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How to see the Moons of Jupiter

The Moons of Jupiter can be seen with a pair of binoculars. They don't have to be astronomical binoculars or even snazzy binoculars. Just about any pair of binoculars which can make things in the distance look closer will do. Of course the best way to see the Moons of Jupiter is to Go There. Makes a great adventure holiday! However, not everyone has that level of equipment, or even a telescope. Fortunately, the four Galilean Satellites of Jupiter can be seen with the kind of binoculars which are used at the races or even the type that have just been bought on the offchance that one day you'll go to the races!

To see the moons of Jupiter (the four main ones anyway), here's how to do it:

1. Find a pair of binoculars.

2. Go out on dark nights when the sky is really clear and look for one star that's particularly bright. Chances are it's not a star but a planet. On a night when there's a particularly bright planet up in the sky it's most likely either Jupiter or Venus.

3. Look at the planet through the binoculars. If it's Venus, don't worry if you see no moons, as the planet Venus doesn't have any. However, if it's Jupiter you may see up to four tiny points of light near to the planet.

4. If it's out of focus, adjust the focus wheel.

5. These really are the Moons of Jupiter! They really are in orbit around the planet Jupiter. This may not initially seem so amazing reading about it on a computer screen, but when you see them out there in the sky, the experience is a lot more impressive!

Other info: No page about the Galilean Satellites of Jupiter would be complete without mentioning that they are called: Callisto, Ganymede, Europa, and Io. They are all very different in character and each is a strange new world with much interesting activity going on.

Also, any quiz questions of the form "How many moons does Jupiter have?" are properly answerable as there are Many. At least thirty had been discovered when this page was made (2003). Or 64 as of 2011/08. The truth is there are four main ones and loads of small ones. New ones are being discovered all the time.

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More about the Moons of Jupiter at...







The important thing about the Moons of Jupiter mentioned at this page is that you should actually go out on a dark night and have a look at them with basic binoculars and see them for yourself.