Bolton Astronomical Society

Another total solar eclipse!
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Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Another total solar eclipse!

I watched another solar eclipse last night - but not on Earth, this one took place on Jupiter!
It was a little hazy down here, so no good for Messier-object hunting, however the still air was perfect for planetary observing, so I fitted a 10mm eyepiece to the 130P (giving 65x magnification) and had a brilliant view of Jupiter and three of its moons.
Soon after 9pm I saw the fourth moon emerge from the edge of the planet's disc; I looked it up and discovered that this was Ganymede.
Then around ten o'clock I noticed a tiny black dot appear on Jupiter's "surface", moving slowly in from the edge: this turned out to be the shadow of Ganymede, so of course that shaded portion of the planet would be experiencing a total solar eclipse! 8-)

I think this is only the second time I've observed a shadow transit on Jupiter: the first was a couple of years ago when trying out the Big Bolton Telescope (16"), so I was quite surprised that I could see it with only a 5" mirror at my disposal. :D

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