Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Double Shadow Transits on Jupiter - 16 Oct 2013

Today is Tuesday 15 Oct 2013, hereby wishing all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha!

As mentioned in my previous blog, there are 3 double shadow transits visible from Singapore this month.

The first such occurrence is happening in about 10 hours from now. These are all in Singapore Standard Time which is 8 hours ahead of Universal Time. (Source: WinJUPOS 10.0.21)

Date: Wednesday 16 October 2013
Time:  01:28am - 03:20am
Location of Jupiter: East North East (ENE)
Jupiter rising above horizon: 00:48 am (16 Oct 2013)

The 2 shadows will be casted by 2 moons of Jupiter - Io and Europa

Europa Shadow Transit: 00:43am - 03:19am
Io Shadow Transit: 01:28am - 03:40am

Jupiter will not rise higher than 40° during this double shadow transit. Not the best highest position to catch this transit but good enough if the weather co-operates.

For the past few days weather has not been kind. As I am blogging about this now, sky is a little bluish after a heavy downpour earlier this morning. Jupiter only takes up a very small spot in the sky. You just need that spot to be clear enough even for a short while during this shadow transit period to enjoy a view that few on Earth knows about, let alone seeing it!

Some interesting thing to do for such shadow transits:

- Take photos and videos and show your friends what they missed! :)
- Observe Io and Europa getting very very close to Jupiter before "disappearing" in front of its glare. It will look like a small white "pimple"on Jupiter.
- Usually we see can see 4 moons of Jupiter as 4 dots surrounding a bright disc. Tonight, 2 of them is going to "disappear". Leaving the other 2 (Callisto and Ganymede) roughly at equal distance on each side of Jupiter.
- Take precise measurements on the entrance and exit of Io and Europa and they shadows on Jupiter. Then compare with your astronomical apps and software and see how accurate they are.
- Jupiter is a sphere. So the shadows casted on it will not be perfectly round black dots, especially near the limbs of Jupiter. See if you manage to observe that under high enough magnification through telescopes.
- Use this opportunity to test the capabilities of your binoculars, telescopes and photographic gear.
- For those who are keen to shoot and have no access to telescopes, just give it a try with whatever camera and zoom lenses you have. Mount them on a stable tripod and shoot Jupiter. Even if you can't capture the black dots, you can try time-lapse photography and frame all the 4 moons and Jupiter together. You may create a nice video showing these 2 moons "disappearing/appearing".
- Observe it with your family and friends to make it an even more memorable outing!

Weather permitting, due to the early morning hours, I should be observing it alone or with my friends. Follow my tweets to find out if luck is on our side! Tweet #JupiterSG if you are observing this event too!

So good luck, clear skies and stay awake everybody!!

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