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This dynamic active region, which has already popped off 12 in just two days (Oct. 8-10, 2012), is rotating into view..





This art [astronomy]which is as it were the head of all the liberal arts and the one most worthy of a free man leans upon nearly all the other branches of mathematics. Arithmetic, geometry, optics, geodesy, mechanics, and whatever others, all offer themselves in its service.


Nicolaus Copernicus, Introduction to De Revoluntionibus, 1543.

Occultations of Jupiter by the Moon

2 November 2012 and 29 November 2012



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Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon



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November 29, 2012 Occultation

In early hours of November 29, 2012 occultation of Jupiter by the Moon could be observed from South Africa for a second time in one month. Wens Coetzer had a wonderful night at his observatory under clear sky.

Wens writes: " It was a perfect early morning - no wind and no cloud although the relative humidity was 80%.. The cherry on top was seeing Saturn, Venus and Mercury 30 minutes before dawn"

Wens accuired large number of prime focus images as well as video clips, so more images to follow after processing. The equipment used: EQ-mounted CELESTRON CPC-1100 telescope, CANON EOS 550D DSLR.

Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd

Links to other interesting South African web sites

Image courtesy

FOTON AstroCam V1:

More AstroCam images







The following image shows Jupiter and its three Galilean moons: Europa, Io and Ganymede; Ganymede had just completed its transit in front of Jupiter. Callisto has disappeared behind the Moon some 4 minutes before this image was taken.









November 02, 2012 Occultation

The sky on the evening of 1 November looked very promising in Johannesburg area; the equipment had been set-up and tested for the imaging of a very special celestial event- Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon. This time it was also very special, because before, during and after the occultation the Great Red Spot would transit the Earth-facing surface of Jupiter, making it a very beautiful sight. Also, the occultation was observable only from the tip of Southern Africa.



Image courtesy



By 2:30 am on November 2, 2012 the sky had changed from almost clear to 50% covered in clouds. The seeing condition through the patches in the clouds was very poor with very heavy turbulence, observable through an 8" f/10 telescope. Nevertheless my observation and imaging sessions of the occultation were very enjoyable and special. I hope my images will display the event in its full beauty.

Equipment, used this time:

Telescopes: TAL-200K; TAL-100R; Lenses: Sigma-400mm modified; x2 Barlow; Canon EOS-550D camera for still images and video; Canon EOS-60 Da for video.

(I was kindly offered Canon's EOS 550D and 60Da for couple of weeks to play with and for review, which should be completed soon, subject to weather improving).

Image processing was done in Registax and Photoshop









Seeing conditions changed by the minute, cameras setting also had to be changed for achieving the best possible outcome.






For the early hours of the morning full occultation was conveniently short and re-appearance of Jupiter from partially-shadowed western limb of the Moon was a show on its own!






After Jupiter fully re-appeared, the GRS was still well-positioned and visible, though the seeing conditions have worsen a lot and the cloud cover increased to estimated 75 to 95%.






The following image is a single frame; I used TAL 200K Klevtsov-Cassegrain telescope st f/10 and Canon EOS 550D camera.






The occultation of Jupiter by the Moon would be incomplete without mentioning the moons of Jupiter itself. At the time of the beginning of occultation Io was occulted by the Jupiter, but appeared just to the right of its parent planet after the main occultation.




More images and reports from South Africa can be found at


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