JUPITER AND SATELLITES

Filmed on a hand held phone camera through our telescope.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, usually has a visual magnitude of -2.6 (this means is quite bright!). As a comparison, the brightest star in the sky, Sirius has a visual magnitude of -1.46.

Five times more the distance from the Sun to Earth, you will find Jupiter, at about an average of 650 million kilometres away from Earth. It takes light about 30 minutes to make it to our eyes from the giant planet, so really every time we look at it we see it as it was half an hour ago.

Jupiter has almost twice as much matter as all of the other planets in our solar system combined and you can fit about 11 Earths across its diametre. Through a telescope, you can see its equatorial bands, which look like brownish stripes. The brighter lines are called zones.

To see the Great Red Spot (GRS) you need a telescope with a good contrast and at medium sized telescope. You also have to be quick as Jupiter rotates very fast and the window of opportunity to see the GRS is about an hour.

The spot is a big storm and just like any other storm, has changed a bit its appearances in the past decades becoming less prominent, of a pale crimson colour. The two belts are much easier to see than the GRS. We could perfectly see the belts of Jupiter the night we took the video but we adjusted the exposure to catch the satellites better.

Clear skies and happy Jupiter hunting!