The Moon and Jupiter

This evening sky-watchers will note Jupiter directly beside a bright Moon. The pair will be very close separated by only 1°09′ as of sunset here in Hawai’i. Accounting for the radius of the Moon this will mean that the planet will be only 55′ off the limb of the Moon.

Observers further east and south will be able to see an occultation, with the Moon passing in front of Jupiter. Here in Hawai’i the occultation will be over before sunset. It is no use observing during the daytime either, as the planet will pass north of the Moon for our latitude.

The proximity of the two does provide a nice opportunity to see Jupiter in the daytime, as the Moon will provide a signpost to the location of the planet. The pair will rise about 14:00HST and be well up before sunset. Look just to the north of the Moon (left as they rise) for a pinpoint of light. At -2.6 magnitude the planet should be easy to spot as long as the sky is clear and not hazy.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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