Jag Venugopal's Blog

September 11, 2011

Now showing: A beautiful celestial sight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jag @ 7:08 pm

Driving home from a weekend outing, we saw the sky and noticed the planes queued up to land in Boston. One particular plane seemed to be brighter than the others, and was missing the characteristic blinking and red lights. We figured it was a blimp over the Gillette Stadium and that a football game must be underway.

When we went home and still found the bright yellowish spot lingering in the sky, Prerna and I decided we had to see what it was. We could see it clearly with the naked eye, but fired up the trusty Celestron 15×70’s for a closer look. What we saw blew us away. Visible clearly and large, right outside our deck was Jupiter and three of its moons. The planet was rivaled in size only by our own moon. And, at 10:00 PM at night, the angle to the horizontal was comfortable for handheld binoculars.

A greater treat awaited us when we mounted the Galileoscope on an old and wobbly photo tripod. Once we got all the vibrations under control, we could clearly see the horizontal bands of Jupiter, along with its moons. It couldn’t be any clearer.

Look for Jupiter in your night sky, and finagle either a low-power telescope or a nice pair of binoculars to look at it. At northern US latitudes, the brightest “star”, low in the east-southeast sky around 9:30 PM is likely to be what you’re looking for. An easy find, and a treat for the eyes.

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