Well, tonight I’m definitely dragging out the big telescope. Jupiter, which I only chanced upon the other day while shooting the moon, is only about 2 degrees from Uranus! I overlooked it, as had dozens of observers prior to Herschel’s discovery of the planet in the 17th century. But now that I’m alerted to its close proximity to its more prominent celestial “neighbor,” I’ll try to take a look tonight. Hope you enjoy your evening!
Don’t expect pictures, although I’ll certainly try; I had enough trouble getting Uranus to come out right…
[UPDATE: As I suspected, Uranus was an underwhelming target, both telescopically and photographically. It was hard even to be sure I was looking at a planet instead of a star, except I could discern, with ever so much concentration, effort, and good will, a glimmer of a disc. And, to be sure, it wasn’t twinkling at all, although the seeing was a bit muddy. Granted, knowing that I was looking at a giant ball of gas halfway across the solar system still made it fun to contemplate, but it wasn’t a spectacle for the eyes; just the brain.
I did manage to get a poor image of Jupiter with a moon (I’m fairly sure it was Io) in shadow transit. At the eyepiece, it was so much more crisp and beautiful than in the snapshot. Near the end of the session you could see the moon emerging on the limb, and it was just astonishing. Of course it doesn’t show up at all in the photograph, but at least you can see the shadow itself:
So it was a fun evening, even if the “results” I have to share aren’t that exciting. Even the lovely wife enjoyed looking at the king of all the planets; her attention was called instantly to the crisp dark shadow of the transiting moon, proving yet again that she’s got the observant eye…]