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Moon, Meet Jupiter

Moon, Meet Jupiter

This week, sky watchers are in for a treat!

Jupiter, the second-brightest planet is our night sky, will appear to be less than a finger’s width from the Moon.

The pair has been very close together since late December, and their closest approach will occur on the evening of January 21 at around 11:30 p.m., Eastern Time.

Of course, looks can be deceiving. While the Moon and Jupiter will appear to be less than an inch apart, Jupiter is actually incredibly far away. While the Moon stays at about a constant 239,000 miles from the Earth, Jupiter can be anywhere from 390 million to 575 million miles away.

If you plan to view Jupiter by telescope owners have a couple of additional treats, you should be able to see the planet’s Great Red Spot that evening from about 9 p.m. to 10:40 p.m., Eastern Time. In addition, Jupiter’s moon Europa will crosses in front it between 8:13 to 10:37 p.m.

No telescope? No worries. Just enjoy the view of massive planet sitting next to our Moon while it lasts. Widen your view to take in the bright orange star Aldebaran, shining to the lower left of the pair, not too far from the Hyades and Pleiades star clusters.

1 comment

1 Teresa Herlinger { 01.21.13 at 1:38 pm }

Terrific site! So glad to have discovered it. I love the astronomy highlights. Keep it coming! Thanks!

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