Venus not Jupiter

Posted by XTSee on 2nd January , 2009

Tonight on my evening walk with the dog, I took out a small pair of binos I recently bought from our local Aldi store in their basement bargains section for just 6 pounds! Not that I expected much from these 12×32 binoculars. They look ok, but are pretty basic and a bit tinny to feel, and the rubber eyecups have bent whilst in the box and won’t go back to their proper shape. Never mind, they are light and easy to use on a casual walk, and this is the first time I have seen any stars for about 3 weeks now, due to constant cloud cover here in Lincolnshire. I had hoped that over the Christmas break I might have been able to do some viewing :( .

So this evening the clouds parted for about 2 hours, but since we were going out with friends for a meal, there wasn’t enough time to get the XT10 out, so instead I setup my 20×80’s when I returned from my walk. Primarily this was because Jupiter seemed exceptionally bright, and a short distance from a quarter Moon, and I wondered what I might be able to make out of the planet.

Well, I wonder how many other folk make this mistake? A quick check on Stellarium showed it to be Venus, not Jupiter, and I also noticed that both Uranus and Neptune should be visible in the same region of sky. I made some comparisons with the Stellarium display, and was pleased to confirm that I was able to see not only Venus, but also quite clearly Uranus, and although considerably dimmer Neptune could just be seen.

My Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80 Giant Observation Binoculars really do provide excellent viewing.

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