Jupiter At Opposition

 

Set your alarms ready for the 8th of March, because it will be the best chance you will get of catching a glimpse of Jupiter for a while!

The giant planet will be at its nearest to us here on Earth, with its face fully illuminated by the sun. It will be visible for most of the night, reaching its highest point at around midnight. Bear in mind that this is absolutely the best time to view and photograph Jupiter as well as its moons,  so I will be ready waiting with my telescope to gaze at the largest planet in our solar system.

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If you are worried about what you will be able to see, don’t worry. A decent sized telescope should allow you to see quite a few of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands, and even with a good pair of binoculars you will be able to see the four larger moons. They will be bright dots visible on the side of the planet.

So remember to aim your telescopes (and binoculars!) towards the constellation Leo at around 12am GMT on the 8th of March to join me as we marvel at one of the most impressive planets in our solar system. I will be there waiting eagerly with my Saxon Novo 705AZ3!

Constellation of Lea in context with other constellations

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Black Hole Found Swallowing a Star

There are some things we do not see often in the world of astronomy, whether amateur buff like myself or professional organizations around the world. A black hole swallowing a star has been theorized as to how it occurs for eons, but more recently we’ve caught glimpses of this rare sight.

News today came out that we not only were able to see one, only about 20 incidents in human history have allowed us a glimpse. Gemma Anderson from Curtin University said during an interview about the amazing event.

“Everything we know about black holes suggests we should see a jet when this happens, but until now they’ve only been detected in a few of the most powerful systems. Now we’ve finally found one in a more normal event.”

What makes this a first is being able to see the material falling into the black home from the star, commonly referred to as an acceleration disc, along with a jet! Never before have we seen both!

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A rare glimpse of a black hole swallowing a star.

 

The discovery is the first time scientists have been able to see both a disk of material falling into a black hole, known as an accretion disk, and a jet in a system of this kind.

This is an incredible event to behold, the star almost the size of our own according to our local Independent was not just swallowed up, but partially spit back out.

The wonders of our cosmos and they mysteries of black holes continue to help us understand more about who we are, where we come from, and how it all began.