By Jupiter!

As I don't have access to a telescope at the moment, I thought I would see what my digital camera could do all by itself. I attached it to my tripod and took it out into the back yard. My camera is a Fuji Finepix S602Z which I got mainly because it had an optical zoom and could do exposures of up to 15 seconds. So I pointed it at the Moon and took some images. The Moon is very bright at the moment so there was no need for long exposures. The result was a fairly reasonable picture:

Not far from the Moon in the sky, is the planet Jupiter which is currently in the constellation of Virgo. Not expecting much, I turned my camera towards it, turned the zoom to maximum and tried an exposure of about 5 seconds.

I took a look at the image and spotted three dots of light to the west of the planet. Could those be the moons I thought? I rushed to my laptop to check with Stellarium and sure enough, all four Galilean moons are currently west of Jupiter. So I think my image shows - moving out from Jupiter - Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. I think Io is too close to the planet to see. In case you are wondering what the black object is in the bottom of the image, it is a drainpipe on the roof of my neighbour's house. I must try mounting my camera on a good telescope next.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 21st Apr 2005 (23:01 UTC) | Permalink
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