Oh, what a night!

Transparent skies and very stable air made for a wonderful night of viewing, especially as one of Jupiter’s moons, Io, cast its shadow on Jupiter’s red spot. There will be wonderful photos from expert astrophotographers viewing the quiet skies under the high pressure system. (See Sky and Telescope’s Week’s Sky at a Glance and scroll down or go to this link http://media.skyandtelescope.com/images/Jup-by-Sean_2011-11-6-132UT.jpg
My single-shot photos aren’t as good as I could see with my eyes or those expert photos, but it’s fun to have photos hinting at what I saw.

Click on the photo to see Jupiter larger. Use back arrow on browser to get back to the page.

When you click on the photo, then click again to enlarge the photo, notice the dark spot in the bottom of the two bands, which is the shadow of Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, Io, on the planet. See how the northern and southern cloud bands are different sizes and the upper band without the dark dot has darker areas that were strikingly ruddy to the eye in the telescope.
At 267X in my eight-inch dob, when the sky was most steady, I could follow Io itself as a brighter area moving across Jupiter’s cloud tops ahead of the black shadow of Io on Jupiter.
I spent almost an hour watching Io move off from in front of the Jupiter, with the shadow trailing behind, it looked truly 3-D !

On our moon, details, such as the central peaks of major craters, were easy to see. This photo gives some idea of the level of detail visible last night.

Our moon - click to enlarge for details!


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