Monday, September 27, 2010



After weeks of waiting and whining, we finally got a little snow. For the last three or four days, my morning walk to school has been a little crunchier, a little whiter, and I'm loving it! Even the lake and river are showing signs of freeze-up. Maybe fall ice fishing will commence on time after all.

Another long-awaited event (at least for me) occurred just last night. The clouds finally parted momentarily and I was able to catch a brief glimpse of Jupiter and its moons! I wasn't sure I'd be able to see anything. I don't have a powerful telescope at my disposal, but I do have some nifty (and gargantuan) binoculars.

My astro-binos in moonlight.

Jupiter was easy enough to see with the naked eye, but I could only see the moons through my binoculars and (surprisingly) through my camera.

Catching sight of this very cool cluster made the cold legs and frozen fingers completely worth it!

Wind from the WSW (250 degrees) at 13 MPH (11 KT)
Visibility 10 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly clear
Temperature 19.0 F (-7.2 C)
Windchill 6 F (-14 C)
Dew Point 17.1 F (-8.3 C)
Relative Humidity 91%

Jupiter...barely there.

I know this is not impressive photography. I wasn't really expecting to get great pictures, but I thought it couldn't hurt to try.

I had no tripod and just set my Sony DSC-H50 on ISO. I know there are probably settings that I could have used to get better photos, but I am admitting complete ignorance here. I have not read my owner's manual and have not experimented with settings much.

And still, my little camera does the best it can do under the circumstances. (Great little camera that it is).

This was the best shot I could get without a tripod (I held my breath a lot).

Jupiter and moons (the best my camera can do).

And this is a cropped view of the same shot. It's not pretty, I know, but it (not-so-clearly) shows Jupiter with two moons on the right and one on the far left. I think I saw three moons on the right through my binos, but I can't be completely sure because...well...I'm fairly ignorant of astronomy too.

Jupiter and moons (cropped photo).

I'm still happy. I saw Jupiter...and it's moons....more than I've ever seen before.

And there's fresh snow on the ground!

Life is good.


Jackie said...

WOW!WOW!WOW!I did not know that Jupiter was EVER visible, much less its moons. I think you and your camera did a great job. You were able to pull it in really close - it looks huge. Cool...

Novice Naturalist said...

Waaay Cool and good job to you and your little camera. If the skies in Barrow have cleared enough for any viewing, I have missed it.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Ah, life is good indeed. Wishing our rain would turn to snow, but not for another several months, I'm sure. I'll enjoy yours vicariously for now.

Anonymous said...

Great shots, I think. I can see Jupiter... yeah. Glad to hear you are getting the weather you want.
We have low humidity here, 30%, unheard of, for these parts.

Sharon S said...

I think they are great photos! How exciting! Thanks for sharing!

Steve said...

Kimberlee! I love the Jupiter-with-moons photos. That's something I've never tried to photograph. I did look through my spotting scope that night and enjoy it for a while. But, to get decent photos of something that small and distant with a HAND-HELD camera is amazing. Thanks for sharing it.