If you have a telescope can you help me?

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fatal291

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Well I've noticed something in the sky, I usually see it around 12am right in front of my house. Right now at 1am it is in te direction of S. The Moon is about SW. it is about the second brightest thing in the sky. I realize Venus was out earlier this month but this object is usually always out. Is there anyone that can help me? I'd perfer it if you can do it now while its out. I live in Richmond Virginia (Latitude: 37° 32' North<br />Longitude: 77° 28' West)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Assuming that's last night, that is indeed Jupiter.<br />At magnitude -2.5 it is the brightest object in the sky right now after the Sun, Moon, and Venus. <br /><br />With binoculars, you should be able to see it is a disk, not a point of light, and if you can hold the binoculars steady (Lean them on a car or table?) you should be able to see some of the 4 Galilean moons. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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fatal291

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aw man i need a stronger pair.. i cant see any of the moons i dont think. How long will it be there?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Jupiter will be visible all summer long.<br /><br />I think you said Richmond, right?<br /><br />Currently it rises at 8:48 PM, and culminates (highest elevation is south) at 30 degrees elevation at 1:48 AM.<br /><br />By July 15th, it will rise before sunset, be at it's highest in the south at 10:12 PM, and set at 3:08 AM<br /><br />By Sept 15th, it will rise during the day, be at it's highest in the south at 6:15 PM about an hour before sunset, and sets at 11:06 PM.<br /><br />So you have some time to work with for this year <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Wayne<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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heyscottie

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Seeing the moons with binoculars is difficult, but not impossible. It's easier if you have a binocular tripod mount....
 
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fatal291

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i just want to make sure that it is Jupiter.. from here its usually right beside the moon to the left. its unavoidable if youre looking into the sky.
 
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MeteorWayne

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The moon is not in the same position every night.<br /><br />It makes a complete circle in the sky about every 28 days so shifts in position by ~360/18 or 13 degrees a day against the background stars.<br />This is fast enough, BTW, that you can easily notice it in a single night, particularly when passing a bright object like a planet. It will be passing just below Jupiter on the evening of May 31st (tomorrow night), even closer will be the reddish 1st magnitude star Antares. (Full Moon is at 9:04 PM EDT, just after Jupiter, the Moon and Antares rise in the ENE)<br /><br />I took a look last light while looking for the Genesis satellite at 1:25 AM, and a nice -7 Iridium flare at 2:45 AM.<br /><br />With my cheap Tasco 7x35 binoculars I was pretty easily able to spot the 4 largest moons of Jupiter, since they were well spread out.<br />When I steadied the binoculars of the car roof it was even easier. <br /><br />Wayne<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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heyscottie

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It's more difficult if you've never seen them before -- you aren't really sure what you are looking for until you've positively identified them once!
 
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MeteorWayne

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That is certainly true.<br />Still, it can be done <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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deapfreeze

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Well I don't work tonight so if it stays clear I will be out for a bit. I hope to take a look at Jupiter. Tomorrow full moon observing. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>William ( deapfreeze ) Hooper</em></font></p><p><font size="1">http://deapfreeze-amateur-astronomy.tk/</font></p><p> </p> </div>
 
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heyscottie

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By the way, full moon is just about the WORST time to look at it. Details are all washed out, no shadows into craters or off of mountain ranges, etc...
 
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