Jupiter - Picture from Sky & Telescope
For a no-fuss observation of the night sky, check out Jupiter for the next few months. From September through January 2011, Jupiter is higher in the night sky than it has been in awhile and she is more visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere. If you have a telescope or a really good pair of binoculars, you can see Jupiter's Galilean moons on any clear night. Just a couple nights ago, Hubs heard the weatherman say that Jupiter's moons would be very visible and so we sauntered outdoors to take a look. It was a crisp, clear night and the viewing was excellent! We saw them -- Jupiter like a bright gem surrounded by tiny diamonds strung on an invisible bracelet. We used our Leupold field glasses (10x42/Field 5.0 degrees). I had to rest my elbows on the side of the truck box to keep steady enough to see it all clearly. The night we looked, we could see two moons on either side of the planet. They rotate quickly around Jupiter so it can look a little differently at different times. It really is a thrill. From the Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance, you should also be able to see Jupiter's Great Red Spot with a telescope at various times. I'm not sure our binocs will be able to focus in on it, but we will give it a try. At the moment, we have cloudy skies and so the Full Harvest Moon will not be visible tonight unless it clears off. Don't miss it.
Celebrate the First Day of Autumn with me!
Take a few moments to look around you and notice the changes in the season:
Golden Cottonwood leaves
Dry grasses in full seed
Purple and white asters
Hanging heads of sunflowers, full of seeds
Do you see the goldfinches nibbling the sunflower seeds too?
Large flocks of blackbirds flying together in waves
The smell of fresh-turned soil while digging potatoes
Full Harvest Moon
Wasps are out on warm afternoons
Northern Flicker calls
The smell of a wood fire burning
What changes are happening where you live?