Observing Log - Planetary odds and ends

June 29th, 2007 by webmaster

Observing from Meaford
Temperature ~ 13C
With the moon almost full and mediocre seeing DSO watching is a washout. However, binocular and naked eye observing were fine. Three naked-eye planets in twilight - Saturn and Venus tight together in the west and Jupiter in the south - were very cool. Saturn and Venus were a day away from conjunction, with Saturn at 11:00 with respect to Venus.
Jupiter through 10×50 binocs recealed only two moons. I checked tha handbook, and sure enough Europa was in transit, so I brought out the Dob for a look.
Ganymede and Io were clearly visible west of Jupiter, and Calisto was just North - its orbital plane tilted just enough to miss the disk of the planet. Seeing was sketchy, so it took a while to spot the tiny black dot of Europa’s shadow. The shadow came and went as the seeing varied, but the moon itself remained invisible until a minute or two befor egress, when it stood out against the darkened limb. Very cool.

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