Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jupiter and Many Moons

As I was heading out to play quartets last night, I noticed that the Moon and Jupiter were very close together in the sky. I regretted that I had no time to take any photos, the sight was so pretty, and left to go play some Haydn and Mozart. When I got back a little earlier than usual, they were still there, dancing together across the sky. So I went in and got out my camera and my new lens and a tripod.

The field of view of the new lens was almost too small to take in both objects. You can see Jupiter way off on the left in the photo. Another problem was that the Moon is so bright, it overpowers any other nearby stars. In order to get the features of the Moon to show up, I shot at 1/1000s so that the lens would close down a bit. But that meant that Jupiter was now very faint. So I decided to take a shot of Jupiter all by itself at a much longer exposure. I was amazed when I saw the result. I not only got Jupiter, I also got three of the moons of Jupiter, something I could not see with my binoculars because the Moon was so bright!

The four moons were all on a diagonal line with the planet. Europa is the bottom one (lower right), Ganymede is above Jupiter, and Callisto is above that (very faint). Io was so close to the planet (below it) that it got washed out by the light reflecting from the planet. The star way off to the left of the planet is Iota Capricorni.

I love my new lens.

1 comment:

  1. That's a cool picture of Jupiter and the moons!