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Observations - 31/1/23

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1 year 5 months ago #111729 by flt158
Observations - 31/1/23 was created by flt158
Hello everyone. 

Before I successfully observed Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF on Tuesday night 31st January 2023, I had a reasonably good time observing Jupiter with my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor before and after sunset – even though there were strong 30 km/h winds. Sunset happened at 17.05UT. I found Jupiter at 15.50UT at 11x with my William Optics 70mm f/6 small apochromatic refractor. That’s 1 hour 15 minutes before sunset! I don’t believe I have ever seen Jupiter so early before. I just had to memorise its rough position over a neighbour’s house from previous times.
Jupiter’s distance was 816,560,550 kms from Earth. Its magnitude was -2.2. Its angular diameter was 36.1”.   
I could make out the North and South Equatorial Belts at 40x. I needed to wait for the Sun to set before I saw any of its moons though. It was then when I saw the bright moon Io (mag 5.8) at precisely 17.00UT; followed by Europa (mag 5.9). Callisto was the last moon to appear and it is the faintest (mag 6.6). By 17.03UT these 3 moons were visible in my main scope.
But what about Ganymede I hear you ask? Well the brightest moon was behind Jupiter’s shadow. In the meantime, I saw the North Polar Region, the South Temperate Belt, the South South Temperate Belt and very faint South Polar Region on the planet itself at magnifications up to 167x.
Ganymede was supposed to appear from behind Jupiter’s shadow at 17.22UT. It was good I had my eye at the eyepiece at the time, because Ganymede started to become visible at 17.14UT – a full 8 minutes early. And it took a full 5 minutes when I noticed it was brighter than Io. At its brightest the largest moon in the solar system has a magnitude of 5.3, and I waited quite a while before this occurred. 
One other planet I saw with my own eyes from an upstairs window was Venus on the same night. It’s nice to see it coming back into our evening skies. On Tuesday night its magnitude was -3.9. 

Clear skies from Aubrey.    
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Until_then-Goodnight!

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