Home > Ephemeris Program, Jupiter, Observing > 05/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Looking at Jupiter through a telescope

05/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Looking at Jupiter through a telescope

May 9, 2017

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 9th.  The Sun rises at 6:21.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 8:57.  The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 6:36 tomorrow morning.

The first thing one sees by turning a telescope to the planet Jupiter are it’s moons, that change position night to night.  A closer look at the planet itself will reveal that it is not exactly circular, but a bit squashed, making Jupiter fatter in the direction of the line of moons.  Jupiter has only a 3 degree axial tilt, and its four large moons orbit over Jupiter’s equator, so even though they have nearly circular orbits, appear to move back and forth in a straight line.  On the face of the planet itself appear parallel cloud bands of cream and reddish-brown.  The parallel cloud bands and the squashed appearance of the planet have the same cause.  Jupiter, though over a thousand times the Earth’s volume rotates, that is has a day, of a bit less than 10 hours.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Jupiter with its Great Red Spot

A slightly squished Jupiter with its Great Red Spot November 18, 2012 by Scott Anttila.

Overexposed Jupiter and its moons. My archival image.

Overexposed Jupiter and its moons. Note the moon that looks like a bump on the left edge of the planet.  My archival image.

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