Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Jupiter tonight

(See the "Update" below)

"Earth is about to pass between the sun and Jupiter, placing Jupiter opposite the sun in our sky on March 8, 2016, at 11 Universal Time".

Jupiter-Earth comparison, from EarthSky
"Astronomers call this event an opposition of Jupiter. Therefore, Jupiter now rises in the east around sunset, climbs highest in the sky at midnight and sets in the west around sunrise. It shines more brightly than any star in the evening sky, and is the second-brightest planet, after Venus. But Venus only shines in the morning at present while Jupiter stays out all night long". EarthSky.

"7x50 and 10x50 binoculars show a very small white or creamy coloured planetary disk without detail. Easily seen are Jupiter's four large Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) which continuously change position as they orbit the giant planet."freestarcharts.com.

Jupiter's moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (credit - NASA)

"But as always whatever binoculars / telescope you are using or even just with the naked eye, Jupiter is a fantastic object to view especially around opposition time". freestarcharts.com

Update! -  Tonight, almost midnight, this is how they look like, from home (Jupiter, three of its moons and a nebula):

Photo © E.G.