Jupiter & Moons, ISS Transit and A Trio of Planets- 1st – 2nd December 2012

by on , under Astronomy Blog

Jupiter reaches opposition on the 3rd of December, when it is at its biggest and best for the year.
With a clear sky and hard frost, I went out in the dome to take a few images of Jupiter and its moons.

The bright gibbous Moon rising early evening prevented me from doing any deep-sky stuff.

Jupiter looked fabulous. Careful scrutiny of the Galilean Moons showed that they were different sized disks.
Unfortunately, no detail could be seen on the extremely small disks.


Jupiter and Io.


Calsky had previously alerted me to a transit of the ISS across the northern part of the Moon at just gone midnight.
I tried to use my DSLR to take a movie, but the low light level at higher magnification meant to slow an exposure, so although I did capture the event, the images of the ISS I captured was blurred.

I called it a night and awoke about 6.00am.

So I thought I would go out and try and quickly image Saturn, Venus and Mercury rising in the eastern sky.
Some chance I thought, considering the altitude of Mercury at that time and the closeness of my neighbours houses.

But, there was a small window of opportunity for all three. Saturn had just reappeared from behind a neighbours chimney. Venus was just about to disappear behind it, and Mercury was less than 6 degrees above the horizon, but amazingly was visible in the scope. Very wobbly, but there it was before it too disappeared behind the neighbours house.




A great nights and mornings observing and imaging, but  boy was it cold.


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