Archive for August 4, 2020

08/04/2020 – Ephemeris – Viewing Jupiter and its moons with binoculars or small telescope

August 4, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 9:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:34. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 10:06 this evening.

The planet Jupiter is a fine object to view with just about any optical aid be it a pair of binoculars, spotting scope or telescope. In binoculars, if held steady or mounted on a tripod Jupiter itself will no longer look star-like, but a tiny disk. Several of Jupiter’s moons can also be seen. With a telescope four of them can be seen, the same four Galileo discovered 410 years ago. At 10 pm they will be in the same order of distance from the planet that they actually are. The two nearest will be on the west side of the planet Io the closest, the Europa the next moon out. On the east side there is the third farthest Ganymede, and farthest out is Callisto. Their orbits are nearly edge on to us, so they shuttle from one side to the other of the planet.

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


Jupiter and its Galilean moons for tonight and tomorrow night

Jupiter and its Galilean moons for tonight and tomorrow night August 4 & 5, 2020. Those moons really move from night to night. This is shown north at the top, east to the left. Based on telescope design the image presented could be inverted, mirror image or both. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Due to the lack of time (59 seconds) I could only cover the moons. I’ll address Jupiter’s cloud features at another time. Can’t wait? Here’s a link: