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September 23, 2010

Jupiter and the Backyard Skyshow

These past couple of nights have been great for an avid skywatcher like myself.  Jupiter has been brilliant, along with the Harvest Moon, and even an intense rainbow thrown in for good measure.

I thought with the cloud cover we had blanketing us here in Denver this evening, I was going to be out of luck for viewing and photographing the spectacle of the Harvest Moon over Jupiter tonight.  Turns our our little front created a few photo ops I hadn’t expected, and it even cleared up enough to snap a few nice images… Below for your viewing pleasure.

I’ll start with last night’s long exposure of Jupiter passing overhead.  (long as in 15 minutes long!)  That’s Jupiter over the pine tree.

jupiter crossing 9-21-10 

And now to today.  All day we’ve had a solid overcast with some rain thrown in for good measure, so I thought I was done skywatching until at least tomorrow.  I was wrong, near sunset, the clouds parted just enough to let the sun’s rays cast a fantastic rainbow off to the east.  This thing was SUPER intense, and a slight double to boot, you can barely make out the second band on the right.


As fast as the clouds parted, they returned, and once again I thought I would not be able to see the moon or Jupiter this evening.  I was wrong.

Various times throughout the evening the clouds would break affording me an opportunity to snap a few images of the Harvest Moon and Jupiter, in the cloud whipped sky. 

cloud moon

Moon and Jupiter 2010

The big problem is that the moon is exceptionally bright and Jupiter for as bright as it is this evening, cannot compete. So in the above image, to capture Jupiter and some of the sky I had to have a fairly long exposure (4 seconds at a 400 ISO in the picture above) in which the moon overexposes, but Jupiter immediately beneath is clearly visible in the cloudy night sky.  Same below… the motion effect is due to the clouds blowing fairly quickly into the scene.

Moon and Jupiter 2010 2

I couldn’t leave the moon overexposed like that, I had to take at least one quality image of that magnificent harvest moon, thus the image below… I was amazed that I took this at 1/160 f13… that moon is seriously refulgent!

harvest mooon 2010 2

And finally I tried once again to secure a couple of Jupiter and its moons.  Two of the moons are extremely close to each other tonight (on the left) and appear as one.

Jupiter and moons

And this one below I liked because if you look real close, that feint light at the top left of this image is Uranus only another 1,483 million miles further than Jupiter!

Jupiter and Uranus

Hope you like them…

And in the words of the late Dr. Jack Horkheimer, “Keep Looking Up!”

September 23, 2010 in Photo, Science | Permalink


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Dude It's a Single Rainbow!!!!!

Posted by: Ken | Sep 24, 2010 10:46:37 PM

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