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Getting ready for Jupiter’s 2020 apparition

2020 June 1
by Russ

This is Jupiter from an imaging session on May 5, 2017. I hope to capture more images like this over the coming months.  The video clip on the left is a short snippet of the raw video sequence that produced the color image on the right. Equipment used during this session was a 203 mm f/10 Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, 2X Barlow lens, and ZWO ASI120MC camera.

Amateur astronomers   began imaging Jupiter  in February shortly after the planet emerged from the solar glare into the predawn sky. For me, however, the  2020-2021 season starts next week.

In early June, Jupiter will climb high enough above nearby houses and trees to be visible from my backyard as it transits the celestial meridian in the wee hours of the morning.

Jupiter will rise earlier each day over the coming months. This will gradually move imaging opportunities into earlier evening hours.

Jupiter reaches opposition with Earth on July 14th and reaches its closest approach to Earth for this cycle on July 15th.

The table below shows the details for June.

Date Rise CDT Transit CDT Set  CDT Angular Size Distance
June 1 23:42 04:44 09:42 44.80″ 4.401 AU
June 15 22:43 03:44 08:42 46.24″ 4.263 AU
June 30 21:38 02:39 07:35 47.28″ 4.170 AU
Angular size is in arcseconds. Distance is in astronomical units (AU)
Source: CalSky


Although I am just getting ready to start observing, the 2020 Jupiter apparition is already in full swing for observers elsewhere around the world.  Many have been posting spectacular images on the web since February.

One of the best sites for seeing daily Jupiter images submitted by amateur astronomers is the Jupiter Section of Japanese Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, or ALPO-Japan.  Be sure to check for images posted there by Christopher Go and Damian Peach.  They are two of the top planetary imagers in the world.

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