Jupiter's satellites


 The Galilean satellites of Jupiter

Sorry, your browser does not recognise HTML5 <canvas> elements.

The earliest versions of browsers that can use <canvas> are:

Android 1.0, Chrome 3.0, Firefox 3.0, Internet Explorer 9.0, iPhone 1.0, Konqueror 4, Opera 10.0, Safari 3.0

You might consider using Firefox which is easy to download from www.mozilla.org


h m s

(as in inverting telescope)

(as in diagonal prism/mirror)

(not inverted or flipped)


Apart from the colour coding this is what you would see through binoculars. It is possible to photograph the 4 satellites with a simple camera on a tripod.

Jupiter has many other satellites but they are all very much fainter than the 4 Galilean ones.

Hourly animation of the display above can be done by selecting the arrow for incrementing hours in the calendar and then pressing the Enter key or even holding it down so it repeats.

The calculation scheme is from Jean Meeus: "Astronomical Algorithms", 2nd edition (corrected August 2009), Willmann-Bell Inc. The lower accuracy scheme of the two given in chapter 44 is used. This is accurate enough to show the layout on a given date but not accurate enough to show whether the satellites occult or eclipse each other.

Photography with camera on fixed tripod

The Galilean moons can be photographed by a camera on a fixed tripod. Here are some examples, with camera settings indicated:

Back to Solar System index page