That is a gorgeous photo.

That is a gorgeous photo.

If you look carefully you will notice that the moons and Jupiter are almost fully lit, so the Sun is almost directly behind the camera. So, the fact that the shadow is so far to the right of Ganymede shows that Ganymede is pretty far in the foreground. Without that hint, you might think that Ganymede is very close to Jupiter and that the sunlight is coming more from the left.

Originally shared by Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)

Ganymede’s Shadow

Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach, Chilescope

Approaching opposition early next month, Jupiter is offering some of its best telescopic views from planet Earth. On March 17, this impressively sharp image of the solar system’s ruling gas giant was taken from a remote observatory in Chile. Bounded by planet girdling winds, familiar dark belts and light zones span the giant planet spotted with rotating oval storms. The solar system’s largest moon Ganymede is above and left in the frame, its shadow seen in transit across the northern Jovian cloud tops. Ganymede itself is seen in remarkable detail along with bright surface features on fellow Galilean moon Io, right of Jupiter’s looming disk.

12 replies on “That is a gorgeous photo.”

  1. Saigo Takamori Behind the camera, I said, not behind the object. The Sun, the Earth, Ganymede and Jupiter are all roughly lined up (not exactly lined up though, or the shadow would be behind Ganymede instead of offset a bit)

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