Of disappearing and reappering acts
I presume that last Saturday, at about 3am local (Maltese) time, most people were fast asleep, unaware of a magnificent spectacle going on above their heads. Jupiter and its moons slowly disappeared from the skies, as our own moon glided steadily in front of them, thus occulting the Jovian system, starting with icy Europa and and volcanic Io, then Jupiter itself, and finally large, rocky Ganymede and heavily cratered Callisto. Of course, the surface features of these moons are not visible with small ground-based telescopes; instead they appear as tiny dots of light. One by one they slipped out of view, as the moon steadily moved in front of them and covered the whole system in about 15 minutes. 40 minutes later, these worlds started appearing once again – presenting us with a view that is not easily forgotten – a view which I’ve captured and am posting here. This image was obtained with an SLR camera using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, employing a number of techniques to avoid camera shake. I hope you enjoy it – and always remember to look up! Happy observing!