2020-07-03 Jupiter with Ganymede (above) and Io (below).

Jupiter with moons Ganymede (top) and Io (bottom).

Apparent size:47.4 arc-sec.
Diameter:142,984 km (about 11.2 Earths).
Distance: 4.16 AU (about 34.6 light minutes).
Exposure:0.377053 sec – best 125 frames stacked from 500 frame video.

My first effort at Jupiter with the new combination of camera and 2x image amplifier.

All four of the Galilean moons were captured in the original image but Europa and Callisto were further out and didn’t survive the crop. Both Ganymede and Io needed to be digitally brightened.

At least with the Moon nearly full, planetary imaging is still possible. Our world has been unrecognisable over the last few months and getting outside with the telescope is a calming influence, even under the suburban skies to which I am still limited.

I see covid creating havoc in my home country, England, where I fear the worst as they rush to open up prematurely. I see massive numbers of infections and deaths in countries where stupid leaders have not taken the virus seriously. I see unfolding world disaster.

It’s all beyond my comprehension.

If China – with a massive population of 1.4 billion – can limit its infections to “only” 85,000 (most of them in just one province), how can America – with a population of “only” 330 million – permit nearly 3 million infections (so far)?

Land of the free? In God we trust? Hail to the Chief……

It hurts too much to even think about it all.

Australia now has a second wave going on down in Melbourne. Some of us can only put our heads in a bucket of sand while the health professionals do their best. I’m going to go and polish my telescope and dream of clear night skies ahead…..

Telescope Details
SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor.
840 mm focal length @ f/7 with field flattener and 2x Televue Powermate.
Baader L-Booster UHC-S light pollution filter 2458276.
SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Camera: ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro (CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx)


  1. Many of us in the US are shaking our heads in disbelief and disgust at the ways we are not doing the right things in the name of freedom, independence, racism, and re-election.

    Nice shot of Jupiter. I’ve been admiring Venus in the morning twilight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What is happening right now is genocide by neglect.
      Glad you like the shot. I’ll skip the mornings. I’ll be seeing Venus in the evening sky next year!


      1. Your thought and comments are well received here. Where in England are you from?
        I have a friend who looks a lot like you from Brighton. Has been here in Canada for about 30 years. He has a brother Trevor back home. Just curious.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent image of Jupiter. My first reaction was that the festoons are upside down. I appreciate the difficulty in accentuating the moons properly.

    I’ve always assumed one would go mad worrying about all the calamities going on throughout the world. Sound advice on use of the telescope. I’ve been suggesting to family and co-workers for months to effectively do the same, to find constructive uses of their time. Disruptions create opportunity.

    Fortunately for us, the cosmos will continue its ways unabated by the happenings on Earth. Take care of yourself and plan accordingly, but beyond that, we’ve got Jupiter and Saturn back in the night sky, with Mars soon following, along with everything else in the sky you can always observe past planetary viewing. It’s going to be a fun six months and I’d hate to waste it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again, I can’t compete . . . and my birthday is not for a while yet.

    As for the comparing the US and China . . . I’d take the numbers from China with a grain of salt (or maybe a whole salt-shaker).

    The thing is, and I should have saved it, I remember different numbers being reported (higher), and then conflicting reports as to the rate of infection and mortality.

    This is a Time article from April (and keep in mind it’s now July):

    It doesn’t lessen the tragedy that’s happening here due to a combination of poor education, politics, fear mongering, and the CDC and government and medical community sending often conflicting and confusing messages. I won’t excuse them, but there’s a fair amount of blame to be shared by a public that is — and I’m trying to be gentle here — infected with a high number of non-Einsteins.

    And, it doesn’t help when one side says “there’s nothing to worry about” and the other side responds with “we’re all gonna die!” when the reality is somewhere along the spectrum of the extremes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link. Whilst always maintaining scepticism, one can only comment on the data provided – and who is to say with any degree of certainty that the US figures (or any others) are trustworthy?

      On a per capita basis – which by my maths is US: 9,000 cases per million ; China: 60 cases per million – you could multiply the official Chinese figures tenfold and the official US figures would still look bad.

      The main reason the Chinese figures are so “low” is because they effectively limited the worst of the outbreak to just one province. Maybe this is one of those very rare occasions when authoritarian rule has some benefit over a free democracy. ☹

      Best regards,

      Roger 🙃


    2. Well, it’s not a contest. There is no doubt the US numbers are bad (and I postulate why) and my only reason to mention my skepticism is because the bad situation in the US stands on its own and it’s not served by comparison to countries and cultures that are very different.

      But, if we are to compare, then one would have to have a measure of trust in the reports out of China. That’s where said culture differences (as well as lack of freedom of the press and the lack of independent reporting) raises a certain amount of doubt.

      For instance, try to get from China how many people were killed by the Government in Tiananmen Square (300 is the official tally, and that includes the brave soldiers who died while attacking civilians with armored cars). The best estimates for actual dead are around ten times the number . . . but, yes; even multiplying the Chinese data by ten, the US still “wins” . . . but, again, why compare at all?

      The US numbers are horrific on their own and, as I said, the reason(blame) rests on many shoulders. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t have plenty of warning from Italy.

      One of the problems here (a problem that still drives the dynamic) is that the issue was immediately politicized by both sides (and continues to be so) because it’s an election year (bad timing that).

      The other problem is that the CDC dropped the ball (they had one job . . .) and the WHO wasn’t much better. Both those agency early on lost credibility, and that’s unfortunate because credibility is easily lost but very difficult to win back.

      Another problem is that some of the initial decisions by the governors were, frankly, stupid (Cuomo sent sick people to nursing homes instead of separating them), and based on a mix of ignorance and stupidity. Yet another bad thing is that many of the cases came from Europe (at the time, not subject to travel restrictions). I could go on and on about many reasons driving how we got here.

      BUT . . . in the end, I fall back on the fact that we live in a time where we can get good data and could inform our behavior based on said data but people seem to trust opinions and biases over data (that’s, after all, what I’m doing with the China numbers, although I maintain I have some justification for doing so).

      People I know are abiding by the best current knowledge we have (regardless of what the government — local, state, or federal — says) and that’s what I’m doing . . . but I can afford to do so.

      I tend to spread the blame (and not cast too many stones) because of a simple fact: imagine you were in charge and had unlimited power (and didn’t have the pesky issue of state’s rights to deal with) . . . what would you do? What would you have done, and when? And then, realize that regardless of China’s reported numbers (be they real or fake), you don’t have their arsenal of actions at your disposal.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. We (singly and collectively) are trying. It’s already a tragedy, and while I fear it will only get worse, at some point, one way or another, things will improve. I just hope we learn sone lessons from it; good lessons (let me clarify).

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Came across this post a day or two later than usual (family stuff) and happened to read comments before your text, leaving me to wonder …What? Such unusual comments.. Then I read your text , and feel the concern and consternation expressed from your view point, not to mention the readers. Yes we are in the midst of a phenomena never experienced. Living through the divisiveness not that unlike the sixties, THAT, was scarring, (except for the awesome lunar landing, (and the NY Mets winning the World Series,)). 1968 was a year of civil unrest diversity and a good dose of civil unrest.
    But now, and for no underlying reason like Viet Nam, the unrest, and upheaval has returned to rattle the soul! Our country up here in the northern hemisphere lacks a leader with ability or empathy and sadly posses a child-like selfish behavior and intellect that promotes and thrives on divisiveness . I and my wife are in the belief that he, with his self-serving anti-science rhetoric is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. His lying, and continual stoking of divisiveness to appease his base is over-whelming.
    As sort of an escape, ..I find my cameras, related hobbies and diversions, ….and family … to be a refreshing and therapeutic escape from the onslaught of egregious news cycles, and sadly some neighborhood political flag waving, many laced with obscenities . .
    But, they can’t change the heavens, and that’s part of the reason I’ll be watching and enjoying the partial lunar eclipse here in NJ at about midnight in about two hours.
    Nice photo of Jupiter. It and Saturn complimentIng the fullest moon tonight! M 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I do tend to go off-topic from time to time. If I was a moderator I’d be telling myself to stick to the script.
      Enjoy the partial eclipse, although it will be very subtle.


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