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Friday, October 8, 2010

Gobsmacked by Jupiter

Last night we had a little family star party at the Alpaca Farm parking lot, a nice dark site only a 5 minute drive from our house. As I got out of the car and looked up, I became very excited. There was this bright light in the sky I had never seen before. It was so bright it seemed like a rent in the fabric of heaven. Then it started moving. I yelled for people to get out of the car and look at this incredible...I didn't know what. My daughter got out of the car and started yelling, "What is it? What is it? It's changing color!" and indeed it had started twinkling red, green, white. Then the heaven started reeling above. I had to look down to steady myself.

What was this?

It was Jupiter, so bright and so strange in the clear, dark sky that it had become unrecognizable.

We had been gobsmacked by Jupiter, the King of Planets!

Jupiter is brighter and closer to earth now than it has been for some 50 years. You don't even need a telescope to enjoy it. Wait for a clear night with no moonlight or obscuring haze in the sky, find a dark site (if you can), and just look up. If you're lucky, you too will be gobsmacked by Jupiter.

Poster credit: Azhy Hasan

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