I had to wait a few more days for the skies to clear - but that just built my anticipation.
Last night, I noticed a new star up in the sky. After consulting the astrological almanacs, I discovered that it was the planet Jupiter!
To the naked eye, it looked very much like this:
I whacked on the basic lens, and aligned my 'scope with Moonbase Alpha. The nearly-full moon took up the whole of my view - and it was good.
Jupiter, however, looked like a dot. Barely different to any of the stars. How disappoi... wait a moment! The telescope came with a selection of lenses! I plucked out the smallest one, threaded it in to place, and took another look at the Moon.
Now, that was more like it! If I could see the moon in that sort of detail - what would the largest planet in the solar system look like? I guided the telescope up until I could see Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - just like Galileo. There - hanging in the middle - was a striped planet. Wandering through the heavens, glowing a majestic orange.
Further evidence that I need a proper photo rig is that my captured image of The Cosmic Liver is somewhat lacklustre.
If you squint, you can just about see the stripes. Despite repeatedly shouting "Computer, enhance image!" I still can't see the Great Red Spot.
New year's resolution - lots more star gazing 🙂