Our Astronomical Column


    Jupiter without its Satellites.—Mr. W. F. Denning writes: “The planet Jupiter will be observed apparently without visible satellites on Feb. 14. On that evening at 8.51 P.M. the first satellite will commence its transit across the disc of its primary. The fourth satellite will have previously begun its transit; while the second satellite will be hidden behind the planet, and the third will be suffering eclipse. The temporary obscuration of the satellites will continue for more than 2 hours and 15 minutes, for at 9.6 P.M. the first satellite will complete its transit. Jupiter has nine satellites; all but five are so faint that small telescopes cannot reveal them. To view the planet devoid of all visible satellites is a somewhat rare spectacle. The writer was privileged to witness it on Aug. 21, 1867, with a 41/2 in. refractor, and a delineation of the appearance presented was afterwards given in the Astronomical Register. Repetitions of the phenomenon will occur in 1932, and one of these which occurs in November may possibly be seen at Greenwich.”

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 127, 250 (1931). https://doi.org/10.1038/127250a0

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