Thursday, 8 December 2011

Jupiter with its Moon Io (and Io’s shadow) in transit

2011 December 7 Jupiter and Io

A few shots of Jupiter from last night - very windy and poor seeing but at least I was able to get a few shots of the transit of Io and its shadow. I've never observed this phenomena before and it was quite spectacular to see it for myself for the first time. The shadow of Io seemed to be racing the great red (yellow!) spot across the disc. Unfortunately I had to pack up before the shadow transit was complete. You can certainly see Io itself on the better quality images later in the sequence. All done with the 180 Mak and SPC900.

The black dot is the shadow of Jupiter’s moon Io.  Io itself can be seen in the lower sequence of images as a light coloured dot near the right hand edge of the planetary disc (It is very easy to see in the 7th picture where Io is almost touching the edge of the disc within the lower of the two cloud bands).  If you could stand on Jupiter (you can’t – its a big ball of gas!) at the position of the black shadow you would see a total eclipse of the Sun caused by Io!

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