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Jupiter is an impressive bright ‘star’ in the eastern sky during November evenings. At the start of the month the giant planet rises above the ENE horizon at around 9pm local time in the UK. It is easy to spot as it is the brightest object in the sky, shining at magnitude -2.5 in the constellation of Gemini.
Through November, as Jupiter and the Earth move closer together in their respective orbits, Jupiter gets bigger and brighter, and rises earlier and earlier. Mid month Jupiter rises by 8pm and by month’s end it is up above the eastern horizon by 7pm, shining at magnitude -2.7 with a disc that is more than 44-arc seconds in diameter. With the exception of Venus in the evening sky it is the brightest planet currently visible.
Jupiter through a telescope
Jupiter looks fantastic in telescopes with apertures of 150mm and larger. The giant planet’s disc is easily resolved into light and dark bands, and often shows details like spots, storms and whirls. The two main dark bands are Jupiter’s equatorial belts. It is in the southern belt where the Great Red Spot (GRS) can be found, lurking at approximately 200-degrees longitude.
Jupiter is a dynamic planet and its features do change in appearance. At the moment the GRS is not so much a Great Red Spot, but more a shallow dark oval akin to the shape of an eye. It sits in a large white hollow in the Southern Equatorial Belt, which is itself riddled with rifts. The main rifts separates the Southern Equatorial Belt into a north and south component. The boundary of the north component is really quite dark on the following side of the GRS, as can be seen from this sketch of Jupiter made on 9th November at the eyepiece of a 200mm dobsonian.
The best times to see the Great Red Spot on Jupiter in November are listed below:
GRS Timings for November 2013
Transit Dates and Times
Nov 4th – 12:15am to 1:15am GMT
Nov 8th – 11:15pm to 12:15am GMT
Nov 10th – 5am to 6am GMT
Nov 11th – 1am to 2am GMT
Nov 13th – 10:30pm to 11:30pm GMT
Nov 16th – 12am to 1am GMT
Nov 17th – 6am to 7am GMT
Nov 18th – 9:30pm to 10:30pm GMT
Nov 20th – 11:15pm to 12:15am GMT
Nov 22nd – 5am to 6am GMT
Nov 25th – 10:15pm to 11:15pm GMT
Nov 28th – 12am to 1am GMT
Nov 30th – 9:30pm to 10:30pm GMT
2 >> Select a telescope and check the availability indicator on the telescope information screen
3 >> Hire period is 7 or 14 nights, starting and ending Fridays. Nightly telescope hire is also available from our Southwest England hire bases
4 >> Make your booking request here, or phone Seb on 07884 001815
5 >> We will send you a booking confirmation. A delivery / pick up time is arranged for the start of the hire period, and a collection / drop-off time is fixed for the end of the hire period. These times are flexible.
6 >> You can pay for your telescope hire by cash on the day of collection or delivery. We also accept advance bank payments and paypal payments.
7 >> Everything you need to use the telescope is included. Our stargazing guides provide detailed information to help you navigate your way around the night sky.
8 >> Hope for clear skies!
We are located on the High Street (A5120) in Toddington close to Jct 12 of the M1. From the motorway head up the hill into Toddington. The road bears left at the Church. Continue along the road past the shops on your right. We are 100 yards or so up on the left.
SAT NAV – LU5 6BX
Dark Sky Telescope Hire
41 High Street
Tel. 07884 001815
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