Europa Transits Jupiter

October 18, 2010


Photographer: John Chumack; John’s Website
Summary Author: John Chumack; Jim Foster

The photo sequence above showing the Jovian moon Europa transiting Jupiter was taken from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on the night of September 29, 2010. After Jupiter rose beyond my neighbor's tree and just before clear skies gave away to clouds, I was able to capture a few frames of this transit. Europa is Jupiter’s fourth largest moon – a little smaller than our own moon. It’s one of the brightest moons in the solar system, having an albedo of 0.64. This compares to Jupiter’s albedo of 0.52. In contrast, our moon has a rather feeble albedo of 0.12. Europa’s brightness is attributed to its icy crust. It’s bright enough to be observable even when moving across Jupiter’s cloud tops. The dark spot in frames three and four is Europa’s shadow.

Photo details: Left-most photo taken at 12:06 a.m. Right-most photo taken at 1:51 a.m. DMK 21AF04 fire-wire Webcam and 10 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope  plus Astronomik Red, Green, Blue filters; 2400 frames stacked in Registax; Red, Green, Blue combined and aligned in Maxim DL; final presentation in Adobe PS.