Heavenly Bodies

Last Tuesday, as we do fairly regularly, we went walking with some very good friends.  When we do this, we often end up at their local village Pub for a meal.  Well, as we were walking back to their place from the Pub, we couldn’t but notice how very clear, and full of stars, the moonless sky was.  It was so clear that we resolved to go into their back garden, where ‘light pollution’ would be minimal, and take in the sight of these heavenly bodies for a little longer.  After picking out all the well known constellations, we spotted this one very bright object in the eastern sky.  Viewed through binoculars, it was clear that it was not an ordinary star, or even a star at all.  Although I am not really into astronomy, I had heard that Jupiter was clearly visible around that time, and this was confirmed by a visit to the Internet, where we found that it should have just risen in the east.  What was a surprise though, was how clearly we could see its four Galilean moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

I tried to get a photograph of it, but the lack of my own tripod conspired to prevent this at the time.  When we got home, although the sky was not as black there, I tried again and managed the not very good shot seen below.  When I viewed this on the computer, I found that auto exposure had burned out both Jupiter and its moons.  I resolved to try again with manual exposure and more care, before heading for bed, only to find that thin cloud was starting to cover my target and it was starting to rain.  I thought I would try again on the following night, but forgot, and since then it has been cloudy.

This is the image that I managed with my 70-300 mm lens at 300 mm, no cropping.


This one is cropped a little.

Jupiter (crop)

I know they are not good images.  I was just pleased to have seen them.


2 thoughts on “Heavenly Bodies

    • I really did only post this because I found the sighting a great experience. The photo was just ‘evidence’.

      I have always enjoyed thr night sky, so I,m sure I will be back to your site again. It is a great reference site.

      Thanks for the encouragement.


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