Friday 23 September 2022 12:53 PM Astrophotographer captures 'clearest ever image' of Jupiter looking like a ... trends now

Friday 23 September 2022 12:53 PM Astrophotographer captures 'clearest ever image' of Jupiter looking like a ... trends now
Friday 23 September 2022 12:53 PM Astrophotographer captures 'clearest ever image' of Jupiter looking like a ... trends now

Friday 23 September 2022 12:53 PM Astrophotographer captures 'clearest ever image' of Jupiter looking like a ... trends now

On Monday, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years.

It will still be some 367 million miles away from us, but not since October 1963 have stargazers had such a great opportunity to spot it in the night sky.

One astrophotographer has already taken advantage of this by capturing the gas giant in such extraordinary detail that it appears to look like a marble floating in space.

Andrew McCarthy's stunning images show Jupiter beautifully lit up against the night sky, highlighting its red spot and cloud bands.

'It's one of the sharpest images I've produced of the gas giant and I'm proud to share with you the clearest shot I've managed of Jupiter so far,' said McCarthy, who is known to his followers as Cosmic-Background.

Mesmerising: On Monday, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years. One astrophotographer has taken advantage of this by capturing the gas giant in such extraordinary detail that it appears to look like a marble floating in space

Mesmerising: On Monday, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years. One astrophotographer has taken advantage of this by capturing the gas giant in such extraordinary detail that it appears to look like a marble floating in space

Andrew McCarthy's stunning images show Jupiter beautifully lit up against the night sky, highlighting its red spot and cloud bands

Andrew McCarthy's stunning images show Jupiter beautifully lit up against the night sky, highlighting its red spot and cloud bands

'It's one of the sharpest images I've produced of the gas giant and I'm proud to share with you the clearest shot I've managed of Jupiter so far,' said McCarthy, who is known to his followers as Cosmic-Background

'It's one of the sharpest images I've produced of the gas giant and I'm proud to share with you the clearest shot I've managed of Jupiter so far,' said McCarthy, who is known to his followers as Cosmic-Background

JUPITER: THE BASICS

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in our solar system.

It is  a massive ball of gas that is made mostly of hydrogen and helium, with some heavy elements.  

'Jupiter's familiar stripes and swirls are actually cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water, floating in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium,' said NASA.

'Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.'

The planet is twice as large as all of the other planet's combined, and the Great Red Spot alone is large enough to fit the entire Earth insidee. 

One spacecraft – NASA's Juno orbiter – is currently exploring this giant world. 

Facts and figures 

Distance from Sun: 750 million km

Orbital period: 12 years

Surface area: 61.42 billion km²

Radius: 69,911 km

Mass: 1.898 × 10^27 kg (317.8 M⊕)

Length of day: 0d 9h 56m

Moons: 53 with formal designations; innumerable additional moonlets 

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'I spent about two hours shooting photos of it in batches — every 90 seconds I captured around 7,500 individual images.

'The image output was then processed by colour balancing and sharpening the image, which I did while travelling.

'Seeing Jupiter through a telescope is part of what inspired me to go down this road and become an astrophotographer, and I never get tired of seeing it.'

McCarthy took thousands of images of Jupiter before stacking them together to create the final effect.

To the naked eye, the planet looks like a bright star, but when seen through his 11-inch telescope and colour camera, it was brought to life in incredible detail.

The astrophotographer managed to capture the images from his garden in Florence, Arizona, earlier this week, as Jupiter was rising in the eastern skies just after sunset.

However, despite being able to see the detail of the planet and its four Galilean moons

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