Friday, February 15, 2013

Lunar Ghosts

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the king of the planets, Jupiter, two moons and two moon shadows.

One of my most amazing experiences as an amateur astronomer was setting up one night in January and focusing in on Jupiter. It was the clearest I had ever seen it, not only belts, but details in the belts. Suddently one edge showed the shadow of a moon. Then another shadow. I watched them as they tracked across Jupiter's face. Then I tried to stand up, and had trouble walking. I had actually spent over four hours looking through the eyepiece, very late on a January night, with about a foot of snow on the ground. It was more spellbinding than most Hollywood efforts!

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