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Thread: Plans for Jupiter

  1. #1
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    Question Plans for Jupiter



    So, I decided that this Friday I am going to brave the weather and see how good Jupiter is through a 130mm telescope for the first time. I know that I should be able to see the moons and possibly a cloud band or two, but my question is- Since Jupiter rises at around 10:36 tonight and probably around 11:00 on Friday night, what way does it come up on the horizon in the northern hemisphere in winter? I am going to leave my telescope in the garage all night until I wake up whenever the time is when Jupiter is above the horizon, so the mirrors will be adjusted to the temperature difference between the interior of my house and the exterior so that is why it is so important to know in which direction it will come up over the horizon since I have to set up my telescope in the right place in order to see it when it is higher than the massive amount of trees that surround the property I live and observe on... Please let me know the answer soon- (before Friday works)
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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    Jupiter rises in the east as does everything that isn't circumpolar. So Jupiter will rise in the east and move upward along the ecliptic in an ESE direction and arc over the sky to the WSW and finally set in the west.

    Also, to have a more optimal view, it would be good to allow Jupiter to get at least 30º in altitude to get above the thicker air lower down (i.e. not as much atmosphere to peer through).

    On Friday from my location (central time zone, US) Jupiter hits 30º in altitude about 01:30 AM.

    You can, of course, observe the planet when it is lower, but the view can be compromised somewhat due to more air and poorer seeing conditions down low. This can wash out any surface detail or make detail more difficult to discern.

    As I mentioned in another of your threads last night, get Stellarium if you don't have it already. You can run the time ahead and see for yourself where and when Jupiter will rise (always east!) and the approximate time optimal viewing will begin.

    Hope that helps some!
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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    While it is true to say that Jupiter always rises in the "east", that is only approximately true. As it moves along the ecliptic in its orbit, its azimuth on rising will vary from northeast to southeast. Just how far north or south of east it rises will depend on its declination and the observer's latitude.

    For this year, it rises just a bit south of east at low and mid latitudes.
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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    Right now Jupiter is at Zenith around 4 a.m. PCT. Always worth getting up for! As mentioned Stellarium is a great program for planning sessions. Give it a go!
    Last edited by Leveye; 02-06-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    Rather than go out late maybe wake up early. At about 5am EST Jupiter is just about straight up. If you aren't already an early riser set the alarm and brew some coffee

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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    Thanks for all of the information, I just have one question- What is azimuth? and is 43.1 considered a low latitude?

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    Default Re: Plans for Jupiter

    Here is the Webster definition of Azimuth..


    "The direction of a celestial object from the observer, expressed as the angular distance from the north or south point of the horizon to the point at which a vertical circle passing through the object intersects the horizon. The horizontal angle or direction of a compass bearing."

    Here is a basic graphic to help..

    350px-Azimuth-Altitude_schematic.svg.png
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