Jupiter the Giant Gas Planet
May 20, 2016
Jupiter has a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but two and a half times that of all of the other planets in the Solar System combined. Basically, you can fit each of the other planets into Jupiter at the same time with lots of room to spare. Its extensive atmosphere is made up of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly solar proportions. Additional chemical compounds are present but only in small amounts, including methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water.
Jupiter is nearly straight overhead now in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in the hours before midnight. With a good pair of binoculars held steady or small telescope placed on a tripod, you can easily see the Galilean Moons and even Jupiter's cloud bands and the Great Red Spot (lower left). Photo taken on April 18, 2016.
Photo Details: Captured at 10:26 p.m. (local time) or 02:26 U.T from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio. I was able to crank the magnification up a bit, by using the 3 x Barlow. I used my 8 in (3.5 cm) diameter C8, SCT telescope, 3x Cemax Barlow lens and a QHY5IIL Mono CCD camera, Astronomik RGB Filters, IFW Filter wheel, Registax6 2400 RGB frames stacked and wavelets, and Adobe CS 2015 final processing.