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Stargazers can get best view of Jupiter now, says Gloucester astronomer John Fletcher

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

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Now is a good time to see Jupiter in full view

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Keen stargazers have got their best chance yet to take a glimpse at Jupiter, a Gloucester-based astronomer has said.

John Fletcher, from the Mount Tuffley Observatory, says that the planet has moved into prime position for several months and can be viewed with binoculars or a simple telescope.

He said: "Jupiter is a beautiful planet and there has never been a better opportunity for people to see it. It is in full view now.

"It has 64 moons and it is a beautiful gas planet which you could line 12 Earths along.

"With a stronger telescope you can see its two gas belts as well. People are often amazed when they see the atmosphere if a planet some 440million miles away."

Stargazers can look for Jupiter after dark. It can be found in a south-easterly direction, look up at 60 degrees. Later it moves south and then south westerly.

A 1.5" telescope is enough to see Jupiter in good detail, or a good pair of binoculars will suffice. John recommends resting the binoculars on a fence to give them stability.

Jupiter is disc-shaped and there are four 'twinkly' points surrounding it - these are four of its larger moons.

Those with a better 3" diameter telescope will be able to make out two of Jupiter's gas belts.

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  • supernova1  |  February 22 2014, 1:28PM

    Thanks John. Brilliant info as always.

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