Did I see another planet?

  • A couple days ago, I zoomed in with my 30x optical zoom camera, and after some exposure adjustments, a bright star in the night sky turned into this:

    Bright star with (planets)?

    Are those other planets or other stars? Or is that a lens effect?

    EDIT: The bright object in question was ~60 degrees above the horizon, and ESE of me (East-south-east). I took the picture on 3-25-16 from Madison, Wisconsin.

    EDIT: Question answered, more clear picture added FYI.

    More clear pic - Enjoy!

    That should be Jupiter and his 4 Galilean moons. However on your picture 2 of them seem missing, maybe they were cut-off by the field-of-view.

    Sometimes they hang out *behind* the planet.

    @AtmosphericPrisonEscape you should submit that as an answer, I found that to be correct with a quick look at an app :) I will accept that immediately

    Cross-posted to Astronomy and Photography. Please don't do that. It's against site policy because it fragments answers and wastes people's time when they write an answer to something that's already been answered elsewhere.

    @DavidRicherby Sorry D:

    Very nice picture, by the way.

    @WayfaringStranger: Sometimes they also hang out in front of the planet, at which point they're equally invisible to this type of equipment.

    Jupiter And His Four Galilean Moons - sounds like a 50's band. :-)

    @BobJarvis Agreed

    Past answers were enough, but i wanted to add: *It is extremely difficult for you to find another planet.* If you don't have an incredibly expensive telescope it is really difficult to see even the other ones discovered by the telescopes in orbit around the sun past Pluto, or even Pluto itself. Planets orbiting around the stars all mostly discovered by passage, because the stars are way too bright and far, so an extremely little but regular decrease in intensity over a line usually tells that there is a planet orbiting around that stars. Other technologies like radio waves could also do, but s

    @MarkWuji you are forgetting that phones exist, and apps show you where they are...

  • ProfRob

    ProfRob Correct answer

    6 years ago

    You don't say what time you were looking. Here is a screenshot from Stellarium at 10pm Wisconsin time on 25th March 2016. Jupiter is in the ESE, but the altitude is a bit lower than 60 degrees. Seems fairly conclusive. You were seeing Ganymede and a Europa/Io combination.


    9:20 was the timestamp on the picture

    Another picture shows this clearly, check the latest edit to the question

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM