Monday, July 23, 2018

jupiter surprise

I had low expectations for observing last night.  Transparency was compromised with marine mist and seeing was middling.  I used Big Blue with my just installed ST80 finder and a cleaned-up observatory.

Jupiter was first up, using 277x, just to align the ST80.  But I saw there was a shadow transit in progress, about 80% across, and a bright spot on the opposite side's limb on the NEB which was another moon just starting its ingress.  Looking it up in my ephemeris I found it was Europa's shadow and Io just staring it's journey across.  I watched until I could not see Io anymore, lost in the planet's light, and until Europa's shadow tangented the limb, looking like a poorly done hole-punch.  The view at this point was soft, but fun to see the dark spot slip into the dark.

Scanned the moon's terminator for a while (binoviewers at low power), then it was too quickly time for bed.

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