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View Diary: If You Can, You Should Go Outside And Look At The Moon (145 comments)

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  •  Now for the next step... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, papercut, Hammerhand, Randtntx

    Continue to look up into the sky in the coming weeks as the Moon moves further away from Jupiter and keep track of where Jupiter is, and the time of night it is visible....

    Pretty easy as it is so bright...

    When it gets further from the brightness of the moon...

    It is time for the next step. Get your hands on a set of binoculars, (even an inexpensive pair of binoculars 7X or 8X is sufficient). Then look at Jupiter again and you'll see the Galilean Moons, Io,  Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, visible as small lights to the right and left of Jupiter...

    You'll be able to see them orbit the planet switching from the right to left and vice versa, disappearing as they transit behind and in front of the planet. Substantial differences can be noted even in a few hours time...

    You'll be able to see what Galileo Galilei saw through his early telescope which only had power similar to the binoculars you'll be using...

    Welcome to the world of backyard astronomy, amaze your friends and neighbors....

    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House." ~John F. Kennedy~

    by Oldestsonofasailor on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:25:36 AM PST

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    •  That sounds amazing! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oldestsonofasailor, Hammerhand

      I didn't realize we could see Jupiter's moons orbiting the planet with just a pair of binoculars! Thanks for the tip!!

      •  You can almost.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies, Hammerhand, Randtntx

        Make them out with the naked eye, I used to before age 45 and glasses...

        If you make it a point to look at the the same path the sun takes across the sky, which is called the ecliptic at night, looking at the brightest non-twinkling objects that appear on that same path you will often be looking at planets. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are routinely visible at different times of the evening and seasons. Uranus is sometimes faintly visible to the naked eye but only rarely.

        Mercury and Venus will not visibly follow the same path in the night sky as they are near the sun and will show low on the horizon at sunrise and sunset being referred to as the evening or, morning star. During the day they are seldom visible because of the brightness of the Sun.

        Try Googling "Star Party " (=your state) and find one you can attend or, check the Event Calendar at Sky & Telescope. At a Star Party you will find numerous people with telescopes set up just waiting to show you what they are looking at sometimes hundreds of people with telescopes. It will be a night you will never forget!

        Careful next thing you know you'll be buying a telescope! LOL It is infectious...

        "Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House." ~John F. Kennedy~

        by Oldestsonofasailor on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:11:52 AM PST

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