Jupiter soon comes its closest in 70 years; astrophotographers, don’t miss your chance

2 weeks ago 11

If you’re into astrophotography or just enjoy sky-gazing, there’s a real treat ahead. On 26 September, and a few days before and after that, beautiful Jupiter is going to be easy to spot and shoot. It will be so close to the Earth that a good pair of binoculars will be enough to see it. And it’s a truly unique opportunity as the planet will be the closest to us in 70 years.

“In early September, Jupiter is rising as true darkness falls,” EarthSky writes. You’re already seeing it as that very bright “star” that ascends in the east throughout the evening. The planet will be in opposition on 26 September, when it will be rising in the east at sunset.

“With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” NASA researcher Adam Kobelski said. To be honest, this really makes me excited considering that I have a toy telescope and I’m sure I’ll be able to see the gorgeous planet in a bit more detail than the first time.

“It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics,” Kobelski continues. “One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.” He recommends a larger telescope if you want to see Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and bands in more detail. You can also throw in some green-blue filters to enhance the visibility of these features.

The best times to watch and capture Jupiter is “a few days before and after Sept. 26,” according to Kobelski. The weather is currently crappy here in Novi Sad, but I’m optimistic that I’ll get at least one cloudless evening to observe this beautiful giant. “Outside of the Moon, it should be one of the (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky,” Kobelski explains. So, I wish you a good weather and some great photos!

[via Digital Trends]

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