Jupiter and Its Dancing Moons

April 30, 2015


Photographer: Daniel Leclerc
Summary Author: Daniel Leclerc April 2015 Viewer's Choice

On the night of January 25, 2015, I took advantage of the opportunity to see a free show visible from my backyard. Jupiter, one of the brightest objects in the night sky, was near opposition and its Galilean Moons could be readily observed with a small telescope, as shown here from my home in Montreal (Pointe-aux-Trembles), Quebec, Canada.

In this animation, the first sequence shows Europa rising from behind Jupiter. Ganymede and Io are seen flanking Jove, and the Great Red Spot is visible at lower right center. On the next sequence, note Ganymede's elliptical shadow on Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Io continues its orbit to the right, finally moving out of my camera's field of view. All the while, we can clearly see the rotation of the giant planet.

Images were acquired from January 25, 10:20 p.m. until 12:47 a.m. on January 26. I made 52 short films of 90 seconds, resulting in 52 stacked pictures. I then assembled these 52 images into an animated file.

Photo details: Sky-Watcher 8-inch Newtonian telescope; DBK21AU618.AS camera; Barlow 4X lens; Baader IR-cut filter; 60fps; Stacking with AutoStakkert2! and wavelet filtering with RegiStax.