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I could watch this time-lapse of Jupiter (and Io) all day long

A redditor by the name of bubbleweed shot this time-lapse of Jupiter moving in relation to its moon, Io, over the course of five and a half hours, and boy howdy is it beautiful.


The looping animation is captivating in its simplicity – not that there isn't a lot to observe in the split-second scene. Jupiter's Great Red Spot makes an appearance, and the planet's speedy rotation about its axis – the fastest in our solar system – is readily observed. (You can't tell from this footage, but Io is tidally locked with Jupiter, just like our moon is with Earth; i.e. Io rotates at the same frequency as Jupiter, keeping the same face toward the planet at all times.) I'm especially fond of the shadow, cast by Io, that clearly appears on the face of the planet as it pirouettes its way across the frame.

Here's another version, depicting Io's motion in relation to Jupiter. Below, bubbleweed describes the process by which he captured the stunning set of images that make up the sequence:

This is a timelapse made from 99 stacked captures of Jupiter. A capture was made for 90 seonds, then wait for 90 seconds, then capture for 90 seconds and so on. I hauled out my pc to capture this as I don't have the disk space required on my laptop. This went well for the first 60 caps. Then the mount had reached meridian and stopped tracking. After re-slewing to Jupiter and re-centering I had noticed that my PC had frozen (!) I tried several attempts at restarting with no luck. I switched to the laptop for the remaining shots. I lost about 20 minutes in the switchover, that's what caused the jump just after the shadow transit begins. Thankfully my laptop had JUST enough disk space to finish the transit. A successful night in all.


More on the setup used to acquire these images over on reddit.

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A little known fact is that our moon revolves primarily around the sun, and then around the earth, while all other moons go round their planets first and only then go around the sun.

It's a little off the subject, but seeing io stationary next to a moving jupiter sprung my association.