Archive for May 22, 2018

05/22/2018 – Ephemeris – Seeing detail on the face of Jupiter with a small telescope

May 22, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 22nd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 9:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:06. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:27 tomorrow morning.

Even in small telescopes Jupiter shows some detail. The larger the telescope in diameter the more detail can be seen. It also depends on what astronomers call seeing, or the steadiness of the atmosphere. The easiest detail to spot are the parallel brown and cream-colored cloud bands. These run in the direction that Jupiter’s moons move, since the four Galilean moons orbit over Jupiter’s equator. Jupiter, 11 time’s the Earth’s diameter, rotates on its axis in a bit less than 10 hours, though the clouds at the equator rotate faster than those at higher latitudes. It also gives Jupiter a slightly squashed appearance., enhanced by the horizontal stripes. Embedded in one of the dark stripes is the famous Great Red Spot.

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


Jupiter with red spot

Scott Anttila image of Jupiter from November 14, 2011.