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Jupiter, Saturn and Mars: Astronomy at WESCAM

Working @L3WESCAM

WESCAM Engineering’s Annual Astronomy Night, in collaboration with the Royal Astronomical Society (Hamilton Chapter), enjoyed great weather for a positive viewing experience. Using an inverted MX-25, the group recorded some good planetary imagery.As you can see from the images, Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, put on a decent show. With the camera’s gain high, we were able to capture four of the largest moons. Jupiter made headlines recently as  Carnegie Science announced in June that they found 12 additional moons orbiting the planet, bringing the total number of moons to 79. The process of identifying the moons took one year, as it takes several observations to determine if the object, in this case, the moon, actually orbits around the planet. The findings were also interesting in that one of the new moons, incidentally, the smallest of the bunch, actually has an orbit “like no other known Jovian moon”.

On Jupiter, you can see that its atmosphere is differentiated into light and dark bands. This is EON-DL.
If the camera’s gain is high enough, you can even see the four largest moons of Jupiter.

Meantime, Saturn, a show off by nature with its seven rings, did not disappoint. Located sixth from the sun, it is visible to the naked eye and has 53 confirmed, and nine unconfirmed moons.

Saturn EON-SW at 3200mm.
Saturn’s atmosphere is less differentiated than Jupiter’s, but of course it has its rings. Saturn EON-SW-3200
This time, Saturn-EON-DL-3200.

Mars appeared to have a polar ice cap blemish on the bottom when we took a look. Thanks to NASA Science’s MARS EXPLORATION PROGRAM there is no shortage of information on the red planet. In fact, scientists studying the planet have evolved their goals as a result of their findings. We have gone from “Follow the Water” to “Explore Habitability” to “Seek Signs of Life.”

On Mars, you can make out a white polar ice cap on the bottom of the otherwise red planet.

Mars was at its closest approach to Earth since 2003 back in June, a sight Documented locally by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Hamilton Chapter from Spencer Smith Park.

L3 WESCAM Astronomy night 2018
On Deck for the viewing. Note the inverted MX-25 ready for action.

Hamilton RASC’s Tom Vassos, BES, MBA, presented “A Fascinating Tour of the Universe” and provided help with telescopes.

The Hamilton RASC welcomes new members and provides a variety of outreach programs. It is the only club in the Hamilton and Halton Region to have its own observatory. Whether you are a professional or amateur astronomer, or just someone who is interested in learning more, this is the club for you! The Hamilton chapter is a vibrant community with a wide range of activities for all levels of interest.

Get a sneak peak at some more of our staff events by visiting our newsroom and searching the related articles, Working @L3WESCAM.


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