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"See Jupiter and its largest moons with just your binoculars"

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#1 Jigywigy

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:12 AM

Ok, which one of you brilliant out reach people started this. smile.gif

 

I have seen this headline popping up over and over again.

 

"This month, you can see Jupiter and its largest moons with just your binoculars."

 

This one is from CNN, but I have seen it in many other places. 

 

Initially I thought, "you can always see Jupiter's moons with binoculars" and that it was misleading.

 

Then I thought it was brilliant!  Stimulate interest by portraying a common event (opposition) as something rare. So people run out to see it with binoculars and some end up taking up astronomy. Brilliant!

 

James


Edited by Jigywigy, 08 June 2019 - 08:12 AM.

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#2 Astroman007

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:23 AM

"This month, you can see Jupiter and its largest moons with just your binoculars."

Yeah, I do that practically every night that Jupiter is in the sky. yawn.gif

 

Then I thought it was brilliant!  Stimulate interest by portraying a common event (opposition) as something rare. So people run out to see it with binoculars and some end up taking up astronomy. Brilliant!

Oh! Well if you put it that way, it's no longer just the usual exaggerated or reporter-Joe-just-noticed-something-not-at-all-unusual media hype. If it works towards seducing the public, and gets them outside a bit under the stars, then far be it from me to complain.


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#3 Matt78

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:03 AM

I've seen the Gallileans under binos before, but generally haven't bothered whenever I've had a telescope on hand. Looked the other night, and while it's true being able to see them isn't unusual, they were much bigger than they'd be at other points in the orbit. Very pleasant and easy to view. I guess to be technically accurate they'd have said Jupiter's moons are significantly better in binoculars than they'd look if you looked at them in binoculars at other times, but you don't look because you're not an amateur astronomer, and you have no frame of reference. I can forgive them the hyperbole. There are far worse things to stretch the truth about.

#4 SgtSluggo

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:22 PM

I think it all started from NASA JPL's Night Sky Notes for June.  This seems to be the first place that brings up opposition and viewing with binoculars.  It also seems to be a place that makes sense for news outlets to watch for things to report on. NASA also gets some good Juno publicity as part of it.  

 

This is actually the article that got me thinking about getting a telescope.

 

https://nightsky.jpl....cfm?Doc_ID=629



#5 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM

I don't mind the promotion, but think it could have been stated more accurately like... "Did you know that you could see the moons of Jupiter... especially now!!!"


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#6 SgtSluggo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:12 PM

I think the NASA article is plenty accurate. It makes no claims of how rare opposition is (it just defines it). It actually makes no claims that you can see the moons better now than other times.  The only reason it includes Jupiter is because it is visible in the sky most of the night.  News organizations with money to make on the current interest in space (thanks to SpaceX and Artemis) picked up on the fact that opposition occurs on a specific date. No other news took it over and it has spread.  

 

I'm still glad for it.  I hope it makes people search out the truth.  If they don't there isn't really any harm done



#7 Bowlerhat

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:08 AM

Then I thought it was brilliant!  Stimulate interest by portraying a common event (opposition) as something rare. So people run out to see it with binoculars and some end up taking up astronomy. Brilliant!

It's like the news of black hole picture we had last month, it created a lot of news material for media outlets. I'm actually rather surprised that people respond to that, I didn't really expect them to read it. Since this news, I've had two of my friends asking me for a scope, so we have a session set up tomorrow (Friday here)

 

Some of the news are worded as such:

...You can see Jupiter with your own eyes, just by using binoculars, but don't worry if you missed it, you can still see it at the end of the week..

 

.. may be just misleading. Jupiter opposition would not change the size dramatically in one day, nor it only means you can't see it on other days.

I'm not sure with binos, but I can even just point out a camera with a lens just to show Jupiter with moons in low power.

 

In other words, no real news for us. It's easy to set up for viewing Jupiter.

 

But I think it's a golden opportunity to reach out. I think it may even attract visitors to observatories and opening public viewing nights.

And on that note, I agree it's brilliant.




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