Thursday, January 17, 2013

I saw them!

One of my co-workers is tuned into astronomy - always announcing when there is a good chance to see the aurora borealis, certain constellations, planets, sun flares, and so on. I listen to him, but am not always sure what he is talking about. Well, this week he sent out this message to the entire office: "The telescope is outside the front door on the way to your car. Jupiter is the closest it will be for many years, so this is your chance! See Jupiter and its 4 largest moons. Look for the equatorial bands, and two moons to its right, two to left. I’ll be leaving by about 5:50 PM, so stop by then if you can. 'You’ll have absolutely no trouble spotting the king planet Jupiter this month, which pops out first thing at evening dusk. At mid-northern latitudes, Jupiter shines almost until dawn in early January and sets at roughly 3 a.m. by the month’s end. In December 2012, Jupiter was shining at its brightest best in the night sky until the year 2021. But you’ll continue to see Jupiter blazing away in the evening sky for many more months to come! The king planet ranks as the fourth-brightest celestial body to light up the heavens, after sun, moon and the planet Venus.'" 

Tonight he had his big telescope set up just outside our office doors. I had never seen one like this before. I believe the brand name was Orion. It was really neat. Initially, it was too light to see the planet, but Alex aimed it at the moon and oh, my! It was really wonderful seeing the craters. I've seen photos of this before, but never have seen it on my own. 

Well, I ran a quick errand and drove back to the office. Jupiter was shining brightly, and I saw the four moons. At one point, I saw the bands, too. Wow! Really neat!

I found this photo of Jupiter with the bands and moons on the Internet. What I saw tonight looked very similar to this. 

Peder, I thought of you the whole time I was looking through the telescope. I know you would have enjoyed it, too.

1 comment:

-Peder said...

It really does change things to see them with your own eyes, doesn't it!