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Celebrating the Beauty of the Night Sky
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Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction: 21 December 2020
At 10:00 AM PST, Jupiter passed 6 arcminutes below Saturn, their closest since 17 July 1623 when they were 5 arcminutes apart, just 13 years after Galileo discovered the Galilean moons of Jupiter. However that event was near superior conjunction and was unobservable. On 4 March 1226, the planets passed only 2 arcminutes apart. Their next comparable conjunction will be 6 arcminutes apart on 15 March 2080 AD.
December 18December 19December 20December 21
December 21
This was taken about 3 hours after conjunction, with Jupiter and Saturn about 6.4 arcminutes apart. Io is to the left of Jupiter and Europa to the right, with Ganymede in transit. This was taken with my 9.25" Celestron and ASI 224MC at f/10 native resolution. I used an IR-cut filter, but the ADC could not be used as it would change the image scale and both planets would not fit. Due to the low elevation, there is chromatic aberration.
In this wider view, Callisto is seen to the far left. Taken with ASI 178MM at f/10 native resolution with RED filter.
Io flanks Jupiter to the left, and Europa to the right. The dot at the 10:00 position on Jupiter's face is Ganymede in transit.
December 20
The day prior to conjunction, Jupiter's Great Red Spot is seen. The planets are about 10.4 arcminutes apart. Taken with 9.25" Celestron and ASI 224MC with f6.3 reducer and IR-cut filter.
In this wider view, all 4 of the Galilean moons are seen: Callisto and Ganymede to the left, Io and Europa to the right. Ganymede has just passed the mag 7 star to its right. Taken with 9.25" Celestron and ASI 178MM with f6.3 reducer and IR-cut filter.
December 19
Two days prior to conjunction, Jupiter's Great Red Spot is seen, with the planets 16 arcminutes apart. The Galileans are in a line to Jupiter's left. Taken with 9.25" Celestron and ASI 224MC with f3.3 reducer and IR-cut filter.
This was taken with an iPhone through the eyepiece of a 9.25" Celestron at 94x, with a half-degree field of view. The Galileans point to a star, and Titan appears to Saturn's left.
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Jup-Sat 2020