Observing the Giant Planets

Jupiter-Saturn-M45-Hyades 2000 10 01

Learning Goals:ааThe goal of this lab is for students to gain a better physical understanding for the properties of the giant planets and the physical sizes of planetary features and identification of some of the largest satellites of these giant planets.

Suggested Observations:аa short and medium exposure image of one of the giant planets - The first will reveal surface features of the planet, while the second should be long enough to see the planet's major moons.


To obtain detailed images of Saturn and Jupiter, to measure the physical size of several unique features of these planets and also to identify their moons.аThis lab requires two types of images of each of Jupiter and Saturn - a "shallow" image to study features on the planet itself and a "deep" image that saturates the planet but allows us to identify the planet's biggest moons.

Resources: аWorksheetMaxIm, Starry Night Pro

Terminology: аKepler's Third Law, small-angle formulaeccentricitysemi-major axisorbital period

Tutorials: Importing Images into MaxImFITS Header, Coordinates in MaxIm

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