Monday, January 21, 2013

Another Celestial Near-Miss!

My post from last week was about the image of the setting sun just missing Kitt Peak from the Babad Do'ag pullout on the Mount Lemmon Highway.  Tonight Melinda and I were about to head out to dinner and I got a call from buddy Pat, talking about getting his new telescope out and observing the Moon right next to Jupiter.  While chatting I walked outside and looked up - holy crap, they were really close!  So I talked my way off the phone and quickly set up the lil' Meade 80mm F/6 APO to take a tripod shot.  The enclosed is a combination of  3 shots from 1/400 to 1/25 second to attempt to get Jupiter's moons without blowing out details on the Moon.  Partly successful, clicking the full-size image, you might be able to spot Ganymede below and Io just above Jupiter.  At least you can see how really close they were together in the sky - in fact, from much of South America, the moon occulted, or covers the disk of Jupiter!  It hardly seems fair that they've had 2 occultations of Jupiter in the last month, while we don't get one for another 13 years!  The good news is that I delayed our departure to dinner by only about 15 minutes to get the shot, then waited till afterwards to post to the blog - first things first!

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