks are moons. If you’ve never seen this before with your own eyes, you will have an emotional reaction.

That’s a brilliant way of putting it. It’s quite something.

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