Friday Stargazing Journal
Frosty Drew Observatory on Friday night by Robert Ranney Photography
I thought tonight's viewing was far better than I expected. When I arrived just before 7:00 PM, clouds were covering much of the sky with the Moon visible and popping in and out of cloud cover. The same was true with the rest of the sky with Jupiter, Comet Lovejoy, and Orion Nebula, among others, popping in and out of view of varying quality. But for those of those who hung out to see the first shadow transit of Jupiter, I thought the view of Jupiter was the best I can remember. My typical view of Jupiter has the equatorial bands popping in and out of view with some moons visible as well. And that is what I saw in the first couple of hours of the evening. But once Jupiter rose high in the sky and we saw the first shadow transit, the equatorial bands were prominent and stable, the 4 Galilean moons remained visible and nicely aligned, and the shadow of one of moons on the surface of Jupiter was awesome. Well worth the trip despite the ominous weather. Sometimes good things do happen for those who wait.