Jupiter has been putting on quite a show in the night sky lately as it officially reached opposition on October 28, 2011, making it a target of many astrophotographers as the gas giant shows itself off big and bright in the night sky. This animation from amateur astronomer Leonard E. Mercer from Malta shows Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot moving across the surface of the mighty planet. Mercer captured a series of 12 images on the 27th and 28th (10pm – 2.00am. CET). Mercer used a C11 telescope and DMK 21 mono camera with RGB filters. “Conditions were very good!” he said.
Opposition means an the planet is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth, which also put it at its closest point to Earth in the two planets’ orbits around the Sun.