These photos of Jupiter grazing along the lunar limb on 2005 Feb 27 were captured By Peter Skilton in Frankston, Victoria, Australia.

Peter writes:

The graze line was north of Melbourne, and from my location further south, the mighty planet plunged behind the lunar limb, with only the slightest of slivers left showing at mid-event before re-emerging. The Moon was about 25 degrees above the eastern horizon.

The instrument was my usual 6 inch f/5 Newtonian (neither guided nor driven for this event), using eyepiece projection into a normal household-type digital camera (a Sony DSC-P72) held onto the eyepiece with a Scopetroniz Ez-Pix adaptor, which is claimed to be universal for any camera and eyepiece. It's not as sturdy as direct coupling, but substantially better than simply hand-holding the camera against the eyepiece. The results from such a very simple setup are really quite surprising. The trick is to use the in-built shutter timer so that vibrations arising from pressing the camera button dampen down and don't ruin the photo (this camera is very basic and doesn't have a cable release capability, nor a manual exposure capability).


Grazing occultation of Jupiter, 27 February 2005 [64K]

The distant gas giant planet Jupiter appears dwarfed by our closer Moon and its impact craters and mountain chains. Over a period of 30 minutes leading up to midnight local time, Jupiter approached beneath the Moon, disappeared almost entirely behind it, and reappeared.


Grazing occultation of Jupiter, 27 February 2005 [55K]

Jupiter, with its dark horizontal bands, appears small in comparison with our Moon. As captured in Frankston, the planet's limb just grazed along the northern limb of the Moon in this rare planetary alignment. My current version of Dave Herald's Occult program indicates that the previous Jovian graze in the Victoria region was on 21st May, 1998, and the next predicted over land is on 5th October 2012, though less than half the altitude of this event.


Grazing occultation of Jupiter, 27 February 2005 [66K]

Jupiter is shown here last night with its four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto trailing and leading it. The Moon at upper left, dwarfs the smaller circular disc of Jupiter itself, which in turn dwarfs those of its four tiny satellites. Both the Moon and Jupiter are overexposed in this photograph in order to record the extremely faint images of these 4 Jovian satellites (which unfortunately blurred a little as the telescope was not tracking at the time). The satellites do not appear in the other two images above, as the exposure is optimised for capturing detail on the Moon and Jupiter.

[Return to Home Page]

[Return to Image Index]