Jupiter and the Galilean moons

I’m really amazed by this picture. In the early hours of this morning I went out into the back garden to see if I could see the Perseids meteor shower at its peak. I took my camera in case I spotted any of my froggy friends out hunting.

I didn’t have much luck with the Perseids as there was a full moon and some high level haze, but Jupiter was majestic just above the roofline of my house. I’d had some success with photographing the moon with my new camera, a Lumix DC-TZ90, and wondered if it would be able to focus on Jupiter.

I rested my head against the side of the shed for extra stability and zoomed in on Jupiter. The camera struggled to get focus for a second or so, and then claimed success. I squeezed the shutter button.

It was only when I looked at the captured image that I spotted the four dots around the planet. Were they the Galilean Moons? A quick check with Sky and Telescope’s Tools showed that indeed they were! From left to right Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io.

That a relatively cheap camera, can capture a shot like this, hand-held and set to automatic, is truly stunning.