View Full Version : Moon-Jupiter-Conjunction, Oct. 5, 2012

2012-Oct-06, 09:51 PM
On the evening of Friday, October 5, 2012, Europe was treated to the sight of a close conjunction between our Moon and Jupiter. At closest apparent encounter, they were separated by an angle less than 2 degrees.

Here is a simulation of the view on that evening (using the Stellarium software):


And! Just for once, the weather in Southwestern Germany, where I live, was good. There were some clouds at moonrise, but they later dispersed. Moonrise was at 21:36 CEST, but from where I was, there are some slow hills to the East and I got to see the Moon only around an hour later, which was OK. I happily clicked away for about 2 and a half hours, starting at 22:00 CEST. Here are three of the pictures I took.

Equipment: 70 mm aperture, 420 mm focal length apochromatic refractor with a Canon EOS 1000D. I did not use my motorized mount; the scope was mounted on a stable and rugged tripod for TV cameras.

Picture 1, around 22:28 CEST. Jupiter and three of its moons (Callisto to the lower left, Io and Ganymede to the upper right) is visible through a light haze. The rising Moon had just cleared the hills and was shining through the foliage of the trees, which produced a serene, mild light. Very pretty.


Picture 2, around 22:37 CEST. The Moon is in the process of rising above the treeline. I focused on the Moon and chose the exposure time such that the Moon is neither over- nor unbderexposed, which of course meant that Jupiters moons were no longer visible. Too bad, can't be helped - what I was after was the detail of the lunar surface contrasting with the tree branches in the foreground.


Picture 3, about an hour later. OK; I have to admit that this is in fact a composite. I shot a whole series of images a different exposure times (from 1/4 to 1/1000), experimenting a bit with the ISO settings. Then, at home, I took an image where the Moon was well exposed, in good focus and with sharp contrast and another image where some detail on Jupiter was discernible (you can just make out some cloud bands) and yet another image where the three Galilean Moons were visible (Europa was still occulted) and combined them to one composite.


Greetings from Germany and CS


Robert Tulip
2012-Oct-07, 08:45 PM
Dear Michael, please see Centaur's Astronomy Thread on Moon and Jupiter (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138455-Moon-Occults-Jupiter-Australia-October-6?p=2069941#post2069941) for links to superb photos from Geraldton Astronomy Group (http://www.facebook.com/geroastro) - the only town on earth where Jupiter emerged from behind the moon at night.

2012-Oct-12, 08:38 AM

Thanks for the heads-up. I wasn't even aware that there were locations from where this conjunction could be seen as an occultation!

Greetings from Germany and CS