Tag Archives: Europa

Jupiter, by Jove!!

Venus and Jupiter are in conjunction these days, meaning they’re about 3 to 5 degrees apart in the western sky at night.  Very easy and very cool to see them.  I’ve been seeing them up there the past several nights and last Tuesday night I thought, what the heck!  I’ll take a picture!  I figured it’d just be two dots, but I would know what they were when it popped up in my screen saver and knowing I had seen them with my own eyes would be so cool all over again.  🙂  Here’s the picture:

Jupiter on the left and Venus on the right; Conjunction of March 13, 2012

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But here’s where it gets really cool.  I took three frames with tripod and auto-timer, not really sure how well they’d turn out, then packed it in and went back inside.  Looking at them on my computer I noticed some suspicious specks…  and if I had not seen the same specks in all three frames I never would have believed it, but I actually captured some of Jupiter’s moons!!

Enlargement from the photo above of Jupiter, Io, and Europa I think, March 13, 2012

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According to this, I believe the speck just above the large blob (which is Jupiter) is Io, and the one above that is Europa.  This is with just my camera — not a telescope!  My camera is a Nikon Coolpix S4 — not even a DSLR with a serious lens, but what I guess you could call a ‘souped up’ snapshot camera…  I’ve never seen another camera design like it.  It has a focal length of 38-380mm, or 10x optical.  I was at max optical zoom for these shots of course.  There’s more digital zoom on top of that, but I… never go there.

I am so impressed all over again with my little 7 year old camera…  I was impressed when I bought it that I could just about fill the frame with the moon!  I mean Jupiter!!  And two of its moons!!  How cool is that?!?

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