Jupiter events tonight

by Bob Czerwinski

Jane Houston Jones wrote:

Nice shadow transit of Callisto at about 8:00 p.m. 1/17/03. Nice moon lineup with Calisto near the planet then Io and Europa close together on the east side, and Ganymede alone on the west, but a couple stars thrown in on both sides to confuse everything.

Yep, I'm confused. I didn't get out with my 12.5" Starmaster 'til just before 9:00pm, really just to check out Saturn (breathtaking!), but when I looked over at Jupiter, I thought all four moons were to the west of the planet, with the two nearest the planet's limb sitting on top of one another. Jupiter was only about 30-degrees above the horizon at the time, and I thought there was a relatively bright star just to the east of Jupiter's limb. After observing Jupiter for a bit, I *thought* I'd witnessed an occultation of two moons. Was I just seeing stars? (No pun intended.) I need to bring Jupiter up on TheSky or Starry Night to figure out what it was I was seeing.

Saturn was just magnificent last night, as was the seeing. (Thanks for the heads-up, Phil!) Probably the best I've ever seen it from San Jose ... in a non-AP 'scope, that is. Just blew my neighbors away, too. If the seeing tonight is as good as it was last night, be sure to get out there! In addition to Titan, I think I spotted five moons in Saturn's immediate vicinity. Time to do my homework to figure out if some of these were actually stars.