Apr 2014

Jupiter Daytime Viewing!

Note Apr 19: Correction to time for Triple Transit in 4th paragraph made. Time is 2:02 pm to 3:42 pm DST (not 3:02 to 3:42 as in previous post).

Lorraine R. recently emailed me with the details of her observations of Jupiter in the DAYTIME using a GOTO mount to help locate it. I have never had one of these until just recently so I’ve never had the pleasure of locating and viewing objects other than Venus (and the Moon) in the daytime. On several occasions I spotted Venus, but only because there were nearby objects like the Moon to help. Locating a planet like Jupiter is just not possible using offset angles from the Sun for ex.

That has all changed with my Advanced VX Celestron mount. A few days ago, I rolled back the roof of my home observatory, woke up the mount and told it to find Jupiter. It wasn’t a perfect alignment because the mount overshot the planet, but I was able to spot it as it slewed by. It was easy enough to backtrack and centre Jupiter for my first ever view of this planet in the daytime!

The detail was muted but there was a fair amount of it. The two familiar belts were easy to spot, but so were a few others further from the equator. I did not see anything that looked like a Red Spot, but it could have been on the backside of the planet. Later that night I took a look at Jupiter to compare the night to day details and found the night view was poorer, mostly because there was a high haze that was destroying seeing.

Conclusion: It should be possible to see the triple transit of Jupiter on June 3. This daytime event has the three shadows of Callisto, Europa and Ganymede on the disk from 2:02 pm to 3:42 pm DST give or take a minute or so. In the screen shot from Starry Night below for about 3:30 pm DST, the dot near centre is Ganymede’s shadow, the smallest shadow is from Europa and Callisto is under the Red Spot.
June 3 Triple trans
Considering that the last triple transit, Oct 11, 2013, (coincidentally, our wedding anniversary) was clouded out in Bruce-Grey as well as in Minnesota where we were visiting our son, this June 3 will be a good chance to catch it before we go into the long “dry spell” for several decades.
John H.