75°F -Low Humidity
-It still amazes me how easily you can see Jupiter and it’s 3 (sometimes 4!) big moons with the smallest and cheapest binoculars. There’s no need for an expensive, large aperture scope… just grab an old pair of binoculars you got laying around -even your childs’ toy binoculars- and go check out Jupiter in the evening in the fall. Well, in the evening and in the fall for the next few years at least. Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the Sun, so every year it moves 1/12th of the way across the sky. The whole sky that is… if you think about the visible portion of the (dark) sky, it will move 1/6th of the way across the night sky.
It’s a perfect eveing, dusk… perfect temperature, low humidity, crickets singing… me with my Guinness reflecting on a really nice observing weekend. Yesterday I saw 2 planets I’ve never seen before… then tonight I drove around listening to some great local blues (90.5) waiting for it to get just dark enough to see the 4 (yes 4) inner planets in the same binocular field! There’s a great planet conjunction climaxing on the 10th, but I snuck an early peak at it. I saw bright Venus, dim Mercury, and red MArs just over the west horizon (Earth, that makes 4!) and it was really cool. I’m hoping to get some type of picture of it but you can’t see all three without the help of some binoculars or telescope. Venus yes, Mercury and Mars, no. So, I’ve seen all but one of the major planets of the solar system (sorry Pluto and Ceres) and if I stay up late enough, or get up early enough, I can still technically catch a glimpse of Saturn in the east completing a full tour of the solar system! -I’ll cheers to that!