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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dancing with Jupiter and the Moon

Early in the morning of January 22, 2013 in Israel, the moon will make a beautiful close pass at Jupiter, skimming just half a degree (one full moon's diameter) beneath the planet. Closest approach will be at 5:00AM local Israeli time. Observers in the America's will be more favorably positioned for this close approach since it will occur 7 hours earlier on the east coast at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 21, 2013.

I'm not even sure I will be awake that early in the morning here in Israel, but if the US has clear skies be sure to go out and watch this magnificent event. It will be easily visible to the naked eye, but even small binoculars will help you see the many bright stars in the vicinity of the moon and Jupiter that will be hidden by the moon's bright glare.

The moon will makes its closest approach to Jupiter in this lunation on the morning of January 22, 2013 at 5:00AM Israel Local Time, 7 hours earlier on the night of January 21 for observers on the east coast of the US. Don't miss this spectacular sight if you have clear skies.. Use this chart to help you identify bright stars in the vicinity of this event. You will probably need binoculars to see many of them due to the moon's bright light. (Click for full size image.)
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