2020 has certainly not been the best year of our lives, but it still has some bright moments now and again. In December, all astrophotographers will get a pretty unique Christmas present: Jupiter and Saturn appearing as double planets. This phenomenon is pretty rare as is, but conjunction like this one hasn’t been since the Middle Ages.
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It’s crazy to think that the Hubble Space Telescope has been floatin’ around in space for over 30 years now. But since launch day on April 24th, 1990, it’s shown us some incredible sights that we wouldn’t otherwise ever get to see. Recently, it sent back a new image of Jupiter with its moon Europa right beside it, with an incredible level of detail and beauty.
UPDATE: there will be no smiley in the sky tonight. What we thought of as a smiley, will be a rare conjunction (close pairing) of Venus and Mercury.
As Forbes points out, on May 22, 2020 you will see the bright planet Venus about 10º above the horizon. Look just beneath it and you’ll see the tiny red dot of the planet Mercury. They will be just 0.5º apart
It’s almost like a great cosmic “It’ll be ok”, but next month, on May 16th, to be precise, a crescent moon will sit in the sky beneath Jupiter and Venus to form a smiley face amongst the stars. The scientific term for such an event is an occultation and in this case, it happens when the moon is positioned between Earth and Venus.
The timing of such an event might seem like a sign from above, but they’re not as uncommon as you might think. It was visible in 2008 from Asia and 2012 from Australia to North America. But they are easy to miss, only being visible for a short period after sunset.
The Hubble Space Telescope has recently captured a new photo of Jupiter, showing its trademark Great Red Spot. NASA has shared the image which shows the gas giant in a more intense color palette and in all its glory, and it could be a step towards a better understanding of Jupiter, but also other planets.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the storm bigger the Earth, is now captured in the closest and the clearest photos ever. Juno captured them 5,600 miles above the clouds, and NASA posted them in their gallery for the public to download and process. The images show an incredible amount of details, helping the scientists understand the storm better, and making the rest of us gasp in awe.
As you probably already know, NASA makes their photo library publicly available. Thanks to this, from time to time there are devoted artists and space geeks who turn the images from NASA into something new and beautiful. This time, photographer Sean Doran took still photos of Jupiter and turned them into a mesmerizing animation.
The photos taken by Juno spacecraft are awe-inspiring on their own, but the video adds a totally new dimension. Have you ever tried to imagine yourself orbiting around Jupiter? This video makes you feel like you do, and it’s simply wonderful.
When we hear about “probes” flying around space, we probably think of something fairly small. We’ve all heard them on sci-fi TV shows. “Sent out a probe”, and off flies a little drone-like object. Well, not NASA’s Juno probe. This thing is as big as a basketball court. Launched in 2011, the probe took five years to reach and then settle into orbit around Jupiter, 415 million miles away.
Juno orbits in an extremely wide arc, resulting in a brief fly-by of the gas giant every couple of months. The original plan was for this to happen every two weeks, but some sticky valves put that idea to rest. Juno completed its fifth pass on March 27th, creating and streaming images back to Earth. And the processed full colour results are amazing.
Jupiter was a class of lens made by manufacturers of the former Soviet Union. There were quite a few different lenses in the Jupiter lineup, and in this set of videos from Mathieu Stern, we’re going to learn about four of them.
A lot of people tend to ignore older lenses, but I picked up a Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 lens last year, and it rapidly became one of my favourite portrait lenses, and it’s fantastic for video. After seeing these videos, I might have to add a couple more to my list.
Regardless of your thoughts on Lomography and their analogue antics, it’s hard to deny their ongoing success with bringing long-lost lenses back from the grave. Today, they continue that trend by officially announcing their latest ‘Art’ lens, a 50mm f/1.5 lens called the Jupiter 3+ Art.