Look, up in the sky! It’s a star! It’s a plane! It’s,.. it’s, Jupiter!

Tonight, look up in the sky!

Tonight, look up in the sky!

Yes, Jupiter. This distant orange planet looks very bright this week because it is closer to earth than it has been for over 50 years, so get out your binoculars and have a look before it moves off again, this is something special. If you see some tiny white specks orbiting the planet, you’re looking at Jupiter’s moons…

I hope to get a picture of this gas giant with nothing more than an ordinary zoom lens in the next few days, granted it won’t be a good or even a clear photo for that matter, but hey, it’s Jupiter! Even though it’s close to earth right now, it’s still 592 million kilometres away…

UPDATE:

Last night was a pretty clear night, so I pointed my Tamron zoom lens up at the sky and this is what I saw:

Jupiter Rising - Cobbler Path

Jupiter Rising - Cobbler Path

Here’s a crop of the same photo, with the planets and moons named:

Detail of Jupiter Rising - Cobbler Path

Detail of Jupiter Rising - Cobbler Path

I could see the moons through my binoculars as well, tonight (Sep 27th) will be another good opportunity to have a look as a clear sky is once more in the forecast. The next chance like this will be in 2022.

Here’s one last shot, this time exposed not for the surrounding sky but for Jupiter itself, because Jupiter is so bright exposing the image like this renders all other objects near black:

Jupiter - Far Far Away

Jupiter - Far Far Away

As you can see, even at maximum zoom this huge orange gas giant is nothing more than a blurry dot in the middle of my sensor.