Learning never exhausts the mind
Home >  Astronomy > Observations > Great Night Viewing

Published , Last Updated on by

Tonight I had a very good nights astronomy, starting with my first visual of Jupiter this year.

I have had to wait a long time to see Jupiter this year because its altitude is very low. It has only just come round the back of the houses in the estate. I only get about a half hour to observe before it disappears behind some trees.

I used my baby telescope, the StarTravel 102, with a 25mm eyepiece I can see Jupiter as a bright round object and I can make out the moon. With the 10mm eyepiece, I can see Jupiter a bit more clearly, and identify Ganymede and Io. Finally with the 10mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow lens I can see the light ring around the northern hemisphere and just about make out the lower ring. The great red spot was not visible to me today. I could also see Europa and Callisto clearly as well.

After Jupiter had gone behind the trees I turned round to see Arcturus shining brightly. This orange star is magnitude -0.03 and shines brightly in the western skies.

I also observed the International Space Station fly overhead. I even managed to track it with my scope and was amazed to be able to see some faint detail. With a 25mm eyepiece, I believe I saw what looked like a large elongated dot, with two lines either side. This is the modules with solar panels either side. I was not able to view the space shuttle Endeavour at that magnification.

Throughout all this, I was joined by a frog (which had a lucky escape), some bats and a hedgehog rummaging around for some food.

Unfortunately, I did not see any of the Perseid's.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are mandatory.

We respect your privacy, and will not make your email public. Hashed email address may be checked against Gravatar service to retrieve avatars. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.