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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Skywatching: Jupiter and Daymoon 19-02-2014





     Jupiter shines brightly this month, and on Saturday a friend and I went outside to skywatch. Fog from our breath quickly disappeared like dragon's breath in the crisp night air with a dwindling breeze. We fidgeted eagerly in our places and shuffled light flakes of frigid snow beneath our boots, as we peered up at the sky, straining to catch sight of dimmer stars.

     In this area light pollution sometimes blocks them out, but on Saturday without a cloud in sight the brightest light around was the full moon and the second-brightest was Jupiter (top right). We couldn't see Jupiter's moons, but in a darker area or with some aid they can be spotted. This website, Astro Viewer (http://www.astroviewer.com/current-night-sky.php?lon=-73.94&lat=40.67&city=New+York+City&tz=EST) , has a nice nightly star chart which can help you locate Jupiter, and you can use the search box on the left to set it to your location.
     The way I've been finding Jupiter this week is locating the constellation Orion, then going in a straight line from Rigel (Orion's right foot from our point-of-view) to Betelgeuse (Orion's left shoulder) and continuing about that length one more time and that's right next to Jupiter.

Here's a photo  from today:

These were taken with a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS15 digital camera and no telescope, but in the picture above two of Jupiter's moons can be seen very faintly. For more about viewing Jupiter this month check out space.com's article: http://www.space.com/24624-see-jupiter-near-moon-tonight.html
Just for fun, here is a picture of the day moon this morning at around 7:30AM.
Good morning/night!

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