“What Was That Big Star Next to the Moon Last Night?”

by Nancy Atkinson on September 3, 2009

The waxing Gibbous Moon and the planet Jupiter in the southeastern sky. They are separated by 4 degrees in the sky. Credit:  Kevin Jung

The waxing Gibbous Moon and the planet Jupiter in the southeastern sky. They are separated by 4 degrees in the sky. Credit: Kevin Jung


Anyone ask you that question this morning? Jupiter was only 3 degrees from the Moon last night, making a pretty (and bright!) conjuction. I put out a call on Twitter last night for pictures of the event, and here are a few that were shared. Above is one taken by Kevin Jung in Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. Click the picture for more of Kevin’s images. Also, if you looked at Jupiter with a telescope last night (Sept 2) at 4:43 to 6:29 Universal Time (12:43 a.m. to 2:29 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time) you may have also noticed something was missing: Jupiter’s moons were hiding! Ganymede and Europa passed in front of the giant planet, while Io and Callisto will passed behind Jupiter (from our point of view) making it nearly impossible to visually detect any moons around Jupiter. Our own Brian Ventrudo explains all on his site One Minute Astronomer. And here’s some more images from the conjuction:

 Moon + Jupiter + a seagull, at a resort in Southern Portugal.  Credit: Daniel Fischer

Moon + Jupiter + a seagull, at a resort in Southern Portugal. Credit: Daniel Fischer



Here’s a nice shot from Daniel Fischer (a.k.a. cosmos4u on Twitter) who took this image while in Portugal. Check out Daniel’s website, too, for lots of space and astronomy info.
Moon and Jupiter conjuction.  Credit:  Emily Lakdawalla

Moon and Jupiter conjuction. Credit: Emily Lakdawalla


This one is from Emily Lakdawalla, blogger for the Planetary Society. If you’re wondering why the Moon looks so orange in this picture, Emily is currently looking through the smokey skies of the “Station Fire” out in southern California.
Moon-Jupiter conjuction.  Credit: David Woods

Moon-Jupiter conjuction. Credit: David Woods


This is a pretty view of the conjuction from David Woods, who took this image from the mountains of Virginia, USA. Click the image to see more of David’s handiwork.

Thanks for sharing your pictures

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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