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Tonight while observing Jupiter I was able to see a five (what looked like) moons. I have observed Jupiter often before and only been able to make out the four galilean moons. It's my understanding that through my 8-inch scope it would be impossible for me to see any others. Switching to a widefield lens I was able to see Jupiter along with some nearby stars however the 5 moon-like points around it all still appeared... well, moon-like in comparison to the bright stars.

I observed Jupiter from about 2016-04-15 05:20 to 05:40 UTC and all five of the moon-like objects were present the whole time. What was I probably looking at?

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Stellarium identifies the mystery "moon" as a star, HIP 54057 a.k.a. HD 95848. Your telescope probably showed it on the right instead of the left. The location on Earth is insignificant since you provided the time in UTC.

Jupiter passed directly in front of the same star on 2016-04-12, but the occultation was only visible from the Eastern Hemisphere. Screenshot of Jupiter and HD 95848

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A seventh magnitude star. See this link:

http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/533968-jovian-events-414-1516/

Further info: the star in question was probably HIP 54057 (also known as SAO 118636 or HD 95848.) On April 12th it was occulted by Jupiter (that is, Jupiter passed in front of it) for about three hours. So the star would have been in the area of Jupiter for a few days.

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  • $\begingroup$ This looks like it could be right! Unfortunately links, particularly to forums, often decay leaving the answer unusable. If you can work the information into your answer rather than just linking to it this would be much better. $\endgroup$ – Ceribia Apr 15 '16 at 16:51

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