Some interesting astronomy for us this evening!

With clear skies having returned, we are blessed with one more good evening of Jupiter- viewing. Enjoy it while it lasts. After next week we won’t be able to see it anymore. In fact, today is one of the last good days to see it, as it is sinking lower and lower each day.

Look on the southwest horizon about a half hour after dark. It will look like a very bright star on the horizon. You will need to have a good clear view of that horizon, or you won’t be able to see it (it’s already that lowered that much on the horizon since we last saw it!).

You’ll also see Venus. It’s very close to Jupiter on that horizon, but a bit to the east.

Later on tonight, at 10:08 pm, the moon will be at apogee. That means it will be at its farthest point from Earth. At that time, it will be 251,311 miles away from Earth’s center. That would be like driving from Bristol to Memphis nearly 503 times!

We also have a meteor shower that will be cranking up toward the middle of the month. Now may actually be the better time to spot some of those meteors, since the Full Moon will be shining up the sky when the shower peaks on the 14th. That moonlight really does a good job drowning out the meteors!

If any of you are up early enough to beat the sunrise, look southeast and you’ll see a very bright star on the southeastern horizon. That is actually the planet Mercury. Get out your telescope and you’ll be able to see disk. The best time to see it is about 30 minutes before sunrise.

Again, get out there and take a look at Jupiter this evening. It’ll be a while before we see such an evening sight from that planet again.

JupiterfromCassini

Jupiter bids farewell

This is your last week to get decent views of the giant planet before it disappears in the Sun’s glow. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this true-color image in December 2000.
NASA/JPL/University of Arizon

You all have a wonderful evening!

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