Or you can check out our guide for the Best Telescopes For Viewing Planets. First, look up where Jupiter is going to be located in the night sky. Are you just a casual viewer? If possible, wait until Jupiter is high in the sky. In this article I will try to illustrate the views you can expect through different telescopes, and maybe help to decide which one to choose. There is a reason Galileo was able to pick them out hundreds of years ago, they are pretty easy to spot! Jupiter regularly appears very high in the sky and that is the best point in which to try and snag a great view of the gas giant. This gives it a large presence in the sky that you can pick out with the naked eye under the right conditions. What Does a Star Look Like Through a Telescope? The overall assembly of the telescope is straightforward and perfect for anyone with little to no prior knowledge. The amount of observable celestial objects and their visible details will depend on several factors: The size and the optical quality of a telescope, the observing loca… Lastly, if you think you have done everything right and Jupiter still doesn’t look quite as sharp as you would like, it may not be you. This was my first attempt at Jupiter as well as first light from a 70mm Vixen refractor telescope. This means that Jupiter remains located in the same part of the sky for a full year at a time. This is a good rule of thumb for all astronomy but it especially applies to Jupiter as well. One Jupiter year is roughly equivalent to twelve Earth years. Standard telescopes with apertures of 70mm and up will be able to see Jupiter with relative ease. Be aware of other potential atmospheric pollutants and distortions that could hamper clear views of Jupiter. You can use our telescope comparison table to help you find the perfect telescope. First, darker is always better. If you keep trying, one day, you will get that stunning view. Even if it is high in the sky, the planet can still be subjected to other dampeners. If you live near any sort of industry that gives off heat or large patches of asphalt or concrete, these can put up a lot of vapor and heat into the air that will distort your view of Jupiter. Heat is a big one. It offers a ton of viewing potential from clouds, rich colors, moons, storms, and more. Are you interested in astrophotography? This is great for practicing, photography, enthusiasts, or someone who has poor viewing conditions. It all depends on how seriously you want to view Jupiter. The easiest way to do this is to find out what constellation it is currently embedded in and use that as a guide. Super high thin clouds, a high particle count per million, or even things like passing planes, can all distort your clear view of Jupiter and you won’t be able to tell. Can Everyone on Earth See the Moon at the Same Time. If you ever see the wavy look in the air when the heat is rising off a flat surface, that same distortion can happen in the atmosphere as well. The bending of light and color that produces a stunning sunset is the same physics that can ruin your view of Jupiter! Do you need a large and expensive telescope to see it? The Jupiter system is a complex and varied cluster of celestial objects and what telescope you need is entirely up to you. It will be large, bright and flat looking. The proximity and size of Jupiter mean you do not need a hefty or professional grade telescope to get the views you want. Any standard telescope will be able to get a good view of Jupiter and will even be able to pick out the Galilean moons as well if the conditions are right. Unless you are checking the pollen or particle count (PPM) daily, you might go out and find that the sky is clogged with microscopic things that are preventing the clear images of Jupiter from reaching you. Astrophotography requires even higher contrast still, with very high focal ratios and super quality glass and optics. It stays locked into one quadrant of the sky for weeks or months on end making it an easy target to return to, night after night. But it might be the atmosphere again. Do not try and view Jupiter when it is near the horizon. Unlike other planets, Jupiter is not a monolith in terms of telescopic potential. If you are looking for more, then there are some things to keep in mind. We are going to go into great detail about each of these questions and more. Jupiter will only wander out of a constellation after a full year of occupying the same part of the sky so this method will last you a long time. Light at the horizon travels through more atmosphere here on Earth which greatly increases the potential for atmospheric interference with the light. Telescopes with a higher power, more contrast, and accessories will be able to pick out a lot more. Getting high contrast, better colored, images require more powerful (and expensive) telescopes in order to process the images the way you are looking for. Also, it can be seen with a whole array of telescopes that each can unlock different parts of Jupiter’s potential. Jupiter has a long, but convenient, orbital schedule. Do you want to see the Great Red Spot? The magnitude limit of a 70mm telescope is about 11.9. Jupiter itself has many cloud bands, the Great Red Spot storm, and deeply rich colored zones in its atmosphere that can be enhanced and seen with better equipment. Luckily, Jupiter stays put in the sky for long periods of time so you can always come back and try again another night.
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